Cherokee High School has been removed from a Georgia Department of Education support program for assisting English Learners and praised for its improvement efforts.
The school in November was added to the State’s Targeted Support and Improvement list to help its students who speak English as a second language make greater progress on the State’s Milestones standardized tests.
Upon further review, State education leaders this month determined the school did not require its support and invited Cherokee HS Principal Todd Miller to share his school’s best practices at a statewide meeting.
“Our mission is to serve the needs of every student in our schools, and we’re very proud of the efforts by Cherokee High School,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “While it is good news that the State determined we’re not on its needs improvement list, we’re still focused on our own continuous improvement plans.”
Cherokee High School, which serves the highest percentage of English Learners among CCSD’s high schools, offers expanded programs to serve those students beyond the traditional English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.
A new initiative, fully implemented this school year after a pilot last school year, is a CHOICE program modeled after the successful initiative of the same name that serves special education students. Through the CHOICE program for English Learners, students receive additional individualized instruction, coaching, mentoring and counseling to help them successfully master classroom lessons and graduate on time. Teachers at Cherokee HS also are receiving ongoing professional development to ensure general education teachers – not just ESOL teachers -- are equipped to meet English Learners’ additional needs.