Heard County Schools Continues Excellence in Academics
The 2020-2021 school year was tough on school systems across the nation, as schools were forced to deal with quarantines, social distancing, and virtual education. Heard County Schools were not immune from these issues, and it would have been easy for everyone in the system to lower academic expectations due to the pandemic. This did not happen in Heard County, and the proof is in the test scores recently released by the Georgia Department of Education. “Our teachers and administrators really stepped up during the past school year,” said Heard County School System Associate Superintendent Mike Roberts.”They simply refused to let our students sacrifice a year of learning, which would surely hurt our students down the road.”
With the continued and increasing success of Heard County athletic programs and the more recent push for advancing the fine arts with the construction of a new fine arts facility and other recent investments in music and art, some might question whether the push for academic excellence in the system remained the primary focus. “While we are surely proud of our success in athletics and the arts, the academic success of our students is still our top priority,” stated Heard County School Superintendent Rodney Kay. “From PreK through their senior year, we have a laser-like focus on making sure Heard County students are ready for a successful future after graduation.”
The Heard County School System’s academic priorities were validated as the system once again finished among the top systems in the state of Georgia in academic achievement. At Heard County High School, students scored proficient or higher at a rate that was almost twenty points higher than the state average in American Literature and Biology, while Heard County students scored twenty-four points higher in United States History. In all three of these subjects, Heard County students outperformed all the school systems in the West Georgia RESA district. Additionally, Heard County High School students scored thirteen points higher in Algebra than state average, and finished second in the West Georgia RESA area.
Heard County Middle School also achieved positive academic results in virtually all measured categories. In both sixth grade language arts and sixth grade math, Heard County students finished significantly above state average and first in the RESA district. Heard County Middle School seventh grade students also outperformed state average in language arts and mathematics, finishing second in language arts and first in math in the West Georgia area. Finally, eighth graders in Heard County scored above state average in language arts, math, and science.
The students from Centralhatchee Elementary, Ephesus Elementary, and Heard County Elementary outperformed state average in all tested subjects. In math, elementary students from Heard County outperformed the state of Georgia by thirteen points on both third and fifth grade math Milestone exams, while finishing more than twenty points higher than on fourth grade math Milestone exams. Heard County finished first in the West Georgia RESA district on all three of these Milestone math exams. Elementary students from Heard County also led the RESA district in fifth grade science, where Heard County students outperformed the state average by more than twenty points. Additionally, fourth and fifth graders in Heard County scored higher than the state of Georgia on fourth and fifth grade language arts Milestones, while third graders finished on top in the West Georgia RESA district and seventeen points higher than state average.
Overall, Heard County Schools finished atop the West Georgia RESA district in eleven out of the nineteen Milestone exams and second in five others. Moreover, Heard County students finished in the top twenty out of 181 districts in Georgia on nine Milestone exams. These Milestone tests include Algebra (#5), United States History (#6), American Literature (#12), Biology (#15), Sixth Grade Math (#4), Seventh Grade Math (#19), Third Grade Math (#10), Fourth Grade Math (#15), and Fifth Grade Science (#10).