Backroads and bikes...
Businesses in downtown Gibson hosted lunch for the Back Roads and Bikes Charity Motorcycle Ride on Saturday, Aug. 7. The charity ride was for a mentoring and reading program. Bike riders enjoyed lunch and visited downtown shops. Businesses who sponsored the lunch included Two Sisters on Main, Peaster Home and Ranch Hardware, Southern Bank, Usry Auto Parts and Garage, Farm Bureau, Usry’s Diner-Scott and Gail Usry, Scott’s Repair Service, Glascock County Historical Society, Something Different Hair Salon and Debbie Williford Massage Therapist, Sheppard Funeral Home and JoAnn’s Flower Shop.
Arts guild plans annual meeting
The Arts Guild of Jefferson County will hold its annual meeting Monday, Aug. 30 to discuss projects for the next year including several new community-based events such as a Music in the Parks concert series.
“We are the Arts Guild, with an S,” said Donna Borders, guild president.
In addition to the host of traditional sculptors, painters, photographers and other visual artists, Borders said the guild is looking into opening itself up to other forms of art.
“We’ve already started talking about the holding these musical events, and (at the Aug. 30 meeting) we’re going to talk more about that,” she said. “We’re just getting our feet wet and may only hold two outdoor music events this first year, but depending on how it goes, maybe more.”
The meeting, which starts at 7 p.m., will be held at the The Gatherings at 120 W. Broad Street in Louisville, is open to guild members, patrons, prospective members and anyone interested in contributing ideas.
“We want to do more community projects,” Borders said. “We’re talking about repainting the murals in downtown Louisville. Our art camps were a big success and we want to do those again. And our big Fall exhibit is coming up in November.”
Other subjects up for discussion will be the guild’s marketplace, decorating its space in the Magdalene House, program ideas and other community projects.
“We want to know what’s on peoples’ minds, what they want from the guild,” Borders said. “Our mission is to foster art in the region and develop interest in it.”
AYP and CRCT results released for area schools
By Faye Ellison
The Georgia Department of Education recently released results for the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2009-2010 school year of the Glascock County and Jefferson County School systems.
“AYP is the formula used to determine if schools are meeting expectations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act,” Glascock Superintendent Jim Holton said. “It consists of three parts--test participation, academic achievement and another statistic, called a ‘second indicator.’ The academic goals continue to rise every few years toward a goal of 100 percent proficiency for all students by 2014.”
In Georgia, proficiency is determined by student performance on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) in reading, English language arts, and mathematics for elementary and middle school students. For AYP, scores are calculated in grades three through eight for reading, English language arts, and mathematics. At the high school level, proficiency for AYP is defined by the 11th grade Georgia High School Graduation Tests in English language arts and enhanced scores on the mathematics portion.
The Georgia Department of Education is now including CRCT and Georgia High School Graduation Test retests for second round AYP determinations. According to Jefferson County Assistant Superintendent Dr. Donnie Hodges, the retests were given in May for elementary and middle schools and in July for high school.
“The AYP determinations after the retests will be announced in September,” she said.
Based on results, which do not include the retests, the school system in Jefferson County did not make AYP for the students with disabilities subgroup or for the graduation rate, which moved the school system onto the Needs Improvement List.
“This is the first year for needs improvement,” Dr. Hodges said.
Hodges explained that even if the system makes AYP for 2009-10 after the retesting, it will not come off the Needs Improvement List because it takes two consecutive years of making AYP to get off the list.
“Usually schools will offer a public school choice, which here is nearly impossible,” Hodges said, adding that after asking neighboring school systems, there were none available because many of them also did not meet AYP. “Most do not make AYP at the high school level.”
Out of the five schools, Jefferson County High School did not meet AYP. Jefferson County High School did not make AYP for 2009-10 for all students and for some subgroups in the area of English language arts and mathematic; however, compared to the 2008-09 school year, Dr. Hodges said the school showed an increase in the passing rate for the English language arts portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Test and stayed at the same rate for the mathematics portion of the test for 2009-10.
For the subgroup with disabilities, though there are less than 40 at any given school, the system as a whole has more than 40 disabled students which hindered the system’s chances at meeting AYP.
“They have to take the regular test,” Hodges said. “There are certain accommodations that can be made for them, but it is just a challenge for them to pass it.”
Since it is the school system’s second year supplemental educational services will also be offered. Parents have been notified by mail.
“We offer supplemental educational services,” Dr. Hodges explained. “There is free tutoring to any child who receives free or reduced lunch. There is a list of providers on the Department of Education website.”
There will be a provider fair at the high school on Thursday, Sept. 9, during report card pickup from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
"We chose this time to try to make it convenient for the parents,” she said. “Providers will give information about what they offer and try to help parents understand. A lot of these programs offer online services, which gives the child a computer to do work at home, or they offer a tutor. There are a variety of services that each child can use up to a certain amount of money.”
In Jefferson County for the first round of testing, Carver Elementary, Louisville Academy, Wrens Elementary, Louisville Middle and Wrens Middle all made AYP for all groups of students and for all subgroups. Of the 18 areas assessed for AYP in 2000-10 in grades three through eight, 14 areas showed improvement or stayed the same as compared to last year. The system scores for grades three, six, seven, and eight exceeded the state averages in mathematics, and system scores for grades four and five showed significant gains in mathematics.
Again Louisville Academy achieved the status of Title I Distinguished School by making AYP for the 11th year in a row, and also making Title I Distinguished status are Wrens Elementary for making AYP its ninth year in a row, Carver for making AYP for its seventh year in a row and Wrens Middle for making AYP for its fifth year in a row.
