Community Demographics and School Data
Grady County is located in the state of Georgia in the United States, and its largest city/county seat is Cairo.
The county was created in 1905 by the Georgia General Assembly from some sections of Thomas and Decatur counties. It represents a total area of 460.34 square miles (1,192.3 km2) with 458.12 square miles (1,187 km2) of dry land and 2.2 square miles (6 km2) of water.
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By 2011, the county had 25,255 people (38% urban, 62% rural), 8,797 households and about 6,500 families. Additionally, the number of males was 11,245 (47.5%) and 12,414 (52.5%) females. The population by age was estimated at 27.3% (under age 18), 9% (18-24 years), 27.
9% (25-44 years), 22.40% (45-64 years) and 13.2% (above 65 years). Furthermore, the median resident age in the county was approximately 36 years. Further, the county population density by 2011 was 55 people per square mile. At the same time, the population by race was 60.
4% White, 28.2% African Americans or Blacks, 9.5% Hispanic or Latino, 1.0% American Indian or Alaskan Natives and 0.6% of two or more races (Data Center, 2012). In 2009, the median income per household in the county was $28,656 and income per family was $34,254.
Moreover, the median income for males was $27,181 and $20,128 for females. Accordingly, the county’s per capita income was estimated to be $14, 278 for the same period. On the other hand, the number of people living in poverty was 16.70% of all families and 22.1% of the county population.
Other important demographic indicators for Grady County are provided in Table 1 below. Table 1: General demographic indicators for Grady County, GA for 2010 Grady County School District The Grady County School District includes five elementary schools, one middle school and one high school, which serve more than 4,461 students from Pre-Kindergarten to grade 12. The ratio of students to teachers in this county is 14 students per full-time teacher. This is equivalent to the state of Georgia’s student to teacher ratio. Currently, the school district spends more than $8,446 per student. The county school district spends 65% of its current expenditure on the construction, 30% on the support services and 5% on other expenditures.
In 2009, it was noted that about 3.0% of students in grades 9-12 dropped out of school compared to 4.4% of their counterparts nationally. Other statistics indicate that more than 8% of students in this county have an individual education program (IEP). In addition, about 5% of students in the Grady County School District are enrolled in English Language Learners (ELL) programs (Georgia Department of Education, 2012).
The current curriculum and instruction system in the school district seek to provide thorough and relevant instructional resources and skills in line with the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS). Accordingly, the current curriculum covers a variety of content areas including English language arts and mathematics for students in kindergarten through high school and literacy in science, history, social sciences and other technical subjects for students in grades 6-12. Furthermore, the Grady County Schools offer additional school programs, including ACCEL programs, college readiness and early intervention program (EIP). Other educational programs include professional learning, HIV/AIDS prevention, safe and drug-free schools and student support teams among others. Generally, the exercise of aligning the current curriculum and instruction system in the county with the GPS and CCGPS ensures that all students in the county are provided with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in college and at the workplace (Georgia Department of Education, 2012). Student Services Department Student Support Services in Grady County Schools are offered through the Social Services Department, which is headed by Noni Hunter, as the director of social services and Katrina Cooper, as the assistant, school social worker.
These social workers provide assistance to students, families and schools in the county. Generally, the work of social workers entails assisting students and their families on economic, social and emotional issues, which could be acting as barriers to achieving the expected educational experience. Therefore, based on the magnitude of challenges identified by social workers, students and their parents can be referred to other social service agencies in the county. Some of these outside agencies include the Juvenile and Adult Court, Public and Mental Health Agencies, Department of Family and Children Services, the Child Abuse Council and other community-based agencies (Grady County Schools, 2012). Further, the social service workers offer a wide range of services including crisis intervention, referrals to community agencies and consultation services for students with social, academic and emotional needs. Moreover, the county social service workers are responsible for case management services, mediation, student and parent conferences and school community liaison.
In addition, the social workers contribute to various student support teams besides participating in special education staffing. Most importantly, social workers are involved in identifying various barriers to proper learning in schools. Basically, there are two social service workers serving about eight schools in the county school district. This is consistent with the county funding formula for employing school social workers, which is one social worker for every 2,475 students. Therefore, considering that there are about 4,000 students in different schools of the county, the number of social workers currently employed in the county is sufficient (Grady County Schools, 2012). Community Services and ResourcesThe Grady County School system and the community in general offer a wide range of out-of-school services.
For instance, statistics indicate that more than 100 three-year old children were enrolled in Head Start in 2007. Moreover, in 2006 statistics show that more than 5,600 children were enrolled in Medicaid or PeachCare services. On the other hand, the number of eligible children (birth through 4 years) enrolled in the WIC program in 2006 was 1,086. Furthermore, in 2007 more than 843 households with children were enrolled in Food Stamps programs. Additionally, the number of students who are eligible to receive free or reduced price meals in their respective schools is 3,188 (69.
2%) as of 2012. Other services available to school-aged children in the county schools include nutrition services, which are offered by food and nutrition professionals through the Nutrition Services Department. The school nutrition program seeks to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity among school-aged children. Therefore, this program ensures that the foods, meals and beverages offered in the school environment meet the required dietary standards (Grady County Schools, 2012). On the other hand, the county school system offers other extra programs to students who are facing various academic challenges. For instance, the Crossroads Alternative School program is designed to meet the educational requirements of grade 6-12 students who could be facing difficulties in school attendance, discipline and other academic challenges.
This implies that regardless of the students’ prior educational experience, the county school system strives to provide service and skill training in different student supportive environments. Moreover, the system offers additional educational programs such as the Hospital/ Homebound program. This program ensures that students who are hospitalized or confined at home for some time will continue receiving academic instructions. Furthermore, the county school system offers other intermittent academic instruction services for students who have been diagnosed of a chronic illness, which may require that the student will stay out of school for a certain period of time (Grady County Schools, 2012).