The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s 2011 Bus Tour stopped Wednesday at Langston Chapel Elementary School.
The Bulloch County school was one of eight Georgia schools and seven school systems selected to be visited as part of the annual tour that started Tuesday and ends today. Two buses brought more than 70 business and civic leaders, educators and college students who plan to be future educators from across the state to Langston Chapel for a two-hour visit.
“We were selected due to our strong partnership with Georgia Southern University’s College of Education and our high student achievement,” said Karen Doty, principal at Langston Chapel. “We showcased our faculty’s effectiveness and how they use Measures of Academic Progress testing, our partnership with GSU and instructional technology tools to evaluate our students’ individual needs, reach them where they are, and achieve success.”
Wednesday’s tour focused on how Langston Chapel prepares students for the challenges presented by the new global economy, and how they request and receive help from the community.
“This is something that (Langston Chapel) is very good at,” said Dr. Stephen Dolinger, who is president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. “It is apparent the school takes great pride in the rigor, relationships and relevance it provides to each of its students every day.”
This is the fourth recent honor for Langston Chapel. In 2010, the school was one of five schools nationwide to receive the National Youth at Risk Conference’s High Flying Schools Award due to their ability to achieve academic success and develop community collaboration.
The school was also recently awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program Grant for $350,000 through the Bulloch County Commission on Human Services. The grant will be used to fund an after-school program for 80 Kindergarten through second grade students. The students were identified as the most at-risk and are not currently being served by other intervention programs.
Also, Langston Chapel’s fifth graders not only met the school system’s goal of having at least 90 percent of all elementary school fifth graders fluent in their math facts, Langston students achieved the highest fluency in the county with 99 percent.
Langston Chapel achieved its goals and honors despite having more than 50 percent of the school’s students living at or below poverty level. Also, the school has the district’s highest international population and thus the highest number of students whose native language is not English.
Langston Chapel is one of eight schools on the tour, which was founded in 1993.
Dr. Dolinger said that during the 19-year history of the trip innumerable ideas have found their way across the state as participants adopt or adapt programs they witness.
“We call this a hands-on tour,” he added. “We encourage our participants to engage teachers, administrators, students, parents, and other local attendees. We tell them to ask questions and get involved in the classroom activities and even get on the floor with the younger children.”
More information is available on the Georgia Partnership web site at www.gpee.org.