January 24, 2014
The Thomaston-Upson School System is starting the new year with some good news. For the third time, Upson-Lee Middle School has been re-designated a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch. School Superintendent Dr. Maggie Shook made the announcement at the first Board of Education meeting of the new year on January 14.
According to the Georgia Middle School Association website, Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch is a state-level partnership that seeks to identify high-performing middle grades schools. Georgia is one of 18 states that have qualified to be part of this prestigious National Forum Schools to Watch® program.
Each year the Schools to Watch program identifies schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable, and have sound organizational supports and processes that enable school success. The 19 sites selected in Georgia represent a wide range of student demographics, physical plants, size, and programs. All are characterized by their successful implementation of Georgia Performance Standards and the Common Core, their ongoing quest for school improvement, their organizational structures, and their dependence on locally disaggregated data as the impetus to drive instruction and practice.
Once identified as a School to Watch, each school must apply for re-designation every three years in order to remain in the program. ULMS has won the honor four times over the last 12 years – the original designation and three re-designations.
This is the second award for Upson-Lee Middle School this school year. In November, ULMS was
recognized by the Georgia Department of Education as a Reward. Upson-Lee Middle School made the list due to “High Progress.” A High-Progress school is one of the top 10 percent of Title I schools in the State that is making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on the statewide assessments
Dr. Shook also informed the board that she has received a letter from the Division of Special Education at the Department of Education informing her that the school system has met all criteria for being in compliance with its transition plan for students with disabilities.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter at LarryStanford7.