About McDuffie County's Curriculum

McDuffie County Public Schools offer a challenging curriculum and exciting learning opportunities for students in grades PK-12. The curriculum, based on the Georgia Standards of Excellence, builds on the fundamental academic concepts of English, mathematics, science, and social studies. In addition, instruction in McDuffie County includes experiences and support in fine arts; foreign language; physical education; health; technology; and Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE). Guidance and counseling, social work, and psychological services are available to care for students’ emotional and physical needs.

The school system provides a variety of specialized programs to help all students succeed. This includes a comprehensive special education program for students ages 3 to 21 with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. Additionally, an enriching gifted and talented model serves to challenge students with advanced content and diverse learning opportunities. Talent development and extended learning time opportunities are built into the school day, with students flexibly grouped in a fluid fashion to work on specific skills. English learner services are provided for grades K-12, and migrant education program supplemental services, if needed, are offered through the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College consortium. Remedial education and early intervention programs offer additional supports for students in need of assistance in reading and mathematics.  In grades K-5, the system is also fortunate to have the resources of retired educators who tutor students during the school day.  After school tutoring is provided for grades K-12, and online virtual tutoring is available for grades 3-12 as well. Students may avail themselves of Summer Bridge, credit repair, and credit recovery opportunities also. Through its Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and evidence-based curricula, the district provides support for both academics and behavior.

The high school student may choose from courses to prepare him for college or career. The curriculum is designed so that it is broad enough to meet the interests of all students. A 4x4 block schedule allows students to take eight courses per year and complete multiple pathways in CTAE, fine arts, world language, and advanced academics. To meet the needs of the community, the system offers CTAE pathways in clusters related to agriculture, construction, welding, transportation, NJROTC, information technology, computer science, cybersecurity, business and management, healthcare science, cosmetology, drafting and design, robotics, and early childhood education.  Work-based learning programs (including the Jumpstart Youth Apprenticeship Program, clinical rotations, lab settings, and job coaching) supplement lab-based CTAE classes and allow students to put theory into practice in their own community. The district is proud to offer several diploma seals signifying students' career readiness abilities and was the first in the state to be approved to offer the civic engagement diploma seal. Likewise, the robust Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) provide opportunities for students to compete against their peers on the state and national stages, where they have claimed multiple titles. Joint and dual enrollment opportunities are also available to high school students. The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers students the chance to work with a college level curriculum while still in high school. Upon completion of an AP course, the student receives credit toward graduation and may also take an examination which, depending upon the score, can earn additional credit at the college level. 
Meanwhile, the middle school curriculum includes several high school credit courses. The district was the first in the area to offer Georgia History for high school credit, expanding the subject areas to include ELA, math, science, social studies, fine arts, CTAE, and health and physical education courses available. School counselors assist students in developing Individual Graduation Plans, which are reviewed annually with the high school counselor as students progress toward graduation. The IGP reflect pupils' career interests and high school course of study to prepare for post-secondary success.

Growing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities are offered in all grade levels. The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) modules, featuring robotics, coding, and physical science and aligned with the Georgia Standards of Excellence, are integrated in science courses in grades K-5. In middle school, several PLTW courses are offered through the STEM-based exploratory elective class. Thomson High School uses the PLTW curriculum in its computer science and robotics courses, which are open to all students. Grants from the Georgia Department of Education have enabled the district to supply its schools with equipment, training, and consumable supplies for all students, while partnerships with industries and post-secondary institutions provide technical support, mentoring, and expertise. Summer STEM camps are also offered, and pupils compete annually in the FIRST Lego League and FIRST Robotics competitions.
The system is proud of its fine arts program, which includes choral and instrumental music, drama/theatre, and visual arts.  All students in grades K-5 participate in music and art weekly, while pupils in grades 6-12 may select from an expansive number of courses to match their interests. Pupils compete in the Georgia Music Educators Association Honors Chorus, All-State Chorus and All-State Band, Georgia Marching Band Series, and literary events. Graduating seniors may earn a Georgia fine arts diploma seal for satisfactory completion of a pathway and a capstone performance. Elementary students may also elect to participate in a summer fine arts camp.
A full-time pre-kindergarten program, staffed by certified teachers and paraprofessionals, is located on the campuses of Dearing Elementary and Maxwell Elementary schools.  Since the onset of the Georgia Pre-K Program, the district has offered classes to its community, providing a seamless gateway into kindergarten.  The system also provides a Rising Kindergarten Summer Transition Program.
Core to McDuffie County’s curriculum is the reading program which details the essential things students are expected to know and be able to do in reading in each grade. Students are provided a solid base for reading from which teachers can build the other content areas. Cadres of teachers train all new teachers in the process, thereby keeping the instruction strong.
Similarly, the district-wide writing and mathematics plans require constant alignment with the state standards and continuous communication among the schools. Students in each grade demonstrate through multiple disciplines their writing skills through an established writing process. Feedback from these papers and state-mandated assessments is provided to the student’s next instructor for reference and use in making instructional decisions.

The McDuffie County School District is an innovative, dynamic system which relies upon data to make instructional decisions. The monitoring and use of student achievement data, both formative and summative gathered from a variety of sources, as well as classroom observations on a consistent basis allows teachers to adjust instruction to meet the needs of learners through research-based strategies.  

The goal of all instruction is to ensure that pupils graduate with the ability to be contributing members of their community. Through its structured, varied learning experiences, the McDuffie County School System strives to meet this challenge each day.