Gilmer Receives CCRPI Scores

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer County Charter School System has received results for 2017’s CCRPI. Releasing the following information, the schools have shown marked improvement in testing since last year.

The schools utilize this information when creating plans for next year as they see what areas need help and what areas have succeeded with current teaching methods.

These scores also indicate an above average scoring for most of the county’s schools, as well as an above average score overall for the district, which is an obvious improvement over years passed.

The following is a release from Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes:

 

The Georgia Department of Education released the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) 2016-2017 school year data on November 2nd.

The CCRPI is Georgia’s statewide accountability system, implemented in 2012 to replace No Child Left Behind’s Adequate Yearly Progress measurement (AYP). It measures schools and districts on a 100-point scale based on multiple indicators of performance.

Five of Gilmer County Charter Schools six schools saw an increase in their CCRPI scores compared to their 2016 scores.

Ellijay Elementary School (EES) made an impressive gain of 13.6 points with a 2017 CCRPI score of 81.1, compared with a 2016 CCRPI score of 67.5. Lauree Pierce, principal at Ellijay Elementary School, stated, “The data indicates that EES is heading in the right direction. To add to the excitement, changes implemented in the 2017-18 school year are sure to have a positive effect on these numbers next year.”

On Nov. 3, Pierce and her administrative staff cooked a steak lunch with homemade desserts for all EES staff to show appreciation for all their hard work.

Gilmer Middle School is comprised of fifth and sixth grades and each grade receives a CCRPI score. The fifth grade receives an elementary CCRPI score and the sixth grade receives a middle school CCRPI score.

According to the scores released, the state’s 2017 CCRPI average was 72.9 for elementary schools, 73 for middle schools and 77.00 for high schools. The state CCRPI average was 75.

For Gilmer County Charter School System, the averages for elementary, middle and high school were 74.3, 79.1 and 71. The district average is 75.2, which exceeded the state average.

EES staff are treated to a steak lunch in celebration of the hard work to get the school to a 13.6 point increase on the 2017 CCRPI.

EES staff are treated to a steak lunch in celebration of the hard work to get the school to a 13.6 point increase on the 2017 CCRPI.

The numbers are based on data from the 2016-2017 academic year. The CCRPI incorporates 50 points for achievement, 40 points for progress and 10 points for achievement gap. The score can also include additional Challenge Points.

Ellijay Elementary, Gilmer Middle and Clear Creek Middle are well above the state CCRPI average; however, there is still continued work to be done.

Gilmer High Schools’ graduation rate is well above the state average and we are working to close the gap on CCRPI performance at the high school level.

Our teachers, leaders, and staff have worked diligently to focus their efforts on student achievement and success. The hard work and dedication of each school’s team led to the improved CCRPI scores and they should definitely be commended.

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Ellijay Presents Proposed Budget for 2018

News

ELLIJAY, GA – The City of Ellijay is moving forward in its budgeting process with the presentation of its budget for 2018.

This Proposed budget is still awaiting public comments in the the hearing tomorrow morning, September 29, at 9:00 A.M. After that, the budget can move to October’s regular meeting for approval by the city.

The budget as it currently shows, is not completed numbers for the current fiscal year. However, changes are already being seen as budget hearings and the council prepare for future costs.

Citizens wishing to follow up and speak during comments at the City’s meetings are encouraged to dig deeper into the Proposed 2018 Budget.

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Dent Retirement a Sign of Trump Wave in ‘18?

Politics, State & National
FetchYourNews

Amidst all the talk among Democrats and the Media that the Trump election and presidency is a one off that will soon be remedied by a Democrat wave — there is actually evidence to suggest that just the opposite will ring true in 2018. For example, look at upstart Pennsylvania Congressional candidate Justin Simmons, who is running to be the GOP nominee in the 15th District. Simmons, 31, currently represents PA State House District 131 and was planning to mount a Conservative challenge to seven term incumbent Rep. Charlie Dent in the Spring 2018 Primary. That was until Dent abruptly announced his retirement, opening the door for 35 year old Ryan Mackenzie to enter the now open race, a race that could prove to be a battle between conflicting wings of the Republican Party.

