SECTION X EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Author: Dr. Will Harden, et al 10/12/2004

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1 SECTION X EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Author: Dr. Will Harden, et al 10/12/2004 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Residents of Camden County and KBNSB are fortunate to enjoy quality educational opportunities. Public schools and colleges alike share many distinctions for student achievement. Public Schools provide learning opportunities and challenges to students in grades Pre- K through 12. The school system is comprised of 9 elementary schools; 3 of which have received recognition as schools of excellence and 1 distinguished by the President s National Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence. Instruction is also provided in 2 middle schools serving grades 6 through 8 and 1 high school serving grades The instructional facilities provided to Camden County students, the majority of which have been built in the last ten years are surpassed by few systems. Students number approximately 9,500 in Camden County schools. Performance on criterion referenced tests confirms the community s commitment to educational excellence. Camden students exceed the state s scoring average at every grade level in every school in both reading and math. This unique accomplishment has been repeated for the last three years. High school students seeking a college preparatory diploma achieved an average SAT composite score of 996 compared to the state average score of 991. High school students take advantage of course offerings including 4 year sequential programs in Mathematics, English and Foreign Language to prepare for career and post-secondary vocational and academic pursuits. Honors, gifted and advanced placement classes are offered in all core areas. Twenty-six high school faculty members will attain endorsement to provide gifted and advanced instruction by the end of the 2004 school term. Sixty percent of Camden County s 2003 graduates met academic requirements to attain Hope scholarships in 2003, thereby guaranteeing free tuition and books. Camden County s drop-out rate is a respectable 6.3% in grades 9-12 but continues to be an area receiving intense focus by instructional leaders Instructional staff are employed in sufficient in numbers to surpass state requirements for maximum class size at every grade level. The student to instructional staff ratio is 17:1 contributing to much of the success enjoyed by students. Fifty-two percent of the 565 instructional staff hold advanced degrees in their chosen field with average experience of 13 years. The 49 instructional leaders all hold advanced degrees and have an average experience of 22 years. The following discussion of educational opportunities in Camden County will cover these topics: K-12 Educational Programs X-1

2 Public Schools Student Performance High Schools Instructional staff Pre-kindergarten Extended Daycare Special Programs of Instruction and Other Opportunities Georgia s HOPE Scholarship Program Articulated Instruction Advanced Placement and Post Secondary Options Industry Certification Tech Prep Post Secondary Education Coastal Georgia Community College Navy College K-12 Educational Programs Public Schools provide learning opportunities and challenges to students in grades Pre- K through 12. Camden County School System is comprised of nine elementary schools; three of which received recognition as schools of excellence and one distinguished by the President s National Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence. Camden Schools also include two middle schools serving grades 6 through 8 and a high school serving grades The instructional facilities provided to Camden County students, are surpassed by few systems (Appendix B). The total student capacity for the system is 11,474 students. With the current enrollment of students, the school system is at 84% of capacity. This surplus of space has been brought about by the loss of several submarines from KBNSB and the loss of industry in the community. Enrollment in Camden County Schools increased from 2,840 in 1978 to 9,666 in 2002 (240%) Camden County Schools created the educational infrastructure to support children of active duty sailors and a civilian workforce supporting 10 Trident submarines. The educational infrastructure and programs are provided to children without benefit of property tax revenue from contractors operating on base. Operating within the boundaries of KBNSB exempts corporations from property tax. Citizens in Camden County passed a referendum in 1997 to impose a sales tax for education to accommodate increased enrollment from federally connected children enabling the construction of three new schools and the renovation and enancement to all others. Capital projects and debt to support federally connected student s families and the civillian population totalled $30,651,298. The entire debt has been retired. Students and families in Camden County enjoy the many benefits of seeing every educational dollar used to support quality instruction rather than debt. The Georgia Public Education Report Card contains a wealth of information about Camden County Schools and provides evidence of the academic achievement of X-2

