Friday, February 13, 2004

Eastside honored by school board

Eastside Elementary School was recognized at Tuesday night’s Coweta County School Board meeting for two recent honors, including being named a 2004 Distinguished Title I School by the Georgia Department of Education and for being named a Pay for Performance School for the second year in a row.

The purpose of the Title I Recognition and Distinguished Schools program is to recognize and honor Title I elementary and secondary schools that make adequate yearly progress three or more consecutive years, or that make the greatest gains in closing the achievement gap for disaggregated student groups.

The 2003-2004 school year is the transition year for the program, and the criterion this year required that Title I schools must have made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) for three or more consecutive years and must not have been on the Unsafe Schools Choice Option list within the last two years in order to be eligible for recognition.

Having made AYP for three years, Eastside will receive a certificate from the Department of Education. Next year, when they make AYP for four years, they will be eligible for a certificate of recognition and a monetary award. After five years, schools receive the certificate, the monetary award and will be honored at the Department of Education Schools of Excellence Celebration hosted by the State School Superintendent.

No other Coweta County School has had the honor of receiving the Georgia Pay for Performance grant for a second year in a row. Eastside first applied for the voluntary school improvement program last year and received the Pay for Performance grant.

The program - also offered by the Georgia Department of Education - is designed to promote exemplary school achievement as well as community and faculty collaboration. The Pay for Performance grant brings with it a monetary award that goes to the school to be distributed as determined by the staff. Last year, staff members agreed that every school employee should share in the award.

Eastside Principal Sandra Hinton, Assistant Principal Becky Darrah, and former teacher Iva King were among the attendees at the Tuesday Board meeting. King - who is a countywide SST coordinator, and was Eastside’s speech pathologist until last year - led the drive to apply for the grant over the two years. Among the community collaboration mentioned in the grant is the school’s Bobcat Tales Readers program, which encourages citizens in the community to read to students in school

“I’m thrilled for the school and this great staff to be receive these awards so close together,” said Principal Hinton. “I think the honors show that we are continuing to better student achievement, along with community involvement. It is indeed an honor and a privilege to serve these students in this way.”

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