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Bartow County Schools’ central office in Cartersville.

Bartow County School System students increased their scores on the Georgia Milestones tests between the past two school years.

Superintendent Phillip Page said Bartow students systemwide saw gains in all areas of the assessments, which include end-of-grade tests for third- through eighth-graders and end-of-course tests for high school students.

“Our students, teachers and building leaders should be proud of their progress and accomplishments,” Page said in a news release.

“We are confident as we implement professional learning communities and a collaborative culture, that we will continue to see an increase in student achievement.”

Milestones is the state’s method of measuring how well Georgia students in grades three through 12 have mastered subjects in the areas of English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

The results were released by the Georgia Department of Education July 26 and show students statewide are learning the content at either beginning, developing, proficient or distinguished levels, state officials said.

Education department officials consider students earning the proficient or distinguished designations as being on track toward college and career readiness, a news release stated.

Page said the results show Bartow County students earning the proficient and distinguished designations increased in the areas of English language arts and math.

Middle school students saw “strong gains” in English language arts, he said.

“We also increased the number of students who are reading on grade level districtwide,” Page said.

He said the increase was “particularly notable given the implementation” of the school system’s Read to Grow program in 2018, he said.

Read to Grow began at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. School system officials worked with a community board and screened and trained more than 100 volunteers to help first-grade teachers with one-on-one and small group reading, literacy games and vocabulary lessons, a news release stated.

Meanwhile, the highest percentage of county school system proficient and distinguished learners were seen in the third- and fourth-grade math sections of the tests, Page said.

“On average, about 70 percent of our students at White Elementary School and Mission Road Elementary School demonstrate proficiency or advanced proficiency in math knowledge and skills,” he said.

Taylorsville and Euharlee elementary schools also did well with 64% of proficient and distinguished learners in third- and fourth-grade English language arts, he said.

Each middle school also saw an increase of proficient and distinguished learners in the sixth-grade English language arts area, Page said.

Overall, highest achieving Bartow County schools include Mission Road, White and Taylorsville elementary schools.

Page said “amazing growth” was seen at some schools.

Euharlee Elementary had 30 percent growth in fourth-grade English language arts, and Allatoona Elementary saw the same increase in fourth-grade math, he said.

Pine Log Elementary also increased its scores in third-grade math by 20 percent, he said.

County high schools saw an increase of students earning the proficient and distinguished learners designations in ninth-grade literature and composition, and Algebra I, Page said.

Bartow students’ average test scores exceeded or met the state average in five of 24 subject areas, including fourth-grade English language arts, third- and fourth-grade mathematics, and high school geometry and economics/business/free enterprise.

“While in some areas, like middle school math, we fall just shy of the state average, the Bartow County School System is focused on closing the achievement gaps in all areas,” Page said.

Milestones tests are given to all Georgia public school elementary and middle school students at the end of the year.

A total of 16 end-of-grade and eight end-of-course assessments are given. Those in grades three through eight take end-of-grade assessments in language arts and math. Fifth-graders and eighth-graders also takes tests in science and social studies.

High school students are given end-of-course tests in core subjects related to English language arts, math, science and social studies.

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