3 students the demographic makeup of the student body, the diversity of faculty and staff and a summary of fiscal activities. Student Performance on criterion referenced tests confirms the school system s commitment to educational excellence. During the school year Camden students exceeded the state s scoring average at every grade level in every school in both reading and math. Further, this unique accomplishment has been repeated for the last three years. High school students seeking a college preparatory diploma achieved an average SAT composite score of 996 compared to the state average score of 991. High School students take advantage of course offerings including 4 year sequential programs in Mathematics, English and Foreign Language to prepare for career, postsecondary, vocational and academic pursuits. Honors, gifted and advanced placement classes are offered in all core areas. Twenty-six high school faculty members attained endorsement to provide gifted and advanced placement instruction by the end of the 2004 school term. Sixty percent of Camden County s 2003 graduates met academic requirements to attain Hope scholarships in 2003, thereby guaranteeing free tuition and books at the college of their choice in the University system of Georgia. Camden County s drop-out rate, although currently at a very respectable 6.3% in grades 9-12, continues to be an area receiving intense focus by instructional leaders at the high school level. Camden County High School Campus Figure 1 Instructional Staff are employed in sufficient numbers to surpass state requirements for maximum class size at every grade level. The student to instructional staff ratio is 17:1 contributing to a great deal of the success enjoyed by Camden County students. Fiftytwo percent of the 565 instructional staff holds advanced degrees in their chosen field X-3

4 with average experience of 13 years. The 49 instructional leaders in Camden County Schools all hold advanced degrees and have an average of 22 years experience. Prekindergarten programs are available in Camden County to provide four-year-old children with high-quality preschool experiences. This unique program, funded by the local school system and the Georgia Lottery for Education, serves 200 students each school year. The school readiness goals of the prekindergarten program are to provide a developmentally appropriate preschool program emphasizing growth in language and literacy, math concepts, science, arts, physical development, and personal and social competence. Prekindergarten classrooms provide four year olds with the learning experiences they need to prepare for kindergarten. All children four years of age on September 1 of the current school year, whose parents are Camden County residents, are eligible to attend the prekindergarten program during the school year. Extended Day Care services beyond the instructional day (after-school care) are also provided in every Camden County elementary school to ensure parents have access to affordable, professionally staffed daycare after the normal school day is concluded. This service is provided in response to parent s irregular work schedules and time constraints of double income families. Special Programs and Courses of Instruction Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program funded by the Georgia lottery for education helps provide a public, private or technical college education to Camden County residents. The HOPE scholarship program provides students interested in attending a Georgia Public College or University with tuition, mandatory fees and a book allowance. Students who reside in Georgia, graduate from high school with a "B" average and continue to maintain a "B" average in college are eligible. Georgia's HOPE Scholarship also provides eligible students wishing to attend a Georgia Private College or University a $3,000 per academic school year scholarship and a Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant. Students wishing to attend a Georgia Public Technical College are provided tuition, mandatory fees and a book allowance. Georgia students enrolled in diploma and certificate programs are eligible regardless of their high school graduation date or grade average. A student enrolled in a degree program must be a Georgia resident, a 1993 or later high school graduate and have completed high school with a "B" average. Students must maintain a "B" average in a degree program. Articulated Instruction is the result of an agreement between Camden High and Coastal Georgia Community College (CGCC) over 20 career technical courses can be articulated for technical college credit. Articulation refers to the granting of technical college credit for courses offered at Camden County High School Students acquire articulated credit by earning an 85 or higher for the high school course. State-wide agreements make it possible for students to carry articulated credit to any one of the 34 Georgia Technical Colleges X-4

5 administered by the Department of Technical and Adult Education. Coastal Georgia Community College is one of only four colleges across the state serving as both a technical college and University System of Georgia institution. The CGCC satellite campus is located on property contiguous with the high school campus and convenient for even more collaborative endeavors to serve the community. Advanced Placement and Post Secondary Options programs enable students in Camden County to receive college credit while enrolled in high school. Advanced placement classes taught during the regular school day are offered in US History, Senior English, and Calculus. In 2002, 98 students took 134 AP exams with 47.8% earning a score of 3 or higher on nationally standardized AP instruments. Approximately 5% of Camden County seniors participate in Post Secondary Option (PSO) enrollment with the local community college. Through PSO, students enroll in college courses on the college campus after school hours and receive credit while still attaining a high school diploma. Both programs allow students to attain credit during their senior year and provide opportunities to begin college with several hours of credit already behind them. Industry Certification enables many Camden County High School students to gain national certification in a number of vocational and technical areas upon graduation. One example is Camden High s Health Occupation s track which qualifies and awards Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) certification to students who complete and meet state board criteria. In addition to the CNA program the high school s construction program is certified by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). Students completing the program and meeting specific criteria are issued an NCCER card verifying their certification through the University of Florida. Efforts are underway to attain Federal funding to implement industry certification for the few remaining high school vocational programs not already certified. Tech Prep, offered in Camden County Schools is a four-year planned sequence of study for a technical/career field, normally beginning during the eleventh grade in high school. The sequence extends through two years of postsecondary occupational education or apprenticeship culminating in a certificate, associate degree or baccalaureate degree. Many of Georgia's Technical Schools have recently converted to Technical Colleges. Coastal Georgia Community College offers both technical and prebaccalaureate (transfer) programs of study. A multitude of choices are available to students in Camden County schools through Tech Prep. The program combines, a minimum of 2 years of secondary education (as determined by state law) with a minimum of 2 years of postsecondary education in a sequential course of study. Tech Prep integrates academic, vocational, and technical instruction and utilizes Work based learning where appropriate, to lead to an associate or baccalaureate degree or a postsecondary certificate in a specific career field. Students completing the Tech Prep program receive technical preparation in a career field such as engineering technology, applied science, a mechanical, industrial, or practical art, agriculture, healthcare, business or applied economics. X-5

