Carter County schools received highest TVAAS rating, Ward announces

Published 9:05 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Carter County educators, students and administrators should be proud to come back to school this year.
Carter County School System Director Kevin Ward told the Financial Management Committee that Carter County has a level 5 school system. Ward received a round of applause after his announcement.
“As of Monday, an embargo was lifted by the state on our Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) scores,” Ward said. “This year we saw some really good growth in Carter County. We are headed in the right direction.”
The score levels range from 1 to 5 with 1 being the lowest.
“This year along with three other systems in the First District, we are a level 5 in all four areas, which includes overall, literacy and numeracy,” he said. “I’m very proud and happy about the results that we’ve got.”
Scores go from the teacher to each school and then on up to the entire school system.
“We have been working with teachers and schools,” he said. “We’ve been developing individual growth plans for teachers and schools. With a group of people, we are looking at weaknesses and then specifically address the needs.”
Those scores have also been reported this year and Ward is very impressed with the individual school and teacher scores.
“One of the good things we can say this year is that we have more level 4 and 5 teachers,” he said. “Those teachers are on the higher tier. We have more 4 and 5 teachers than level 1 teachers. Level 1 teachers have dropped and 4 and 5s have gone up. It’s a good sign.”
Ward plans to release all of the results in the coming days, he said.
“Our board has really set some expectations for the past few years and they want to see things move in the right direction,” he said. “I have to give 100 percent of the credit to our supervisors who have worked this summer with principals and teachers.”
He also mentioned that Hunter Elementary has been named a Reward School for the second year in a row. This means it is in the top 5 percent of schools in the state for achievement or annual growth.
“I congratulate the principals, assistants and all their support staff and all the teachers up there for a second-year Reward status,” he said.
Ward also told the committee that teachers will have a new resource for when they make lesson plans — Curriculum in Action (C.I.A.).
“We call it that because we’ve put it on Google Drive,” he said. “It’s a live document. It can be changed on a routine and regular basis for upgrades and updates.”
This document will contain lists of links for websites and other materials for teachers to access in the classroom. It helps teachers work smarter, not harder, Ward said.
“There’s also going to be some additional teacher training,” he said. “There will be a lot of changes coming as we move forward with the new TNReady program.”
This school year marks the beginning of TNReady, which is a new version of the TCAP tests for math and English language arts for grades 3-11.

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