Richmond County Schools Celebrate Improvement in Test Scores

Photo taken during the Richmond County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.
Photo taken during the Richmond County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

Augusta, GA – Richmond County schools are celebrating an improvement in test scores.

The Board of education announced SAT and ACT scores during Tuesday night’s board meeting. Board members awarded several high schools that have seen improvement in their test scores.

7 out of 11 high schools increased their SAT scores this year, which is a big improvement from 2014, when both participation rate and scores were notably low.

The Richmond County Board of Education (RCBOE) also recognized the John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School for their biggest achievement. In September, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Davidson would join only 335 other schools nationwide as a Blue Ribbon School.

Principal Renee Kelly along with her staff and students were recognized for academic excellence, but it didn’t come easy.

“We’ve just kind of pumped some extra energy back into us, trying to go back to the roots of how Davidson was started. We even brought back Beverly Barnheart, who was the founder of Davidson,” Kelly explained.

Over the past year, the RCBOE has made several changes to the school system, and school leaders say it’s working.

“This is what we’ve been driving home for years now and we starting to see it you know come about,” said Jimmy Atkins, an 11-year RCBOE member who represent represents District 8.

Atkins adds, the issue the school system has struggled with for years is leadership and they are finally starting to get it right.

“We had principals that were in elementary schools that their background was in high school and then vice versa, so getting the right folks in the right seats,” Atkins explained.

Atkins says Superintendent Doctor Angela Pringle has contributed to this success in many ways.

“With all the new measurements, you’re measured on how your classroom does and it puts a lot more focus on that and on and on that individual teacher and there’s no excuses,” he said.

Principal Kelly says the application process for Davidson starts soon and open house will be held November 2nd and 16th. Students who are excited about learning are encouraged to apply.

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