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Sustained excellence demands continuous improvement Welcome Back! I am thrilled to be entering my second year as superintendent of Oconee County Schools and honored to have the privilege to support our world-class students, teachers, and learning community each day. As we embark on the 2013-2014 school year, it is my hope that you will have the opportunity to visit one of our 10 outstanding schools and see our nearly 7,000 students and 1,000 employees collaborating together to learn, grow, and develop. Within our school walls you will find master teachers recognized throughout our state and nation as leaders in their fields of study, students who have a strong desire to learn and a plan of action for their future, and a support staff that takes great pride in ensuring that our students and teachers have what they need. This mixture of talent, passion, and commitment is a great recipe for success! Yet, as superintendent of one of the best school systems in our state, it is my desire to work collaboratively with each of you to lead our schools to even greater heights. Our commitment to you and your student(s) is one of continuous improvement and sustained excellence. Simply stated, we value our successes, but seek each day to raise the bar. This commitment to enhanced excellence drives our leaders, teachers, and students to seek new and innovative meth-

ods of instruction and discovery to meet the demands of the 21st century learner. In addition, we realize that the world around us is everchanging. Thus, we are actively engaging business and industry, as well as institutions of higher learning, to ensure that our preparation provides the hands-on skills needed for OCS students to successfully transition to career and college readiness. Although Oconee County Schools is again faced with reduced state funding that has led to unprecedented budget challenges, through shared commitment and thoughtful planning, we will continue to offer the extraordinary educational programs that our students and community has come to know, expect, and deserve. I look forward to a great school year beginning in earnest on August 7. As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas at jbranch@oconeeschools.org. Dr. Jason L. Branch Superintendent Oconee County Schools

Our community benefits from Oconee schools' success Oconee County has 14 schools which includes 10 public schools. The Oconee Enterprise is honored that it could cover, with awe and pride, the growth of the schools, both academically and in the arena of sports since the editor/publisher came in 1981. The top-rated caliber of Oconee Schools is traceable to the involved parents, school staffs and support systems. Most positively, though, it is traceable to the business and professional communities. From realtors to restaurants, medical services STATE OF THE SCHOOLS • 2013 - 2014

to Main Street, arts to antiques, you are always there for the students. So, please, you who are reading this, take advantage of the offers that you will find from them in these pages. They are your children's cheerleaders. Vinnie Williams Publisher The Oconee Enterprise

On the Cover

Teachers of the Year make a difference in lives of students Last May Oconee County Schools Superintendent Jason Branch announced the 2012-2013 Teachers of the Year. Each school selects a candidate who is dedicated to play an active role in the community and in the school and who inspires students of all backgrounds to learn. Those are just two of the criteria provided by the National Teacher of the Year Program, but the peers of the TOTY candidates in Oconee County Schools also use their good judgment in deciding who should be honored for their commitment to classroom excellence. Clockwise from top, Stefani Legall, in purple sweater, Oconee County High School; Julie McCullers, Malcom Bridge Elementary School; Bill Nelson, Colham Ferry Elementary School and system-wide Teacher of the Year; Cathy Carver, Oconee County Primary School; Richard Rosch, North Oconee High School; Katie Burnett, Malcom Bridge Middle School; Cecilia White, Oconee County Elementary School; Kevin Manglitz, Oconee County Middle School; Julie Hayes, Rocky Branch Elementary School; and Kristin Nelson, High Shoals Elementary School.

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Tom Odom, Chairman, from left, Mark Thomas, Mike Burnette, Dr. Jason L. Branch, Superintendent, Kim Argo,Vice Chair, and Wayne Bagley meet twice a month.

Supplement to The Oconee Enterprise The State of the Schools 20132014 is a collaborative project of The Oconee Enterprise and Oconee County Schools. All editorial, except Teacher of the Year articles, was written by the staff of Oconee County Schools. Teacher of the Year articles were written by the staff of The Oconee Enterprise (Blake Giles and Michael Prochaska). Board of Education photograph by Mike Hale. All other photographs by Blake Giles and Michael Prochaska. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without express written consent of the publisher. This includes advertisements designed and produced by The Oconee Enterprise. The accuracy of the content of this publication is subject to change prior to dissemination. © 2013 Oconee Enterprise, Inc. All rights reserved. Oconee County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or sex in employment practices or educational programs and activities, including athletics. 2

Oconee County Board of Education sets policies for school system The Oconee County Board of Education consists of five members who are elected by district to staggered, four-year terms. The primary role of the board is the legislation of school system policies, which are executed under the direction of the superintendent. Two board meetings are held each month, a work session and a regular session. Agendas and meeting minutes are available for review at www.oconeeschools.org. During the 2013-14 school year, meetings will be held at 5:00 p.m. on the following Mondays (work sessions are the first meeting date

each month): July 1 and 8; August 5 and 12; September 9 and 16; October 7 and 21; November 4 and 11; December 2 and 9; January 6 and 13; February 3 and 10; March 3 and 10; April 14 and 21; May 5 and 12; and June 2 and 9. Meetings are open to the public and are held at 34 School Street in Watkinsville. Communicate with your board of education at the e-mail addresses listed below or by mail to: Board of Education, Oconee County Schools, 34 School Street, Watkinsville, Georgia, 30677-0146.

