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 Turning Around Lowest Achieving Schools

This work led by the Georgia Department of Education: Office of School Improvement.











All identified Race to the Top, Lowest Achieving Schools in Georgia have selected one of the four intervention models below, as prescribed through Race to the Top:  


1. Turnaround (replace principal and remove 50% of staff)

2. Conversion to charter management organization or education management organization

3.  School closure
4.  Transformation (replace principal and utilize a combination of strategies in the other reform models)
The appropriate model for each school has been selected by the state in collaboration with the LEA based upon the local context and need, including such factors as 1) the level of Needs Improvement status, 2) geographic location, 3) the strength of the local teacher and principal pipeline, 4) the feasibility of enlisting EMOs and CMOs.
Participating LEAs with schools that have been identified as lowest achieving schools are:
  • Utilizing resources made available to the LEA by the state through RT3 in a fashion that aligns with the state's plan to turn around Georgia's lowest achieving schools.
  • Participating in an ongoing state-level intensive diagnostic, the Georgia Assessment of Performance on School Standards (GAPSS) to be performed by a state team of "turnaround experts"
  • Maintaining a high-performing principal at the helm of the low-performing school with autonomy over staffing and budget
  • Implementing the state's common evaluation system for teachers and leaders that will include qualitative, observation-based component and a significant quantitative student achievement-based component
  • Pursuing meaningful partnerships to advance applied learning opportunities
  • Establishing a minimum of 60 minutes per week of common planning time for teachers
  • Increasing learning time for all students and increasing the amount of intervention time for student subgroups that need additional remediation
  • Utilizing as least one full-time graduation coach and one full-time math coach per school. 

Schools for Turnaround

At the beginning of Georgia’s Race to the Top program, there were 40 schools selected as “lowest achieving schools” (LAS).  These schools were chosen to receive an intense intervention model and implementation of a school improvement plan.  After three years, the list of schools is down to thirty.  Schools are listed by under their district with the chosen “Intervention Model” and “Feeder School” (if applicable).
Atlanta Public Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Crim High School Transformation N/A
Douglass High School Transformation Harper Archer Middle
Therrell School of Law Transformation Bunche Middle
Harper-Archer Middle Transformation Towns Elementary
Therrell School of Health & Science Transformation Bunche Middle
Bibb County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Central High School Transformation Miller Middle
Northeast High School Transformation Appling Middle
Southwest High School Transformation Bloomfield Middle
William S. Hutchings Career Center Transformation N/A
DeKalb County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Clarkston High School Transformation Freedom Middle
Freedom Middle School Transformation Allgood Elementary
McNair Middle School Transformation Clifton Elementary
McNair High School Transformation McNair Middle
Towers High School Transformation Bethune Middle
Dougherty County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Albany High School Transformation Robert Cross Middle
Meriwether County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Greenville High School Transformation Greenville Middle
Greenville Middle School Transformation Unity Elementary
Muscogee County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Baker Middle School Transformation MLK Elementary
Eddy Middle School Transformation S. Columbus Elementary
Jordan Vocational High School Transformation Arnold Middle
Spencer High School Transformation Eddy Middle
Peach County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Peach County High School Transformation Fort Valley Middle
Richmond County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Butler High School Transformation Morgan Road Middle
Josey High School Transformation Murphey Middle Charter
Murphey Middle Charter Transformation Wheeless Road Elementary
Glenn Hills High School Transformation Glenn Hills Middle
Laney High School Turnaround W.S. Hornsby K-8 School
Savannah – Chatham County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Groves High School Turnaround Mercer Middle
Beach High School Turnaround DeRenne Middle
Spalding County Schools
School Intervention Model Feeder School
Cowan Road Middle School Transformation Cowan Road Elementary

Partnering Organizations for School Turnaround

Communities in Schools (CIS) opened and operate new Performance Learning Centers (PLC) in Floyd County School System and Richmond County School System this past school year 2011-2012.  They will work with Carrollton City School System to open a PLC starting in the school year 2012 – 2013. The PLC model builds on decades of Communities In Schools experience. The model addresses the needs of students who have the potential to thrive in a supportive learning environment but are in danger of dropping out because they are unmotivated by traditional instructional methods or facing social barriers to success. PLCs incorporate individualized instruction, a computer-based curriculum, a business-like learning environment, internships, post-graduation preparation, and connections to colleges and careers.  The self-paced curriculum and low teacher-student ratio (1 to 15) helps ensure individual student success and increased opportunities for dual enrollment with colleges, vocational internships, and service learning.  Each PLC has a support staff position called a CIS site coordinator (or Site Coordinator) who works with loacl colleges and businesses to create such opportunities, and to secure mentors and tutors from the community for students when appropriate.  The PLC represents a true partnership between the local education agency (LEA), the local CIS program, and CIS of Georgia.  


Communities in Schools – Georgia: Scope of Work


The New Teacher Project (TNTP), a national non-profit organization, will help the State of Georgia strengthen the effectiveness of new teacher hires and ensure the highest-need subject areas and schools in four rural areas are staffed with excellent teachers. Through its Georgia Teaching Fellows (GTF) program, TNTP is recruiting, selecting, training and certify recent college graduates and mid-career professionals over a five year period (assumes a no cost extension) to teach full-time in high-need schools in Georgia. Georgia Teaching Fellows will fill positions in teacher shortage subject areas; work to raise student achievement; and will incorporate service learning into their curriculum. Over five years, Georgia Teaching Fellows members will have a direct impact on approximately 47,000 high-need students in Georgia.

The New Teacher Project (TNTP): Scope of Work


Teach For America – Metro Atlanta is currently partnering with the Georgia Department of Education to increase the pipeline of effective teachers and principals to help turn around Metro Atlanta’s lowest achieving schools as outlined in GA’s Race To The Top application. Race to The Top funds will enable TFA to accelerate efforts to recruit, select, train, and provide ongoing support to the nation’s most promising future leaders. Teach For America- Metro Atlanta has corps-members placed in Atlanta Public Schools, Clayton County Schools, DeKalb County Schools, and Gwinnett County Schools.

Metro Atlanta/Teach for America