ELLIJAY, Ga. – As the incident of the school threat continues in Gilmer, FetchYourNews (FYN) sat down with Gilmer County Charter School System Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes to discuss the incident.
Wilkes told FYN the school system would not be identifying any of the students or current details about the case. However, Wilkes did take time to share with FYN the incident basically occurred when a student, student one, took a photo of himself with what appears to be a gun. Student one then shared the photo with a peer, student two, who shared it with another peer, student three.
Wilkes tells FYN this student, student three, was the one who added text to the photo representing a possible threat and shared it through social media with others. While administration assumes the photo was originally taken prior to this school year, it was not shared until this weekend.
Additionally, student one, who took the photo without any text, was not arrested or disciplined and is currently still in class. As student three admitted to adding the text and sending it to multiple individuals, he faces school-level disciplinary action as well as charges filed against him by law enforcement.
Wilkes has previously stated that the school treats all threats seriously and continues to assert the importance of student safety to school and system administration.
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ELLIJAY, Ga. – Rumors continue circulating this morning about messages students have been receiving on SnapChat. Allegedly, a child has threatened the school and others inside it.
According to Gilmer County Charter School System Administration, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office became involved during the night and have identified the suspect. As administration has continued working with the sheriff, they stated on social media, “The safety of our students and staff is always our main priority. All appropriate action will be taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”
Today, administration stated progress had been made and the Sheriff’s Office had made an arrest in the case stating, “At this time, there is no credible risk to students and staff of Gilmer High School.”
However, claiming laws for student confidentiality, administration is declining to comment further on the student involved or more information on the incident.
In light of the continued rumors about the credibility of the threat, administration did offer this: “It is imperative for students and everyone to know that credible or not, threats of this type against our schools cannot be tolerated or accepted.”
Repeated comments from citizens and students claim the threat came as a picture on SnapChat of a student holding a gun and saying not to come to school Monday.
Friday afternoon, March 10, the Gilmer Arts Association filled the art center with students and their families as they received acknowledgment for their outstanding works of art during the Gilmer Student Art Exhibit.
Students from our local elementary and middle schools had pieces nominated from their art teachers while high school students submitted their own pieces.
Members of the Gilmer Arts Association judged the artwork and selected the winners for each school. Andrea Handley, Art Teacher at Gilmer High School, described the selection process as “very difficult due to all the great pieces.”
Each of the schools had their art teacher present their winners beginning with honorable mentions, and followed by first, second, and third place winners.
The night ended with attendees admiring the showcase of student art. The event was filled with praise towards the students’ art and considered an overall successful night for the talented artists who once again got to prove their skills.
Winners were as follows:
First place winners were Kelie Jesinzcki for Mountain View Elementary School (MVE), Dawson Richard for Ellijay Elementary School (EES), Madeline Watts for Gilmer Middle School (GMS), Brianna Tierney for Clear Creek Middle School (CCMS), and Asiria Vicente for Gilmer High School (GHS).
Second place was awarded to Lexie Peacock (MVE), Mackenzie Reale (EES), Frinsley Ambrocio (GMS), Morgan White (CCMS), and Danyelle O’neal(GHS).
Third place winners were Micah Dates (MVE), Isabel Gonzales (EES), Sanoah Hensley (GMS), Lexi Goforth (CCMS), and Ebony Scherbarth (GHS). As the students received their certificate they had a sense of gratification in their accomplishment.
Students who received honorable mentions were, Addy Poole (MVE), Landyn Rodas Lopez (EES), Larz Fowler (GMS), and Samantha Evans(CCMS). Five of the students from GHS were selected honorable mentions Autumn Durham, Abby Dotson, Addie Parker, and Samantha Button.
During its January Work Session, the Gilmer County School Board heard a presentation on our schools’ focus on Student Growth and its effect on the County’s CCRPI (College and Career Readiness Performance Index) Score.
Student Growth is being measured by the school system and State Board of Education as a part of CCRPI through Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs). The new form allows another look at students through a “growth vs. performance” measurement.
As opposed to simply focusing on the proficiency of students, these new SGPs will track a students progress from year to year as they score. According to the Board’s presentation, “Much like achievement levels are used to
describe student performance on state assessments, student growth levels provide context for various values of SGPs.” This means there are three levels to a student’s SGP score.
They are described as:
Low – (1-34) Struggles to maintain his/her current level of achievement.
Typical – (35-65) Generally will maintain or improve academically.
High – (66-99) Generally will make greater improvements academically.
These scores allow the Board of Education to map out its students as a whole for quick and easy comparisons to other counties, comparisons of schools within the county, as well as individually identifying students. Utilizing a chart in quadrants scaled again the student’s achievement, individual students can identify as high achieving with low growth, low achievement with high growth, low achievement and low growth, and high achievement and high growth.
According to Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes, this individual measurement could help identify students who may achieve high but show low growth indicating they may not be challenged enough and should move to more challenging classes. Likewise, it seems the chart will also identify students who may need extra attention or simply may not be grasping concepts in their lessons.
Through the SGP tracking, the schools will collect both fall and winter scores to provide feedback on the schools more often and aid in setting plans for a class’ future as well as project estimations for teachers for the Georgia Milestones testing and ACT scores.
Check out more by looking into the information provided during the presentation here.
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