Mr. Tom Odom, Chairman – todom@oconeeschools.org Ms. Kim Argo, Vice Chair – kargo@oconeeschools.org Mr. Wayne Bagley – wbagley@oconeeschools.org Mr. Mike Burnette – mburnette@oconeeschools.org Mr. Mark Thomas – mthomas@oconeeschools.org

Table of Contents Oconee Board of Education .......................2 AdvancED/SACS District Accreditation ....4 Oconee County prepares students for future careers at STEM schools ..............6 Students bring technology to school..........6 Colham Ferry Elementary School ..............8 High Shoals Elementary School ...............10 Malcom Bridge Elementary School..........12 Oconee County Primary School...............14 Stay in touch with Oconee Schools ..........16 Community partnerships enhance impact of education throughout the county ..............................................16

Oconee County Elementary School .........18 Rocky Branch Elementary School ............20 Malcom Bridge Middle School.................22 Oconee County Middle School ................24 Students can earn high school credits while in middle school..........................26 High school students can ‘test out’ of certain classes.........................................27 North Oconee High School ......................28 Oconee County High School....................30 2013 - 2014 Calendar ................................32

www.oconeeschools.org


STATE OF THE SCHOOLS • 2013 - 2014

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AdvancED/SACS district accreditation recommended for Oconee schools Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. Oconee County Schools recently participated in an external review by a team of highly-qualified evaluators who examined the district’s adherence and commitment to the accreditation criteria. The external review team identified six powerful practices that emerged strongly during the process.

Did You Know? X OCS buses travel over 3,900 miles per day, and over 695,000 per year.

X During the course of the school year, OCS will serve over 680,000 meals.

X OCS is the largest employer in Oconee County.

X The visionary leadership and synergy between the superintendent and administration at all levels of the organization has created a strong commitment to promoting and sustaining a culture of excellence that pervades the entire system. X The governing body of Oconee County Schools ensures that the school leadership has the autonomy to meet goals for achievement and instruction and to manage day-to-day operations effectively. X The proactive leadership of the superintendent and staff fosters a climate of transparency and a culture consistent with the system's purpose and direction. X Oconee County Schools systematically engages families by communicating student progress through an outstanding information infrastructure. X Oconee County Schools maintains exceptional facilities and services as a result of providing a safe, clean, and healthy environment for all students and staff. X Oconee County Schools commendably utilizes a vast array of traditional and technological methods of communication so that stakeholders at all levels are regularly afforded the opportunity to be informed about system, school, and student performance. The team also provided the district with many positive comments in the external review report. X “Oconee County Schools is firmly focused on the continuing success of its students.” X “The visionary leadership of the new superintendent has created a strong commitment within the system to continue to build upon a culture that supports performance excellence.” X “All administrators and staff are working diligently and in concert to accomplish the goals and implement the programs and strategies to which the system has committed.” X “Although the system has a tradition of high academic achievement, leadership at all levels is determined to design strategies to take that achievement to the next level.” X “The Oconee Board of Education clearly understands its role as the governing body and enthusiastically supports all efforts by the superintendent and staff to focus on performance excellence.” X “The team was impressed with the overall sense of community and inclusiveness that was expressed by all stakeholder groups.” X “Through the interview process and classroom observations, it was extremely obvious to the team that students in the Oconee County Schools were very positive about their schools, their teachers, and their learning opportunities.” X “The external review team found that communication is both a priority and a tremendous strength of the Oconee County Schools.” The external review team recommended that Oconee County Schools be granted a new five-year term of accreditation. Please visit the OCS website via the link below to learn more about the SACS/AdvancED review. http://www.oconeeschools.org/index.php?module=pagesmith&uop=view_page&id=302

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www.oconeeschools.org


A thens G astroenterology A ssociation & A thens G astroenterology Endoscopy C enter Athens Gastroenterology Association was founded in 2006 with our main office located in Athens. Satellite offices are located in Winder, Lavonia, Greensboro and Monroe. Our office specializes in the field of digestive disorders and liver diseases. Doctors Asif Qadri and Jeff Williams provide a full array of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic services which include: •Colonoscopy and Upper endoscopy (EGD) •BRAVO and evaluation of chronic GERD •Manometry for esophageal motility disorders •ERCP with treatment of pancreatic and biliary disease •Treatment of acute and chronic liver disease •Hemorrhoidal treatment In addition to a very active clinical practice AGA and AGEC have also been at the forefront of clinical research. Since 2011 we have participated in and are currently involved in many clinical trials. Our involvement in research has contributed to the important advances in the therapy of such diseases as GERD, Peptic Ulcer Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Colon Cancer Prevention. The office sponsors “Strollin for the Colon” 5 K run/walk held annually in March to raise awareness of colon cancer.

(706) 613-1625 3320 Old Jefferson Rd, Bldg. 400, Athens, GA 30607 www.athensgastro.org

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Classic City Yankees A local travel baseball organization created to give proper instruction and understanding of the national pastime. Our mission: to provide area youth with an enjoyable baseball experience. The Yankees promote the development of strong character, a sense of responsibility, and good citizenship to all our players. We are committed to the advancement of youth baseball and the youth player through proper instruction and competitive games and tournaments. For individuals interested in becoming a part of the Classic City Yankees, tryouts for the team will be help in the near future. Please see the website, www.classiccityyankees.org, for dates. Age requirements for the teams are to be born on or after; (7U) May 1, 2006 and (9U) May 1, 2004.


