CCSD Earns Highest SAT Scores in Metro Atlanta, No. 3 in State!

CCSD Earns Highest SAT Scores in Metro Atlanta, No. 3 in State!

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Snapshot: CCSD 2016 ACT and SAT Results

The Cherokee County School District, which earned the highest average among metropolitan Atlanta districts, increased its score by 17 points and ranked in the top 3 school districts in Georgia for average SAT scores.

The School District’s Class of 2016 earned an average total score of 1577, up from 1560 last school year, which is the 3rd-highest score out of 180 school systems in the State of Georgia, according to data released today by the College Board.

The School District’s Class of 2016 graduates exceeded the National average by 93 points and the State average by 118 points on the curriculum-based, college entrance and placement exam, which is the most commonly recognized measure of achievement for high school students.

All CCSD high schools, with 54% (1,412 students) of the Class of 2016 participating, scored above the National average and ranked in the top 10% in Georgia on the test, which measures critical reading, mathematics and writing abilities that are related to successful performance in college.

The School District’s average total score increased, and CCSD also earned the second-highest average Writing score, third-highest average Mathematics score and fourth-highest average Critical Reading score in the State.

As different groups of students are being tested, annual fluctuation in scores is anticipated; but CCSD continues to show consistent, extraordinary performance when compared at the National and State levels.

CCSD Principals will analyze individual scores with their Leadership and Data Management Teams to review instruction and curriculum practices, evaluate intervention strategies and set new SAT goals. Counselors also will examine the results to ensure that every student is guided toward and prepared for the entrance examination that best suits their strengths and needs.

“We are extremely proud of the success of our students on the SAT, as this extraordinary accomplishment illustrates how well each of our schools, from preschool through high school, is preparing students for success in higher education and future careers,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. This accomplishment follows the recent release of record-high ACT scores earned by CCSD students and data that shows how few CCSD graduates need remediation at the college level.

“These outstanding achievements would not be possible without the enduring support of our entire community – families, teachers, staff, administrators, business partners, volunteers, taxpayers who support the continuation of our Education SPLOST and a School Board that makes teaching and learning its top priority,” Dr. Hightower said. “Thank you to everyone who is helping us in meeting our mission of Educating the Emerging Generation!”


CCSD 2016 SAT Results

CCSD Students Continued to Exceed State, Nation on AP Exams

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Cherokee County School District high school students not only continue to exceed State and National averages on rigorous Advance Placement (AP) exams, but the school system has also garnered national recognition for its AP achievement for the third consecutive year. CCSD has earned the third-highest AP exam passage rate in Georgia in 2015, as well as being named to the College Board’s AP Honor Roll. Only six school districts in Georgia were named to the AP Honor Roll for 2015, and this was CCSD’s third consecutive year to earn the distinction.

The School District, with a passage rate of 73% among the 4,125 tests administered in the spring of 2015, ranks third out of Georgia’s 180 school systems and exceeds the State average of 55% and the National average of 58%. “This achievement, which is coupled with a 20% increase in the number of tests administered in CCSD, is further testimony to the dedication of not only students, but also teachers, administrators, parents, volunteers, business partners and the entire community . . . to ensure that each student has the opportunity to start and complete college as successfully as possible,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo said. The AP program has grown significantly in CCSD, with AP courses and exams currently offered in 26 subjects. The number of exams taken by CCSD students has increased 83% in the last five years alone.

Scores of 3, 4, or 5 receive college credit at most colleges and universities.

Total AP Exams 560 732 801 626 568 838 4,125
Total AP Courses 18 20 21 22 19 21 26
AP Scores 3,4,5 73% 75% 71% 55% 80% 82% 73%
No. of students tested 352 382 424 329 329 405 2,221

Selection for the 6th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data (from 2013 to 2015), looking across 34 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used. According to the College Board, 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 taken by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2015 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2013 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.

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. 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.

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.

These results will be reviewed by Principals with their Data Management Teams, department heads and AP teachers to evaluate improvement strategies, including sharing best practices among teachers and use of College Board preparatory materials.

“Advanced Placement classes are the most challenging high school courses available to students nationwide; and these results show that CCSD students, teachers and schools are more than up to that challenge!” Dr. Petruzielo said. “We remain focused on continuing to increase participation in these courses and passage of these exams in tandem with our mission of ensuring that each child is prepared to succeed in further studies and careers.”

CCSD Tops Metro Atlanta on 2015 Georgia Milestones End of Course Tests

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Cherokee County School District students not only exceeded State passage rates on the new, more challenging Georgia Milestones statewide exams, but its middle and high school students also topped their Metro Atlanta peers in a majority of subjects.

