By Johnny Jackson
Eight of the 15 Title 1 schools in the Henry County School System are among the 868 public schools in Georgia that have been named Title I Distinguished Schools.
"These schools have shown that high expectations, hard work, and collaboration do improve student achievement," said State School Superintendent John Barge, in a written statement. "I'm so pleased to recognize the educators, students and parents in these schools and school districts."
Barge made the announcement recently, before the State Board of Education.
"These 868 schools could make excuses, but they don't," said the state superintendent. "The teachers and students are focused, and the consistent results prove it."
Title I schools have a significant population of students who are economically disadvantaged. These schools receive federal money to assist with the education of their students. Title I Distinguished Schools are so designated because they have achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for at least three years in a row.
Title I Distinguished Schools that have made AYP for three consecutive years are awarded a certificate, while those that have made AYP four or more years receive a monetary award, paid through federal funds.
Both McDonough Elementary School, and Hampton Elementary School, have made AYP for nine consecutive years, and each has been honored for the past seven years as a Title I Distinguished School. The schools were recently awarded $1,113.
"The credit goes to the outstanding teachers and support staff at Hampton Elementary School," said Hampton Principal Debbie Collins. "As a community school, we are so proud of the accomplishments of our students over the years.
"I have never worked with such a fabulous group of dedicated people, who love children and care about their futures, as much as the people do at HES," she continued. "Also, the support our students receive from their parents, and the encouragement they give them every day to do their best, is a valuable piece of the educational progress of our students."
Stockbridge Elementary School, Fairview Elementary School, Mt. Carmel Elementary School, and Hickory Flat Elementary School have made AYP for eight consecutive years, earning recognition as distinguished schools six years straight. They each have been awarded $742.
"We are extremely excited and feel honored to make it," said Mt. Carmel Principal Martin Gore. "We are in the process of developing a committee to decide how to best use the funds for student achievement."
For seven years, Smith-Barnes Elementary School has met state standards of AYP, and has been named a Title I Distinguished School for the past five years. The school also has been awarded $742.
Three years of making AYP earned Walnut Creek Elementary School its first recognition as a Title I Distinguished School. The school was awarded a certificate.