Oconee County prepares students for future careers at STEM schools

Did You Know? X At the high-school level, OCS ranks #1 out of 184 school systems in Georgia in the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).

X The composite SAT score for OCS students is 1571, which ranks 3rd in the state and 1st for school districts with fewer than 35,000 students.

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What is a STEM school? Oconee County Schools is dedicated to preparing students for twenty-first century workplace careers by providing high-quality educational opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). STEM education encourages a curriculum that is driven by problem solving, discovery, exploratory learning, and student-centered development of ideas and solutions. The saturation of technology in most fields means that all students—not just those who plan to pursue a STEM profession—will require a solid foundation in STEM to be productive members of the workforce. Some OCS principals have received training from the Georgia Department of Education – which is also dedicated to the STEM proposition – to learn about the requirements for becoming a STEM-certified school. Rocky Branch Elementary School will be considering the rubric associated with this certification and pertinent next steps this school year. The school has begun working to help teachers prepare for middle school math and science certification. Evelyn Wages, principal of RBES, is collaborating with Keith Carter and

Philip Brown, principals of Colham Ferry Elementary School and North Oconee High School, respectively, as they are also interested in STEM projects. Additionally, Oconee County High School was awarded a STEM access grant from the College Board. The grant is part of an initiative created to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority and female high school students that participate in Advanced Placement (AP) courses in STEM disciplines. OCHS will use the grant to start an AP environmental science course for the 2013-14 school year. Administrators at the school have already met with students potentially interested in the course. The grant also stipulates that more females need to be taking existing AP STEM courses, so OCHS administrators have been promoting all the AP STEM courses through advisement. Oconee County Schools is committed to offering all our students the education they need to succeed should they choose to pursue post-secondary degrees and careers in STEM fields. School-level and district leaders will continue to look for ways strengthen these programs and support the STEM teachers.

Students bring technology to school As technology continues to change the way we live our daily lives, it also provides many new and positive educational benefits. To stay in line with the educational needs of our students, last school year Oconee County Schools implemented “Bring Your Own Technology” (BYOT) for students. Through this initiative, students are encouraged to bring their own technology devices—such as their iPods, smart phones, tablets, or laptops—to school to support and extend their daily learning experiences. To establish the technological framework needed for a successful BYOT program, OCS installed a state-of-the-art wireless network system (Wi-Fi) during the summer of 2012. Wireless access points were added in every classroom and to common areas (library, cafeteria, etc.) at all ten schools in the district. The wireless system was underwritten by local ELOST (Education Local Option Sales Tax) funds as an infrastructure improvement project. Several schools have opened student access to the new wireless network for classroom use. It is important to note that the final decision to

use BYOT in the classroom is made by each individual teacher. If the teacher has an instructional activity where technology would benefit, then he/she can allow students to use BYOT. In other instances, the teacher might restrict the use of technology. The benefits of the BYOT program are numerous. Educational research has shown the advantages of approaching a 1:1 relationship between student enrollment and technology devices. BYOT is a cost-effective way of progressing toward this model by combining the power of student-owned devices with the existing technologies available at school. BYOT ensures equity by providing access to the school-provided technology for those students who do not own a device. With the established BYOT plan in place in Oconee County Schools, a sustainable approach for integrating the latest devices and engaging students as twenty-first century learners can be reached. For more information about the program, please contact the OCS Technology Department at 706-769-5130. www.oconeeschools.org


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Did You Know? X OCS elementary school students scored within the top 10 of 180 Georgia school systems for the percentage of students exceeding standards on 29 of the 30 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT).

X OCS has a 90.48% graduate rate, which ranks 7th highest in Georgia, and highest for school districts with 4,000 students or more.

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Colham Ferry Elementary School Grades K-5 www.oconeeschools.org/cfes P.O. Box 186, 191 Colham Ferry Road Watkinsville, Georgia 30677 Phone: 706-769-7764 Fax: 706-310-1997 Principal: Keith Carter, left Assistant Principal: Lara Still Colham Ferry Elementary School X Year opened: 1996 (building previously housed Oconee County Intermediate School) X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 538 X Title I Reward School X Single Statewide Accountability System (SSAS) Bronze Award X CCRPI ranking of 528th out of 1,355 elementary schools in Georgia

www.oconeeschools.org


Colham Ferry teacher loves his second career Colham Ferry Teacher of the Year Bill Nelson is in a second career. He’s never going back to his previous life as a biologist. “This has been the best change in my life,” said Nelson. “I absolutely love what I do.” Nelson came to the University of Georgia from Gray, Ga., to major in biology. He earned his bachelor’s degree and then went to Texas A&M to earn his master’s degree. Nelson was at Georgia in 1980 when Herschel Walker led the Bulldogs to the national championship. The schools on Georgia’s football schedule that year were the schools Nelson applied to for graduate school, and Texas A&M accepted him. He returned to Athens to work in genetics. He met his future wife while working in the field of biology. When their daughter started attending Colham Ferry, Nelson made it a regular practice to volunteer in the classroom. “One afternoon I was sitting on one of the benches on the playground, and one of the teachers asked me if I had ever thought about going into education,” recalled Nelson. “I said no, and she said, ‘Well, you should.’” Principal Martha Brodrick and a teacher counseled Nelson to go back and get a teaching certificate. That was eight years ago. The last seven have been in the second grade at Colham Ferry where it all started.

