Nearly thirty schools called distinguished

LAWRENCEVILLE - Nearly 30 Title I schools in Gwinnett, Buford and Barrow have been identified as distinguished schools.

According to the Georgia Department of Education, 805 Title I schools in Georgia have achieved this honor by making adequate yearly progress for at least three consecutive years. The federal Title I program provides money to schools for the education of economically-disadvantaged children. Title I schools are campuses that receive this funding.

In Gwinnett County, 17 Title I schools made the list. Carol Grady, the district's director of federal and special programs, said making AYP is an achievement for these schools, which have large populations of students who are economically disadvantaged, who are learning English as a second language or who are disabled.

Some of the schools previously failed to make adequate academic gains, placing them on the needs improvement list, Grady said. The school district's curriculum and the "highly qualified teachers ... who use best practices and effective quality-plus teaching strategies" have allowed these schools to achieve success, she said.

"There's such a sense of pride for these schools," Grady said. "The school climate just improves, and it's a great boost for the community."

Buford City Schools Assistant Superintendent Allison Miller said the district is "thrilled" that Buford Elementary, Academy and Middle have achieved the status.

"This is a testament to the hard work of the students, teachers, and administrators at each of the schools," Miller wrote in an e-mail. "I hope that this recognition will serve as inspiration for all of us as we face the challenge of the 2007-2008 AYP determinations, when the bar will be raised."

In Barrow County, every Title I school in the district has made AYP for five consecutive years. Superintendent Ron Saunders said the schools have put together "very effective school improvement plans."

"We are definitely very proud of our Title I schools," Saunders said. "Our administrators and teachers and staff deliver a quality education to our students."

School/Years AYP

J.A. Alford Elementary/4

Annistown Elementary/6

Auburn Elementary/5

Beaver Ridge Elementary/3

Bethesda Elementary/5

Bethlehem Elementary/5

Bramlett Elementary/5

Buford Academy/5

Buford Elementary/4

Buford Middle/4

Cedar Hill Elementary/5

Charles Brant Chesney Elementary/3

Corley Elementary/4

County Line Elementary/5

Holsenbeck Elementary/5

Hopkins Elementary/6

Kanoheda Elementary/6

Kennedy Elementary/5

Lilburn Elementary/5

Meadowcreek Elementary/4

Rebecca Minor Elementary/4

Nesbit Elementary/5

Norcross Elementary/5

Peachtree Elementary/5

Rockbridge Elementary/4

Statham Elementary/5

Margaret Winn Holt Elementary/3

Yargo Elementary/5

Source: Georgia Department of Education