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Chickamauga Elementary looking to build on success

Wednesday was the first day back for students at Chickamauga City Schools. (Image: Ivy Ervin)

Parents want their kids to get the best education possible.

And, for some at Chickamauga Elementary, it means first making their kids do an interview with the principal.

For the first day back on Wednesday, Principal Jeff Sikes talked about what's new this year, and why it's such a sought after school.

Before school began Wednesday morning, teachers were dancing in front of the school to welcome kids back from summer break.

This year, kids will be rewarded with the chance to dance inside their classroom as well, if they build up enough good behavior points.

But, all this fun has to be earned, and for more than half the students, earning it starts with an interview.

"Our students each year must interview to be accepted to our school," Sikes explained.

Close to 55% of the students live outside the city limits, but that is not stopping parents from trying to get their kid enrolled here.

"All the students who are accepted to our school receive a golden ticket in the mail in a golden envelope, and the parents favorite, golden glitter," Sikes said.

Many Students had that golden ticket today, which they could trade in for a bag full of school supplies.

So, why is this school in such high demand?

"Four of the last six years we've won Title 1 Highest Performing Elementary School in the state of Georgia for a small district," Sikes explained.

The school has taken the approximately $175,000 they have won over the last six years, and put it right back into the classrooms.

Even 5th grade students like Maggie and Jenny Beth talked about the value of interviewing and winning that golden ticket.

"As a little kid, we're not used to many things like that (interview), so getting to talk to them was like a privilege," Jenny said.

"I want to make an example for all the younger kids" Maggie said.

Sikes credits the awards and high demand for admission to the hard work and innovation of the faculty and staff.

"Each and every year, we try and get better. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward," Sikes added.

Sikes said the award money helped them become a wireless school with a growing collection of eBooks and more than 400 tablets.

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