STATE OF THE SCHOOLS • 2013 - 2014

“Second grade is my home,” he said. “I love the kids. I love the age. I love watching them learn. I love to see the wheels turn.” Nelson said he guessed that the quality that Brodrick and others saw in him to encourage him to enter the profession was patience. “I am honored and I am humbled,” he said of the teacher of the year nomination. “I pinch myself. This cannot be true. Every teacher here is a teacher of the year. We are one big happy family, and they have helped me get here.”

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High Shoals Elementary School Grades K-5 www.oconeeschools.org/hses 401 Hopping Road Bishop, Georgia 30621 Phone: 706-310-1985 Fax: 706-310-1986 Principal: Billy Heaton, right Assistant Principal: Jennifer Adams

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www.oconeeschools.org


High Shoals Elementary School X Year opened: 2009 X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 443 X CCRPI ranking of 164th out of 1,355 elementary schools in Georgia X 95% of students met or exceeded standards on all areas of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) X Over 30% of 5th grade students exceeded standards on the 5th Grade Writing Assessment

Learning math at High Shoals is fun experience “She is always happy, and instead of doing boring stuff for math, she turns it into fun,” said Sarah Jane Eberhart of her fourthgrade math teacher, Kristin Nelson. Nelson began teaching at Oconee County Middle School after graduating from the University of Georgia in 2006 but then took a job at High Shoals Elementary when it first opened three years ago. In college, Nelson was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and a Georgette on The Redcoat Marching Band, but her true passion was always working with children. “The most rewarding part about being a teacher is seeing the excitement and love for learning from my students,” she said. “I love to see the ‘light bulb’ reaction when they learn something new. It’s then that I know I have done my job.” Teaching has been passed down for generations in Nelson’s family. Her mother and grandmother were influential in helping her pursue her dream. One of the most rewarding parts of the job is to see, firsthand, the improvement her children make by the end of the school year. “My focus is on my students’ needs and goals that provide them with the opportunity to take responsibility and ownership of their learning,” she said. “When my students walk out of my classroom on the last day of school, I want to feel confident knowing that I have done the very best I could at preparing them for fifth grade.” STATE OF THE SCHOOLS • 2013 - 2014

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Malcom Bridge Elementary School X Year opened: 1996 X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 500 X Georgia School of Excellence X Title 1 School of Distinction X CCRPI ranking of 190th out of 1,355 elementary schools in Georgia

Malcom Bridge Elementary School Grades K-5 www.oconeeschools.org/mbes 2600 Malcom Bridge Road Bogart, Georgia 30622 Phone: 706-310-1998 Fax: 706-310-1999 Principal: Andrea Roper, left Assistant Principal: Dr. Roy Morris

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Malcom Bridge teacher loves her students Julie McCullers clings to a quote by the late Mister Rogers when describing her decision to become a teacher. “A love of learning comes from learning you are loved,” he once said. McCullers is a third grade teacher, but more importantly, she is an advocate for children. This marks her 11th year in the classroom, the first four years teaching in Rockdale County while the remaining seven have been in Oconee County. She graduated with an early childhood education degree from Piedmont College and went on to obtain her masters in instructional technology, but her appreciation for education took root as a child. “My parents were never teachers in a formal classroom, but they formed the foundation for me to love learning,” she said. “It is this and the numerous examples I had from my own teachers that made teaching an easy career choice for me.” McCullers said she remembers every teacher she had growing up and strives to emulate the best thing about each one. She’ll burst into song like her calculus teacher and will choose the same classic books that were once read to her by her fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Briscoe. She said she’ll even smile a lot, like her science teacher, Mr. Totten. “Of all the teaching milestones I have achieved and of all the achievements I have had a part in for my students, it is the relationships I have established with them that I consider my greatest accomplishment as a teacher,” she said. McCullers also takes great pride in her two children, one of whom announced the Teacher of the Year Award over the school intercom. “Of all the training and courses I have taken and continue to take to help prepare me for my work, perhaps it is motherhood that has boosted my readiness more than anything,” she said. “I now know exactly what each child in my classroom means to their own parents.”

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Oconee County Primary School Grades K-2 www.oconeeschools.org/ocps 2290 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, Georgia 30677 Phone: 706-769-7941 Fax: 706-310-1996 Principal: Julie Patrick, right Assistant Principal: Jennifer Whitaker

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Primary teacher strives to make contribution Bill Nelson is not the only teacher who can say he’s had two careers. Cathy Carver, a fourth grade Title I teacher at Oconee County Primary School, claims the same. Before teaching, she had worked as a technician in several laboratories at the University of Georgia. She then became a special education paraprofessional for two years and taught special education for four years at OCPS. This year, she’s teaching reading to a small group of kindergarten through secondgrade students in collaboration with their homeroom teachers. “I wanted to teach because I wanted to work in a field where I made a socially significant contribution,” Carver said. “I also hoped to learn more about how to help my own children with school.” Her students’ year-end goal is to become confident readers, meaning that they go beyond the text and start reading between the lines. She works with the students to find real life connections to what they are studying. Time spent buried in a book leads to improved writing skills, as well. “I also hope that they understand that some authors write so that we can have fun reading,” Carver said, “and that they are able to read for the sheer pleasure of it.”

