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Test Scores & Ratings

Climate star ratings visual

You can feel it as soon as you walk into a school building. It's called school climate. And, hopefully, it's a warm, inviting and positive feeling for all here in the Columbia County School District.

The School Climate Star Rating is a diagnostic tool to determine if a school is on the right path to school improvement. And state law (O.C.G.A. 20-14-33) requires the development and use of a "star rating" to address school climate.

The School Climate Star Rating is calculated using data from the Georgia Student Health Survey, Georgia Parent Survey, student discipline data and attendance records for students, teachers, staff and administrators.Each school receives a 1-5 star rating, with five stars representing an excellent school climate, and one star representing a school climate most in need of improvement. Schools have access to comprehensive reports which allow them to identify areas in need of improvement, and plan targeted student interventions to improve achievement for all students. This year, an outstanding total of 22 CCSD schools received a five-star rating.

CCSD now has 22 schools with a five-star rating, with two elementary schools missing a five-star rating by .4. That leaves nine schools with a four-star rating.

Special kudos to Evans and Grovetown High Schools who moved out of the three-star category, Grovetown to a four-star and Evans to a five-star rating! 

Ten schools received scores of 100 or higher, and eleven of 90 to 99. That’s pretty impressive.

The CCSD would like to thank this community for all the support received from parents, business partners, and the community!

It takes everyone.

 
We are pleased to announce that all five Columbia County School District high schools once again have been recognized as College Board Advanced Placement honor schools for the 2018-2019 school year.
 
Did you know that Georgia is ranked 16th in the nation for the percentage of students scoring a three or better on at least one AP exam during high school, and 13th in the nation for AP participation? This is significant, as the graduation rate for students who complete just one AP course is 98 percent.
 
In the Columbia County School District, we have long recognized the advantage students have when they pursue this advanced coursework, and we continue to expand AP access for our students, adding six new AP subjects at Harlem High this year. So it is no surprise that we continue to earn state recognition and want to honor our high schools for their hard work and success.
 
We are so proud of the work our teachers do in the AP arena, and more proud that our students are earning college credit in these areas. 
 
AP Honor Schools chart
This past year, 502 district students took the ACT, that’s up by 22 over the year before. While the state’s average scores were nearly the same, the Columbia County School District (CCSD) saw slight decrease across the board; However, CCSD outperformed Georgia in every category and fairly significantly.

 

Equally important, of all CCSD students taking the ACT, right at half or more measure ready to earn a B or better in college coursework, with 34% ready in every measured area. Additionally, CCSD has the 8th highest score in Georgia; that’s the top 5% in the state!

ACT results

The Financial Efficiency Star Rating provides a comparison of per-student spending and overall student performance. A five-star rating represents strong student outcomes with lower levels of expenditures (proportionate to district size) in comparison with other districts. For the 2018-2019 school year, the Columbia County School District earned 4.5 out of 5 stars! 
 
stars
About the CCRPI
Under the federal, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – the replacement for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed in 2015 – states are required to have a “statewide accountability system” that provides information on how well schools are performing. Similar accountability systems were required under the No Child Left Behind waivers many states operated under before ESSA was passed, but ESSA gives states more authority over the process.
 
CCRPI Score Explanation
As part of the accountability system for public schools in the state of Georgia, the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores help parents and the public better understand how schools are performing in a more comprehensive manner than the pass/fail system previously in place under Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) of the No Child Left behind Act. The index supports the state’s core educational principles which include the following:
    • Exemplary student achievement that prepares all for success in college and careers;
    • Effective teaching and leadership in all schools;
    • Innovative school improvement, particularly in low performing schools; and
    • Reduction in the duplicative reporting requirements for local school districts.
The Index includes scores that easily communicate to the public how a school is doing. Each school receives a score out of 100 points, just like what students receive in their classes, made up of three major areas: Achievement (60 points possible), Progress (25 points possible) and Achievement Gap (15 points possible). In addition to the three major areas, schools can receive “Challenge Points” to add to their score (up to 10 points). They can receive these points if they have a significant number of economically
disadvantaged students, English learner students, and students with disabilities meeting expectations. They can also receive points for going beyond the targets of the CCRPI by challenging students to exceed expectations and participate in college and career-ready programs. Schools also receive ratings based on their financial efficiency and school climate, but these ratings will be for the public’s information only, as they will not factor into the overall CCRPI score.
 
For the 2018-2019 CCRPI results are intended to be like a report card grade using a 100 point scale. But, because the measures have changed almost every year since the scales’ inception, we can only compare this year’s scores to last, even so, this is problematic. 
 
CCRPI Comparison chart
This chart shows the progress of the district compared to the state. It clearly indicates that the Columbia County School District (CCSD), continues to outscore the state in all areas, including the middle school. Last year, the middle school’s overall score dipped below the state average, but as you can see, CCSD experienced growth compared to the state’s decline.

 

CCRPI Two year comparison
This chart shows a comparison of last year’s overall scores to this year’s by school.
Many of our schools showed excellent growth across the district. Noteworthy accomplishments are Parkway Elementary (8.7 points!), Westmont Elementary (13.4 points), Evans Middle School (6.5 points), Harlem Middle School (6.9 points), and Stallings Island Middle School (12.2 points).
While some schools showed growth, while others appear to have a sharp decline.
It’s important to understand why this may have occurred. This is not an achievement issue.
The problem lies in the calculation of the Closing Gap Scores. This was anticipated based on the incredibly high growth that many CCSD schools experienced last year.
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.
 
Table of GMAS Results
 
Chart with GMAS results
 

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!

Chart of GMAS results

Chart of GMAS results
 

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.
Chart of GMAS results
Chart of GMAS results
Chart of GMAS results
Chart of GMAS results
 
 
 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.    
  4. ​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.