DCSS looks to improve failing elementary schools

Kenneth Dyer, Superintendent of Schools (Source: WALB)
Kenneth Dyer, Superintendent of Schools (Source: WALB)
Cheryl Smith, Director of School Improvement (Source: WALB)
Cheryl Smith, Director of School Improvement (Source: WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County School Board members said they are bringing in experts to try to turn around five of their failing schools that were among the lowest performing in the state.

The five were listed on The Governor's Office of Student Achievement Turnaround Eligible Schools list. DCSS Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said the schools have made gradual improvements. His hopes are that within the next two years, no schools in Dougherty County will be on the list.

Out of the 21 schools in Dougherty County, five were considered failing schools, meaning they did not meet the minimum score requirement for the state of Georgia. Those elementary schools are Alice Coachman, Robert H. Harvey, Morningside, Northside, and Turner Elementary School.
Dyer said despite the ratings, he is seeing improvements being made year after year.

"Four of them increased their score from the previous year so they are headed in the right direction," said Dyer.

Director of School Improvement Cheryl Smith said to make improvements, the district will bring in experts who specialize in those areas and collaborate with school leaders on what the next plan of action is.

"For instance, there's a weakness in math and so we have two math content coordinators who will go in and work with that school," said Smith.

In comparison to the state level, these five schools are performing under average but they are following the data trends.

"So where we see increases in state averages, we also have seen increases in our schools," said Smith.

"Year to year, we want our schools to improve. We want our students to do better. We want teaching and learning to always improve," said Smith.

Some of the main problems they are seeing in most schools is literacy and reading. Officials said they have been working with students since the beginning of the year to fix this problem

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