Oconee County Primary School X Year opened: 1987 X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 383 X Ranked 16th out of 1,355 elementary schools in Georgia in the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) X Title I Distinguished School X Three teachers awarded Oconee County Chamber of Commerce mini-grants in 2013

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Stay in touch with Oconee Schools

Did You Know? X The College and Career Ready Index (CCRPI) score for OCS at the elementaryschool level is 93.4, compared with the state score of 83.4.

X OCS students posted a composite ACT score of 23.6, compared with the state composite of 20.7 and the national composite of 21.1.

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OCS utilizes a variety of electronic tools to communicate with stakeholders. Access any and all of them to stay current! X OCS Website (www.oconeeschools.org) – The district site features general information, current news, the superintendent’s community update, links to school websites and eBOARD, and much more. X Moodle (http://learning.oconeeschools.org/) – Moodle is a free course management system (CMS) hosted on the OCS network where educators post electronic documents, assessments, multimedia pieces, and activities for their students in a blended-learning model. Moodle is particularly effective in the educational setting because of its security features (login requirements, enrollment keys for individual courses, etc.) and student collaboration components (forums, surveys, polls, activities, etc.). X School Websites – Each school in the district has a dedicated, locally-hosted website where announcements, documents, and contact information are easily accessible for students, parents, and community members. Websites are listed with each school profile. X School Listservs (http://web.oconee.k12. ga.us/mailman/listinfo) – Oconee County Schools and all ten schools in the district have individual listserv accounts that are available for subscription signup. These listserv accounts allow mass messages to be mailed directly to subscribers efficiently. XEdmodo (https://oconeeschools.edmodo.com/) – Edmodo is a free online service geared specifically for the educational setting. The social learning platform has similar user and design fea-

tures found in Facebook. With Edmodo, the teacher can post announcements, create class polls, or receive document submissions from students. X Blogger – Blogger is a free blog (web log) service provided and hosted by Google. Blogger is a user-friendly option for teachers to quickly post classroom notes, current events, and assignments. X Google Sites – Google Sites is another free app for education provided and hosted by Google. Teachers use Google Sites to create multipage websites to upload class newsletters, calendars, important links, and announcements. X Remind101 (http://remind101.com) – Remind101 is a free web service that allows teachers to communicate with students and parents through a text message or email. Educators have used Remind101 in a variety of ways, from sending out reminders for students’ upcoming assignments to alerting players and parents about athletic game changes. X Twitter (twitter.com) – Twitter is a free social media outlet where teachers are able to send out text messages with hyperlink and multimedia options to any student or parent that follows the account. Twitter is particularly popular at the middle and high school levels in Oconee County. X Blackboard Connect – Blackboard Connect, which recently replaced the Teleparent system in Oconee County, is the emergency contact system for the district. Blackboard Connect allows school and district administrators to send mass telephone, email, and text messages to parents.

Community partnerships enhance impact of education throughout the county Oconee County Schools partners with other fine organizations to build a vibrant community where everyone counts and all sectors and systems work together for the good of the community. We are proud of our partnerships! X Oconee Co. Chamber of Commerce: Oconee County Schools works together with the chamber to help provide educational opportunities for our community. X Oconee Co. Sheriff ’s Office and Watkinsville Police Department: Oconee County Schools is grateful for the support of our law enforcement community in maintaining safe campuses and directing traffic at our schools.

X Oconee Co. Parks and Recreation: Oconee County Schools has a unique partnership with OCPRD that maximizes the use of taxpayer-funded facilities for interscholastic and recreational activities. X Oconee Co. Public Library Oconee County Schools donates $20,000 each year to aid in purchasing special items and programs that might not be covered by the library’s annual budget. X Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation: Oconee County Schools donates the use of its facilities to OCAF in an effort to ensure art and cultural activities are provided for our community. www.oconeeschools.org


Winter Registration

- September

30, 2013

- April

- January

27, 2014

• Youth Soccer Leagues • Intramural Soccer Leagues • Recreation Junior Soccer Academy • Recreation Soccer Academy • Oconee Spirit Soccer League • Start Smart Soccer • Start Smart Baseball • Sticks for Kids Golf • Volleyball • All Day Camps • After School and Teen Extreme Programs • Adult Softball League • Senior Stretch • Tennis • Yoga

• Youth Basketball Leagues • Basketball Academy • Mighty Mite Rockers Basketball • Start Smart Basketball • Oconee Spirit Basketball League • Intramural Basketball League • Adult Basketball Leagues • Homeschool P.E. • All Day Camps • After School and Teen Extreme Programs • Senior Stretch • Tennis • Yoga

Summer Registration

Spring Registration

14, 2014

• Summer Sports Camps • Summer Day Camp • Teen Extreme Camp • Start Smart Golf • Start Smart Developmental Program • County Swim Meet • Tennis • Yoga

Fall Registration

- July

14, 2014

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STATE OF THE SCHOOLS • 2013 - 2014

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Oconee County Elementary School Grades 3-5 www.oconeeschools.org/oces P.O. Box 245, 2230 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, Georgia 30677 Phone: 706-769-7791 Fax: 706-769-3541 Principal: Nannette Varela, right Assistant Principal: Ashley Templeton

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Oconee County Elementary School X X X X X

Year opened: 1968 Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 458 Georgia School of Excellence Title I Reward School CCRPI ranking of 147th out of 1,355 elementary schools in Georgia

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Rocky Branch Elementary School Grades K-5 www.oconeeschools.org/rbes 4250 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, Georgia 30677 Phone: 706-769-3235 Fax: 706-310-2000 Principal: Evelyn Wages, left Assistant Principal: Laura Mason

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Sharing books is passion for media specialist Julie Hayes spends most of her time surrounded by books.

