A recent focus on improving the writing skills of Columbia County's high school students seems to have paid off.
The school system gained 2.9 percentage points over last year in the Georgia High School Writing Test, according to the Georgia Department of Education.
Nearly 98 percent of first-time test takers in Columbia County passed the exam, which was administered in September.
All five public high schools improved on the writing tests.
Evans High scored the top mark with 98.9 percent passing, a 4.9 percentage point improvement. Greenbrier scored 98.3 percent; Lakeside scored an overall pass rate of 98.3 percent; Harlem scored 94.4 percent; and Grovetown had a 96.9 percent pass rate.
Across the state, pass rates on the test improved by 5 percentage points for a score of 94 percent.
Rose Carraway, the school system's director of high school student learning, credits the improvements to an initiative started two years ago.
"We've had a focus on that," she said. "We've provided staff development to improve student's writing skills, because they're more important than ever in improving grades in all subjects."
Most school subjects, even math and science, now require written answers on assessments.
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