Six schools in Blount County named Reward Schools
By Matthew Stewart | (email@example.com)
The state Department of Education has named six local schools as 2012-13 Reward Schools.
During Monday’s ceremony at Percy Priest Elementary School in Nashville, state officials named Alcoa High School, two Blount County schools — Heritage High and Prospect Elementary schools — and three Maryville schools — Foothills Elementary, Maryville High, and Maryville Junior High schools — as Reward Schools.
Only 169 Tennessee schools received the designation, which represent the top 5 percent of schools for annual student growth and top 5 percent for academic achievement.
The Department of Education recognized 70 schools for overall academic achievement and 83 schools for annual value-added growth.
Sixteen of the 169 Reward Schools earned both designations, rising to the top 5 percent for annual value-added growth while also ranking in the state’s top 5 percent for overall achievement, according to a new accountability system adopted through Tennessee’s No Child Left Behind waiver.
The state Department of Education recognized:
• Alcoa High School for performance;
• Foothills Elementary School for performance;
• Heritage High School for progress;
• Maryville High School for performance;
• Maryville Junior High School for performance and progress;
• Prospect Elementary School for progress.
Reward Schools were located in 52 of the state’s 136 school districts, and 70 recognized schools serve predominately economically disadvantaged populations.
‘Recipe for success’
“I’m very proud and very excited for Alcoa High School,” said Alcoa Director of Schools Brian Bell. “I’ve always said that good leadership starts at the top. We’ve got outstanding leadership and direction from our board of education. We’ve got a highly competitive, focused administrative team supervising a group of hard-working teachers who have high expectations for themselves and their students. Our students also have high expectations for themselves. When you throw it together, it’s a recipe for success — and being named a Reward School is a nice payoff.”
“Heritage High School and Prospect Elementary School, their administrative teams, their teachers, parents and all of their students should be delighted to have been rewarded for their hard work,” said Blount County Director of Schools Rob Britt.
“We are extremely proud of the great strides these schools have made. Heritage High School found itself in School Improvement 1 in 2004-05 under the former accountability model; and in such a short time (it) has been recognized as one of only 40 other high schools in the state to receive Reward status. Prospect Elementary School, in only its third year, built a great staff, parent support and student expectations to achieve much progress.”
Both schools have “stayed true to our district’s mission while facing some curricular changes,” Britt said. “Congratulations are given to each member of their staff, their parents and student body, and we are proud of the work they do for the children of Blount County Schools.”
“The high expectations set in this community for educational excellence are reflected in this recognition,” said Maryville Director of Schools Stephanie Thompson.
“Both achievement and growth are significant measures of our annual performance. We have been very strategic in our effort to understand these measures and focus on best practices that produce the greatest results.
“Our teachers are always seeking new ways to connect with students to produce individual results that will carry them to the next levels of achievement and allow them to make as much progress as possible each year.
“This community, our staff, parents and students should all be proud of these awards — placing Maryville High School, Maryville Jr. High and Foothills Elementary in the top 5 percent of schools across the state for these performance categories.”