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Local schools among 2017 Tennessee Reward Schools

Rick Wagner • Oct 30, 2017 at 2:31 PM

NASHVILLE — Northeast Tennessee schools in Sullivan, Hawkins and Washington counties and the cities of Johnson City, Bristol and Elizabethton made the 2017 Rewards School list released Friday, putting them among the top 5 percent statewide on one of two measures or both.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the top 5 percent of schools for academic achievement and the top 5 percent for student growth. These 169 schools span 60 districts across Tennessee.

“These schools represent what is possible for students in Tennessee as they exemplify excellence in performance or progress and in some cases, both,” McQueen said in a news release. “We want to replicate this success across the state and continue to celebrate the hard work of our educators and students happening in classrooms every day.”

Of the 2017 Reward schools:

— Fifty-nine are recognized as Reward Schools for performance. In the region, those are Elizabethton’s West Side Elementary; Hawkins County’s Mount Carmel Elementary; Sullivan County’s Innovation Academy; Bristol’s Haynesfield and Holston View elementaries; and Johnson City’s Fairmont and Town Acres elementaries.  

— Eighty-five are recognized as Reward schools for progress. Regionally, those are Sullivan County’s Central Heights Elementary and Colonial Heights Middle and Washington County’s West View Elementary.

— And 25 schools are Reward Schools both for performance and progress. In the region, that is Washington County’s University School, a K-12 school operated through East Tennessee State University. 

The complete list of Reward schools is posted on the department’s website at tn.gov/education/article/2017-school-accountability.

In addition to recognizing Reward schools, McQueen also named schools that have improved and earned their way off of the Priority or Focus school lists. The Priority school list captures the schools that are in the bottom 5 percent in academic achievement, and the Focus school list includes the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students. While new Priority and Focus schools will be published in 2018, schools have the opportunity to come off the lists every year if they make significant improvements.

Washington County’s Gray Elementary and Jonesborough Middle exited from the Focus list, and Elizabethton’s T.A. Dugger Junior High made the Focus improving list.

Four schools earned their way off the Priority list this year. Three are located in Shelby County, Mitchell High School, Treadwell Elementary, and Northwest Prep Academy, and the fourth is in the Achievement School District: Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary School. Seven additional schools were named Priority Improving schools due to the gains they made this past year. Fifteen schools exited the Focus school list, and another 20 made significant improvements. 

Complete state-, district-, and school-level TNReady results from 2016-17 were released Thursday and are available online on TNReady.gov. More information about the school and district accountability designations announced Friday is available on the department’s website