Each year, the results of the Georgia Milestones Assessment (GMAS) are used by district and school administrators and teachers to determine students’ understanding of all subject areas in keeping with the Georgia Standards of Excellence. The results are also used to identify areas of strength and those in need of improvement. In addition, teachers use this data to support instruction and to plan for small groups and personalized instruction for students as needed.
Overall, Columbia County School District students continue to outperform state averages in all subject areas. The results listed below are just a few highlights.
At the elementary level, overall, students performed at an average of 16 percentage points above the state in English Language Arts, Math, and Science.
In English Language Arts, students in grades 3-5 showed an increase in proficiency over the last three years, and scores remained above state averages.
This three-year comparison for how students in grades 3 – 5 performed in Mathematics, reflects a consecutive increase from 2021 to 2023. Students also continue to perform above the state average in math.
In science, fifth-grade students continue to perform above the state with an average of 19 percentage points.
Middle school results overall show that students outperformed state scores by an average of 14 percentage points in the four core areas of English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science.
Language Arts scores in grades 6-8 have remained steady over the past three years around 83 percent.
This three-year comparison shows student proficiency in Mathematics increased by one percentage point each year, and students continue to perform above state averages.
Area in need of improvement: In 8th grade science results showed a 2 percentage point decline from last year, while the state average also declined by three percentage points. However, Columbia County School District 8th graders continue to out perform the state average. Noted as an area in need of improvement, teachers will work on collaborative planning sessions to ensure alignment of units, pacing and sharing of instructional resources, aimed at improvement.
Social Studies is one of our 8th grade students’ strongest performing content areas. We have consistently performed above the state average for the past three years while the state has declined each year.
Students continue to outperform the state by an average of 12 percentage points in each content area tested - American Literature, U.S. History, Biology, and Algebra.
In the subject of American Literature, test results were 10 percentage points above the state average, and student proficiency has shown a 21 percentage point increase since 2021.
In U.S. History, student performance saw a 6 percentage point increase from last year, further separating district results above state averages. This consistent growth is a result of the emphasis on civic learning in the Columbia County School District, which begins in Kindergarten and is pervasive in curriculum through 12th grade.
In Biology student proficiency saw a 5-percentage point increase from 2021 and scores remain 14 percentage points above the state.
In the subject of Algebra, results showed an improvement by 3 percentage points from the prior year.
In an effort to continue to improve student mastery in these basic core areas of study, school district leaders and teachers will continue to improve upon ongoing efforts and initiatives designed to engage students in meaningful instruction that inspires them to reach their maximum potential for success.