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The Georgia Department of Education has released its 2019-20 lists of Comprehensive Support and Improvement schools, and Washington Middle School in Cairo was included.
Under the federal program E.S.S.A., or Every Student Succeeds Act, states are required to identify schools in need of additional support.
Comprehensive Support and Improvement (C.S.I.) schools fall into one or both of the following categories:
• Lowest 5 percent: Title I schools that, when ranked according to their three-year C.C.R.P.I. average, are among the lowest performing 5 percent of Title I schools in the state.
• Low Graduation Rate: High schools with a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate less than or equal to 67 percent.
State information indicates Washington Middle meets the first criteria only. Its graduation rate is not an issue.
The Georgia Department of Education’s Office of School Improvement works directly with C.S.I. schools and provides assistance to help them improve the educational outcomes of their students.
Superintendent of Grady County Schools, Dr. Kermit Gilliard, says, “I am disappointed for W.M.S. that they once again find themselves on the C.S.I. list; however, the flip side is that we will receive some intervention from the state to help us improve our scores. In 2009, when I went to W.M.S. as principal, W.M.S. was on the list. After two years of focused work, we were able to improve our scores and come off of the list. I feel confident that Mr. (Michael) Best and his staff will work with the D.O.E. staff and (Grady County assistant superintendent) Mrs. (Janet) Walden to make the necessary changes required to produce improved scores. Great instruction is taking place at W.M.S., our scores will show it this year.”
State School Superintendent Richard Woods says, “It is our responsibility as a state to provide the support all schools need to improve, including intensive and tailored supports for struggling schools. Our entire agency, led by our Office of School Improvement, partners with schools identified for additional support to ensure they have the resources they need to succeed – and that’s producing real improvements in schools. We’ll continue this ‘all hands on deck’ approach to school improvement, with the ultimate goal of ensuring every student in our state has access to a high-quality K-12 education.”