Hamilton County Has 6 Of State's Top Achieving Schools; Bradley Lists 1

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman announced 168 schools as the 2013-14 Reward Schools, the top five percent of schools in the state for academic achievement and the top 5 percent for annual growth. Hamilton County has six Reward Schools and Bradley County has one.

Reward Schools in Hamilton County are Allen Elementary, Chattanooga Girls' Leadership Academy, Hamilton County Middle College High School, Lookout Mountain Elementary, Snow Hill Elementary and Thrasher Elementary.

Michigan Avenue School in Bradley County was included.

The Reward Schools span 49 districts across Tennessee and include 90 schools that serve mostly economically disadvantaged populations. 

“Tennessee teachers and students continue to show their dedication to teaching and learning,” Governor Haslam said at an event held at Hazelwood Elementary in Clarksville, recognized for both its high overall achievement and strong growth. “Our Reward Schools are leading the state in progress and performance, and we are thrilled to recognize the extraordinary efforts of staff and students at these Tennessee schools.”

This year’s list recognizes 67 schools for overall academic achievement and 84 schools for annual value-added growth. The list also names 17 schools that earned both designations, rising to the top five percent for annual value-added growth while also ranking in the state’s top 5 percent for overall achievement.

These 10 percent of schools receive recognition for their success, and the department interviewed the 2013 Reward Schools to compile best practices for schools across the state. “Learning From The Best: Promising Practices from Tennessee’s 2013 Reward Schools” identifies themes and promising practices in leadership, instruction, and school climate. You can view the report online at http://tn.gov/education/data/doc/learning_from_reward_schools.pdf

“We believe there are many lessons to be learned from these top performing schools. Every student deserves a school where they will be supported and challenged, and we are excited to share best practices that have proven successful,” Huffman said. “Because our accountability system recognizes growth and different starting points, we have enormous diversity in our Reward Schools.”

A complete list of 2014 Reward Schools is available here: http://www.tn.gov/education/data/accountability/schools_2014.shtml.

Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA), Tennessee’s first single-gender STEM public charter school, has earned removal from the state’s High Priority List and has also attained Reward School status for the second consecutive year, school officials noted.

“At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, CGLA was in danger of closure. After meeting
with (Hamilton County) Superintendent Rick Smith, the district gave us a chance and our
marching orders to improve our school achievement scores,” said CGLA Executive Director Dr.
Elaine Swafford. “In one year, the school went from the bottom five-percent in the state to the
top five-percent in the state and was named a Reward School for progress."

“In two years, CGLA not only came off the High Priority List from the bottom five-percent, we
were named a Reward School two years in a row,” said CGLA Co-Founder Dr. Sue Anne

Dr. Wells "attributes the outstanding turnaround to the school’s leadership, teaching to high
standards, and the commitment of parents to their students."

Dr. Swafford said she agrees that "teaching a rigorous curriculum and holding high expectations were key reasons for the hard-earned change in achievement. Our parents should be proud of their girls, the students should be proud of their performance and the teachers should be proud of their accomplishments with our students.”

The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy is a single-gender, small learning community for girls in
grades 6-12. The college preparation curriculum is centered on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). With an extended day and a year round calendar, CGLA offers girls an accelerated and integrated remediation approach that is intended to move them to proficient and advanced levels within core academic subjects. A range of social supports that reflects girls’ social development needs is integrated into the educational experience. 

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: LANSDEN, ARSENIO LAMAR B 26 M 0 1 GS 1574298 FAILURE TO APPEAR LEVI, KELLEY MARK W 50 M 0 1 GS 1593390 FAILURE TO APPEAR aka LEVI, KELLY MARK NICELY, ELIZABETH K. W 38 F 0 1 GS 1564643 DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE NICELY, ELIZABETH K. W 38 F 0 2 GS 1564644 ... (click for more)

Red Bank Commission Votes 4-1 To Add Administrative Hearing Officer To Hear Codes Cases

A new administrative position was created Tuesday night for Red Bank’s municipal government. An administrative hearing officer will not be a permanent job, but will be filled as a contract position on an as-needed basis. The goal of this job will be to make property owners maintain their houses, not for the purpose of collecting fines, officials said.   Currently, ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)

Baylor Boys Win 17th D-II AA Golf Title; Baylor Girls Take Second

  MANCHESTER – On a sun-drenched afternoon, it was a special day for Baylor golf and for the King Oehmig family. Highlighted by a 5-under, 31 on the final nine holes, Baylor senior Oliver Simonsen shot a two-day, 3-under 141 to lead Baylor to the 2015 TSSAA D-II AA boys state championship at WillowBrook Golf Course here Tuesday. Carrying one-of-a-kind black golf ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Whips Lady 'Canes For Shot At District 5-3A Volleyball Title

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Familiar rivals will play for the District 5-3A volleyball tournament championship on Wednesday. Ooltewah (41-11) and Walker Valley (28-11), the tourney’s Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, posted semifinal wins Tuesday night at Cleveland Middle School and earned their shots at the title, along with berths in next week’s Region 3-3A tournament. The Lady ... (click for more)