A middle school in East Point is celebrating a 21 point increase on their College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) and the principal is crediting an overhaul of the school’s literacy program with the successful results.

Woodland Middle School in East Point has put a school-wide focus on driving literacy gains and implementing structured supports for teachers and saw the payoff of those effort with the latest CCRPI test results according to Principal Jason Stamper.

“I could not be prouder of the strides our students and teachers have made within this past year to achieve a 21.2 point increase on the CCRPI,” said Stamper. “For the past year, we really delved into data to ensure our literacy instruction targeted the specific skills students needed to work on. Our passing grade on the CCRPI validates the hard work our entire team has put into improving students’ literacy skills, and we are thrilled to see our efforts have paid off in such a big way.”

The previously F-rated school achieved a passing score of 74.6 on the CCRPI which is described as the comprehensive school improvement, accountability, and communication platform for Georgia. It promotes college and career readiness for public school students.

Recognizing that literacy proficiency drives learning across all subject areas, school leaders put into place plans to overhaul the school’s literacy program starting in the 2018-19 school year, stated officials. Key changes included restructuring the school’s schedule to include a literacy lab called the Infinite Literacy Campaign (ILC), where every staff member in the building supports literacy instruction. School leaders administer the i-Ready Diagnostic three times a year to determine students’ individual strengths and learning gaps and use the online assessment to group students in cohorts according to their reading skill level. Using i-Ready’s English Language Arts adaptive learning platform in combination with Reading Plus, Leveled Literacy Intervention, and planned prescriptive lessons, the ILC caters to the five pillars of reading—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

During the ILC, students engage in a daily, one-hour prescriptive literacy session individually designed to strengthen confidence, build stamina, and expand reading skills. Using assessment data, teachers help students track their progress towards mastery, which has been instrumental in ensuring students stay committed to their reading goals. As students and teachers experience growth and success, they receive incentives and attend celebratory events that highlight their accomplishments. As a result of these focused literacy initiatives, the number of students reading on or above grade level has increased to 53% from 42% on the Georgia Milestones Assessment as compared to 2017-18.

To further support teachers, Stamper and other school leaders also restructured the school’s Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Teachers now meet as often as three times a week to share best practices for teaching and learning, use data to track and evaluate student progress, and strategize for the future. In addition, the PLCs offer a support system for teachers to collaborate on how best to serve the school’s population of traditionally underserved students, including a large number of at-risk students who are disproportionately affected by high rates of poverty, transiency and homelessness.

The Fulton County Schools district outshined the state and most other major metro Atlanta school districts in the annual College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), according to the scores released Oct. 25 by the Georgia Department of Education.

The state compiles the scores through a 0-to-100-point scale from multiple indicators within five main components: content mastery, progress, closing gaps, readiness and graduation rates (high school only).

Fulton’s overall score increased from 81.0 in 2018 to 83.8 this year and was 7.9 points higher than the state average of 75.9.

Among the largest metro districts, Fulton’s score was lower than Cobb County (86.1) but higher than Gwinnett County (82.5), DeKalb County (75.4) and Atlanta (74.1).

Everett Catts contributed to this article.


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