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April 17--  Three local schools are among 74 in the state which the Georgia Department of Education says no longer need special state scrutiny.

Montgomery County Elementary, Montgomery County Middle School and J.R. Trippe Middle School in Vidalia are no longer on the state's "Focus" list because they have closed the gap between the schools' lowest performing students and the state average performance standards.

In Montgomery County, School Superintendent Hugh Kight reacted by saying, 'We're very excited about that.  They based that on your students' growth and improvements on the standardized testing.  We came off a year early and we're going to move forward.  I appreciate the leadership of our principals and our teachers and I feel good about what's going on right now."

In Vidalia, Sandy Reid is in her first year as principal at J.R. Trippe Middle School, "Everyone is on a more level playing field as far as the standards are concerned," she said.

"It effects the school in several ways.  For one, it's recognition that the teachers and administration have put in the amount of time required for curriculum improvement and intervention for students who were at risk.  In the past there has been a certain amount of money that came along with being a Focus school and we will be impacted financially because we will no longer receive that money.  Fortunately, we have put things in place that can be sustained without the extra money," she said.

Other schools in the region removed from the list are Jeff Davis Elementary School, Wilcox County High School, Bacon Elementary School in Wayne County and the Moore Street School in Dublin.

One Hundred sixty-nine other schools are still on the list.