6 Post Secondary Programs Residents of Camden County are fortunate to have access to a number of institutions of higher learning on board KBNSB and on college campuses within the county and in close proximity. Coastal Georgia Community College, illustrated in Figure 2, a comprehensive community college with a permanent campus in Camden County, is one of 15 two-year colleges and 19 senior colleges and universities comprising the University System of Georgia and one of four University System of Georgia institutions with a technical division. The college fulfills the goal of these two systems to increase the availability of higher education to citizens in Camden and surrounding counties by offering both university level programs and vocational technical programs. Coastal Georgia Community College offers the Associate of Arts degree or the Associate of Science degree to students successfully completing requirements of a prebaccalaureate or college transfer program. A second major program is the career program intended for students who wish to earn associate degrees or certificates in a technical field and then enter an occupation or profession. Two kinds of career degree programs are offered: Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degrees, and certificate programs in a wide variety of technical fields. For a full-time student the associate degree is approximately four semesters in length while the certificate program is approximately two semesters in length. Through a consortium of Georgia Southern University and Armstrong Atlantic State University, courses leading to a baccalaureate degree and a master degree in certain programs are offered on the Coastal Georgia Community College campus. This consortium is known as the Brunswick Center. X-6

7 Coastal Georgia Community College Figure 2 The college serves the community with campuses in Kingsland and nearby Brunswick. The Camden Center, occupying a facility completed in 2004, is a full off-campus college center. The new center will allow enrollees from the community to attain baccalaureate and master degrees from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Georgia Southern University and Coastal Georgia community College. These schools are collaborating to bring four master level programs to the Camden Center. Coastal Georgia Community College offers courses on board Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base to afford military personnel and their family s easy access. The college offers the Adult Literacy Program which serves Glynn, McIntosh, and Camden counties. Coastal Georgia Community College supports seamless educational opportunities by collaborating with the public school systems in its support of Tech Prep and Post Secondary Options programs in Camden County Schools. Two Camden students graduated in 2003 with a high school diploma and an Associate Degree from Coastal Georgia Community College in the same week as a result of enrollment in Post Secondary Options. The PSO program allows advanced high school students to earn college credits while enrolled in high school. Credits are held in escrow until the student completes high school and then applied toward a college degree at Coastal Georgia Community College or transferred to another college. In 2003 approximately 100 Camden County High School students graduated in the Tech Prep and Youth Apprenticeship programs Seventy of these students enrolled at Coastal Georgia Community College with credit as a result of X-7

8 their enrollment in the Tech Prep initiative at the high school. The strong partnership with the public schools has also been incorporated into the University System policy with the creation of the P-16 Initiative connecting all levels of education from pre-kindergarten through the baccalaureate degree. The college plays a role in improving student achievement at all levels of education assuring a smooth transition as students move from one educational sector to another. The college will continue to serve the needs of Camden County and KBNSB through quality instruction and flexible schedules which afford anyone interested with opportunities to further their education. With the opening of the new facility for the Camden Center, the college has proven its commitment to bring even more educational opportunities to Camden County to supplement programs already in existence. Navy College on board KBNSB provides opportunities through collaboration with area institutions of higher learning. There are two degree granting institutions on board KBNSB at the Navy College, Approximately 800 students are pursuing degrees at Valdosta State University (VSU) and Brenau University each 5 8-week term. Approximately 50 % of the Navy College enrollments are active duty, military dependents and DOD personnel. The other 50% of are from the community. Approximately 25 active duty personnel are enrolled at any time at nearby Florida Community College at Jacksonville (FCCJ) and/or Jacksonville University (JU) X-8

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