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Parents to get comparison reports
Students academic growth to be assessed
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The Liberty County School System will send individual student-growth model reports home to parents on Feb. 6. These Georgia Student Growth Model reports indicate how well a student has progressed academically compared to their peers in other school systems, school officials said.
Dr. Debbie Rodriguez, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, briefed school-board members on the reports during a regular meeting Tuesday.
“I’ve been asking for a growth model for the past eight years,” BoE chairwoman Lily Baker said. “It’s finally happening.”
Students who took a Georgia state assessment, such as the CRCT (Criterion Referenced Competency Test) in third through eighth grades, or the high-school EOCT (End of Course Test), and had at least one year of state-test history in Georgia will receive a GSGM report, according to Rodriguez.
“The report is four pages and will contain information for parents about the report and how to understand the report, growth data per content area for CRCT and EOCT, and frequently asked questions about the student growth percentile,” she said.  
A parent focus group reviewed a draft of the report and was involved in the revision process, Rodriguez added.
Student-growth percentile reports break down student achievement into low, typical and high academic growth ranges. Low percentile is measured from 1-34, typical is from 35-65 and high is from 66-99.
“Students who demonstrate low growth generally will regress academically, (meaning) not maintain his or her current level of achievement,” Rodriguez said. “Students who demonstrate typical growth generally will maintain or improve academically. Students who demonstrate high growth generally will make greater improvement academically.”
The reports also are used to track students’ academic progress from year to year, using a baseline as a reference point, she explained.
“As of 2013, all CRCTs and EOCTs — except mathematics — are baseline-referenced,” she said.
In other school board business:
• Board of education members were presented a draft academic calendar for the 2014-15 school year. The school board will vote on the calendar at a regular meeting Feb. 11. A committee of nine school-system employees — including administrators, principals, assistant principals and graduation coaches — worked on the calendar, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Jason Rogers said. The committee recommends students take spring break in April, and proposed Oct. 14 for a district-wide professional learning day.
• The school board approved a bid from Sikes Brothers Inc. to provide parking improvements at Liberty Elementary School and improve traffic flow at Taylors Creek Elementary at a total cost of $208,219.22. John Lyles, assistant superintendent for operations, broke down the project cost: $162,919.70 for the LES project, $26,370.50 for TCE and $18,929.02 for any owners’ contingency costs.
• Board of education members approved out-of-state travel requests for Vicki Torres-Perez to attend SmartFindExpress Solutions Summit 2014, from April 9-11, in Denver, Colo., at a cost of $1,100 from the general fund; and for Bradwell Institute’s speech and debate teams to attend Rumble in the Jungle from Feb. 28-March 1 in Madison, Miss., at a cost of $2,700 to be paid by the club.

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