Columbia County School System, Georgia

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Columbia County School System
Columbia County, Georgia
Columbia County School System logo.jpeg
District Profile
Superintendent:Dr. Sandra Carraway
Enrollment:24,893 students
Graduation rate:91.0%[1]
Number of schools:31
Budget: $186.6 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Regina Buccafusco
Board members:5
Term length:4
Columbia County School System is a school district in Georgia that serves Columbia County. It is the 18th-largest school district in Georgia, serving 24,893 students in 31 schools during the 2013-2014 school year with an operating budget of $186.6 million.[2]

About the district

Columbia County School System is located in Columbia County, Georgia
Columbia County School System is located in Columbia County, Georgia. The county seat of Columbia County is Appling. Columbia County is home to 124,053 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[1]


Columbia County overperformed in comparison to the rest of Georgia in terms of higher education achievement and median household income in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 34.7 percent of Columbia County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 27.8 percent for Georgia as a whole. The median household income in Columbia County was $67,295 compared to $49,604 for the state of Georgia. The poverty rate in Columbia County was 8.0 percent compared to 17.4 percent for the entire state.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2013[1]
Race Columbia County (%) Georgia (%)
White 76.7 62.8
Black or African American 16.0 31.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.5
Asian 4.1 3.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Two or More Races 2.7 1.8
Hispanic or Latino 5.6 9.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[3]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%) Other Vote (%)
2012 27.9 70.0 1.2
2008 28.4 71.0 0.6
2004 24.3 75.4 0.3
2000 25.0 74.3 0.7

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[4][5]


The superintendent of Columbia County School System is Dr. Sandra Carraway, who was appointed to the position in 2013. She has a doctorate in education from Georgia Southern University, which she completed in 2001. Prior to her current role, Carraway served five years as the district's deputy superintendent.[6]

School board

The Columbia County Board of Education is a nonpartisan board consisting of five members elected to four-year terms. Four of the members serve by district, and the chairman serves the district at-large.[7]

Columbia County Board of Education
Member District Term Ends
Regina Buccafusco At-large 2016
David Dekle District 1 2016
Kristi P. Baker District 2 2014
Mike Sleeper District 3 2014
Roxanne Whitaker District 4 2016

School board elections

See also: Columbia County School System elections (2014)

Members of the board are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis. Two seats were up for election on May 20, 2014. Three seats will be on the ballot in May 2016.

Public participation in board meetings

The board maintains the following policy regarding public participation in board meetings last revised in 2006:

Although Georgia law does not require public participation in Board of Education meetings, the Board can best serve its constituents through ongoing exchanges of information and ideas.

All regular and duly called meetings of the Columbia County Board of Education shall be open to the public for observation and participation under the following circumstances:

1. Citizens desiring to address the Board about a specific topic may register at the beginning of each meeting. Each speaker will be permitted three minutes to make his/her presentation. If a group desires to speak, one person must be designated to speak for the group. The Board of Education will not respond to presentations at the time of the meeting but will give direction to the Superintendent for follow-up response.

2. System employees will not be permitted to address the Board regarding their personal employment issues under public participation. State law and local Board policies and procedures provide the appropriate process for employee complaints/grievances. Employees may address non-employment issues just as any other citizen.

3. While citizens may use their allotted time to express concerns and opinions, the Board will not permit anyone to become personally abusive of individual Board members or Board employees.

4. When issues arise that stimulate high community interest, the Board may schedule special meetings specifically to invite public comment. In those circumstances, the Board will establish special guidelines for participation.[8]

—Columbia County School System's website, (2006) [9]


The table below displays the budget for Columbia County School System:[2]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2014-2015 $133,353,736 71.4% $3,675,473 2% $15,229,772 8.2% $0 0% $34,383,389 18.4% $186,642,370
Averages: $133,353,736 71% $3,675,473 2% $15,229,772 8% $0 0% $34,383,389 18% $186,642,370

Teacher salaries

Columbia County teacher salaries are based on years of service and teacher certification. A teacher can earn higher salaries by pursuing various teaching certifications. The salary schedule also accounts for experience by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries depending on years of service. The following table details the salary schedule set forth by the Georgia Department of Education:[10]

