By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
The Tennessee Department of Education recently recognized E.L. Ross Elementary School as a Focus Improving School, after it had previously been named a Focus School. Each year, the department …
The Tennessee Department of Education recently recognized E.L. Ross Elementary School as a Focus Improving School, after it had previously been named a Focus School.
Each year, the department releases a list of Reward Schools, the top schools in the state, along with Focus Schools, which represent “the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students.”
The school made the Focus list during the 2014-15 school year. However, students’ performance during the 2016-17 school year helped their school make the Focus Improving list, an indication of positive progress.
Dr. Russell Dyer, director of Cleveland City Schools, said educators at the school have “worked extremely hard” to close academic achievement gaps between student subgroups.
“I am proud of Principal (Lisa) Earby and her team at Ross Elementary for continuing to focus on academic achievement for all students,” Dyer said. “By creating a culture of high expectations for every student, we are seeing positive results.”
The subgroups the state department recognizes include students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, students of minority races and students learning English as a second language. The department routinely tracks how these students are doing compared to the majority.
If it continues to make positive progress while on the Focus Improving list, E.L. Ross Elementary will be eligible to be named to the state department’s Focus Exit list, which indicates the school in question has adequately decreased its achievement gaps.
“I know the Ross Elementary team will continue to make great strides, and their hard work is paying dividends for our students,” said Dyer.
A school in nearby Polk County also received a positive mention on the recent statewide report.
Copper Basin High School in Copperhill has been named a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education this year, meaning it is in “the top 5 percent for student growth” statewide.
“These schools represent what is possible for students in Tennessee as they exemplify excellence in performance or progress and in some cases, both,” Commissioner Dr. Candice McQueen said. “We want to replicate this success across the state and continue to celebrate the hard work of our educators and students happening in classrooms every day.”
“I am proud of Principal (Lisa) Earby and her team at Ross Elementary for continuing to focus on academic achievement for all students. By creating a culture of high expectations for every student, we are seeing positive results.” — Dr. Russell Dyer
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