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Bristol Tennessee City Schools and Sullivan County Schools see improvements in TNReady scores
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Bristol Tennessee City Schools and Sullivan County Schools see improvements in TNReady scores

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David Cox Sullivan Co Schools 01

David Cox is the director of Sullivan County Schools. Both Bristol Tennessee City Schools and Sullivan County Schools improved in student achievement, growth and attendance over the previous school year, according to TNReady results.

During the 2018-19 school year, Bristol Tennessee City Schools and Sullivan County Schools improved in student achievement, growth and attendance over the previous school year, according to TNReady results.

TNReady is a standardized test taken yearly by students as part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program that is designed to assess student understanding. The results of the tests are released every year by the Tennessee Department of Education to show the performance of students in schools and school districts across the state.

As part of the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System, all schools and districts receive an overall student growth level equal to the system composite level, which ranges from Level 1 to Level 5. Level 5 districts are the highest-performing and Level 1 are the lowest.

Bristol Tennessee City Schools

BTCS received an overall student growth level of Level 5 and received Level 5 in literacy, numeracy and social studies.

“Our 2019 TNReady assessment results truly show how hard our students and teachers are working each day in the classroom,” interim Director of Schools Annette Tudor said.

On top of that, Tennessee High, Avoca Elementary, Haynesfield Elementary and Tennessee Online Public Schools were named reward schools, which show achievement and growth for all students and student demographics. Reward is the highest level of designation the state gives to schools. Last year, Avoca and Tennessee Online Public Schools were the only schools in the district that made the list.

Additionally, the district saw improvements in the number of students who showed proficiency in various subjects.

» The number of students in third through eighth grades on track in math increased from 42.4% to 46.1%.

» The number of students in third through eighth grades on track in English and language arts increased from 38.3% to 40.1%.

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» The number of students in the same grades on track in social studies increased from 48.7% to 51.1%.

According to a news release from BTCS, the only subject where there was a decline in the percentage of students who scored on track was Integrated Math II.

The graduation rate in the district remained largely the same as the previous year at 93.3%. A Bristol Herald Courier analysis of TDE data found there was a significant improvement in the graduation rate for economically disadvantaged students at 86.3%, but they still lagged behind the rate for all students. However, the graduation rate for students with disabilities actually decreased slightly from 77.1% during the 2017-18 school year to 76.7% in 2018-19.

Also, the number of students who were absent for 18 days or more also decreased by 10% from 11.7% in the 2017-18 school year. Chronic absenteeism was higher across the district for economically disadvantaged students, at 15%, and students with disabilities, 17.6%, than the overall student population, but these groups saw a district-wide improvement in attendance from the previous year, the data reveals.

Sullivan County Schools

Sullivan County Schools received an overall student growth level of Level 4 and Level 5 in literacy, Level 1 in numeracy and Level 4 in social studies. This is a marked improvement from the previous school year, when the growth level was Level 1.

Additionally, Central Heights Elementary, Holston Elementary, Miller Perry Elementary, Rock Springs Elementary, Sullivan South High School and Ketron Elementary School were identified as reward schools, while only Sullivan South High and Miller Perry Elementary made the list the previous year.

However, Blountville Middle School and Colonial Heights Middle School were identified as Targeted Support and Improvement schools, meaning they fall in the bottom 5 percent for their weighted overall accountability score for any subgroup such as economically disadvantaged students, those with disabilities or any given racial or ethnic group.

According to TDE, the state is federally required to identify these schools that are to be supported by the department and are eligible for additional funding. A total of 147 of these schools across the state were identified this year. In last year’s evaluation, only Bluff City Middle School was identified as needing additional support and improvement within the district.

The graduation rate of 95.4% showed an improvement over the previous school year, when it was 94.8%. And though the graduation rates for economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities were better than those in BTCS, they still lagged behind at 91.1% and 81.9%, respectively, TDE data showed.

Like Bristol, the number of students who were absent for 18 days or more out of the 2018-19 year in Sullivan County decreased, from 16% to 14%. According to TDE data, economically disadvantaged students and those with disabilities were more likely to be chronically absent at 21.3% and 18.7%, respectively, though like Bristol these populations saw improvement over the previous school year.

lgreiss@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2512 | Twitter: @Leif_Greiss

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