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Chestatee Middle makes progress
School is another that will shed needs-improvement status
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Chestatee Middle School is the Hall County school system’s latest school to receive good news about its status under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The school at 2740 Fran Mar Drive in northwest Hall will shed its "needs-improvement" label, Superintendent Will Schofield said Friday.

"I am very pleased with the AYP results and attribute them directly to the collaborative efforts of the teachers, students, and parents," said principal Suzanne Jarrard. "While we have made great gains over the past few years, we still have work to do and will continue to work hard to meet the needs of all of our kids."

A school that doesn’t make "adequate yearly progress," or AYP, for two consecutive years is labeled as needs improvement. To lose that label, a school must make AYP for two consecutive years.

The state Department of Education uses basic-skills tests to determine whether schools are making adequate progress.

Elementary and middle schools are judged using the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, and high schools the Georgia High School Graduation Tests.

Based on preliminary data, Hall County schools appears headed toward making AYP at 32 of its 33 schools in the "all students" category, Schofield said.

A school, however, could slip up on making adequate progress overall by one of its student "subgroups," or students categorized on race, ethnicity and other factors, failing to meet proficiency standards.

Five of Hall County’s six middle schools could make AYP, compared to three of six last year, Schofield said.

Preliminary data shows that South Hall Middle School hasn’t made AYP this year in the test results of special education students and English-language learners.

However, with CRCT retests later this month, "there is an outside probability that the handful of students needed to pass in each area may be realized," Schofield said.

Other schools that may shed their needs-improvement label this year are Myers Elementary and Lyman Hall Elementary. In addition, East Hall Middle has made AYP for the first time in nine years, but it needs one more year of making AYP before it can come off the needs-improvement list.

All seven high schools are expected to make AYP.

"At the elementary level, we are optimistic (about the AYP numbers) but will not release projections until summer school retests are computed at the end of June," Schofield said.

Summer school is set to end Friday with retests scheduled for Thursday in math and Friday in reading.

Last year, all but six of Hall’s elementary, middle and high schools made AYP.

David Shumake, associate superintendent for the Gainesville school system, is declining to release preliminary results.

Gainesville Middle was the only one of the district’s seven schools that didn’t make AYP last year. The school is in needs improvement.

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