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Georgia DOE Celebrates Literacy Excellence at Toombs Central

Toombs Central Elementary School is one of 155 schools in the state to be honored by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) for literacy excellence.

Knowing the fundamental importance of early literacy and students’ ability to read proficiently by third grade, the Georgia Department of Education is recognizing schools with exceptional achievement or growth in third grade reading as 2022-2023 Literacy Leaders.

The Toombs County School System is excited to announce that Toombs Central Elementary School has been named a Literacy Leader by the Georgia Department of Education. Toombs Central Elementary earned this recognition by showing a 15% or higher increase in third grade reading scores from 2021-22 to 2022-23.

Literacy Leader qualifications use the Georgia Milestones Reading Status indicator which is based on the Lexile score. This measures reading ability associated with students' performance on a subset of questions on the English Language Arts (ELA) assessment.

“We are very proud and certainly glad to have these efforts recognized at the state level,” Toombs Central Elementary School Principal Destiny Levant remarked. “Our teachers and staff work extremely hard to ensure that students are receiving a quality education, and we are consistently refining our practices to best meet students’ needs.”

She continued, “On the Georgia Milestones end-of-grade assessment that our third through fifth grade students are given at the end of each year, 82% of these students were reading at or above grade level. In third grade alone, we saw an increase from 63% in 2022 to 83% in 2023. This is in part due to literacy being the responsibility of all teachers, not just those that teach reading.

“Students are being exposed to grade level or higher texts daily and consistently across all subject areas. The more they are exposed, the greater their chances for coping with the complexity and vocabulary of those texts on the endof- grade assessment.”

Levant said that the school’s vision statement this year is “We Shine Brighter Together,” which is an image of that principle at work. “This accolade is a true testament of that statement. It takes a collective effort, and I am so appreciative of our students, teachers/staff, parents, and district office personnel for their support in helping us shine!”

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