CCSD Students Continue to Excel on Georgia Milestones!

CCSD Students Continue to Excel on Georgia Milestones!

Category : CCSD

Cherokee County School District students again exceeded State averages on the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests, which measure mastery of Georgia Performance Standards.  CCSD students have exceeded State averages every year since Milestones began three years ago!

Students in Grades 3-8 take Milestones End-of-Grade (EOG) exams every spring in select core subjects; high school students in specific courses take Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) exams (eighth-graders enrolled in the classes for high school credit also take these exams). Parents will receive scores for their children in August.

Results show the percentages of students classified as Beginning, Developing, Proficient or Distinguished Learners; these percentages also include English Language Learners and students who receive Special Education services. Although differing groups of students affect year-to-year change within a grade level, CCSD’s performance improved overall.

Continued exceptional performance on Milestones across grades and subjects shows that our teachers are successfully instructing students in mastering knowledge crucial to career and college readiness. I am so proud of the effort by everyone within our organization in collaboration with our students, their families and our community partners and volunteers to make important achievements like this possible.

New initiatives including the Instructional Framework standards for how teachers design instruction and assess student learning, the Professional Learning Communities groups for teacher collaboration and this coming school year’s introduction of new English Language Arts instructional resources – the first update in more than a decade – show our commitment to even greater success for every child.

For third-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 88% for Math (80% Georgia) and 79% for English Language Arts (as compared to 70% for Georgia).

For fifth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 85% for Math (75% Georgia), 82% for English Language Arts (74% Georgia), 78% for Science (69% Georgia) and 83% for Social Studies (73% Georgia).

For eighth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 83% for Math (79% Georgia), 87% for English Language Arts (80% Georgia), 66% for Science (58% Georgia) and 83% for Social Studies (75% Georgia) — these totals do not include eighth-graders in high school credit classes with EOC exams.

The mean scaled scores ranked CCSD in the top 15% of school districts in Georgia for reading across all grades, with middle schoolers in the top 10%, and placed CCSD in the top 10% for elementary school math.

For high school credit courses, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 91% for 9th Grade Literature and Composition (84% Georgia), 91% for American Literature and Composition (82% for Georgia), 83% for Algebra (70% Georgia), 87% for Geometry (75% Georgia), 82% for Biology (70% Georgia), 80% for Physical Science (67% Georgia), 84% for U.S. History (76% Georgia) and 88% for Economics (72%).  The mean scaled scores for the tests ranked CCSD in the top 15% of school districts in Georgia, with the majority of assessments ranking in the top 10 percent.

As part of our focus on continuous improvement in teaching and learning, District and school leaders will analyze these scores in reviewing instructional strategies and School Improvement Plans. Milestones scores also contribute to the calculation of CCSD’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores.


CCSD Makes AP Honor Roll for Fourth Consecutive Year as Students Continued to Exceed National Average

Cherokee County School District high school students not only continue to beat State and National averages on college-level Advance Placement (AP) exams, but CCSD also has earned national recognition for its AP achievement for the fourth consecutive year!

The School District is one of only 10 school districts in Georgia named to the College Board’s elite AP Honor Roll for 2016, and this was CCSD’s fourth consecutive year to earn the prestigious distinction.  With a passage rate of 70% among the 4,784 tests administered in the spring of 2016, CCSD exceeds the State average of 58% and the National average of 57%.

“Preparing students for college and career is our primary mission, and this recognition affirms that we’re delivering on that promise,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “I’m especially pleased to see both the number of courses offered and the number of students participating increase, as research shows the significant positive impact this rigor has on students’ future success.”

The AP program has grown significantly in CCSD, with AP courses and exams currently offered in 30 subjects… up from 26 last year.  The number of exams taken by CCSD students increased by 16% from 2015, and has risen by more than 80% in the last five years.

The AP Program allows high school students who score a 3, 4 or 5 on an AP exam to earn college credit in high school and, subsequently, to exempt those courses in college.  Studies show that students who participate in AP courses are more likely to earn higher scores on the SAT and ACT and to complete their college education…. AP exams were administered to 22% of all CCSD high school students in 2016. Passage of AP exams places students at an academic and financial advantage, studies show, as they can both begin classes in their major sooner and avoid tuition costs for exempted courses.

Selection for the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data (from 2014 to 2016).  To qualify for the elite list, school districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of exams passed by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

All of CCSD’s high schools additionally have been named Georgia AP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) or AP STEM Achievement High Schools in recognition of outstanding student passage and participation levels and the variety of course offerings.

Principals annually review these scores with teachers, department heads and Data Management Teams to evaluate improvement strategies, including use of College Board preparatory materials and sharing best practices among teachers.

“Continuous improvement is more than a catch-phrase for us — it’s what we do, and new initiatives like our Instructional Framework standards for teaching and assessment will only further enhance our ability to build on successes like this,” Dr. Hightower said.  “I’m so proud of the team effort that makes such achievements possible, from the students and teachers in the classroom to the vast support network of staff, volunteers, partners and parents.  Congratulations to you all!”