STATE OF THE SCHOOLS • 2013 - 2014

outlined the dangers of plagiarism and the And children engrossed in those books. importance of copyright. She works as a media-center specialist at This is Hayes’ fourth year at Rocky Rocky Branch Elementary, where she nurBranch. She began teaching in Barrow tures students’ desire for fantasy. County after attaining her master’s from “I want kids to be enthusiastic readers,” the University of Georgia. She then went on she said. “I would like for them to improve to teach at Malcom Bridge Elementary and as much as they possibly can, but even more Oconee County High School. than that, I want them to enjoy it. If you Despite her hard work, Hayes doesn’t enjoy it, then you will read more and you want to take full credit for her Teacher of will become a better reader.” the Year title. This week, Hayes helped kids pick out “I have wonderful parent volunteers in their favorite titles at the school’s book fair. the media center,” she said. “I could not do She even read to them, giving them a prewhat I do without them.” view of books that would go home to eager eyes. Her job, more than anything, is to get them Rocky Branch Elementary School hooked—to find the magic X Year opened: 2002 book that stands out and X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 620 makes a child a true reader. X Georgia School of Excellence Hayes also instills critical X SSAS Gold Award thinking skills in her students. She recently taught a X CCRPI ranking of 156th out of 1,355 class on being an ethical elementary schools in Georgia user of information, which

21


Malcom Bridge Middle School Grades 6-8 www.oconeeschools.org/mbms 2500 Malcom Bridge Road Bogart, Georgia 30622 Phone: 706-310-1992 Fax: 706-310-1993 Principal: Amy Perry, center Assistant Principals: From left, Susan Smith, Susan Stancil

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Striving for growth, teacher sets an example for students Katie Burnett loves working with kids. She also loves working with technology, so when she was hired five years ago by Malcom Bridge Middle School to teach computers/careers, she couldn’t be more thrilled. “The biggest part of being a leader, is leading by example,” she said. “If I’m expecting the kids to grow, I’m expecting myself to grow.” Burnett helps students find out what subjects they enjoy most that could potentially lead to a career. She’s doesn’t expect them to choose a career path just yet, but she does give them a push in the right direction. “I want to try to fill their tool belt with different tools to help them make an educated decision about their future,” she said of her students.

Malcom Bridge Middle School X X X X

Year opened: 1997 Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 791 SSAS Bronze Award FFA chapter named state winner in chapter achievement in 2013 X CCRPI ranking of 87th out of 592 middle schools in Georgia

Many of her students have taken an interest in health care, engineering and teaching. Burnett herself knew she wanted to be a teacher from an early age. Growing up, she would draw on chalkboards and have her younger sisters write papers so she could grade them. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2002 and was hired that summer at Oconee County High School before teaching at MBMS. To this day, she loves nothing more than to get to know her students and help them grow. Right now, Burnett’s class is raising money to purchase more iPads, a device she uses to teach vocabulary. “By putting [vocabulary words] on an iPad, they are more intrigued and more motivated to learn them.” Burnett said she works with a great team at MCMS and wanted to thank everyone who helped her grow as a teacher. “There have been great leaders and great mentors that have helped develop me into the teacher that I am today,” she said.

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Oconee County Middle School Grades 6-8 www.oconeeschools.org/ocms 1101 Mars Hill Road Watkinsville, Georgia 30677 Phone: 706-769-3575 Fax: 706-310-2001 Principal: Dr. Suzanne Miller, center Assistant Principals: From left, Dallas LeDuff, Dr. Cameron Smith

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Coaching inspired rewarding teaching career When he was just 18, Kevin Manglitz lost his sight after getting hit in the eye playing baseball. The injury actually motivated Manglitz to get more involved with sports. He soon found himself coaching Little League, which led him into a career of education. “I really enjoyed the smiles and inner glow that you would get from the kids,” he said. Manglitz first majored in math at Maryland University during the early 1970s but then switched to elementary education midway through. He taught in Carroll and Athens-Clarke

counties for most of his career before retiring. When asked repeatedly to come teach at Oconee County Middle School, Manglitz decided to step out of retirement and into the classroom. “I was certainly called to teach again,” he said. “It was fate.” Manglitz said most of his students understand what respect means, and that, in and of itself, makes teaching a wonderful job. When he was a child, Manglitz spent a lot of time playing sports with his father. “I still remember never hearing a raised voice when he understood something and

Oconee County Middle School X Year opened: 1992 (building previously housed Oconee County High School) X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 838 X Title I Reward School X 100% of 8th grade students taking the EOCT in physical science exceeded standards X CCRPI ranking of 57th out of 592 middle schools in Georgia

I didn’t,” Manglitz said of his dad helping him with homework. “This is my 37th year of teaching,” he said. “Every year beyond 30 is a thank you to my father. I try to honor him every year.” Manglitz passes down many fatherly virtues to his own students. “I want my students to enjoy learning math, to gain an ability to figure math out on their own and to learn to visualize,” he said. “Math is a language unto itself. It’s a logical language. People who can think logically can solve problems in the real world.” When Manglitz heard he was given the Teacher of the Year title for OCMS, he said tears came to his eyes. Manglitz retired at the end of last year.

