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Charter school wins state award
Students make improvements in 2010-2011 test scores
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    Success in its classrooms has led to statewide recognition for one Statesboro school.
    The high school at Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology was named last month a 2010-2011 Single Statewide Accountability System award winner for major gains made by students in end-of-year standardized test scores.
    Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Student Achievement named the school one of 20 high school award-earners whose students placed in the 95th percentile for achievement gains and had at least 20 percent of students exceed standards in all areas measured by state tests.
    Charter Conservatory earned the Office’s Bronze Award — Gold, Silver and Platinum are also awarded — as a result of significant improvement in test scores by its senior and junior students over the previous year, according to Corliss Reese, Federal Programs Coordinator for the school.
    “We have more students now exceeding the standards set by the state, instead of just falling in the meets category,” Reese said. “We are very glad to get (the award) recognizing that. It was nice to know the hard work was noticed.”
    According to Reese, the honor was well-deserved by the charter’s students, who committed this year to making positive strides.
    “We weren’t really surprised, because the kids have been doing a whole lot of work to get better in these subject areas,” he said. “And we have implemented new plans over the past couple of years helping them do that. The students are very proud of (the award).”
    The Statesboro school was the only charter in the region recognized by the Governor’s Office for it’s test gains.
    The Bronze Award is the first of its kind earned by Charter Conservatory, who has received various other honors, including being named the Georgia Charter School Association’s School of the Year once since opening its doors in 2002, Reese said.
    “I am very proud of the school,” said Paul Jones, head of the Charter Conservatory Governing Board. “(The award) kind of proves our focus as a charter:  and that is the success of our students.”
    “A student learns by doing, by seeing and by hearing,” he said. “At the charter, our students have the opportunity to learn how they learn best. Over 10 years, about 92 percent of students have graduated.”
    The school, which teaches sixth to 12th grades, is publicly funded and enrolls no more than 25 students per grade level.
    Charter Conservatory “serves all ability groups and works with a constructivist model for instruction — that is hands-on and project-based,” Reese said.
    Currently, approximately 135 students attend the school.
    Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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