Home to several Georgia and National Schools of excellence, the McDuffie County School System is committed to serving the needs of every student in providing a safe, respectful environment where academic excellence is achieved. The McDuffie County Board of Education, the administration, and the faculty are constantly improving the climate for learning.
Thomson’s location makes it very easy for any of our students, regardless of age or inclination, to get post secondary training in a variety of ways.
The McDuffie County School System strives to provide an excellent educational program that ensures the best possible future for each of its 4,400 students. The school system is composed of six schools: four elementary, one middle school and one high school. There is also one alternative learning center, McDuffie Achievement Center. Thomson High School and Maxwell Elementary have been recognized as Georgia and National Schools of Excellence.
All schools in the McDuffie County System meet the rigorous standards of the Georgia Department of Education and are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Georgia Accrediting Commission.
McDuffie County Schools are administered by an appointed Superintendent and governed by an elected seven member Board of Education.
The primary emphasis of the system involves an individual approach to instruction, focusing on the needs of each student. McDuffie County schools maintain a 17:1 student-teacher ratio.
More than one third of the professional staff members have earned master's degrees and many hold educational specialist’s degrees or doctorates.
A compensatory education program provides a complete range of programs and services for students with unique educational needs. The Quest Program offers curriculum designed to challenge the higher levels of skills and thoughts of gifted students. Educational and related services are available for emotionally, intellectually or physically disabled students. School counselors and psychologists are available in every school for students in need of assistance dealing with school and life situations.
Our high school program prepares students to meet the challenges of the future. The diverse vocational/technical program offers a broad program that prepares students for further study and entry to the world of work. Our on-the-job training program in vocational office training (VOT) and diversified cooperative training (DCT) provides opportunities for interaction between school and community in the training of students. A dual credit program has been implemented through our Health Occupations classes in which students can earn their high school diploma while also earning their Practical Nursing certificate from Augusta Technical College.
Our industrial technology lab provides students with an in-depth study in how electronic technology impacts business and industry. Technical college credits can be earned while still in high school and transferred under these programs. Started in 2001 to meet the challenges of our curriculum, a Block-8 Schedule model allows students the opportunity to take eight courses per semester instead of six. The learning climate is enhanced with fewer class changes, uninterrupted time on task, and more time for students to practice and apply skills and knowledge under the teacher’s supervision. This gives students the opportunity to graduate high school with a skill as well as a college preparatory education.
The graduation rate for Thomson High School is consistently well above the state average. This remains a testament to the dedication and hard work of our students, parents, faculty, staff and administration. We have also implemented numerous credit recovery opportunities for students as a means to ensure their success. The school system has fully immersed the faculty and staff in the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) curriculum adopted by the State Department of Education. The increased RRR’s (rigor, relevance, and relationships) associated with this movement will no doubt help prepare our students for college and career activities.
Thomson High School has also fully immersed our students into the Georgia Work Readiness program. This assessment has assisted potential employers in accurately identifying the knowledge and skill set of the future workforce.
Parent/Teacher Organizations, booster clubs and community volunteers actively support and participate in school programs. Each school now has a School Council comprised of business leaders, parents, administrative and staff representatives. There is also a diverse Superintendent’s Advisory Council with representatives from every school.
We have more than 100 formal and informal partnerships with business/industry, governmental agencies, civic/community groups, fraternal organizations, churches and medical/legal professions. This group of concerned citizens, Chamber of Commerce representatives and educators are committed to preventing students from dropping out of the McDuffie County School System, thus improving the graduation rate. Businesses believe that through forming partnerships with the schools on specific programs and offering their resources and time to the education system, a better educated and well prepared citizen and future employee will result.
Augusta Technical Institute’s McDuffie Satellite Center in Thomson, Ga., formally known as the Peter S. Knox Center for Technology, represents a new era of growth and opportunity for Thomson. The impact on the community is two-fold, with the campus serving as both a training ground for the workers of the future and an information resource for the businesses of today.
A post-secondary educational institution of the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education, Augusta Technical Institute, serves technical education needs and supports economic development of the Central Savannah River Area. The Ga. Dept. of Technical and Adult Education have developed curriculum standards with the direct involvement of business and industry. The Thomson-McDuffie Satellite Campus on Tech Drive in Thomson offers a variety courses to students in the McDuffie County area. The curriculum offered at the center focuses on technical-based learning through a host of resources, including the Internet, satellite downlinks, two-way interactive instruction via video-conferencing, etc. The campus is also the site of the adult literacy program.
For details on enrollment, call 706.595.0166. For details on the Augusta Tech campuses, visit http://www.augustatech.edu/.