Mountain View Elementary Honored by State

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Honors and recognition have gone from the local Board of Education meeting to Statewide recognition for Mountain View Elementary this month as the office of State Superintendent Richard Woods officially released, December 4, the 2018 list of Title I Distinguished Schools, the highest-performing Title I schools in the state.

Mountain View Elementary Principal Charles Walker

Mountain View Elementary Principal Charles Walker

Mountain View Elementary made that list for an exceptional year. Readers will recall the schools praise during the Board’s review of Milestones scores in “MVE jumps in 2018 Milestones scores.” This praise came from a 14.4 point jump, from 70.1 in 2017 to 84.5 in 2018, in CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index). According to Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, the CCRPI scoring is what the state uses in distinguishing these schools saying, “This recognition is for scoring in the top 5% of Title I elementary schools in the state. CCRPI scores are based largely on milestones data, but takes other data into account as well.”

Mountain View Elementary School Principal Charles Walker credited the school’s entire staff for the achievement. He said, “We are absolutely excited. It is a team effort and it’s the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people.” Mountain View holds classes in both elementary and pre-k grades, however, only the elementary classes are graded on Milestones. Walker said Mountain View was a family that has worked extremely hard for their students making it all the more rewarding to see their efforts recognized.

A sentiment echoed by Downs who said, “I am so very proud that Mountain View Elementary has been recognized. I commend the hard work and dedication of everyone in the MVE family in earning this recognition and being named as a top-performing Title I school by the Georgia Department of Education.  Everyone in the school did an incredible job and the best part is that our students are the ultimate beneficiaries of the achievement.”

She went on to add that this recognition is only a part of what the Gilmer School system is accomplishing as the system has now scored above the state average for two years in a row, calling it “another indicator that our system is truly moving in a very positive direction.”

According to a release by the Georgia Department of Education, State Superintendent Richard Woods said, “In addition to identifying schools in need of additional support, it’s important for us to recognize and applaud schools when they’re doing well. These public schools are among the very best in the state and are doing extraordinary work on behalf of their students and communities. I extend my thanks and congratulations to every teacher, administrator, staff member, student, parent, and community partner who contributed to their success.”

Author

Upward Bound Grant Confirmed for Gilmer County Schools

News

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.

Author

Canning Gilmer’s Future

News

Along with the new Agriculture Facility, Gilmer Schools has also moved their Cannery to the new location at Clear Creek Middle School.

Serving people from several counties including Pickens, Fannin, and Murray among others with even a few from both North and South Carolina according to Mike Bushey who runs the facility. Though the facility is used by numerous citizens, it is the students who Bushey says benefit the most from the facility.

FYN recently returned to the Agricultural Center to take a closer look at the new cannery and talk with Bushey about the effect on our students.

Cooker at The Gilmer County CanneryAs a part of the FFA program, students become very hands-on with all they do through raising and caring for animals, to studying farming, to the recent nationally-renowned Parliamentary Procedure Team. While the cannery is already a staple in Gilmer’s Community, a few newer additions have come since relocating.

One of these great new additions actually came as six additions. Six new large cookers replace the older ones at the previous location and not only allow the students to increase the volume of fruits and vegetables they could prep for canning, but come fully equipped with an overhead lift to help with the heavy loads. Additionally, these cookers are tied to a recording system for temperature, Bushey says, that give an actual proven schedule for the required 240 degrees as well as the duration of the temperature.

According to Bushey, Gilmer is the only Community Cannery in the state that has this equipment and is fully certified to can apple sauce and apple butter.

BlancherHowever, some of the improvements come from even little things as Bushey said they purchased  a second blancher. With certain items requiring to be run through the blancher, a second hugely expedites the process as Bushey says they may have 35-40 people in the cannery on some days. Small things like hot water on tap instead of boiling all the needed hot water will further expedite procedures to push the new facility further.

Much of the additional equipment, from the de-seeders to the can press, is all hands on for both students and community members who utilize it as well. Bushey praised the Gilmer Board of Education’s support for the facility and specifically the cannery as he says it’s not just farming and extracurricular activity, this program reinforces every lesson students learn in regular classes as well.

Many lessons allow students to utilize their other courses such as math when they go for land measurements or science with the vast animal and plant science programs. As Gilmer’s Board of Education is beginning to look at incorporating STEM programs into their education, Bushey said they already are learning through application with the FFA program. It’s real world applications of the lessons they pick up every day.

SeedsStill more comes as Bushey says students get ownership of their programs in FFA. The new facility reinforces that as they may raise animals and learn to budget for them, take care of them, and deal with issues as they occur. The Cannery itself requires maintenance, upkeep, and supplies. Though they do charge community members a small fee for using the facility, those funds go towards the equipment’s maintenance and replacements parts when needed. Students go hands on in the Cannery to process food from start to finish, ending with a product they own.

“It shows how much the School System is behind Agriculture. I think this is a testament to all the people, the teachers and the thousands of students that have gone through that program. It’s a culmination.” said Bushey about the new Agriculture Center.

The program began in Gilmer County in 1930 and it is the community support, the kids at the high school showing what they could accomplish, and the culmination of those factors that have made this agricultural county known not only statewide, but nationally.

