Some interesting and innovating things are going on in a school district in Georgia! Putnam County is one of 11 charter school systems in the state. Located in Middle Georgia, between historic Madison and Milledgeville, and east of metro Atlanta, Putnam serves just under 3000 students, and offers a curriculum that motivates their students to excel in all areas. Last year, Putnam was the recipient of the Charter School System Innovation Award.
Superintendent, Eric Arena, has stressed the importance of true standards mastery and with his team have implemented a promotion policy that focused on mastering the standards aligned to the content and grade level the students were enrolled in for all K-8 students.
In 2012, the school system added mastery of standards to the promotion policy in kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2014, Putnam County migrated to SchoolCity as their formative assessment program. With the migration, along with the increased rigor as part of the promotion policy, the system began examining both the rigor and application of formative assessments as part of the mastery of state standards. With the discovery of the gap between class grades and mastery of standards, SchoolCity assessments have provided Putnam County teachers real time mastery of standards data to impact classroom instruction. With the co-operation between their student information system data warehouse and SchoolCity, a matrix has been created that provides all of the promotion criteria in one place to offer teachers a one stop shop for student performance and at risk identification.
As Putnam continues to move forward, to identify student needs that can impact both classroom and individual instruction, it is imperative that the assessments are valid and rigorous. As part of this process, Putnam County is building a relationship with the University of Georgia to provide feedback on the validity of questions and assessments, in order to help predict better success on state summative assessments. SchoolCity is partnering with the district on this collaboration with UGA's research to support their focus on standards mastery, rigor and overall student achievement.