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.
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.
BEE (Business Ethics Education) Training for WBL students sponsored by BB&T, Junior Achievement, UNG School of Business & Walmart. A day filled with ethical mini sessions & tours of the Dahlonega campus.
Group Photo at North Georgia Physical Therapy are (Back Row L – R)
Magnolia McLaughlin, Annabelle Nestor, Aaliyah Adame, Samantha Hernandez, Kim Cruz, Lexi Newberry. Front row: Katie Kiker, Michaela Staley & Adilene Rangel.
Students interested in healthcare occupations are participating in medical internships. These experiences can be short term or long term, as brief as a week or as long as a semester. Eleventh & twelfth grade students enrolled in the Work-Based Learning Program are spending a portion of the school day with healthcare professionals. This experience provides opportunities for instruction in occupational skills, exploration of the many and varied healthcare jobs and career guidance from professionals.
Students are shadowing and interacting with medical professionals in the many areas of patient care; CNA, Radiology Technicians, LPN, RN, Physical Therapists, PTT, PTA, DON, Administrative Personnel, Nurse Practitioner, Physician’s Assistant, Family Practitioners, Specialists and Dentists.
This project takes the cooperation of many medical facilities. Those providing opportunities this semester are Georgia Mountain’s Health, Gilmer County Department of Public Health, Cameron Hall, North Georgia Physical Therapy, Gilmer Nursing Home, Piedmont Healthcare (Emergency Department, Imaging Diagnostic Center & Physicians Group), Safe Choice Pregnancy Center and Ellijay Urgent Care & Family Practice (Dr. Nguyen). Countless staff members at each of these facilities are making this an awesome experience for our GHS students.
Pre-requisites to participate in the medical rotation are TB testing, CPR certification, knowledge of HIPPA. AIDET training and related science and healthcare classes. The Healthcare Science pathway provides these and other skills to enhance this experience.
Students above with Dr. Nguyen of Ellijay Urgent Care & Family Practice. L-R: Magnolia McLaughlin, Aaliyah Adame, Samantha Hernandez, Katie Kiker, Adilene Rangel, Nurse Michelle, Jessie Wilson, Annabelle Nestor & Dr. Nguyen.
At Piedmont Healthcare Imaging & Diagnostic Center
Domingo Reynoso, Mariano Morin, Chloe Reece, Sophie Morrison & Mary Ghorley Risk Management Director of Piedmont
Gilmer Health Dept. Director Krystal Sumner.
Debriefing by Karen Driskill at Georgia Mountain’s Health.
Mariano Morin, Chloe Reece, Sophie Morrison and Domingo Reynoso.
**Application to the WBL internship program for the 2018-2019 school year will open in late February. See adviser, counselor or Ms. J. Davis for details as this is the only time of year to enter into the program. Rising juniors & seniors are eligible.**
ELLIJAY, GA – Saturday, September 16, will see the Christian Learning Center (CLC) holding their Fall Mentorship Training from 1:00 – 5:00 P.M.
This twice-a-year free training session walks people through mentoring students and walking with them in their lives. Training teaches adults how to better affect and lead those students to their future or through rough times.
It is also a part of the process for volunteers to commit to mentoring for students in Gilmer High School. The program, which was started years ago by previous Director Caleb Land, now sees citizens volunteer one hour a week for a year to support and encourage students today.
Director Jennifer Colson tells FYN the whole purpose of training and preparing adults to spend the time mentoring out youth is for “Adults to pour into our students.” With repeated and consistent reports from previous students, Colson never spoke about whether she considers the program “successful.” Rather, she speaks of individual moments where she has seen the changes in students, emails of previous students conveying the impact on them, or just a simple thank you for the time and effort. She also speaks of more students waiting to join the program, waiting for more volunteers to fill the needed positions.
Whether it is a student dealing with issues or just someone needing encouragement to achieve greater in classes, Colson praises the program as an extension of the CLC classes. “We just want to love these kids and help them along,” says Colson. Since the kids can only go through three separate semester classes, there comes a point when class time is no longer an option.