Salary structure
Years of experience Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
0-2 years 31,586 48,213
3-5 years 32,505 52,683
6-8 years 35,550 58,974
9-10 years 38,847 60,743
11-12 years 40,012 62,565
13-14 years 41,212 64,442
15-16 years 42,448 66,375
17-18 years 43,721 68,366
19-20 years 45,033 70,417
21+ years 46,384 72,530

Schools in Columbia County School System


The district served 24,893 students during the 2013-2014 school year. The district experienced a 9.2 percent increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2014. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2008 and 2014:[11]

Total enrollment
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2008-2009 22,789 N/A
2009-2010 23,209 3.7
2010-2011 23,631 1.8
2011-2012 23,898 1.1
2012-2013 24,328 1.8
2013-2014 24,893 2.3

District schools

Columbia County School System operates 31 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[12]

Columbia County School System Schools
School Name
Baker Place Elementary
Blue Ridge Elementary
Brookwood Elementary
Cedar Ridge Elementary
Columbia County Alternative
Columbia Middle School
Euchee Creek Elementary
Evans Elementary
Evans High School
Evans Middle School
Greenbrier Elementary
Greenbrier High School
Greenbrier Middle School
Grovetown Elementary
Grovetown High School
Grovetown Middle School
Harlem High School
Harlem Middle School
Lakeside High School
Lakeside Middle School
Lewiston Elementary
Martinez Elementary
North Columbia Elementary
North Harlem Elementary
River Ridge Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Riverside Middle School
South Columbia Elementary
Stallings Island Middle
Stevens Creek Elementary
Westmont Elementary

Academic performance

The Georgia Department of Education administers annual tests to students in grades three through eight called the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT). These tests assess the proficiency of district students in five academic subjects including reading, English language arts (ELA), math, science and social studies. The CRCTs are designed to measure progress by students in topics covered by the Common Core State Standards. A student meets state proficiency goals with a score of 800 and exceeds state proficiency goals with a score of 850 or higher. The following tables detail the percentage of students who met or exceeded proficiency levels on the CRCTs during the 2013-2014 school year:[13][14]

CRCT Scores, Grades 3-5, 2013-2014[14]
Grade Subject District meets/exceeds standard (%)
3 Reading 97.0
3 ELA 94.3
3 Math 88.4
3 Science 87.4
3 Social Science 93.3
4 Reading 96.8
4 ELA 93.1
4 Math 89.6
4 Science 89.8
4 Social Science 90.0
5 Reading 97.7
5 ELA 97.2
5 Math 93.2
5 Science 91.9
5 Social Science 89.1

CRCT Scores, Grades 6-8, 2013-2014[14]
Grade Subject District meets/exceeds standard (%)
6 Reading 98.4
6 ELA 94.8
6 Math 88.0
6 Science 85.1
6 Social Science 90.7
7 Reading 97.9
7 ELA 96.9
7 Math 93.7
7 Science 92.3
7 Social Science 93.4
8 Reading 99.3
8 ELA 97.7
8 Math 90.6
8 Science 89.9
8 Social Science 92.1

Contact information

Columbia County School System logo.jpeg
Columbia County School System
4781 Hereford Farm Road
Evans, GA 30809
Phone: (706) 541-0650

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 United States Census Bureau, "Columbia County, Georgia," accessed May 14, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Columbia County School System, "Final Budget," accessed December 11, 2014
  3. Georgia Secretary of State, "Current and Past Election Results," accessed November 14, 2014
  4. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  5. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
  6. The Columbia County News-Times, "Carraway named finalist for school superintendent," November 26, 2012
  7. Columbia County School System, "Meet Your Board of Education Members," accessed November 15, 2014
  8. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  9. Columbia County School System, "Public Participation in Board Meetings," September 18, 2006
  10. Georgia Department of Education, "State Salary Schedule," accessed June 18, 2014
  11. Georgia Department of Education, "Enrollment by Ethnicity/Race , Gender and Grade Level (PK-12)," accessed July 2, 2014
  12. Columbia County School System, "Our Schools," accessed November 14, 2014
  13. Georgia Department of Education, "Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT)," accessed November 13, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Georgia Department of Education, "CRCT Statewide Scores," accessed November 13, 2014