School’s performance measures better than last year’s in many areas

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By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor

Morgan County High School (MCHS) Principal Dr. Jim Malanowski was “quite pleased with the results” of performance measures comparing last school year’s students with students from the 2011-2012 school year.

Information presented to the county Board of Education (BOE) at their Oct. 14 meeting showed that, of 11th graders taking the Georgia High School Graduation Test for the first time, 3 percent more met or exceeded the required score on the test last school year than in 2011-2012.

Improvements between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 were shown on End of Course Tests (EOCTs) as well. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding the required scores on those tests grew in all subject areas – Grade 9 Literature, American Literature, Physical Science, Biology, U.S. History and U.S. Economics – while Math II EOCT scores for the same time period stayed the same as compared to 2011-2012.

There is still room to improve as compared to the state, especially in Economics, where MCHS’s 59 percent of students meeting or exceeding the required score fell 19 points below the state average, according to the report.

“Economics is one of the areas where we struggled,” Malanowski said. MCHS administration also spoke about the jump from 25 percent of Career Pathways students earning industry credentials in 2011-2012 to 66 percent of the same students earning industry credentials last school year.

Assistant Principal Davis Bell said that industry credentials are gained through End of Pathways assessments that are pass or fail tests. Morgan County Middle School (MCMS) Principal Lydia Norburg gave a similar presentation to the BOE, praising the “math gains” made by MCMS students.

Last school year, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the required CRCT score on the Math portion of the test came in 2 percent more than the school’s target, or 93 percent compared to the school’s target of 91 percent.

Further the percentage of eighth graders taking the CRCT’s Math portion exceeded the targeted 86 percent by 6 percentage points. Now, Norburg said, the focus is on Science, as the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the required score in that area fell short of the targeted 87 percent by 4 percentage points.

The results from both MCHS and MCMS are part of the schools’ Balanced Scorecards and can be viewed at In other MCHS news, Malanowski shared information about the Smart-Girl program that MCHS is implementing in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club.

Between eight and 10 girls will participate in the up-to-11-week program at a time, and the girls are all referred to the program by school counselors, teachers or administrators.

Smart-Girls will meet during MCHS’s Enrichment period to foster “effective, smart decision-making” among group members, Malanowski said.

According to Malanowski’s report, Smart-Girls is meant to “provide girls with the problem-solving skills, strength of character and support system necessary for an emotionally and socially healthy life,” especially when it comes to vulnerability related to “agressive relationships and drug, alcohol and sexual promiscuity.”

Malanowski also mentioned the desire for a Boys & Girls Club Teen Center at MCHS. There’s a classroom available, but an activity room is in demand because the school’s gyms are in use by sports team after school.

As far as system enrollment, Assistant Superintendent Sarah Burbach shared that there are 3,273 students in the county’s school system, down 18 from last month.

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