For the 2018-2019 school year, the Columbia County School District performed well on the Georgia Milestones (GMAS) End of Grade (EOG) and End of Course (EOC) assessments.
The school district saw increases in many areas, particularly for students moving from developing to proficient and distinguished.
Each school will take these numbers and identify causes and take action to remediate them. Overall, our students performed very well, especially as we compare ourselves with other districts and consider how our population continues to grow each year and throughout the year.
As we expect major growth in the coming years, our goal for the future will be to continue to provide our students with the best education possible in a safe, positive, clean environment and to excel in every area!
Elementary School Results
In third grade, student scores increased by three points in English Language Arts, exceeding the State by 13 points, and although there was no increase or decrease in Math, we still exceed the state average by 10 points.
Seven schools saw an increase of five or more points in English Language Arts. They are Blue Ridge Elementary, Evans Elementary, Greenbrier Elementary, Lewiston Elementary, North Harlem Elementary, Stevens Creek Elementary and Grovetown Elementary, who increased by 13 points.
Four schools had an increase of five or more in Math. Those schools are Greenbrier Elementary, North Harlem Elementary, Parkway Elementary, and South Columbia Elementary.
It is worth noting that across the district, for students moving from developing to proficient or distinguished our students earned a 10 point increase in English Language Arts and a 7 point increase in Math.
This means students are showing improvements in all categories.
In fifth grade, the district stayed the same in English Language Arts, but we increased our lead over the state average from 11 to 13 points.
In math, we decreased by 1 point overall, but we continue to score above the state average by 12 points.
We increased by 1 point in Social Studies and 2 points in Science, scoring 12 points and 13 points above the state scores respectively.
Parkway Elementary, River Ridge Elementary, and Riverside Elementary increased by 5 or more points in English Language Arts and Westmont Elementary increase by 15.
Blue Ridge Elementary, Brookwood Elementary, Euchee Creek Elementary, and Westmont Elementary increased by 5 or more points in Math.
Euchee Creek Elementary, Riverside Elementary and Stevens Creek Elementary increased by 5 or more points in Science.
Parkway Elementary, Riverside Elementary and Westmont Elementary increased by 5 or more points in Social Studies.
Middle School Results
In eighth grade, we remained the same in English Language Arts and Social Studies with fairly solid scores of 88 and 87 respectively; although we decreased by 4 points in Math and 3 points in Science.
Students in 8th-grade math and science scores are well below average and, as presented, would indicate we are failing our students in these subjects. But we have to remember that a significant number of our 8th graders at every school are taking 9th-grade courses for credit, so they did not participate in the 8th-grade math and science end of grade tests.
However, our students performed well on the end of course assessments for Physical Science and Coordinate Algebra!
High School Results
Our high school scores are affected similarly by Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes, where students are not subjected to instruction that aligns with the EOC assessments or are not required to take the EOC at all.
This happens in 11th-grade American Literature and AP U.S. History because a number of our students take AP or dual enrollment, rather than the 11th-grade course. Still, our scores indicate solid performance across the district.
The best of our 9th graders when you look at our 9th grade ELA end of course assessments because these represent our entire 9th grade at each school.
We are very proud to see all of our schools with scores of 91 or higher, exceeding the state by 7 points and increasing our own scores by 5 points over last year.
In Coordinate Algebra, we dropped one point, but we far exceed the state. This is because we are one of the last districts to still be offering Coordinate algebra and analytic geometry. Most have gone back to traditional algebra and geometry.
This year, a math committee will be studying research and data related to this matter, and we will bring you information and potentially a recommendation to change this spring.
In Biology, we dropped overall by 2 points, although we still exceed the state average by 12 points.
We stayed the same in Physical Science, still exceeding the state by 12. Remember a large number of students have already had physical science when they get to high school, so these numbers differ greatly from say 9th grade ELA.
In US History, the district decreased by 2 percentage points, exceeding the state by 7 points.
As noted, AP US History has an effect on these scores, because the curriculum does not align as well.
In Economics, the district increased by 1 points, exceeding the state by 13 points.
About the Georgia Milestones Assessments
Students began taking Georgia Milestones assessments in 2014-15. The testing system is one comprehensive program across grades 3-12, which includes open-ended and technology-enhanced questions to better gauge students’ content mastery. The assessment was administered 100% online for the first time in the 2018-19 school year (with the exception of students who require a paper/pencil test as an accommodation).
Georgia Milestones assesses student learning along four levels of achievement:
- Beginning Learners do not yet demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
- Developing Learners demonstrate partial proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified by Georgia’s content standards. The students need additional academic support to ensure success in the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
- Proficient Learners demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are prepared for the next grade level or course and are on track for college and career readiness.
- Distinguished Learners demonstrate advanced proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are well prepared for the next grade level or course and are well prepared for college and career readiness.