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Students can earn high school credits while in middle school

Did You Know? X OCS high school students scored within the top 5 of 180 Georgia school systems for the percentage of students exceeding standards on each of the eight End-ofCourse Tests (EOCT).

X For the 2012-13 school year, OCHS won the Region 8AAA Directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cup for athletics, and placed 5th overall in AAA.

26

The vision of Oconee County Schools is to be a nationally-recognized leader in academic achievement by ensuring all students receive rigorous, balanced education that will enable them to compete in and contribute to a global society. In order to achieve this vision it is important that students at all levels have access to challenging coursework. OCS is a high-performing school system at the state and national levels. However, the district is committed to continuous improvement and increasing student achievement. Therefore, during the 2013-2014 school year, OCS will offer advanced content classes in reading and math to students in fifth

grade. Additionally, OCS will offer middle school students a chance to earn high school credit while enrolled in middle school. Students who are on an accelerated track in math will have the opportunity to take coordinate algebra in the eighth grade for high school credit. Additionally, all students will have the opportunity to earn credit in physical science in the eighth grade. Students who take coordinate algebra and/or physical science will participate in end-of-course tests required by the state board of education. Offering high school courses in middle school is considered one way to provide accelerated and challenging coursework to students. Success in these courses opens doors to more advanced coursework, an accelerated high school curriculum, higher college-going rates, and higher college graduation rates. It provides students with more opportunities to enroll in more Advanced Placement (AP), dual enrollment, and elective courses during their high school years. Additionally, students will be able to take the highest levels of math and science to prepare for college and a highly competitive science and math workforce. Furthermore, math and science success at the middle school level is potentially a key leading indicator for college and job readiness, college enrollment and success, and career earnings. The expectations we set and the opportunities we provide for our students are both critically important. As a community, we must not only believe every one of our children is capable of greatness, but clearly convey to our children that we believe in them and are ready to help them be great. If we do, they can soar to great heights. OCS is committed to providing rigorous coursework and will State Superintendent John Barge dropped in during a hands-on continue to explore additional science experiment earlier this year at Oconee County Middle School. During the 2013-14 school year, middle school students will opportunities to challenge all our be eligible to earn high school credit for areas in science and math. students. www.oconeeschools.org


High school students can 'test out' of certain classes New for the 2013-2014 school year, Georgia students are being given a chance to demonstrate competency in subject areas in a different way than passing a course. This new opportunity applies to courses with End-of-Course Tests (EOCT), including ninth grade literature and composition, American literature and composition, coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, physical science, biology, United States history, and economics/business/free enterprise. This new option allows students to earn course credit and “test out” of taking the course by reaching the performance level of “Exceeds” (grade conversion score of 90 or better) on the EOCT associated with the course. Students will be given only one opportunity per course to test out. The first opportunity to take an EOCT for the purpose of testing out of a course will be offered by Oconee County Schools in March of 2014. Georgia Department of Education (DOE) eligibility requirements mandate that students interested in this option must:

X Not currently be enrolled (and not have previously been enrolled) in the course or a higher-level course at the time the EOCT is attempted; X Have previously earned a grade of B or better in a content-area course that is the same content area of the course for which the student is attempting the EOCT; X Receive a recommendation from the teacher of the most recent course that is the same content area as the EOCT; X Receive parent/guardian permission (if less than 18 years of age). Students who choose to test out of a course by earning a qualifying score on the EOCT will be charged the DOE established fee of $50. However, students who achieve a qualifying score will be reimbursed the $50 per state guidelines. While the opportunity to receive course credit without actually taking a course will appeal to many students, there can be some pitfalls of taking advantage of this option.

For instance, students and parents should be aware that the NCAA does not apply credits earned through the test-out option toward core credits that must be earned to qualify for Division I or II athletic scholarships. In addition, students who test out of a course could be putting themselves at a disadvantage in subsequent higher-level courses. However, the test-out option provides an excellent opportunity for students to forego classes in which they believe they are already competent, and instead take classes that provide greater academic challenge and/or opportunity to more fully develop areas of special interest. Providing additional spaces in a student’s schedule to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses and/or participate in courses leading to a career pathway are distinct advantages. The decision to pursue testing out is one that should be thoughtfully considered by students, parents and teachers. However, the flexibility offered by this alternate method of demonstrating competency may provide exciting options for some students.

