The Georgia Department of Education (GDoE) released its spring 2018 Georgia Milestones results at the end of July, showing gains in Douglas County schools from last year in several areas, including fourth-, fifth-, six-, seventh- and eighth-grade English/Language Arts (ELA), third through seventh grade mathematics; fifth and eighth grade science and social studies; Algebra I and physical science.

Georgia Milestones (GMAS) includes End of Grade (EOG) assessments in third through eighth grade and End of Course assessments in grades nine through 12. This is the fourth year that GMAS test is being used by the state to assess students.

The 2018 results showed that third grade students in 10 of Douglas County’s 20 elementary schools and Brighten Academy, the county's public charter school, scored above the state average of 67 percent in ELA and 11 of 20 elementary schools and Brighten exceeded the state average of 83 percent in mathematics on the developing learner and above category.

Holly Springs Elementary School took the highest scores among Douglas County's third grade students in ELA at 89.4 percent in developing learners and above; South Douglas Elementary bested the county's third graders in mathematics with a 98.1 developing learners and above score.

Students from fourth grade in seven of 20 elementary schools and Brighten Academy topped the state average of 73 percent in ELA as developing leaners and above. Fourth graders from 12 schools and Brighten exceeded the state's developing learner or above average of 84 percent in mathematics. In the fourth grade English/Language Arts, Holly Springs excelled at 92.6 percent; South Douglas rated 99 percent in fourth-grade math — both in developing learners and above.

Douglas County's fifth-grade students were assessed in ELA, mathematics, science and social studies. Students in fifth grade from 15 out of 20 schools and Brighten Academy exceeded the state average of 76 percent in English/Language Arts in the developing learner and above rating. In fifth grade math, 12 out of 20 schools and Brighten saw fifth grade students exceed the state average of 75 percent in mathematics at the developing learner and above level. Twelve of 20 schools and Brighten exceeded the state average of 70 percent in fifth grade science at developing learner and above. Fifth grade students fared better in social studies with 15 of 20 schools and Brighten Academy topping the state average of 76 percent.

Fifth grade students at Holly Springs Elementary excelled in English/Language Arts, mathematics and social studies at the developing learner and above level, while South Douglas had the highest scores in fifth grade science among the county's 20 elementary schools and Brighten Academy.

Sixth grade students were assessed in ELA and mathematics. With a state average of 69 percent based on developing learner or above, six of Douglas County's middle schools and those at Brighten Academy exceeded state figures. In math, however, Brighten Academy soared above the state average of 69 percent developing learner or above at 96.6 percent, while only three of the eight middle schools surpassed the state average.

Brighten Academy's sixth grade students just edged out Fairplay Middle School's sixth graders by one-tenth of a percentage point in English/Language Arts, but Brighten excelled in mathematics — all designated as developing learners and above.

Douglas County's seventh graders were assessed in ELA and mathematics; five of the eight middle schools and Brighten exceeded the state average of 71 percent in the developing learner and above in ELA. Only two of eight middle schools and Brighten, however, met or exceeded the state's average of 77 percent in mathematics in the assessment test. Brighten Academy took the highest score in ELA by seventh grade students in the county, as well as in math.

Eighth grade students were assessed in ELA, mathematics, science and social studies. Five of the eight county middle schools and Brighten exceeded the state's 79 percent average in developing learner and above in eighth grade ELA; two of the eight middle schools and Brighten topped state averages of 79 percent in eighth grade math. Three middle schools out of of eight and Brighten Academy exceeded the state average of 68 percent at developing leaders and above. For eighth-grade science, 50 percent of the middle schools, along with Brighten Academy, surpassed the state average of 68 percent for developing learners and above. Four of the eight middle schools and Brighten exceeded the state average of 77 percent in social studies.

Brighten scored highest among eighth-grade students in ELA and math in developing learners and above. Fairplay Middle School scored highest in eighth-grade science and in social studies, based on developing learners and above.

Students from the county's five high schools were assessed in End of Course (EOC) tests in ninth-grade literature, American literature, Algebra I, geometry, biology, physical science, U.S. History, and economics.

Chapel Hill and Alexander High schools each bested the state's average of 82 percent in ninth-grade literature and composition under developing learners and above. The two high schools also topped the state average of 80 percent in American Literature and state average of 72 percent in Algebra I as developing learners and above.

Alexander High School was the only one of Douglas County's five high schools to meet or exceed the state average of 69 percent developing learners and above in geometry and 73 percent in physical science.

All of the five high schools failed to meet the state's average of 72 percent in biology in the Georgia Milestones assessment.

Chapel Hill, New Manchester and Alexander high schools exceeded the state average of 76 percent in U.S. history and Chapel Hill, Alexander and Douglas County high schools topped the state average of 77 percent developing learner and above in economics.

"It is important that we celebrate and recognize the gains we have made," said Pam Nail, chief academic officer for the Douglas County School System. "Our students and teachers worked tirelessly last year and we will continue to focus on our student achievement as we begin the 2018-2019 school year. More work remains, but we will remain focused on strategies and initiatives that will build a strong foundation for future academic success."

According to Nail, Individual Student Reports for EOG and EOC will be sent home to parents by Aug. 17.

More information about GMAS and scores can be accessed at www.gadoe.org. Click the link on the scrolling photos on the main page of the website of go to the link under Learning and Curriculum.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA MILESTONES

• Beginning Learners do not yet demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia's content standards. The students need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.

Developing Learners demonstrate partial proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified by Georgia's content standards. The students need additional academic support to ensure success in the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.

• Proficient Learners demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia's content standards. The students are prepared for the next grade level or course and are on track for college and career readiness.

​• Distinguished Learners demonstrate advanced proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia's content standards. The students are well prepared for the next grade level or course and are well prepared for college and career readiness.

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