WallBushey is not the only one excited about the cannery as Dr. Barbara Wall, Georgia Department of Education State Director for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education, spoke at the ribbon cutting after touring the cannery. Dr. Wall offered her recall of her first time she truly realized what Agriculture Education was all about. She had visited a cannery and was amazed by its tools and capabilities. She was so excited that she contacted several media outlets and told everyone she could until the cannery director called her and told her to stop because he was too busy.

Dr. Wall went on to praise Gilmer’s facilities as well and her excitement at the “mileage you will get out of this facility.”

Can PressWhile the mileage seems to already show in Gilmer’s illustrious agriculture programs, Bushey says the real highlight every year is the banquet, which is also set to be held in the Agriculture facility this year. “Unlike a lot of teachers, we have these kids for four years, most of them. Sometimes more than once during a school year. Seeing them in a lot of cases as that shy ninth-grader turn into that great speaker and great leader. Just making them better people.” Seeing his students’ accomplishments over four years, seeing them grow, watching them on their way to being really successful and great community members is what Bushey pulls from the banquet.

On average, the cannery has run an average of 20,000 units that can be a quart, a pint, or a half-pint, in the past. Bushey estimates roughly 1,000 people use the cannery every year with many being repeat customers. But with new equipment and new capabilities, it seems only time will tell the true benefit this facility brings not just to our students, but to the community as a whole.

Author

Gilmer BOE Being Investigated for High Test Scores

News

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.

Author

Has the Government Created Sanctuary Schools? Will Your Superintendent allow I.C.E. in your schools?

Featured, News

A 14 year-old freshman girl raped in a Rockville Maryland High School by two illegal aliens. Jose O. Montano, 17, from El Salvador, and Henry E. Sanchez-Milian, 18, from Guatemala. Montgomery Schools Superintendent, Jack Smith, at a press conference made a statement that the Federal Government requires them to educate any student that walks through the door. “It’s the Law” Smith says. That leaves us to question, has the Federal Government turned our schools into Sanctuary Schools? We asked the questions this morning: “Are your children safe in schools?” and “Do you know who your child is sitting next to in class?”

To read the full documents BKP discusses in this video, Dear Colleague Letter and Question and Answers document; see the links below the video.

The “Dear Colleague” letter:

Letter From US Department of Justice and US Department of Education

The “Questions and Answers” document:

Questions and Answers from US Department of Justice and Department of Education

 

Has the Government Created Sanctuary Schools? Will Your Superintendent allow I.C.E. in your schools?

Featured, News

A 14 year-old freshman girl raped in a Rockville Maryland High School by two illegal aliens. Jose O. Montano, 17, from El Salvador, and Henry E. Sanchez-Milian, 18, from Guatemala. Montgomery Schools Superintendent, Jack Smith, at a press conference made a statement that the Federal Government requires them to educate any student that walks through the door. “It’s the Law” Smith says. That leaves us to question, has the Federal Government turned our schools into Sanctuary Schools? We asked the questions this morning: “Are your children safe in schools?” and “Do you know who your child is sitting next to in class?”

To read the full documents BKP discusses in this video, Dear Colleague Letter and Question and Answers document; see the links below the video.

The “Dear Colleague” letter:

Letter From US Department of Justice and US Department of Education

The “Questions and Answers” document:

Questions and Answers from US Department of Justice and Department of Education

 

State Superintendent Visits Clear Creek

News

The State Superintendent, Richard Woods stopped into Clear Creek Middle School for a tour and chat on Thursday, January 19.

Woods ClassDuring his visit, Woods spoke with Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Chairman Jim Parmer, Board Member Nick Weaver, Principal David Mashburn, and Vice Principal Nicole Pike as well as several teachers about their school and its students. According to Woods, Clear Creek is the seventh school he has visited this month as he makes several of these trips to “see what’s going on in the schools… As we begin looking at proposing things for education or the districts, it allows us to talk to superintendents, talk with teachers, and principals, and students and say what’s working, what’s not. To get ideas about changes.”

WoodsWoods was not only given a chance to speak to administrators, but he was also treated to a tour of Clear Creek Middle by students Emily Serna, Ange Davis, and Alexis Sirmans. The tour encompassed a chance to look in on classes during teaching, a trip into both the band room and chorus room, a look outside at the school’s Agriculture Facility, and ended up with Superintendent Woods’ first time in a school’s pep rally since taking office in 2015. Woods stated he enjoys having student ambassadors for tours and offering those leadership roles. He always requests to at least have a chance to spend time with students and faculty to listen to “their world.”

Woods PepWoods did take notice of several things including the new Agriculture Facility which he applauded as a greater connection to the community. “We’re seeing a lot of greater ties throughout where schools are reaching out to the communities, where this becomes a family or community hub… Whether its business or Mom and Dad, having them active in the life of our children shows that education is important. I think by showing that is important, the kids see a clear example of what is going on.”

Woods TechAnother note Woods took was our school’s incorporation of technology for our students. From incorporating Chrome Books and Tablets to full computer labs, Clear Creek has updated to the modern times. Woods said he saw the opportunity to reach children today through technology as a platform. “It is the environment our children are growing up with today.” The question becomes, according to Woods, how to incorporate that technology into the educational environment.

As he walked away from speaking with Gilmer’s Teachers at Clear Creek, Woods offered that he saw excitement and hope in the school. He spoke of a transition he is seeing. With a little pull back on an emphasis on testing, Teachers can have and give hope to their students through their passion.

Author

FetchYourNews.com - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search

FetchYourNews.com - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700 chief@FetchYourNews.com

Back to Top