Georgia Milestones, which assesses the mastery of Georgia Performance Standards and replaces the State’s previous testing system, includes End of Grade tests for Grades 3-8 and End of Course tests for middle and high school students taking specific classes for high school credit. Results are reported as percentages of students who are Beginning, Developing, Proficient or Distinguished Learners and include English Language Learners and students who receive Special Education services.

On the End of Course tests, CCSD middle and high school students, in addition to exceeding State passage rates (Developing to Distinguished Learners) on every test, also lead all Metro Atlanta county school systems in six of the eight subjects: American Literature and Composition, Biology, Coordinate Algebra, Economics, Ninth Grade Literature and Composition and U.S. History (tied with Cobb County).

Middle school students in CCSD who meet eligibility requirements have the opportunity to take two of these classes to earn high school credit: Coordinate Algebra and Physical Science; and these students performed extremely well… even when compared to high school students in Metro Atlanta and statewide.

“These results continue to show our community that we provide an outstanding public education to each child in Cherokee County, and one of the best available not only in Georgia, but also in Metro Atlanta and its most competitive school districts,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo said. “As families relocating to Metro Atlanta decide where to call home, those choosing Cherokee will find an outstanding public school no matter the zip code they choose.”

To view test result percentages, please see CCSD 2015 Georgia Milestones – Metro Atlanta End of Course Tests (PDF) and CCSD 2015 Georgia Milestones – Middle Schools End of Course Tests (PDF).

CCSD Students Exceed State Averages on 2015 Georgia Milestones Tests

Cherokee County School District students exceeded State averages on the 2015 Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests… the first year that new, more challenging State exams were administered.

The tests, which are used to assess the mastery of Georgia Performance Standards, will be administered every spring in Grades 3-8 in the subjects of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and for middle and high school students taking courses for high school credit.

Milestones exams include open-ended questions to better assess students’ content mastery; and, with some exceptions for special education students with specific testing accommodations, the tests will be administered entirely online to students statewide within five years. CCSD already met the State’s five-year goal in this first round of tests for all students except those taking the third-grade English Language Arts test, which will be added to our online system this spring.

While Milestones’ Achievement Levels are reported as percentages of students who are Beginning, Developing, Proficient or Distinguished Learners, it should be noted that these percentages include English Language Learners and students who receive Special Education services. Also, these percentages cannot be compared to results for the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (GCRCTs) that were administered in past years, due to significant differences in the exams and student performance expectations.

  • For third-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 75% for English Language Arts (as compared to 66% for Georgia), 83% for Math (79% Georgia), 81% for Science (75% Georgia) and 78% for Social Studies (74% Georgia).
  • For fifth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 79% for English Language Arts (73% Georgia), 84% for Math (74% Georgia), 77% for Science (70% Georgia) and 80% for Social Studies (75% Georgia).
  • For eighth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 86% for English Language Arts (76% Georgia), 86% for Math (75% Georgia), 74% for Science (62% Georgia) and 81% for Social Studies (71% Georgia).
  • For high school credit courses, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Developing to Distinguished scores was: 89% for 9th Grade Literature and Composition (76% Georgia), 89% for American Literature and Composition (76% for Georgia), 86% for Coordinate Algebra (69% Georgia), 81% for Analytic Geometry (65% Georgia), 79% for Biology (63% Georgia), 76% for Physical Science (65% Georgia), 86% for U.S. History (74% Georgia) and 81% for Economics (69%).

The State also compared select Milestones responses to the performance of students Nationwide; and CCSD students scored on average exceptionally well in comparison.

The Milestones results, which parents will receive for their own child next month, also include an assessment as to whether a child is reading at grade level. For third-grade, the percentages of CCSD students reading on or above grade level was: 77% (69% Georgia); fifth-grade, 75% (66% Georgia); and eighth-grade, 85% (71% Georgia).

Leadership teams at both District and school levels will closely review these scores to determine needed adjustments in teaching and learning, as well as in strategic planning tools (such as School Improvement Plans), to ensure that students are mastering Georgia Performance Standards. Just as with the GCRCT, Milestones End-of-Grade scores, beginning with the 2015-16 administration, will help teachers and administrators determine if students are ready to be promoted to the next grade. Additionally, results from this administration will be counted toward calculation of CCSD’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores, which comprise the State’s new accountability system.

“We commend our students, teachers and administrators for their performance on these new tests, which required everyone involved to increase their efforts to achieve success,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo said. “Teaching and learning is our primary mission; and we are committed to ensuring that each child learns the knowledge necessary for success in their next step… whether that be the next grade in school, enrolling in college or launching their career!”

For further information, please see the CCSD Milestones Results 2015 memo issued by Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo, Superintendent of Schools.