NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY
North GA – Why should you get an HIV test?
Because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in seven people in the United States are HIV positive and they don’t know it. If you are age 13 to 64, you should get tested for HIV at least once. *People at higher risk should get tested more often.
National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday, June 27th is your opportunity in North Georgia to get HIV tested for FREE at your local public health department in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties or at The Living Bridge Center in Dalton. Just go to www.nghd.org to find your health department or The Living Bridge Center hours of operation, phone number and location, or call the North Georgia Health District at (706) 529-5757.
Our HIV testing is fast, safe and confidential.
National HIV Testing Day is an annual occasion to encourage people to get an HIV test. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. *People with certain risk factors should get tested more often. People who test HIV positive can take medicines to stay healthy and greatly reduce their chance of transmitting the virus. People who test negative can continue to take steps to prevent HIV infection, such as always using a condom during sex.
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.
The Gilmer Wrestling mandatory hydration test has been rescheduled for this Tuesday, 10/24 at 5pm. GCHS wrestling coaches will be taking a bus and it will leave the high school at approximately 3pm Tuesday afternoon. Wrestlers who are still in football will have to go to the Hydration Test this coming Saturday 10/28 and will meet at the high school at 8:45am. GCHS Coaches are asking that the wrestlers please drink plenty of water and eat healthy in preparation for the test. Athletes will need to wear a t-shirt and shorts, and the cost for the test is $10.
The upcoming Hydration Test has been cancelled by the UNG Testing Administrator. He told coaches that he forgot “Gold Rush” would be this Saturday. Though the coaches offered several solutions, the testing administrator chose to postpone the mandatory hydration test until a later date.
“I am working on rescheduling, and it will be either this coming Tuesday or Saturday,” Coach Joshua Ghobadpoor told his wrestlers Thursday evening. “I will let everyone know the time and date once it is rescheduled.” Coach Ghobadpoor added, “I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused for many many people.”
TeamFYNSports looks forward to following and reporting coverage of the Gilmer Bobcats’ wrestling season. If you are a parent, alumni, or simply a fan; we are looking for volunteers to help us cover matches and upcoming events! If interested, please contact Jason Banks at Jason@FetchYourNews.com !
Well Water Testing
By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent
For the most part, north Georgia did not see extreme flooding as a result of hurricane Irma as did other areas of the state, but it does bring to mind the importance of well safety. Wells that were overtopped by flood waters need to be flushed and tested for bacteria because of the potential danger of contaminants being washed into the well. UGA Extension Water Resource Management and Policy Specialist Gary Hawkins recommends pumping and flushing a minimum of 2 or 3 times the well volume to clear the system. This water should be discarded from an outside faucet and not from an inside faucet to bypass the home’s septic tank. After pumping the water, the well should be shock chlorinated then the well should be flushed again until there is no smell of chlorine bleach and, like before, the flushing step should be done through an outdoor faucet to bypass the septic system. This highly chlorinated water, if discharged to the septic tank, could cause problems with the bacterial colonies in the septic tank.
After the well is shock-chlorinated, flushed and the chlorine smell is gone (about two weeks), the well water should be tested for bacteria. Families can get their well water tested using their local county UGA Extension office. Until the test for bacteria comes back, Hawkins strongly suggests that water for cooking or drinking be boiled before consumption. If the well contains bacteria the report will explain how to treat the well.
To calculate the volume of water that should be pumped from a well, use the following calculation. Most of the well casings in this area are 6 inches so the factor for that size is 1.47. That means that there are 1.47 gallons of water for every foot in depth. Multiply the depth of water in the well by this factor to determine how much water is in the well. If your casing is not 6 inches, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office and we can get the right factor.
There are several methods to determine how much water you have flushed out, but the one that I use is to calculate how long it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Divide that time by 5 to get the output per minute. Using this figure you can determine how many minutes you need to run the water to flush the number of gallons of water that was determined in the previous calculation. A couple of methods can be used to determine the depth of water in a well. If you can see the water in the well, lower a heavy object tied to a string down the well and measure the length of the string until you see the object touch the water. In a deep well, lower a heavy object like above until you hear the object hit the water and measure the length of string. If you cannot see the object hit the water, another way (but less accurate) is to drop a small stone into the well and count or time the seconds it takes for the stone to hit the water (you will have to listen closely for this.) Multiply the number of seconds by 32.2 and that will let you know how far the water is below the surface. Knowing the depth of the well and the depth from surface, subtract the two to get the height of the water column for calculating the volume of water in the well.
An example of this calculation is if you have a well that is 300 feet deep and the water level is 25 feet from the surface, subtracting 25 from 300 equals 275 which means you have 275 feet of water in the well. Multiply 275 by 1.47 to get the gallons in the well. That figure is 404.25 gallons. Using a factor of 3 pints per 100 gallons, you would need to apply a little over 12 pints of chlorine bleach in the well.
If you have any questions about this process or for more information on well water testing, contact me at the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution
In a sort of twist, Gilmer Schools are part of an inquiry by the State Department of Education due to unusually high scaling Milestones test scores for 8th Grade Math.
After results had come back with this particular group scoring far better than the state expected them to, a process began to look into Gilmer’s scores to ensure the results were true. Officials from our local administration have already been a part of conference calls, a written report, and written questionnaires to follow up with the results.
While in the past, the focus has been on analyzing erasures to prevent fraud, this year started a new “unusual response pattern analysis.” This analysis relies on percentiles instead of deviations according to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. Utilizing an algorithm for school-level analysis, this formula does not look at individual students or smaller groups.
Ultimately, the inquiry so far could be the extent of the investigation, although a possibility of an on-site visit is still possible. Gilmer’s Board of Education will likely not know the final decision until May.
While utilizing Extended Learning Times and focusing on 8th grade as a “gateway year,” Gilmer School’s veteran teachers, according to Director of Assessment Michele Penland, had well prepared in advance for the Milestones tests through several avenues including using Professional Learning Time to work together as they built the curriculum. They used “spiral quizzes” which allowed students to “revisit and practice standards they had already learned” and Extended Learning Times (ELT) to tutor and remediate student areas of deficiency.
Penland reported that due to the common incorporation of numerous tools such as interactive notebooks, test corrections, and consistent collaboration, the schools were able to achieve more with their students and their testing.
While the investigation continues, Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes did not seem worried saying that inquiries into the school because it is achieving and performing so well are welcome.
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.
Our guest this morning; CEO of Project Chimp Sarah Baeckler Davis. Find out about the 200 Chimps coming to Fannin County.