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World Language Academy named School of Excellence
Social studies teacher Marla Lear talks with students as they break into small groups to work on a project.

Hall County’s World Language Academy has been announced as a 2012 School of Excellence by the Georgia Department of Education.

“We’re excited, absolutely,” said school principal David Moody.

The school is still relatively new, only in its sixth year of existence. Lessons are taught in both Spanish and English to a diverse student population, spanning kindergarten through eighth grade.

“It’s really what makes us most excited about the award,” Moody said. “The content (our students are) being tested on is in English, but they’re being taught a large portion of their day in Spanish.”

Kindergarten and first-grade students generally have up to 90 percent of their instructional content taught in Spanish, while older students are taught content in a 50-50 split.

World Language Academy was listed as a Highest Progress school, a designation that is determined by schools that made the greatest gains in each congressional district on the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The school’s 2012 CCRPI was 82.1 for the elementary school, and a 93.4 for the middle school, out of a total possible score of 100.

The school will collectively receive a $1,000 check from Georgia Natural Gas, a bonus Moody is not sure how to spend.

“We were just starting to think about that, and talk about what to do with it,” he said.

Superintendent Will Schofield said the honor is an affirmation of the system’s hard work.

“They were our first school to step forward with a truly innovative, non-status-quo-type program to offer our families,” Schofield said. “It certainly is affirming to see ... the Hall County district trailblazers be recognized for the excellent work that they do for our boys and girls.”

“It’s really nice to draw recognition to our county,” Moody said. “So many other schools could have received it that are in Hall County right now with so many things going on. It’s just nice to bring recognition to the system as a whole.”

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