Hall County Schools
- C.W. Davis Middle School: 87.3
- Chestatee High School: 76.2
- Chestatee Academy of Inquiry and Talent Development: 82.3
- Chestnut Mountain Creative School of Inquiry: 73.7
- Chicopee Woods Elementary School: 75.2
- East Hall High School: 73.3
- East Hall Middle School: 79.7
- Flowery Branch Elementary School: 74.7
- Flowery Branch High School: 75.2
- Friendship Elementary School: 82.4
- Johnson High School: 70.3
- Lanier Career Academy: 39.4
- Lanier Elementary School: 64.8
- Lula Elementary School: 78
- Lyman Hall Elementary School: 61.5
- Martin Elementary School: 75.7
- McEver Arts Academy: 79.9
- Mount Vernon Exploratory School: 79.6
- Myers Elementary School: 73.3
- North Hall High School: 84
- North Hall Middle School: 77.5
- Oakwood Elementary School: 79.7
- Riverbend Elementary School: 82.3
- Sardis Enrichment School: 75
- South Hall Middle School: 79.5
- Spout Springs Elementary School: 79.1
- Sugar Hill Elementary School: 81
- Tadmore Elementary School: 71.9
- Wauka Mountain Multiple Intelligences Academy: 74.3
- West Hall High School: 66.2
- West Hall Middle School: 76.1
- White Sulphur Elementary School: 60.3
- World Language Academy, elementary: 80.2
- World Language Academy, middle: 82.5
Gainesville City Schools
- Centennial Arts Academy: 69.4
- Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy: 67.4
- Fair Street International Baccalureate World School: 55.3
- Gainesville Exploration Academy: 75.5
- Gainesville High School: 72.5
- Gainesville Middle School: 71.8
- New Holland Core Knowledge Academy: 84.5
- Academy at Wood’s Mill, middle: 39.2
- Academy at Wood’s Mill, high: 48
Source: Georgia Department of Education
Most Hall County schools and some Gainesville schools performed better than the state average on the College and Career Ready Performance Index, the latest tool used to measure how well schools are doing.
Hall County Schools earned a district score of 73.5, higher than the state’s 72-point average. Gainesville City Schools meanwhile averaged just below the state with a 69.7 score.
The performance index is a comprehensive school improvement measure that rates schools and districts on a 100-point scale. It replaced the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measurement in 2012.
“There are three main areas that are taken into account,” said Matt Cardoza, director of communications and marketing for the state Education Department. “... Achievement is 60 percent, achievement gap is 15 percent and then there is progress, which is 25 percent.”
Cardoza said achievement refers to test scores and assessments, progress refers to student improvement from one year to the next and achievement gap essentially refers to how the lowest-performing students in a system perform compared to the state average.
Hall County’s score is an improvement from last year’s 70.9.
Superintendent Will Schofield said he is pleased with the results, but the performance index is only one of many ways to determine the success of a district.
“I’m always relatively suspicious of these one-snapshot results of schools, but obviously this is a very positive trend,” Schofield said. “The schools have done very well and I’m pleased to see that in about all areas we’re getting a little stronger.”
Gainesville’s overall score is a drop from its 71.6 score last year, something Superintendent Wanda Creel said district officials hope to improve.
“The scores that Gainesville City school system received are not where we’d like,” Creel said. “We’re pleased with the improvement we saw from the previous CCRPI scores in many of our schools, however they’re not the final results we want to see.”
The highest-scoring Gainesville school was New Holland Core Knowledge Academy with 84.5, while the Academy at Wood’s Mill scored the lowest, with 46.3.
The highest-scoring Hall County school was C.W. Davis Middle School with 87.3, while the lowest-scoring school was Lanier Career Academy with 39.4.
Both the Academy at Wood’s Mill and Lanier Career Academy have nontraditional learning environments, something school officials said can skew results.
“The structure of CCRPI and a lot of the index for an alternative setting is based on graduation rate,” said Kevin Bales, director of middle and secondary education. “So when you have a building that is aimed at supporting students as they work through a nontraditional path, it’s set up to struggle with regard to their score.”
Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School’s score dropped significantly, from 70.7 last year to 55.3 this year. Meanwhile, Chicopee Elementary School in Hall saw its score increase drastically, from 57.1 last year to 75.2 this year.
Schofield said he believes such extreme changes in a year are actually the result of a flaw in the index’s methods. In schools with more transient or fragile children, Schofield said, there’s a stronger chance for fluctuation in scoring.
“I would caution not only Hall County schools but the state of Georgia that particularly in high-poverty or transient schools, when you see large gains one year, hang on because it looks to me like you might have a significant drop the following year,” he said. “I think that’s a real problem, because schools don’t improve or get worse by 20 or so points in a single year.”
Bales said Hall school officials have a “cautious optimism” when it comes to index scores.
“We seek continuous improvement,” Bales said. “We would love to see this improvement continue like this for years to come, but we do have concerns with some of our schools that are the most at risk and show tremendous gains. We worry they will not be able to substantiate them, even though we know they are doing great work.”
Creel said she believes the CCRPI is a good tool for measuring progress and outlining best practices for improvement, so much so the Gainesville school system has implemented its initiatives into the system’s strategic plan.
“When I came in, we adjusted our balanced scorecard to be the CCRPI measures,” she said. “At our board meetings, you can see we use our strategic plan and our measures to guide what we’re doing. Therefore we’re able to prioritize what we believe will be greater gains for our students and what we believe will result in higher scores in the CCRPI.”
Cardoza said what Gainesville is doing is the purpose of the index: to help systems and schools monitor their success at preparing students for college and careers.
Schofield said the index results will be used in Hall County to determine outliers and trends that need attention, but officials don’t pay too much attention to year-to-year changes for this reason.
“We believe strongly that a true measurement of school is multifaceted,” Schofield said. “This is a small but significant snapshot of school performance. Overall we’re very pleased.”