Five Lakeway Area school districts are excelling, with one school district classified as “exemplary,” according to TNReady scores last week.
Rogersville City Schools were listed as an exemplary district, while the school itself was designated as a Reward School, one of the top performing schools in the state.
TNReady scores were released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Education.
TNReady scores come out every year and are broken down between third through eighth grades and high schoolers. The reports are also divided into subgroups to help families, teachers and administrators to better understand what needs work.
In Hamblen County, there were a total of six Reward Schools named for the 2018-2019 year. That’s above the five Reward Schools listed this year.
Hamblen County was also named an “advancing” school district, along with Claiborne, Greene and Jefferson counties.
Listed as “satisfactory” were Newport City Schools and Hawkins County. In need of improvement were Cocke and Hancock counties, state records show.
“While there are clearly areas in need of improvement, we will continue to celebrate our successes and commit ourselves to addressing areas of need,” said Hawkins County Director of Schools Matt Hixson.
The scores are broken down between achievement and growth.
On the growth portion of the testing, students are compared to their peers on how they are performing.
Hamblen County saw Level 5’s on overall, numeracy, literacy and numeracy and social studies composite, but saw a Level 3 in literacy composite.
The components the state uses to look at the TNReady scores for kindergarten through eighth grade include achievement, growth, chronic absenteeism and English Language Learner.
For high schools, ready graduate and graduation rate are also measurements within TNReady.
The scoring system for how TNReady can be overtly complicated with some weight towards growth, and other weight toward proficiency.
“The key thing is making sure that schools know how that score is comprised,” said Stephanie Dallman, supervisor of assessments at Hamblen County schools.
She said teachers, parents and the community all need to know how the measurements are taken in order to use for the planning process and to help keep achieving.
Dallman said collaboration is key between teachers and staff to come up with plans on how to teach students. One thing the Hamblen school district has done is to focus on learning, she said.
Buddy Smith, assistant director of Hamblen County schools, said there is a major change in mindset when the focus is on the learning aspect.
In recent years, the school system has centered around professional learning communities and teacher leadership.
He said he thinks there has been “buy in,” which is now paying dividends for students.
“For years and years, we’ve been focused on teaching,” he said. “That doesn’t work.”