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7 local schools recognized for test score improvements
Gainesville High honored in highest performance group
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A handful of area schools were recognized Tuesday for their students' performance on standardized tests.

The Governor's Office recognized 370 schools statewide for improvement and achievement during the 2010 to 2011 school year under Georgia's Single Statewide Accountability System. The recognitions are part of the 2010-2011 K-12 Public Schools Report Card, which provides data for all levels of schools and educator licensing, according to a news release.

Schools are awarded on four levels — platinum, gold, silver and bronze — in two categories. Schools with the greatest gains are recognized for demonstrating improvements on either the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test or the Georgia High School Graduation Test. There are also schools honored for the overall highest performance on the CRCT or graduation test.

In Hall County, five schools were honored with varying levels in the greatest gains category: Chestnut Mountain Elementary School, Chestatee Academy of Inquiry and Talent Development, Chestatee High School, East Hall High School and East Hall Middle School.

"With the population we work with in terms of the amount of poverty in Hall County, we always do pretty well on greatest gains. It's different schools every year," Superintendent Will Schofield said.

Gainesville City Schools have something to celebrate as well. New Holland Core Knowledge Academy also made the greatest gains category, and Gainesville High School was honored in the highest performance group.

"We're very proud of the work the students and teachers and communities did. We're very proud of the increases they had at New Holland in particular. They did not make (Adequate Yearly Progress) the prior year, so this is a reflection of the hard work they did using the data and making the adjustment in instruction," Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said. "Gainesville High School, the gold award for highest achievement, is a result of continual work by everyone together with a good strategic improvement plan and a lot of hard work by teachers, staff and their families."