This action is part of the state’s 2012 waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which contained the No Child Left Behind requirements.
The Reward school status replaces the ESEA’s Title 1 Distinguished category.
In Fulton County, McNair Middle School in Atlanta and Hapeville Charter Middle School earned listings as reward schools with the highest progress.
A high-progress school is in the top 10 percent of Title I schools in Georgia making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on the statewide assessments.
Hapeville Charter Principal Marcia Lowe said deploying a strategy combining rigorous testing, analysis of the results and action led to the Reward with highest progress status.
“[We were] able to achieve this distinction by using day-to-day student testing data to aggressively approach the academic weaknesses of our students,” she said. “Faculty members gave strategic instruction to all students so as to increase student learning and have more progress.”
Kipp South Fulton Academy in East Point was listed as a Reward school with the highest performance.
A highest-performing school is in the top 5 percent of Title I schools in Georgia with the highest absolute performance over three years for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments. At the high school level, they have the highest graduation rates.
All schools in this category must have made Adequate Yearly Progress in 2011.
According to department spokesman Matt Cardoza, a school may not be classified as high-progress or highest-performing if it has been identified as a Priority, Alert or Focus School.
Priority schools are those which are implementing a school intervention model, have a graduation rate less than 60 percent over two years or are Title I schools with the lowest achievement of the “all students” group on the statewide assessments and a lack of progress on those assessments over three years.
McClarin Alternative School is on the Priority list.
Focus schools are Title I high schools with graduation rates of less than 60 percent over two years or the biggest gaps in graduation rates between its highest- and lowest-achieving subgroups, or other Title I schools with the largest gaps between its highest- and lowest-achieving subgroups.
Alert schools can be Title I or non-Title I and are below state standards in graduation rate, achievement rate or subject achievement.
No Fulton schools were on the Alert list.
The Focus and Priority list came out in March 2012 and will not be updated for another two years, Cardoza said.
Fulton County schools on the Focus list include Bear Creek and Renaissance middle schools and Creekside High, all of in Fairburn; S. L. Lewis Elementary in College Park, Randolph Elementary in Atlanta and Tri-Cities High in East Point.
For more information, visit the BOE website www.gadoe.org.