Simmons recently called in to FYNTV’s Good Morning from the Office for an exclusive interview regarding his initial decision to run, the surprise of Dent’s retirement, and the differences between himself and Mackenzie.

Simmons made it clear from the beginning that his motivation to run was the dissatisfaction among Conservatives in the 15th District with Dent, as evidenced by the recent rally in protest of the seven term Congressman. According to Simmons, “just his voting record alone is bad enough… then going on MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times… being the go to Republican to rip Donald Trump and Conservatives,” had angered voters in the district won by both Donald Trump and Charlie Dent. However, Dent had spoken out aggressively against Trump during the campaign, refusing to endorse him and frequently criticizing him after his inauguration.

“I was never fully on board with Charlie, I always knew he was pro-choice and supported taxpayer funded abortion… but he was fiscally Conservative at first,” said Simmons, adding “as time went on he just got more Liberal.”

The news of Dent’s sudden announcement to retire was a surprise to the Simmons team, although he insists they were “ecstatic” and this it was a “victory” because it creates a chance to elect a Conservative representative. However, it has created a brand new dynamic with the entry of Mackenzie, setting up a race described by The Morning Call as a “Hatfield’s and McCoy’s race” between what they described as two longtime rivals. Although Simmons dismissed the “Hatfield’s and McCoy’s” comparison he did elaborate on what he sees as the differences between him and the only other declared candidate.

Ryan and I have worked together on a lot of good issues. The difference between Ryan and I, is Ryan is establishment and I am not. I got my foray into politics by taking on a Liberal Republican, I took on the party and I took on the establishment. Ryan Mackenzie, he came into politics, his Dad was the former chair of the party, he was very connected. When he first ran for State House in the 134th District… there was a special election and the party hierarchy greased the skids for Ryan, they cleared the field in the special election for him, he hasn’t had an opponent since.

Simmons also described Mackenzie as Charlie Dent’s hand picked successor, which means he will be the beneficiary of the PA GOP fundraising network. However, Simmons described it as a negative because it means Mackenzie would be beholden to the moderate Republican structure of the state party and not the Trump Coalition that delivered PA to a Republican presidential candidate for the first time in a generation.

This race will be one of many that pits establishment Republicans against the new, Trump Republicans. In his recent interview with 60 Minutes, former White House strategist Steve Bannon made clear his intentions to target establishment Republicans in the 2018 Primary races. This has already manifested itself in races like the special election for Senate in Alabama, where incumbent Sen. Luther Strange was leading in polling until Bannon endorsed his opponent, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore.

What’s more, the race in Pennsylvania will pit two millennial candidates, Mackenzie is 35 and Simmons is 31.

You can see Simmons’ entire interview here:

Georgia Department of Public Health encourages “eclipse glasses” for 2017 total eclipse – Press Release

Health

Congratulations to the Gilmer Bobcats Class of 2017

Gilmer High School

We would like to give a special shout out to two of our own Nallei Landaverde and Matt Fowler!

Congratulations on graduating, We are so proud of you!

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Spring Arts, Crafts & Music Festival 2017 Downtown Blairsville

Community

Jon Ossoff Meets his Opposition: Not Republicans, but Democrats, Slotin wants to know where’s Ossoff’s financial report & why the DNC and DCCC are showing candidate support

Featured, Politics

The Georgia Sixth District Congressional Forum, hosted Sunday, March 12th in Roswell,GA by ‘Needles in a Haystack,’ had over 500 attendees.  The democratic voters and candidates hope to ‘flip the sixth,’ by changing the historically, congressionally Republican led district to a Democratic district.

According to a straw poll taken at the forum, Jon Ossoff is the most supported candidate by a landslide. Yet, the other candidates; Ragin Edwards, Ron Slotin, Rebecca Quigg and Richard Keatley made clear they are still in the race.

Not only does Ossoff have the expressed support from the Sixth District according to the straw poll; but according to Ossoff, his campaign has raised over three million dollars in only seven weeks. Further, he is covered more than any other Democratic candidate by national media; including the New York Times, Esquire and Heavy.

