The Middle School chorus competed in their first GICAA competition at Shorter College on Nov. 17 and was awarded First Place! The group performed a Japanese piece, Murasame (In Mists of Evening) and a Latin piece, Mozart’s Canon. Members of the Handbell Choir accompanied the group on bells and percussion and Mary Ellen Austin of Jackson accompanied on piano. The group will compete in State competition on January 14 in Griffin. Way to go singing Eagles!
The Georgia Milestones test scores for Griffin-Spalding County were released today by the Georgia Department of Education.
Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 used the newly-created Milestones to assess student learning.
Superintendent Jim Smith said on Monday the 16t of November, “Generally speaking, the results of these tests are not good and are disappointing when compared to the state averages which are themselves disappointing. However, this new benchmark will show us where and what we need to improve in our instructional program,” said Superintendent Jim Smith. “We are not looking through the data to find excuses. We are looking through the data to find clues leading to a better correlation between instructional practices and the expectations being assessed.”
School leadership teams have been combing through the data for the past several days looking for areas where we need to build capacity for performance and improving tasks including problem –solving and critical thinking skills that are highlighted in the Milestones.
The Milestones assesses student learning along four levels of performance that reflects student learning. Beginning learners do not yet demonstrate proficiency for their grade level and course. Developing learners demonstrate partial proficiency while proficient learners demonstrate proficiency for the grade level and course. Distinguished learners demonstrate advanced proficiency.
Over the coming days the district’s new strategic plan will be completed and will focus on increased learning at all levels. The district will also provide teachers with additional professional development to ensure that standards are being taught in a manner that increases student understanding. Building principals along with their academic coaches met last week to dig deeper into the data and identify the root causes of the lower performance. Among the items they identified was district-directed professional development for teachers.
“Our calendar for the 2016-17 school year reflects our concern for targeted professional development,” Mr. Smith added. “Five professional learning days are already established in that school calendar.”
As for the new strategic plan, there will be some redirection of resources-personnel, financial and time- as GSCS leaders focus on better ways to prepare students.
“As I recently read “if anything is going to change, something must change,’ ” said Mr. Smith. “I believe this.”
|Georgia Milestones 2015|
November 10, 2015— Griffin Choral Arts, under the direction of Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, presents A JUBILANT CHRISTMAS on Thursday evening, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday afternoon at December 5, 4:00 p.m., at Griffin First Baptist Church (106 W. Taylor Street). Join us for a choral holiday celebration with our special guests Macon’s Barrister Brass on Thursday night and the Spalding High School Chorus (Brett Duncan, director) on Saturday afternoon. Both concerts will include the full GCA chorus as they present Camille Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, accompanied by strings, harp, and organ. Lift your voice with the choir for familiar carols and participate in this festive Griffin-area Christmas tradition! Get your tickets early to this popular holiday event!
Tickets are $15 general admission (all ages) at the door or in advance in Griffin at Artistic Flowers and Gifts, Safehouse Coffee Roasters, and Griffin First United Methodist Church, in Barnesville at Goggans Florist, and in Zebulon at A Novel Experience bookstore.
Griffin Choral Arts is an auditioned, regional community chorus founded in 2007. The mission of Griffin Choral Arts is to bring “the best choral music to the community.”
For more information about Griffin Choral Arts call 888-SING1-88 or visit the GCA website: www.griffinchoralarts.org.