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North Oconee High School

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X Year opened: 2004 X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 1100 X Ranked as one of America’s top high schools by Newsweek and The Washington Post X Advanced Placement (AP) Merit; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); and STEM Achievement school X CCRPI ranking of 10th out of 447 high schools in Georgia

Teacher uncovers secrets of U.S. history

Your Hometown Newspaper & Magazine, keeps getting bigger and better with more solutions for serving our customers and friends. Subscribe to The Oconee Enterprise, your community newspaper publishing since 1884, and receive timely news of all Oconee County school activities K-12, local government meetings, business news, social events, deaths and funerals, churches, clubs, police news, and a selection of columnists and opinion articles about the community. You will also receive OCONEE THE MAGAZINE FREE. Want to beat the crowd and be the first to know what’s going on? You’ll also receive our e-edition FREE which you can access ahead of the print edition. To subscribe or add another year to your current subscription use our Hot Summer Rate of $12.90* for a one year subscription. Mail, fax, or email with your name, address and payment. Feel free to share this offer with others in Oconee County. The Oconee Enterprise PO Box 535,Watkinsville, GA 30677 Phone (706) 769-5175 • Fax (706) 769-8532 Email OconeeEnterprise@mindspring.com * Refer to this magazine for your special subscription order rate.

28

Richard Rosch resents the History Channel for its lack of historical content. As an advance placement U.S. history teacher at North Oconee High School, he prefers what’s on his nightstand, usually something nonfiction or historical fiction, like post WWII crime novels. “There’s always areas of history or layers of history that I feel I need to give a full picture of,” Rosch said. “To me that’s the beauty of history. Not only do you have the textbook story, but you have so many other stories that add to that picture.” Like his students, there are certain areas of history Rosch prefers over others. “I really haven’t fallen in love with the colonial period,” he admits, noting that he’s a big Civil War buff. “But I’ve come to appreciate it in its foundation-laying role in American history, and I always like to learn more.” Rosch attended the University of Wisconsin, majoring in history and philosophy, the latter of which was the catalyst for his love of political philosophy. Shortly after college, he attended a volunteer corp in Seattle, Wash., where he would work with homeless families at a shelter and develop a love for helping people. When he moved to Georgia and would look at a plot of land and ponder its history, he decided to put his two passions together. “There’s an excitement and vitality to it that’s different than a lot of jobs,” he said of teaching. Where does Rosch want to see his students at the end of the school year? “I want them to dominate the AP U.S. exam, just like any coach would want the kids to be undefeated and win the state championship,” he said. “I would like to see them confident and knowledgeable about the nuances of American history.” www.oconeeschools.org


North Oconee High School Grades 9-12 www.oconeeschools.org/nohs 1081 Rocky Branch Road Bogart, Georgia 30622 Phone: 706-769-7760 Fax: 706-310-2002 Principal: Dr. Philip Brown, right Assistant Principals: From left, Michael Dowis, Eric Hamilton, Dr. Meredith Blackburn,

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Oconee County High School Grades 9-12 www.oconeeschools.org/ochs 2721 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, Georgia 30677 Phone: 706-769-6655 Fax: 706-310-2003 Principal: Sheila Beckham, second from left Assistant Principals: From left, Dr. Lisa Vaughn, Brian Deitz, Jimmy Herring

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Students experience taste of Germany A collegiate volleyball coach of 13 years, Stefani Legall treats her students as she would her athletes. “I don’t want them to ever quit,” she said. “I want them to get better.” Legall teaches German at Oconee County High School. It’s a language very close to home. She grew up in Germany before accepting a volleyball scholarship from the University of Florida, where she majored in marketing. “I’ve always had a passion for teaching, and coaching and teaching are very related,” she said. “It’s about relating to them. It’s try-

ing to motivate them to do the best they can do.” Her kids wholeheartedly agree. “She’s really hands on and she’ll help you when you need it, even if you don’t ask for it,” said Jordan Brooks. “I really like her style of teaching,” said Ben Schriefer. “She really helps with pronunciation and explains a lot of things simply. When people are struggling, she knows exactly how to help and correct you.” Legall is preparing her students not only for college but also for real world opportunities.

Oconee County High School X Year opened: 1956, following consolidation of Watkinsville and Bogart high schools (OCHS has been on current campus since 1992.) X Projected enrollment for 2013-14: 1052 X Ranked as one of America’s top high schools by Newsweek and The Washington Post X Advanced Placement (AP) Merit; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); and STEM Achievement school X CCRPI ranking of 29th out of 447 high schools in Georgia

STATE OF THE SCHOOLS • 2013 - 2014

“ T h a t’s the part that really excites me—to get them prepared to speak the language for a potential job.” Legall points to such German businesses as MercedesBenz or Solar Sun World, a solar energy company in Madison, Ga. Every other year for three weeks, OCHS even participates in a German exchange program. “The fun part is teaching them about cultural differences,” she said, “from greetings to eating habits to family relationships.”

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2013-2014 Calendar

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+ A Savings “Not only does Oconee State Bank help adults with loans and investments, but [it] also helps teenagers who will soon move to college…to be educated about budgeting and how to invest and manage money wisely.” – Martha Rodriguez, former Junior Board of Directors member

Like all good investments, teaching children to save is one that has an exponential return over time. At Oconee State Bank, we get high marks for our work with children and teenagers on the invaluable lessons of saving, budgeting and investing wisely. Count on us to help your children learn the importance of saving now for a better future.

www.oconeestatebank.com 706.769.6611


OCS State of the Schools FY14