Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
December 12, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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December 12, 2018

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Page 6B December 12, 2018 ,RL orter ! ! By Diane Glidewell Monroe County Schools held a State of Education address on Friday, Nov. 30 as part of its outreach for better communication with the public. Representatives of city and county law en- forcement and emergency services, the Hospital Au- thority, Chamber of Com- merce and other boards as well as elected officials of Forsyth, Monroe County and Culloden and the state legislature were invited to the luncheon. It introduced a new promotional infor- marion card with statistics about Monroe County Schools. Superintendent Dr. Mike Hickrnan said Monroe County Schools wants to do a better)ob of publiciz- ing its accomplishments local stakeholders outside of the school system. He spoke about current perfor- mance, student goals after graduation, extracurricular activities and the school system's focus for the next five years. Hickman said Monroe County students per- formed so well on CCRPI in 2017-18 (the state's tests to measure school perfor- mance) that the school sys- tem is ranked 19 out of 192 school systems in Georgia and was recognized as the top Middle Georgia public school system. CCRPI measures cur- riculum content mastery, academic progress and how well the school closes academic gaps. Graduation rate is also used in ranking high schools. The Monroe County School District is in the top 10 percent of Georgia public schools, the highest it has ranked under the current CCRPI process. Also all five Monroe County schools received five out of five stars in school climate ranking for the last rating period. School climate ranking is based on response to sur- veys, discipline reports, stu- dent and staff attendance and safety. Mary Persons was the only high school in Middle Georgia to get a five-star ranking. Georgia will issue a financial ef- ficiency rating of its schools at the first of the year. "I am extremely proud that all schools exceeded the state average,' said Hickman. Hickman said'the school considers success equal to producing students who can be successful in a global environment. He asked Anna Hightower, a broadcasts for events at the school, to film interviews with students for the State of Education address. She interviewed Austin Wig- gins, Savannah Martin, Daniel Lavelle and herself about their goals and how their Monroe County edu- cation relates to them. Hightower said she wants to attend University of Georgia, major in journal- ism and pursue a career in sports broadcasting. Mary Persons has helped her by lending her resources and giving her a supportive environment in which to practice her broadcasting skills. Wiggins plans to be a cattle farmer and soil scientist. Mary Persons FFA has given him a path to learn both technical and leadership skills and the importance of account- ability. Martin plans to earn a degree in nursing at ,-t .~ T T.~;,tr~*.o;'l"~r She has completed CNA training and emergency responder classes at Mary Persons. Lavelle wants to play college football and pursue a degree in culinary arts. His experience on the Mary Persons football team taught him how to overcome adversity and be a leader on the field. The graduation rate (the percentage of students who graduated four years after entering 9th grade) for Mary Persons in 2018 was 84.8 percent. Over the last four years, the gradu- ation rate has ranged from 83 to 88 percent, with 284 graduates in 2018 and 292 graduates in 2017. "Our goal is 90 percent:' said Hickman. "We need to analyze processes and interventions. Monroe County is a leader in adults completing GED . but that is not captu d here. It only counts through th, summer after four years. We still need to get that 15 percent across the finish line." He said that one way Monroe County Schools are preparing students for after high school and keeping them in school so that they will graduate is by offering 19 Career, Techni- cal, Agricultural Educa- tion (CTAE) pathways in high school and middle school organized under 10 national career clusters. 854 students took CTAE classes in 2017-18. The change to block scheduling this year lets students take four more classes in high school. Hickman said about 60 percent of Monroe County students go to college. Oth- ers go into military service or directly to work He said 750 Mary Persons students (63 percent) participated in extracurricular ac= tixrities. Some studon~, o,4,t they enrolled in Monroe County schools because of the athletic and Fine Arts programs. "I think the academic program is the key, but very close to that are activities that engage students:' said Hickman. "Kids have lots of interests. We begin at the elementary level." He said the focus for the future is on student and staff safety, which depends on partnerships with the community, particularly the first responders. Anoth- er focus is attracting and retaining quality personnel, which may be a challenge with a statewide short- age of teachers in some disciplines. One strategy is offering stipends in areas like math and science. Another strategy is work- ing with partners to create a community where quality teachers want to live and Monroe County Schools Nu- trition Director Lisa Singley welcomes attendees to the luncheon buffet at the first State of Education address on Nov. 30. (Photo/Diane Glidewell) raise their families. "The more we have here, the more likely they'll stay" said Hickman. "We have to collaborate with local partners. Student success benefits the whole com- munity." Another focus is to align dasses with job markets and to include more educa- tional options that support graduation. "I believe we will see less brick mid mortar class- rooms:' he said. He noted that the new administration at the state level which will take office in January will bring some changes that will likely affect state funding for . education, but there are always changes requiring adjustments. Hickman said Monroe County needs to prepare for more students, including upgrading build- ings and new offerings for students, from online classes to career education. "We have wonderful stu- dents and parents passion- ate about education:' said Hickman. Monroe County Schools Nutrition Program, di- rected by Lisa Singley, pre- pared and served the buffet luncheon for the State of Education address, which was held in the lobby of Monroe County Fine Art Center. . HVAC Se~ice all brands .Installation .lnd(~r Air Qualib' . Preve~ti~,e Maintenance . Repl~Ls . Refrigeration .C00king Equipment Commercial Kitchen Repai~ NATE Ceaified . Factor),' Authorized Dealer Financing Available with Great Rates Mike Weeks & Mark McCranie Sgv/ng M/~e Geo~a 20 Years gcmsed & Ins~ Tonn wins $5,000 raffle Walker Tonn won the first annual Mary Persons Cheer Raffle Grand Prize of $5,000. Walker is pictured with Mary Persons head cheerleading coach, Kyle Ward. The winning ticket was drawn on Fri- day, Dec. 7. The raffle was a fundraiser for Mary Persons and Monroe County Middle School cheerleading teams, grades 7-12. 600 tickets were avail- able for the raffle at $20 each. Ward, the cheerleaders and their families thank the community for supporting the raffle. I House Washing (Soft Washing) Driveways Commercial Buildings Sidewalks / Walkways Much More!