Some good news for Bryan County Schools got lost in the uproar over the district’s re-imposed mask mandate.
The district placed at or near the top of the heap among area school systems on end of grade assessment tests for the 2020-2021 school year, it was recently announced.
In all, Bryan County students in grades 3 through high school beat out the majority of their counterparts in 16 other districts in coastal Georgia in the percentage of students scoring at or above grade level in subject matters ranging from reading and language arts to math and science.
Bryan County Schools has about 10,000 students and 1,400 staff members and is part of the First District Regional Education Service Agency, or RESA. Other districts in the RESA include those in Effingham, Appling, Glynn, Toombs, Bulloch, Wayne, Jeff Davis, Tattnall, Long, McIntosh, Screven, Candler, Liberty and Evans counties. Savannah-Chatham County Schools and Vidalia City Schools are also in the district.
The results, part of the Georgia Milestones testing, show Bryan County third graders led First District RESA with 74.6 percent of students reading at or above grade level; similarly, Bryan third graders led the way in English language arts in percentage of distinguished learners (36.3 percent) and proficient learner and above (51.6 percent).
The county’s fourth graders finished second in math among coastal school districts with 63.0 percent of its students considered proficient learners and above, behind Effingham County’s 64.6 percent.
Fifth graders led the RESA with 81.6 percent reading at or above grade level; the county’s fifth graders also were atop the RESA in English language arts, as 52.4 percent were considered proficient learners and above.
And, Bryan fifth graders trailed only Effingham County in math scores, with 52.7 percent of Bryan students scored as proficient learners or above. Effingham’s percentage of proficient or above learners in math was 53.9.
In science, Bryan fifth graders were second in the number of proficient and above learners to Effingham County, 55.2 percent to 56.3 percent.
Sixth graders in Bryan County also led the RESA in reading, with 72.5 percent reading at or above grade level – Effingham County was second at 69.3 percent. Bryan sixth graders also led the district in English Language arts – 58.1 percent tested as proficient or above learners – and in math, with 45.9 percent of its students testing as proficient or above learners.
The county’s seventh graders ranked atop the RESA in reading, with 80.8 percent reading at or above grade level, and in English Language Arts, with 51.6 percent testing as proficient or above learners. Seventh graders also the RESA in math proficiency, with 45.4 percent considered as proficient or above learners.
Eighth graders in Bryan County placed second in testing in all but one subject, mathematics, with 85.5 percent of the county’s students performing at or above grade level in reading; 56.9 percent were considered proficient or above learners in English language arts; 45.9 percent fared as well in math; and 53.1 percent were proficient or above learners in science.
Eighth graders were also tested on social studies, with 52.1 percent of Bryan County students in that grade proficient or above learners, according to the end of grade results.
Bryan students led First RESA in biology – 61 percent of the district’s students scored proficient or above --- and in American literature and composition, where 50.7 percent were proficient or above. The county’s percentage of students testing at a proficient or above level in Algebra I was 43.1, which was second in the RESA to Glynn County, where 45.6 percent of its students were placed.
Bryan Schools also routinely had one of the highest percentages of test takers in the RESA. In some instances 100 percent of students enrolled in a subject matter were tested. The county’s lowest percentage of test takers was 96 percent in fourth grade math. By contrast, as few as 23 percent of students in some districts in the First District RESA took the tests, according to the Georgia Department of Education.