While other candidates at the forum expressed the need for unification among the Sixth District Democrats, Ossoff stated he believes the effort to flip the sixth district has unified the Democrats already. Evidently, Ossoff is not on the same page as the other candidates.

Slotin has extensive political experience. He has served two terms in the State Senate, was involved in the passing of the HOPE Scholarship, has volunteered for various organizations in the sixth district for over fifteen years and more.

 

slotinSlotin stated, “I have the best chance to beat the Republicans in the runoff in this election.” Slotin then threw a curveball when he asked the audience, “I want to know if anyone is here from the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) or the National Democratic Party? Because I want to ask them, why are they getting involved in this election?” Slotin said “You don’t see the RNC (Republican National Committee) getting involved with Republican Candidates”  Slotin brings up interesting points.

Further, Slotin attacked Ossoff at the forum for not yet filing his federal campaign finance reports. Slotin stated, “Jon did not turn in his financial statements.” Ossoff replied by stating that the deadline for finances is not until April 18th.

(Pictured 6th District Congressional Democratic Candidate Ron Slotin)

Meanwhile, Keatley encouraged voters to stay open-minded to all candidates by stating, “Suspend your judgement, there are many forums coming up.” He also stated, “The people in this district should decide who wins this election,” and finally, “It’s about communicating with people and having a face that they know is not bullshitting them.”

Click here to watch the full forum video

 

 

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East Ellijay Updates for Year’s End

News

Several updates came through East Ellijay’s City Council Meeting Tuesday night, December 13, including the continuation of the annual Christmas Meal Program and a possible change to your garbage pick-up.

The Council happily approved the continuation of their Christmas Meal Program for Senior and Needy Citizens. A program that has been held since the early 2000’s, this program offers turkeys or hams to citizens over 65 and citizens in need for the holidays. The program, which costs the city roughly $700, is supported by local businesses such as the Food Lion, who Mayor Mack West stated was very interested in helping this year.

Mayor West also stated those businesses usually offer a special price to the city for the food as well. However, as the cities population ages, new people have been added to the list to receive the gift for the holiday season with over 40 possible people for this year alone. The City’s gift of the turkey or ham has received great praise over the years and the council’s approval has set it to continue through this Holiday Season.

As the season continues, though, the Council has already begun looking to next year as the Council Approved Changes to the parameters of the Position/Classification Pay Plan for 2017. These changes are to follow state regulations as a couple of officials salary increases. Regulating the high and low ends of an employees pay scale, the update is set to affect two employees according to Mayor West.

Another change citizens will be looking into came as the Council discussed changing the Bi-Weekly Garbage Collection from Sunday and Wednesday to a Monday and Thursday pick-up. Mayor West suggested the change comes to aid in safety and liability for the county. As the council approved the change at their meeting, they are still working on if they will change the time of pick-up to avoid traffic.

The City Council has additionally purchased a new Kubota Front Loader with Bucket from Nelson Tractor Co. The $4,550 purchase will include the attachment that the Street Department Manager will be utilizing on his personal Kubota for the county’s use. Mayor West stated, “We don’t need a tractor full time. We don’t need to buy a $75,000 tractor.” As the equipment is installed on the tractor, the City will pay $50 an hour for the use of Department Manager’s Chipper and Tractor in City Functions.

One note for the meeting came as the Meeting moved to new business applications including National Loan located at 136 First Ave. There were name changes of the Wok becoming East Town Pub, and the Pourhouse becoming Whiskey River Tavern. However, one new business application was tabled due to a need for further investigation. The application was for the Smoke Shop located on Maddox Drive.

The Mayor’s Report also brought up new information on several areas of the City. Debbie Sadler delivered a JDA (Joint Development Authority) report to the City suggesting several possible projects that both East Ellijay and the County as a whole could be seeing in the coming year. While she declined speaking on details, Sadler did suggest to the county that a few of the possible projects could aid in the County’s Tourism efforts as well as the possibility of a government related project looking for 10,000 square feet.

 

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