Buffy Hemphill, Partnership 2000 coordinator for the school system, explained the concept of the theme as having school partners focus on the “destination of having students graduate.”
This year, Catoosa schools had their highest graduation rate at 79 percent. Superintendent of schools Denia Reese said she was confident the rate would reach 80 percent when summer graduates are put into the calculation.
According to its mission statement, Partnership 2000 is “a unified effort of schools, businesses and the community to promote and support student success.”
“Every year I’m overwhelmed by the support we receive from the community,” Reese said.
Hemphill said all existing goals for Partnership 2000 were met this year, such as strengthening the schools’ mentoring program and having the largest annual mentor picnic in the program’s history.
Also during the breakfast, Reese discussed preliminary drawings of improvements to be made at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High if ESPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) is approved by voters in March 2011.
ESPLOST is a one-cent sales tax levied on purchases in Catoosa County. It was established by the Georgia legislature in 1996 to provide a method for school systems to generate funds for new schools, classrooms, maintenance and the purchase of technology and buses.
Projected improvements to Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High include a new main gym, improved lighting on the football field and remodeled main entrance with canopy.
West Side Elementary School will also see improvements if ESPLOST is approved, including an expanded media center and potentially new classrooms.
Damon Raines, director of operations for Catoosa schools, said work at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High could begin as early as July 2011 and could be complete within 20 months.