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FRONT PAGE - SEPTEMBER 8, 1999 - HOMER, GA

TEAM LEADER

Senior Coe Allen leads the Banks County Leopards onto the field before their 9-8 victory over Jackson County Friday night in Homer. The Leopards will travel to Pickens this week. More on the BCHS football team

EDUCATION

Banks County SAT scores continue to fall below state
Banks County's Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores continue to fall below the state average. The 1999 scores for the Banks County High School students are also down slightly from scores for county students in 1998.
In the spring of 1999, 50 students took the test with an average score 889, according to assistant superintendent Deborah White. In 1998, Banks County students had an average score of 900.
The average state average score this year was 969, while the average national score was 1016. One year ago, the state average score was 968 and the national was 1017.
"Banks County schools are not satisfied with these scores," White said. "Our goal is to be at or above the state average on all standardized tests. We will continue to diligently work to meet this goal and will not be satisfied until we meet both the state and national average. This problem did not occur overnight and, unfortunately, it cannot be solved overnight."
In Banks County, 37 students taking the test were seniors with an average score of 887. Thirteen students were juniors with an average score of 895. The 11th graders performed better than the 12th graders on the verbal section by 10 points and scored five points below in math, White continued.
The five-year trend in verbal scores for Banks County is a minus one-point, while Georgia showed a four-point increase and the nation a one-point increase. The math five-year trend for Banks County is an increase of nine points, while the Georgia and national average increased only five points.
White said that the SAT scores and all standardized test scores are extensively analyzed to determine specific areas of strengths and weaknesses. Annual school improvement plans are written to address identified areas of need. Some of the efforts to address these areas include revisions of course content, additional advanced math courses, ability levels in language arts, academic elective courses, increased expectations for students and faculty and increased guidance and advisement in career and educational goals, White said.
The SAT is recognized by colleges and universities for admission requirements.

COMMUNITY

Day care program in place at BCPS for employees' children
BY SHERRY LEWIS
A day care program is now available to employees of the Banks County school system at the primary school.
This is a self-supporting day care program that is open to all employees of the system for children ages 1 to 4, explained primary school principal Jimmy Hooper, who was instrumental in getting the program started. The day care center is located in an unused classroom and is fully equipped with toys thanks to an overwhelming number of donations. The center is operated by Stacy Smith and Rhonda Armour. Parents purchase school meals for their children and they eat them in the classroom.
Hooper said he realized the need for such a program since there is no day care center in the county, only private caregivers. He said it is a service to the employees but he thinks it will help the system also.
"This was a big issue in teacher absences," he said. "The mama is the basic caregiver and if the caregiver was sick, what's a teacher to do but stay home.
The principal said the program also offers the mothers some security.
"If the child has a sniffle, the parent might bring their child on because they can check on them throughout the day," he said.
In fact, he noted that IBM was hailed as one of the most prestigious places to work recently because of its efforts to provide day care near its company offices.
Teachers give Hooper high marks for his efforts to meet their needs.
"This is a service to the employees," said Robin Gale, a kindergarten teacher and mother of a 3-year old, Jack. "We are here to take care of other children and it feels so good that he has made a way to take care of ours."
Lori Rylee, a kindergarten teacher and mother of a 13-month- old, Avery, agreed: "It is a God-send. I love it. I don't have to stop by a sitter but I can come straight to work. I can peek in the window during the day and be sure he's OK."
Hooper said his goal is to one day expand the service to all employees who work in the county courthouse as well.


Qualifying begins next week for city elections
Qualifying is ahead for city council seats up for grabs in the November 2 election. Seats up for re-election and qualifying times are as follows:
ALTO
Qualifying dates are Sept. 15-17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at city hall. The qualifying fee for the mayor is $22 and $18 for council seats.
Mayor-Jack King
Post 1-Tim Tankersley
Post 2-Carolyn Cabe
Post 3-Miriam Sosebee
Post 4-vacant
BALDWIN
Qualifying dates are September 13 -17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in city hall. The qualifying fees are $25.
Post 1-John Thomas
Post 2-Jeff Bohannon
Post 3-Mitchell Gailey
LULA
Qualifying dates are Sept. 13-15 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in city hall. The qualifying fee is $18.
Ward 1-Randy Worley
Ward 4-Perry Bridgeman
Ward 5-Lamb Griffin

COMMUNITY

Banks County festival coming up
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Banks County festival September 11-12.
In addition to the watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contest and a cake walk, this year's festival will include several new activities, organizers say.
The Banks County High School cross country and track programs will sponsor the first annual Banks County Leopard 5K run/walk prior to the festival parade. Pre-registration is $12 before Sept. 4 and $15 on the day of the race. Registration forms are available at the chamber office.
New spectator events and contests have also been added to this year's festival line-up, including a twist contest and a Hula Hoop contest.
The Banks County chapter of the American Cancer Society will be hosting a "Banks County Cancer Society Luminaria Service" as part of the festival. Luminarias can be purchased at the cancer society booth during the festival or in advance from any Banks County chapter member. The cost is $5. All luminarias will be lighted and placed in the park Saturday evening during the festival in honor of all cancer victims and survivors, planners say.
In addition to the luminaria service, cancer survivors and their families will walk in the festival parade. Walkers are asked to be at Banks County High School at 9 a.m. Sept. 11.
Anyone wanting to volunteer or anyone seeking more information is asked to contact the chamber office at 677-2108.


Schedule of events
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
10 a.m. Bounty Festival Parade
The parade will feature Jeanette Jamieson as the event's grand marshall, Banks County High School Marching Band, American Legion, American Cancer Society, community floats, classic cars, horses and much more.
11 a.m. Center Stage Blue Grass Band
12:30 p.m. Commerce School of Dance
1:30 p.m. Applesauce activities
2 p.m. Cake walk
2 p.m. Southern Stompers Cloggers
2:30 p.m. Country vocalist Megan Edwards
3 p.m. Storm Cloggers
3:30 p.m. Applesauce activities
4 p.m. Watermelon-eating contest
5 p.m. Cruise-Through
5:30 p.m. Dynamite Dolls
5K Run/Walk registration
6 p.m. Homer Square Trackers
7 p.m. Nadine Horton Band
Leopard 5K Run/Walk
9 p.m. Street dance
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
1 p.m. Wright Family
2 p.m. Cake walk (around fountain)
2 p.m. God's Designs
3 p.m. Randall Dean
4 p.m. Sounds of Zion
5 p.m. Grandparents' Day recognition



The Banks County News - Homer, Georgia
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