FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Against All Odds, Henry County Elementary School Experiences an Incredible Transformation
Henry County non-profit brings education initiative to school district.
September 5, 2017 McDonough, GA – The Henry Council for Quality Leadership Education, Inc. (HCQLE) announces great academic performance progress along with an unheard of drop in discipline occurrences at Cotton Indian Elementary School (CIE) located in Stockbridge, GA.
November 2014, the HCQLE partnered with the Henry County Board of Education to pilot the very popular Franklin Covey’s “The Leader in Me” (TLIM) initiative at Cotton Indian Elementary School. Franklin Covey’s “7 Habits for Highly Effective People” principles were taught to 100 educators and staff members June 2015 and to all students K-5 beginning in February 2016 when TLIM launched. 700 children began learning these timeless 7 principles which will prepare them to be successful citizens in the 21st century. Identified as the district’s lowest performing school in the Henry County District for multiple years, CIE in just a short time frame reversed its failing trend as noted on Georgia’s Milestones Assessment System scores which are available on the state’s Department of Education website. Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state-adopted content standards in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science and social studies.
Cotton Indian’s 3rd grade ELA Developing and Above scores improved from 26th out of 27 elementary schools in 2016 to 10th in 2017. In the ELA Proficient and Above ratings, 3rd grade climbed from a low 23rd to 5th highest in the county. Math Developing and Above improved from 23rd to 5th for the 2016-2027 school year. Proficient and Above ratings for 3rd grade jumped from 22nd to 5th as well. Great progress was also made within the school’s 4th grade class. While no improvement was made in 5th grade scores, School Principal, Lisa Travis, believes progress will be evident in next year’s Georgia Milestone’s scores. “While in just their 3rd year at CIE, Travis and Assistant Principal Kayla Holmes, along with an extremely committed and willing staff has accomplished what very few schools do”, stated Steve Cash, the Executive Director of the HCQLE. Cash described this transformation as a victory for Henry County as he hopes the Henry County School Board adopts “The Leader in Me” in other schools across the county. For the 2014 – 2015 school year, 48% of all Henry County Elementary Schools scored D or F on their annual CCRPI tests. 2015 -2016 scores dropped to 63% severely underperforming elementary schools. Travis, at her recent State of the School address remarked, “I give the credit for our successes to our teachers for their dedication and hard work. They embrace and model the 7 habits daily with our students and our students are seeing the greatness in themselves as leaders”.
Ms. Holmes shared, “creating a positive school culture and climate in which teaching and learning can take place requires a partnership between parents, teachers and the school community”. For the first full month of this school year, CIE only had 8 reported behavioral occurrences compared to 63 occurrences the first full month in 2016”. She further remarked, “this type of improvement is so exciting, we are seeing the 7 habits infused in every aspect of our school community”.
The HCQLE was created to facilitate the process of unlocking the leadership potential of every student in the Henry County community by equipping them with the necessary skills to become successful 21st contributing citizens. HCQLE Board Chairman Clate Wall stated recently, “TLIM model recognizes the world has changed and students need to be equipped with a broad based skillset that not only includes core academic subjects, but critical competences such as communication, initiative, problem solving, goal setting, collaboration, self-management along with accountability and respect toward others.
The HCQLE is a pro-business non-profit organization strongly aware that good schools promote good business and residential growth resulting in healthy economic advancement. The organization raised just under $100,000 needed to pay for and implement TLIM at CIE. Future schools added to the initiative may be qualified to receive grants that would pay the bulk of the cost for the TLIM learning experience. There were no Henry County Board of Education public funds utilized for TLIM initiative. Most contributions were made by small foundations, local businesses, and passionate individuals. The City of Stockbridge was very quick to see the significance of such a process in their community and also provided resources.
To receive information on how your local school can implement “The Leader in Me” and obtain a copy of all Henry County Elementary School’s scores, contact Steve Cash. If you would like to see TLIM adopted at your child’s school, contact the school’s principal and your local school board representative at www.henry.k12.ga.us. Also, check out www.theleaderinme.org for complete information.
Georgia Department of Education www.gadoe.org
Steve Cash – Executive Director
Henry Council for Quality Leadership Education, Inc.