By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
According to a press release issued by the Georgia Department of Education, the release of the list of 2014 Alert Schools is part of the state’s waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
School superintendent Jerry Bell said the news came as a shock and he is researching the State’s reasons for putting the high school on that list.
“That’s what we’re trying find out – what was the reason,” Bell said. “I don’t have a lot of other information other than what you have, that we’re on the list. I don’t know the exact reasons yet. They haven’t broken it down into those categories, but I’ll be glad to share that with you once I get that information.”
An Alert School is defined as a school that has been recorded by the State as having some of the lowest proficiency on statewide assessments among all students, and has demonstrated a lack of progress on those assessments over a three-year period in the “all students” group.
Bell noted the high school has made considerable strides in the a number of different areas, such as the high school graduation rate, which is up to 86% with the 2014 graduation class.
That’s why Bell says the announcement is that much more confusing.
“We’ve made a lot of strides in many areas, the graduation rate being obviously one,” he said. “But many times when you look at things like the Alert School list, they look at many different areas, such as test scores. But getting off the list will mean finding out what those areas are and making the necessary improvements, which may not be that difficult.”
No other Hart County school was on the list and this is the first time a Hart County school has been listed by the State as an Alert School.
Good news in Elbert County as well, as not school in the Elbert County School System made the state’s “Alert School” list.