Some call the CLC the “highlight of their day” when they attend classes. Extending that feel into a full mentorship allows a full year of continuation of that environment. In fact, the CLC offers its facility to those who do mentor as a place to meet and play.
Along with the training session on Saturday, volunteers will interview with administrators to better pair with kids and their needs. They also take time to meet with students parents. Some volunteers voice concerns about some issues that may arise and how to handle certain situations, but Colson assures those involved that the training covers all of that including a requirement of involving others with extreme circumstances, relieving concerns and pressure on volunteers.
Mentorship is not a requirement, but rather is requested by students in school who want to join. Whether they are CLC students or not, go to church or not, the program is available. When volunteers join it expands the reach of one of campus building to a district-wide influence through the strength of citizens taking time to strengthen younger generations.
Ministry Assistant at the CLC, Caitlin Neal told FYN she had received mentoring when she was younger, though not from Gilmer’s CLC. “It was very beneficial to me,” said Neal, “My mentor was a member of my church, but she was also a teacher in the school system. It was great to see her in multiple aspects of her life, but also pouring into me. I think it would be great for our students.”
Connections grow throughout a student’s life and these connections affect everything from small decisions daily to the ultimate course of one’s future. The possibility to be such an influence on someone’s life is just as impactful on the Mentor’s life as it is the student. The CLC alone sees close to 120 students a day. As growth continues in the community, growth must continue in support for those who need it, and especially for students who actively ask for it.
Citizens wishing to join the training to further explore the option of mentoring (going through the training does not make the year commitment) can inquire further through email at email@example.com or by phone at 706-635-7100. Colson tells FYN that schedules can be flexible to times available to both the student and mentor.
While the CLC requested citizens inform them by Friday, September 15, if they wish to attend. However, Colson also stated that those who wake up Saturday with a last minute opening or last minute decision to attend are also encouraged to join the training as well.
ELLIJAY, GA – Pictured above Left to Right, Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Gilmer Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley, and Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia Tech Rick Clark celebrated the announcement of Georgia Tech’s “Georgia Scholars Program” at Gilmer High School Thursday, August 17, 2017.
The Scholars Program automatically accepts Valedictorians and Salutatorians in Georgia high schools into Georgia Tech. According to Peterson, “This Georgia Tech Scholars Program is the outgrowth of our commitment to improve college access for students from throughout the state, and supports our goal of putting a Georgia Tech degree within reach of every qualified student.”
This new program goes into effect with this year’s graduating class. This means current seniors are eligible for this program.
Scholars will be accepted into the program when they are named either valedictorian or salutatorian of their high school, submit an application, and have successfully completed the prerequisite courses for entrance.
Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston called it “truly a great day for young people in Georgia.” Ralston praised the program as an encouragement of excellence in the classroom. He went on to note the importance of workforce development in Georgia’s public policy discussions and its future.
“Programs like this will help recognize, reward, and retain our best and brightest scholars. That is a critical part of ensuring Georgia’s economic growth and success for generations to come,” said Ralston.
Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission, spoke with FYN about the program. Clark said the Institute has close to 15,000 undergraduates attending the college with around 2,850 in the freshman class this year. The program aims to extend the already established APS Scholars for Atlanta Public school further out to the entire state. Traveling to Gilmer County to announce the program was another embodiment of that desire to spread the program statewide.
While announcing the Scholars Program, Clark also expanded Georgia Tech’s invitation to all students saying that they wanted them to apply. Don’t let the prices and money you see keep you from applying. Financial Aid and other programs are making colleges far more achievable than they first appear. Georgia Tech is wanting to let students all across the state know that they are a viable option and students should not see them as unattainable.
Gilmer County Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes commented on the announcement saying, “We’re honored that they are here in Gilmer County, that they chose our high school to make that announcement. We are very proud of our students who will be attending there.”
Dr. Wilkes agreed that having two of the last year’s top three students attending Georgia Tech this fall and the announcement of the Georgia Scholars Program at Gilmer, Georgia Tech has become a more accessible reality for the many students who work towards that goal.
