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School system near top of district in CCRPI
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CCRPI scores
Schools 2013-14 2014-15 Ranking
Blandford 86.7 79.9 27/99
Ebenezer Elem 84.7 78.0 29/99
Guyton 81.5 76.1 31/99
Marlow 87.3 83.8 16/99
Rincon 92.1 87.3 9/99
Sand Hill 89.7 82.4 20/99
Springfield 83.9 72.4 45/99
District 2/18

Ebenezer Middle 86.6 86.8 1/49
ECMS 80.7 69.9 25/49
SEMS 84.0 80.3 9/49
District 1/18

ECHS 80.6 84.9 6/33
SEHS 81.4 82.8 9/33
District 3/18

(Rankings are those compared to schools in those grade levels in the 1st District RESA)

Though its numbers took a dip from a new set of measurements, the Effingham County School System remained one of the top performing districts in the Coastal Empire in the most CCRPI figures.

As a school system, Effingham was second out of 18 in the 1st District RESA for College and Career Ready Performance Index scores. The CCRPI was started four years ago to replace the adequate yearly progress reports under the No Child Left Behind act.

“I think you’ll be pleased with the results,” Noralee Deason, school system information systems coordinator, told board members.

At 81.4, Camden County’s system nudged Effingham by .1 of a point to claim top honors in the 1st District Regional Educational Service Area. The district RESA serves school systems from Camden County north to Screven and as far west as Vidalia and Toombs school systems. Vidalia and Toombs have separate school districts.

Effingham’s elementary schools finished second in the 1st District RESA, trailing only Bryan County, with Rincon Elementary coming in ninth out of the 99 schools. Rincon had a CCRPI score of 87.3, placing it 137 out of 1,231 elementary schools in Georgia. Effingham’s schools were 32nd out of 194 school districts statewide

Ebenezer Middle School was in the top 10 percent of the state’s middle schools for CCRPI and was tops in the district. Effingham’s three middle schools as a whole were No. 1 in the 1st District RESA. Ebenezer had a score of 86.8, and South Effingham finished ninth among the 1st District RESA’s 49 middle schools.

The county’s two high schools combined to give the system a third-place standing, and both schools improved their CCRPI scores from the previous year. Effingham County High School was No. 6 in the district’s 33 high schools, and 76th out of 455 in the state, and South Effingham was No. 9. As a system, only Screven County and Camden County outperformed Effingham County’s collective scores.

Effingham’s graduation rates, which factor into the CCRPI tally, are affected by students who move in during the school year and then leave the system before the end of the academic year, Deason said.

Overall, Effingham County placed 21st among 200 in the state and of 35 districts with more than 10,000 students, only four — Columbia, Fayette, Lowndes and Forsyth, which finished No. 1 — outperformed Effingham.

“We’ll be looking at what they’re doing,” Deason said.

Because in the changes in how CCRPI is calculated, comparing scores from 2013-14 to 2014-15 isn’t applicate, according to the state Department of Education.

“There were major changes in the CCRPI this year,” Deason said.

Instead of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, the state is now using its Milestones exams in its assessments. While the CRCT broke down its results into meets or exceeds, Milestones changed the way content mastery is measured, Deason said, with weighted points based on whether a student is a beginner, developing, proficient or distinguished learner.

“It is a more rigorous assessment,” Deason said, “so all of our scores came down based on that change.”

The new CCRPI scoring also changed how much weight is placed on each category. For the 2013-14 school year, 60 percent of the CCRPI score came from achievement, with 25 percent to progress. For 2014-15, progress accounted for 40 percent of scores.

How attendance was measured also changed. Instead of using the average daily attendance, the revamped CCRPI metrics rely on the number of students missing fewer than six days.

It also changed the weighting. In 13-14, 60 percent of the CCRPI came from achievement, 25 percent came from progress and 15 percent came from achievement path. In 14-15 they reduced achievement and achievement gap percent and increased progress to 40 percent. So the student growth percentile are much more important.

They also changed how they measure attendance. They went from using average daily attendance to students missing fewer than six days of school. A school in the 95 percentile gets all 10 points for that indicator, Deason said.

“It’s a tough indicator,” she added.

Deason said the school system will be increasing the rigor needed to move students into the distinguished learner category and continue to work to reduce the achievement gap.

“We need to do some analysis to see how demographically similar areas outperformed us,” she said.

A Senate bill passed in the recent General Assembly session also could alter how CCRPI scores are tabulated. Deason said the latest changes have allowed under performing districts to narrow the gap on better-performing districts.

“This thing changes every year,” she said. “We hope it stabilizes.”

For the 2014-15 school year, the average score for Georgia’s elementary schools was 76, with a score of 71.2 for middle schools, 75.8 for high schools, and an overall statewide score of 75.5.