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Walker wins silver in state evaluation
0119 Long BoE mtg
Assistant Superintendent and Curriculum Director Glenn Purcell informs the Long County Board of Education that Walker Middle School won a silver award in the SSAS evaluation. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

Walker Middle School was recognized at the Long County Board of Education’s January meeting for winning a silver award after the Georgia Single Statewide Accountability System’s evaluation.
Long County School System Assistant Superintendent and Curriculum Director Glenn Purcell said the school won the award in the greatest gains area. To be eligible for the honor, Purcell said, Walker had to meet or exceed Adequate Yearly Progress goals for at least two consecutive years, have more than 25 percent of the school’s students exceed testing guidelines and be in the state’s 96th percentile for greatest gains made by a school.
According to the assistant superintendent, awards are given to schools that show excellence and/or progress in student achievement. The SSAS evaluation is mandated under the No Child Left Behind legislation. WMS has met or exceeded AYP standards for six consecutive years, Principal Dr. Vicky Wells said.
“I’m very proud of the students, the faculty, the staff and everyone at the school for this accomplishment,” she said.
In other business, the BoE:
• Voted to delay requesting remediation funds until this summer for work at WMS. Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said the school system started a drainage and paving project at the school in preparation for the expected influx of military troops from an additional brigade at Fort Stewart. The project was well under way when the fifth brigade was canceled.
Waters said that if WMS holds off on requesting the funding, the school system will be eligible for an additional $300,000. Waters said that upon the completion of the project this summer, the school system will receive $2.9 million in remediation funds.
• Purcell told the school board of plans to have a 400-pound bell installed at Veterans Field. The bell was donated to the system by Jan Johnson and, at one time, it hovered above an old schoolhouse in the county’s Tibet area. The assistant superintendent said the bell is being restored and when it’s finished and installed at the field, it will be rung when the football team runs onto the field or scores a touchdown.
• Also regarding the football program, Waters told the board that the search for a new head football coach is going well. A list of applicants has been narrowed and Waters said he hopes to have a recommendation for the board at the February meeting.
• The school board also approved having Buckley and Associates create an architectural contract for the proposed new high school. According to Waters, the goal for completing the high school is the 2012-2013 school year.
• Waters reported that school attendance had improved significantly this year.

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