According to a recent release from the University of North Georgia, they have been awarded “$2.6 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education’s Upward Bound Program to help promising low-income high school students in Hall and Gilmer counties prepare for college.”
Split between our two counties, 120 students will have the opportunity to take advantage of tutoring, counseling, and advisement to help them become academically successful.
Gilmer specifically has local access to the University through a Blue Ridge Campus Branch where they can take courses as well as participate in the Blue Ridge Scholars program integrating course instruction with student support groups for first-time freshmen.
According to a UNG article by Sylvia Carson, the President of the University, Bonita C. Jacobs, said, “Through these grants and the Upward Bound program, we will be able to provide vital support to students in our region as they prepare for higher education and future career opportunities.”
UNG Blue Ridge Campus Director Sandy Ott leads the grant for Glmer High School saying, “Introducing the Upward Bound program in Gilmer County has the potential to greatly increase the progression of low-income students and first-generation college students through the academic pipeline.”
FYN followed up with Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes for more information. She offered anyone interested in the program to attend the Board’s June 12 meeting as they will have a full presentation on the award, the partnership, and Gilmer’s future alongside the University of North Georgia.
Held in May at the end of the school year, students were honored for their whole year of achievements with a night of lights, cameras, and awards.
Replicating the feel of a night in the big cities, students walked the red carpet, posed for pictures, and offered their acceptance speeches throughout the night as they attended the first ever GHS Film Awards Show.
Stars, Directors, Cinematographers, and Animators attended a reception before the show taking moments to stop for our cameras as they prepared. As the night proceeded inside the theater, laughs abounded as the group of students shared jokes, thanks, and personal stories of the own trials and tribulations throughout their creative processes.
A Little Late by Amber Gravely for Best Screenplay.
Sanctuary by Spencer Stanley for Best Story.
Emily Nicholson with Kismet for Best Cinematography.
Many High School Sophomores went to school Wednesday, March 22, not knowing what they could specifically expect from Gilmer’s Reality Day, but all had a chance to take a closer look at life after school.
Set to examine life roughly ten years into their future, the tenth graders from Gilmer High School entered the Civic Center on Old Highway 5 in groups throughout the day. They would walk to the “bank” to find out what job they wound up with and what salary that job provided them for monthly bills. They were also randomized to see if they had gotten married and had kids.
After finding out how much they would pay in taxes out of their monthly pay, students split up going to numerous stations to budget for their house, car, insurance, childcare, clothes, groceries, even trying to budget in a few extras for themselves asking the question, “How bad do I need that iphone or ipad?”
If at any point the students were spending more than they could afford, they wound up at the Out of Money table where they got advice on some changes they could make, or be forced to get a second job to make up for the difference.
Volunteers from the community are what makes this day possible according to Merle Naylor, Executive Director at Gilmer County Family Connections who sponsor the event. Naylor also managed the day and volunteers to provide this experience for students.
In fact, roughly 45 volunteers throughout the day served a total of 334 students over the four groups. While volunteers are always needed, Naylor revealed her biggest issue of the day stating, “You’d like to spend more time with students.”
A sentiment also found at tables as students came to Out of Money with different issues each time. One student arrived with Luxury Furniture and high end things on a low salary job, the student still hadn’t budgeted clothing or groceries and had a volunteer trying to offer suggestions on sacrificing some of the things for a lower cost to spread the budget.
Local Commission Chairman Charlie Paris found himself trying to sell houses and apartments to students in similar situations. Volunteering for his third year, Paris stated, “I wish they had something like this when I was growing up… This is giving them their first real indication of what’s coming.”As sophomores coming in, Paris also took time to applaud the idea that these students still have a chance to adjust for the future.
One of the surprises I found during the day came from the Unexpected Events table. Mirroring life’s tendency to not go according to plan, this station would allow students to draw a card from a deck of varying events from a pet’s surgery to needing to replace a microwave.
Planting the seed of thought is where Naylor and many volunteers drew their thought of “success” for the program by bringing students to a point where they really begin looking at their transition from school to a college program or straight into their career. Taking a day to learn how to “stretch their money” may enlighten students to what life could hold or to an idea of how to better achieve their own goals for the future.