Superintendent excited about school year
According to Superintendent Gary Mathews, Newton County Schools may have had its “best yet” first day as the school system kicked off the 2012-13 school year with 19,141 students.
“It may have been the best yet start-of-school year!” he said.
Mathews presented the new Common Core State Standards, a new curriculum developed by the National Governor’s Conference and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Known in Georgia as the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, it is a nationwide curriculum used in the subjects of mathematics and literature and is currently being used in 46 states.
The intention of developing this curriculum is to create a more competitive education system within the United States.
“It aims to provide the U.S. with a more competitive education system—internationally—and one that will render all students college- and career-ready,” said Mathews.
Changes have been made in, and to include, reading, writing, speaking and listening, language, media and technology, kindergarten math, K-5 math and high school math.
“Given all of the above ‘newness,’ I trust our secondary faculty agrees that adopting the College Board’s SpringBoard curriculum in reading/language
arts and mathematics was a very good thing! It gives us structure,” said Mathews.
The curriculum is in alignment with the Common Core standards, built-in vocabulary and research-based instructional strategies, as well as the “right rigor” for college and career readiness.
The superintendent has also announced that the Newton County School system has implemented the College Board’s curriculum known as “SpringBoard” for middle and high school students.
This curriculum is structured just as the common core is, focusing on each of the same strategies and providing the “right” amount of rigor for Newton County’s students.
“I always learn something new from him; something worth really thinking about when it comes to teaching-for-learning,” Mathews said.
Lastly, test scores for the 2011-12 school year have proven to be higher than the state average in five out of the eight End-of-Course Tests for high school.
The elementary schools also showed improvement again during the 2011-2012 school year, with a 73 percent improvement clip for the second consecutive year.
The elementary schools have scored higher than the state average in four sections of the CRCT, while meeting the average in four other sections.
“Thanks to teachers and other leaders-for-learning, we are making progress on these state assessments,” Mathews said.