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Four CCSD Schools Recognized by GaDOE for Significant Academic Achievement, Improvement

The Clarke County School District has announced that four of its schools are among the 154 in Georgia recognized as Title I Distinguished and/or Reward Schools for the 2022-23 school year. Johnnie Lay Burks Elementary School (formerly Chase Street Elementary) has been named a 2023 Title I Distinguished School and Title I Reward School by the Georgia Department of Education while Fowler Drive, Judia Jackson Harris, and Winterville elementary schools were named Title I Reward Schools. The Distinguished Schools designation recognizes the highest-performing Title I schools in Georgia, while the Reward Schools designation recognizes Title I schools making the most significant improvements.

“It is essential that we recognize and celebrate schools making great strides as we maintain our focus on continuous improvement for all Georgia schools," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The schools on these lists have made significant efforts in overcoming barriers, meeting challenges, and producing great gains for their students. I applaud the 2022-23 Distinguished and Reward Schools leaders, teachers, parents, and communities for creating opportunities for student success."

Distinguished Schools are among the highest-performing 5% of Title I Schoolwide and Title I Targeted Assistance schools based on the combined English Language Arts and math content mastery scores from the statewide assessments of the most recent year. In 2022-23, Johnnie Lay Burks Elementary outpaced the state and the Northeast Georgia RESA region in its ELA and Math content scores.

With the Title I Distinguished School designation, Johnnie Lay Burks Elementary is eligible to apply to be one of two schools in Georgia selected to be designated as FY23 National ESEA Distinguished Schools. If it wins the national designation, the school will receive a monetary award of $20,000 from GaDOE's Title I Part A program, a portion of which will be used for a school team to attend the National Association of ESSA State Program Administrators (NAESPA) Conference in Portland, Oregon, in February. The remaining funds from the monetary award may be used for Title I-allowable educational purchases.

“Being recognized as a Georgia Title I Distinguished School is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our staff, students, families, and community members,” said Tracy Neal, principal of Johnnie Lay Burks Elementary. “It reflects the collaborative effort and commitment to providing quality education in a safe and nurturing environment. We appreciate the recognition and will continue to do the important work of educating all students.”

Reward Schools are among the greatest-improving 5% of Title I Schoolwide and Title I Targeted Assistance schools when comparing the content mastery scores from the most recent two years of statewide assessments.

"These prestigious recognitions are reflective of an unwavering commitment to academic excellence and the outstanding efforts of students, educators, and staff,” said Dr. Jennifer Scott, CCSD’s Deputy Superintendent of Academics and Student Support. “I am incredibly proud of our schools as they continue to raise the bar for educational achievement and provide a brighter future for all our students."

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Izzy Mendalbaum
Izzy Mendalbaum
Oct 06, 2023

Now here's an acknowledgement I can get behind. Congrats to the four schools that were recognized, especially Chase Street School who has led the way in Athens for a number of years. What little I know about Johnnie Lay Burks Elementary there is apparently a significant level of parental involvement. Hmmmm.....

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I applaud parents that can be involved. I also applaud parents that are working 2-3 jobs just to keep food on the table. It’s not easy out there.

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