State report card gives city schools an A, two B’s, two C’s

Published 9:09 pm Friday, December 22, 2023

By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent


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The Tennessee Department of Education released its grades for individual schools statewide on Thursday. While the state report isn’t intended for a systemwide grade, Elizabethton city schools averaged a “B” – 3.7 on a 5-point scale.

Director of Schools Richard VanHuss, ahead of the release during a school board meeting, emphasized that the state’s grading system “just scratches the surface of all the great work that our staff and students have done, especially when you look back over the last three-to-four-year period since the state of the pandemic.”

VanHuss, speaking at the Kiwanis Club of Elizabethton, highlighted the challenge of encapsulating a school’s complexity in a letter or number. He stressed, “Our position is, those grades are just what they are. That is just one representation of what goes on.”

He noted that despite the recognition of progress, the grading system can make educators feel attacked, considering it only represents a small portion of school activity.

The individual Elizabethton city schools were graded as follows:

  • West Side Elementary School: A, total score 4.9
  • T.A. Dugger Junior High School: B, total score 4
  • East Side Elementary School: B, total score 3.6
  • Harold McCormick Elementary School: C, total score 3
  • Elizabethton High School: C, total score 3

VanHuss expressed pride in the schools’ efforts, recognizing that the report doesn’t depict the entire story of their work. He highlighted ongoing efforts for improvement, emphasizing that a single letter or number cannot represent everything within a school.

The letter grading system, established in 2016 by the General Assembly, includes factors like student achievement, academic growth, and college and career readiness for high schools.

Commissioner of Education Lizzette Reynolds stated that the letter grades provide families a clear snapshot of school performance, encouraging engagement within local school communities.

For more details on individual school grades, visit the A-F Letter Grade Dashboard at