Editor’s Note: Sandy Springs Together periodically publishes letters or comments from community members who raise a concern we feel should be considered by the broader community.
By Melody Kelley, PhD
Sandy Springs Charter Middle School, (SSCMS), located on the northern end of Sandy Springs, has a lot to be proud of this year.
After accomplishing significant increases in Georgia Milestones Assessment scores, this school was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Fulton County School System for Outstanding Academic Achievement.
- 8th grade Science
- 8th grade Social Studies
- 7th grade Math and Physical Science
- 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English Language Arts
The Georgia Milestones Assessment is administered statewide in the spring of each year, from 3rd grade through high school. The school’s overall performance is higher than 71% of schools in Georgia, and has been designated as “beating the odds”, meaning that it performs better than similar schools.
The test showed gains in the number of students who scored as proficient and distinguished in the areas of:
Most importantly, the Georgia Milestones Assessment is a vital part of the Georgia Department of Education’s accountability system — the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). On the CCRPI, Sandy Springs Middle School has increased its score by 15 points over the past 3 years.
These accomplishments come at a time when it is important to begin changing the narrative surrounding public schools in Sandy Springs. The fact is, our public schools are good.
Many of the students at SSCMS live in apartments — the same apartments being targeted for redevelopment, according to the North End Redevelopment Task Force Plan approved for review by the city council in January 2019. The test results show that these students are bright and successful in their academics.
Many of these students’ families work in our businesses, have lived in our city for at least a decade, are involved in community activities and add to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our city.
Do we want to deplete our future workforce by ignoring the reality that these students offer an educated and committed segment of our community and are being priced out of the city?
Here at Sandy Springs Together, we are working to find a way to keep them here, so that we all benefit.