Superintendent’s Morgan County Schools 2009-2010 Year in Review
By: Stan DeJarnett
The Morgan County School System's leadership team, school and system administrators have spent June and July compiling data from the just-completed school year, and there is a lot of great news to report.
In many areas we have had the best year in the history of our school system. All our schools reported great academic success with our students, in many areas the greatest success ever. When you look at our results in the context of the state funding and general economic climate, the numbers are even more encouraging.
Although a more detailed report of state test results and a user-friendly Balanced Scorecard will be rolled out at the July 29th Board of Education meeting, Morgan County students, supported by their parents and teachers, recorded the following achievements of note:
Morgan County Primary School
• 96.6 percent of all second graders passed the Reading CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Test), with 48.7 percent scoring in the "exceeds category," the highest possible.
• 95.7 percent of all second graders passed the Math CRCT, with 32.3 percent scoring in the "exceeds" category.
Morgan County Elementary School
• 97.1 percent of all fifth graders passed the Language Arts CRCT.
• 96.3 percent of all third graders passed the Language Arts CRCT.
Morgan County Middle School
• 96.5 percent of all sixth graders passed the Reading CRCT, the highest ever
• This year 25 classrooms at MCMS had ALL students pass the Reading CRCT. Last year, three could make that claim.
• 92.6 percent of all seventh graders passed the Math CRCT, the highest ever.
• 91.8 percent of all seventh graders passed the Science CRCT, with 47.9 percent scoring in the "exceeds" category, the highest ever for both scores.
Morgan County High School
• The largest number of graduates (211) ever, with more potential graduates after summer testing results. It is too early to determine the MCHS graduation rate as summer graduates are included in the final calculation, but it is likely that 2010 graduation rate will exceed the 2009 "best ever" rate of 87.3 percent.
• MCHS students recorded the highest pass rates ever for their regular program 11th graders in the following areas:
Math, 99 percent
Writing, 98 percent
Science, 95 percent
English, 94 percent
• MCHS AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) students recorded the highest number of 3s or above on the AP tests. One hundred fourteen (114) students scored a 3 or better (out of 5), up from 77 in 2009 and 11 in 2006. AP and IB performance helped MCHS earn a place of 429 on Newsweek magazine's "Top High Schools in America." Of the 55 Georgia high schools on the list of over 1,200 nationwide, MCHS ranked 16th.
Morgan County Primary, Elementary and Middle schools again made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as part of the federal No Child Left Behind calculations, even as the bar for academic performance was raised this year. Morgan County Primary and Elementary schools have made AYP every year that the AYP provisions have been in place, and Morgan County Middle has only failed to make AYP once during that period. Morgan County High School's final AYP status will not be determined until summer graduates and Graduation Test re-test results are in.
I see no reason to even list high schools on the initial AYP determinations list. The final score is the one you put in the book, not the score at the end of the third quarter. MCHS has a good chance to make AYP this year and our students and teachers have worked very hard all summer to make that happen. 2010 data released today by the Georgia Department of Education noted that only 33 percent of Georgia high schools made AYP on the initial determination, a 14 percent decline from 2009.
Our students have also performed outstanding work in academic areas that are not reported on state standardized tests. If you have attended our Model Congress, eaten a meal prepared by our Culinary Arts students, attended an FFA event, band or chorus concert, dramatic production, art show, or cheered our students at a Morgan County athletic contest, you know that our students are getting a world-class education. We came closer to our goals this year than ever before and I am really excited about this new year. With the Board and the community support we enjoy, the dedicated and inspiring teachers and support staff who work tirelessly with our students, and the outstanding students and families who work with us...how can we not succeed?
Editor's Note: Please see above graph for more on how Morgan County schools performed on this year's CRCT. Additionally, initial AYP indicators were published by the Georgia Department of Education Monday and, while MCHS hasn't made AYP yet, they will have a chance once their Georgia High School Graduation Test re-test scores and updated graduation rate is factored in.
Stay tuned for updated information and commentary from school administration.