“We are particularly proud of our mathematics scores which exceeded the state averages in grades three, six, seven and eight,” Jefferson County Superintendent Dr. Molly Howard said. “The new Georgia Performance Standards for mathematics are much more rigorous and challenging. We now have mathematics support teachers in the elementary and middle schools. This emphasis on mathematics has really paid off.
“In spite of the promising results for 2009-10, we know that much work must continue to meet the NCLB bar as it moves up to 100 percent by the year 2014. We have a number of countywide efforts in place to improve student performance including professional development, benchmark assessments, formative assessments and more collaboration and consistency across grade, school and system levels. We are committed to providing every student the best education possible.”
The Glascock County School System has all standards for AYP for the 2009-2010 school year. This is the second year in a row the school system has made AYP.
“The Glascock County Consolidated School had 100 percent test participation in CRCT participation in grades three through eight and 100 percent Georgia High School Graduation Test participation in the high school,” Superintendent Holton said. “As a whole, our CRCT Scores were improved and well exceeded the absolute bar requirements of AYP.”
Holton added that Glascock County exceeded the required CRCT’s and Georgia High School Graduation Test’s absolute bar or confidence interval in mathematics and reading/ English language arts among all students and active AYP subgroups.
“GCCS has placed a high priority on early student reading,” Holton said of the results. “Statistics show that students who read well by the end of third grade have a much greater chance of future educational success. Our CRCT reading/ English language arts scores for grades one through three showed over 93 percent of those students met or exceeded the state standards. One set of scores that our school is particularly proud of is its first grade reading/ English language arts scores.”
Holton said Glascock County was one of only two school systems in Georgia in which 100 percent of first grade students met or exceeded the reading/Language arts standard.
“Georgia’s Math Curriculum has changed dramatically in the past five years and along with many other school systems, Glascock County’s students and teachers, have had to work hard to acclimate to the new expectations,” Holton said.
Glascock County Consolidated School CRCT math scores in AYP grade levels were up 5.6 percent over 2009 scores and GHSGT math scores were up 0.9 percent over 2009 scores and the school also met the AYP confidence interval for all students or active AYP Subgroups.
School systems across the state also choose an additional indicator to judge progress toward AYP.
“Glascock County’s second indicator is attendance, with an AYP goal of having less than 15 percent of students absent for more than 15 days,” Holton said, adding that Glascock County exceeded that goal with an attendance rate of only 6.4 percent of students absent more than 15 days in AYP grade levels.”
“The Glascock County School System satisfied all AYP requirements for the 2009-2010 school year,” Holton said. “The amount of encouragement and support coming from our parents and community propel students and staff to perform at high levels. This is a major accomplishment for our school system, and I am very pleased to see these groups come together as a team and improve student achievement.”
Mary E. Hill Day celebration to be held
By Bonnie K. Sargent
The city of Louisville recently proclaimed a day in honor of the late Mary E. Hill. On Sunday, Aug. 29, a celebration will be held at Helen Clark Memorial Park in Louisville to honor Hill. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.
Her family said Hill was the mother of the 1970 Southern Christian Leadership Conference civil rights struggle in Jefferson County and that she and her husband, the late Rev. Jessie L. Hill, managed the only black restaurant in town at the time, the Hill Town Tavern on Broad Street. They also said she and her young children fought without fear alongside the freedom fighters as they led many nonviolent direct action movements within Jefferson County. They said she gave encouragement to the demonstrators when despair set in and opened the doors to her restaurant, even when the doors of the church were closed, and gave food, water, rest and safety to anyone and everyone, even if they didn’t have money to pay.
Her granddaughter, Felicia Lyons, said Hill was selected to have a day proclaimed in her honor because she truly was a great humanitarian who loved everyone and who was always trying to do the right thing. Her family said that, during the early 1970s, when segregation had not been accepted, Hill helped all races of individuals to remember that God created all people and he loves everyone. Her family said that many times when marchers were mistreated and wanted to become violent, Hill stopped them with God’s word, food and her spirit of righteousness and she embraced the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. to abstain from violence.
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“We have never had a celebration of this magnitude for her before,” said Lyons. “This time, we are including the entire community.”
Lyons said Hill was a well-known individual in the community before she became ill. She was a successful businesswoman. She was active in her church and other churches. Her family said that while she worked as a food service provider for a local entertainment provider, she cooked for many famous stars such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Millie Jackson, The O’Jays, the Temptations, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye and many others.
Lyons said she was truly proud her grandmother is being celebrated and it is an honor.
“My grandmother has taught me a lot during the years. I was one of the few which had the opportunity of growing up into my adult years with her. I learned how to survive and how to make the right choices in life. My grandmother was like a mother to me,” Lyons said, “She deserves this recognition and celebration, which she has earned over the years due to hard work, honesty, integrity and most importantly love.”
The celebration on Aug. 29 will last from noon to 4 p.m. Guest speakers for the event will be former mayor Rita Culvern and James Ivery, the president of the Jefferson County chapter of the SCLC.
“I knew Jesse and Mary for years, particularly as the CEO of the hospital and Mary as the long time owner of her place on Broad St.” said Culvern. “I am so honored I was asked to go and be part of the celebration and to comment on all her accomplishments. Of course her biggest accomplishment was what a fine mother she was. I’m eager to meet all of her children and see what they’ve become and what they’ve done with their lives.”