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 FRONT PAGE - SEPTEMBER 8, 1999 - COMMERCE, GA

That Tiger Spirit

Nicole Chandler, left, a fifth-grade cheerleader at Commerce Middle School, shows her Tiger spirit as she leads a cheer during last Thursday night's Tigers on the Town Pep Rally. Cheerleaders from all three schools participated and led the crowd of approximately 400 in support of the Tigers.

EDUCATION

Below Average
For Third Straight Year, CHS Graduates Scored Below State Average On The SAT
Commerce High School Students in the Class of 1998 scored six points higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test than their counterparts a year earlier, but the CHS scores continue to be well below the state and national averages.
According to counselor Elaine Roller, 45 members of last year's senior class took the SAT. They averaged 474 on the verbal portion of the test, unchanged from the year before, and 456 on the math portion, up six points from the Class of 1997.
That 930 total is 39 points below the average in a state that ranks 49th out of the 50 states and below Washington, D.C.

The SAT is designed to measure potential for success in college and continues to be a tool used by university admissions offices. The University of Georgia uses a 1,200 threshold for entering freshmen, although some variance is allowed.
Thirty-one of the CHS students were in the college preparatory curriculum. Their average score of 986 falls well short of the UGA entrance threshold and represents a decline of 43 points from the previous year's college prep students.
The highest individual score by a Commerce student last year was 1360. The highest individual verbal score was 700, and the highest math score was 760. It is possible to score 800 on each portion of the test.
Verbal scores over the past four years among CHS students peaked at 491 in 1997, and stayed at 474 the past two testing years. The six-point gain in the math score halted a three-year slide that had seen scores drop from a high of 502 by the Class of 1995, to 483 for the Class of 1996 and 450 for the Class of 1997.
COLLEGE PREP RESULTS
The college prep students tested last year as a group scored below the average for all Georgia students on the math portion.
Math scores continued a four-year fall, going from 534 to 500 to 489 to this year's 475. Commerce college prep students fare better on the verbal portion, averaging 517 over four years.
"The scores were disappointing," conceded Superintendent of Schools Larry White. "They have got to be better."
White is especially concerned about the math scores and said he hopes to get the system's math teachers together to discuss the issue.
"Maybe on a work day, we can meet with all math teachers and all grade levels and look over our textbooks, look at the objectives QCC (Quality Core Curriculum) calls for to make sure there are no gaps," he said.
The school has already taken some steps to assure that students in the future are more prepared for the test. Last year, the state funded the PSAT for all sophomores, and the Commerce School System funded it for all freshmen "just to get them thinking in terms of how the questions are," White stated.
Interestingly, when the Class of 1999 was in the fifth grade, it scored above grade level in both math and language arts on the nationally normed Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The ITBS is the test upon which school administrators rely most as an indicator of student performance.
At that time, members of the Class of 1999 were reading at a 6.5 grade level and performing at 5.9 grade level in math. A 5.7 (fifth year, seventh month) score would have been considered normal.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Commerce Council Expected To Approve Water Plant Construction Contract Monday
With any luck, the water restrictions instituted by Commerce during August will be the last such limitations for a long time.
When it meets Monday night at 6:30 at the Commerce Civic Center, the Commerce City Council expects to take a major step toward warding off future water shortages. The council will most likely approve the low bid received last week for the completion of the expansion of the Commerce water plant, a move that will enable the city to virtually double the plant's capacity.
The apparent low bidder, P.F. Moon, Inc., proposes to complete the "high-rating" of the plant to more than four million gallons a day within 260 days of receiving the city's notice to proceed.
"I expect the notice to proceed will be there with the contract (for the city council's approval)," said City Manager Clarence Bryant.
Moon bid $1.598 million for the project. Three other bids went as high as $1.728 million, according to Bryant. The city's engineering firm is expected to officially recommend acceptance of the low bid prior to the council meeting. The bid came in just below the engineers' estimate of $1.6 million.
"This is the work that has to be done before we can get a new permit for four point some odd million gallons a day," Bryant noted.
The work includes the rebuilding or upgrading of motors and other equipment, construction of a pair of half-acre settling ponds, replacement of control mechanisms and valves and rebuilding the flocculation chamber and adding automatic sweeps so silt can be removed from the chamber without draining it.
The awarding of the contract brings the city one step closer to the completion of a project that has been in process for years. Getting a permit to withdraw more than four million gallons per day from the Grove River required the city to prove to the Environmental Protection Division that the city's plant could handle the increase while maintaining quality. The city proved that point last year by successfully treating two million gallons per day using the equivalent of half of its plant during an extended test.
Other items on the agenda for Monday night include:
·a public hearing for an application for a community development block grant to improve the Cedar Drive area. A similar application last year was not funded, but the city has added street improvements to try to improve its odds of funding.
·the approval of contracts for the reconstruction of sections of a handful of city streets, work that must be done prior to getting the streets resurfaced.
·the consideration of streets to be recommended for resurfacing during the next year under the state's LARP paving program.

GROWTH

Two Actors Sought For CSP Production
Auditions for the Cold Sassy Players' November production of "A Tuna Christmas" will be held Thursday and Friday evenings at 7:00 at the Commerce Cultural Center.
The story takes place in the small town of Tuna, Texas. Audiences will get a glimpse of 22 of Tuna's citizens, ranging from crusty Aunt Pearl Burres to Petey Fisk, the coordinator of the Tuna Humane Society. It is a fast-paced comedy with a twist ­ all 22 characters are played by two male actors. Each actor will be required to develop 11 personalities, each with complete costume changes and often a gender change.
The play, by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Edward Howard, opened to rave reviews in New York in December 1994, as a sequel to their first play, "Greater Tuna." The Cold Sassy Players have elected to produce the second play first because of the timing of the upcoming holiday season.
Director Kay Caputi says auditions will consist of cold readings from the script and impromptu monologues. While newcomers to the theater are not totally discouraged from trying out, Caputi points out that the line load for two actors is very heavy, which will probably require experienced actors.
But the group also needs technical people. Anyone interested in working with costumes, sets, lights, sound and back stage crews is asked to come by during auditions to volunteer. Production dates are Nov. 11-14, and most of the technical work will begin in mid-October.
A production meeting for cast, crew and the Cold Sassy Players personnel is scheduled for 7:30 Monday night at the cultural center. Rehearsals will then begin every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening until the production dates.


BJC Medical Center Announces Upcoming Events
BJC Medical Center has announced upcoming events and programs sponsored at the medical center. All support groups are free. Call 335-1000 for more information.
The programs include:
·TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) every Tuesday in the medical center cafeteria. Weigh-in is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and the meeting is from 6 to 7 p.m.
·Arthritis Awareness Support Group at noon the third Thursday in the medical center conference room.
·Multiple Sclerosis Support Group at 10 a.m. every second Saturday in the medical center pastor's office. The group is for MS patients and their families and friends.
·Mended Hearts at 7 p.m. every third Monday in the medical center conference room. The program is for survivors of heart events and their families and friends.
·Diabetic Support Group, which offers information about diabetes and its effective treatment. Those interested in holding such a meeting at the medical center should contact Henry Slocum at 335-1000.



The Commerce News - Commerce, Georgia
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