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Curriculum Changes Lead to Gains

Once labeled as a school in need of improvement, Hannan Elementary School now is one of Georgia's Schools of Excellence. Staff increased time on reading instruction, and wove reading and math lessons into other subjects to help students improve skills. Included: Tips for improving student math, reading scores.

Four years ago, Hannan Elementary School was placed on Georgia's Needs Improvement list for substandard public schools, according to an article in the Ledger-Enquirer. Then Ann Robison became Hannan's principal. Hannan now is among this year's 20 Georgia Schools of Excellence, the story said.

This is the third year guidelines following the federal No Child Left Behind Act have been used to determine the winners in two categories for each of the state's Congressional districts, the article said.

" 'There are many elements that go into a School of Excellence,' Robin Pennock, the Muscogee County School District's deputy superintendent, said in the story, 'but the leadership of the school and the teachers certainly are two of them.'"

From 2002 to 2005, Hannan significantly improved its results on Georgia's standardized test, the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, the article noted. Among those results: Fourth-graders meeting or exceeding reading standards improved from 71 percent to 88 percent and fourth-graders meeting or exceeding math standards improved from 60 percent to 84 percent.

Among some of the changes at Hannan that may have helped the turnaround are increasing reading instruction from 1.5 hours per day to two hours per day; incorporating math instruction with science, and reading instruction with social studiesand using Title I money more effectively. Because the school serves students from predominantly low-income families, Hannan receives federal funds (about $310,000 this year) for extra resources, the author of the story noted.


Some of the information in this article comes from the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about this article, you might read:

  • Steps toward 'Excellence'
    This news article appeared in the Ledger-Enquirer. on March 11, 2006. Note: This link was live at the time of publication. Some newspaper Web sites require registration. Others retain complete news stories for a limited time.

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