Perry Primary school is one of 20 Houston County schools that has made adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act for at least 3 years.
All 20 schools have at least 40 percent of their students living in low-income households.
"This is a minimum expectation for our students and ourselves, then we set goals well above that," said Perry Primary Principal, Elgin Mayfield.
His school, along with Lindsey Elementary, has met the federal standard for 12 years and received a check for almost $2,300.
"What we'll probably do with this money is put it towards books for classroom libraries," Mayfield said, "That's a major push for us right now."
However, this could be the last year Georgia schools are measured by the adequate yearly progress yard stick. Georgia is one of 11 states so far that have asked the Department of Education to waive the AYP requirements. To get that waiver, the state has to come up with another way to measure how schools are getting students ready for college and a career.
To that end, state education officials are developing the College and Career Readiness Performance Index. It calculates a score for each school based on multiple factors including end of course test scores, student attendance and graduation rates. That's unlike the current AYP system which is based on standardized state tests.
Mayfield said he's a fan of the comprehensive nature of the CCRPI
"It's kind of interesting to me that the students go to school 180 days a school year," Mayfield said, "and the only days that really seem to matter are the days that they take the English, Reading and Math test. I would love to see something that measures a little bit more of their progress and what they're doing everyday."
Houston County Schools Superintendent Robin Hines said the CCRPI will likely shift the emphasis in many schools
"Now, what is going to happen is all subjects, Reading, Math, English, Social Studies, Science, all of those are important, so we're gonna have to do a better job of scheduling and committing our time and efforts into all things rather than only Reading, Language Arts and Math," he said.
State superintendent John Barge said he expected to get a decision from the Department of Education by early February. He said even if Georgia does not get the waiver, they plan to implement the index system in addition to AYP.