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Forsyth County school district recognized for Title I program

FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County school system was recently recognized for its Title I schools, one of just four districts in the state to received such an award this year.

The Georgia Department of Education named Forsyth County Schools as its Large Title I Reward District on its list of 2015-16 honorees.

The designation is awarded to school systems with the highest absolute performance over three years for the “all students” group on statewide assessments among districts of their size.

A Title I school is identified by the state to receive additional federal funding because of high numbers or percentages of low-income students to help ensure they meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.

Low-income student numbers are derived from those who participate in the free/reduced meal program at their schools.

Forsyth has five Title I schools — Chestatee, Cumming and Midway elementary schools and Little Mill and Otwell middle schools.

“We are proud of the work of our Title I staff and students,” said Superintendent Jeff Bearden. “Each of these schools are consistently recognized by the state, from Reward Schools to Family Friendly Schools, for their success in engaging parents and community, as well as the opportunities they are providing for students.

“Being a multi-year Title I Reward District is a reflection of home, school and community success to transform Title I.”

Title I Reward Districts are named in four categories: large districts with 10,000 or more students; medium districts with 4,000 to 9,999 students; small districts with 2,000 to 3,999 students; and extra-small districts with less than 2,000 students.

Each reward district receives a $50,000 grant in additional federal funds.

“These schools and districts are working against the odds to provide opportunities for their students,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “These excellent outcomes translate into changed lives for thousands of students, and I can’t overstate how proud we are of all those who worked to make them happen.”

The other Reward Districts for 2015-16 are:

* Medium: Oconee County

* Small: Jefferson County

* Extra-small: Coweta Charter Academy

On a school level, Little Mill and Otwell middle schools were named Reward School – Highest Performing.

This means they were among the 5 percent of the state’s Title I schools with the absolute highest performance, over three years, for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments.

Chestatee Elementary was named Reward School – Highest Progress, which mean it was among the 10 percent of the state’s Title I schools making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on the statewide assessments.

A school may not be classified as Highest Performing or Progress if it has been identified as a Priority or Focus School.