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OCMS named a Breakout School by GASSP

Oconee County Middle School has been designated a 2019-20 Breakout School by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP). The school is one of only six in Georgia chosen for this state honor that recognizes middle schools that are high-achieving or dramatically improving school performance.


“Oconee Middle School is a wonderful place to work and learn; we humbly accept this award as a symbol of the unwavering dedication of our students, staff, and community,” said Principal Keith Carter. “I am so proud of the focus our staff has placed on creating instructional relationships with our students. Not only do our students, teams, and clubs achieve at high levels – they do so in a warm and inviting place to grow academically.”

Schools are selected based on documented success in implementing strategies aligned with three specific areas – collaborative leadership; personalization; and curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Oconee County Middle received the award, in large part, due to excellence in the following:

  • Monthly meetings of Professional Learning Communities that focus on instructional relationships, data-driven instructional decisions, and literacy integration
  • Peer Helper Program whereby 7th and 8th grade students support new students as they transition to OCMS – as well as serve as student leaders in a variety of capacities
  • Robust new teacher induction and mentor program
  • Teacher Leadership Program in partnership with Oconee County High School for teachers who have expressed an interest in leadership
  • Vintage Oconee Project collaboration between OCMS and the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation to research and celebrate the history of Oconee County
  • Transition-to-High-School Plan for all 8th graders
  • School Council that fosters two-way communication between stakeholders
  • Variety of CTAE opportunities through increased coursework offerings and student organizations


Of note is that OCMS recently received a CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index) score of 92.1 – an “A” as designated by the Georgia Department of Education. In addition, the school earned a 5/5 School Climate Rating.


“Congratulations to the entire Oconee County Middle School community for the well-deserved honor of being designated a Breakout School,” said Superintendent Jason Branch. “The teachers, leaders, parents, and students of OCMS have done a tremendous job in academics, athletics, the arts, and service-learning. The school is committed to both sustained excellence and continuous improvement and is very deserving of this achievement.”


Oconee County Middle School was recognized at the GASSP fall conference for this prestigious honor.