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LSSD report card released
Nov 14, 2006 12:00 am
The Lebanon Special School District made gains in all categories and surpassed state averages in all four categories of the 2006 Report Card.
Released Friday by the state Department of Education, the report also shows the system met all federal benchmarks under adequate yearly progress. Only one school failed to meet state averages in every category.
In addition, all five schools showed improvement in student academic achievement.
All five schools also maintained an A in math, while Castle Heights and Sam Houston showed marked improvement in reading. Coles Ferry and Walter J. Baird Middle also improved their social studies scores.
The only school to have any score below state average was Sam Houston Elementary, which scored one point below state average in reading and language. However, Sam Houston did score above average in math, science and social studies.
LSSD Director of Schools Dr. Sharon Roberts said in a press release that the district is always working to improve student learning.
"We have met with the leadership teams at each school to ensure that we are focusing on the right things," Roberts said.
A couple of factors in LSSD's favor is per-pupil spending and the number of qualified teachers employed there. The district spends just $251 less than the state average and 100-percent of classes are taught by "highly-qualified" teachers, according to the report.
Associate Director of Learning Jeanne Ray said she was particularly proud of the Value-Added scores, which track learning by specific groups of students over a period of time. The system showed improvements there in all areas, with all but math drawing an A score.
"The only way to make those improve is to make sure we're improving every year," Ray said.
She said challenging the higher-achieving students is part of improving the value-added scores every year.
"Making sure we have more rigorous classes to challenge our students on the high end … is a real focus, to make sure we're providing the kind of rigorous instruction they need to become successful," Ray said.
Ray said a focus would be to improve the reading and language scores at Sam Houston.
"This year we have new administrators in that school, so we are looking at doing some work at targeting individual student needs," Ray said.
The system also scored above state averages in attendance and grade promotion.
Ray noted the system is participating in a pilot program called the Tennessee Formative Assessment Program, which tests students three times a year instead of the one used to create the report card. This will help them diagnose any learning problems earlier in the year and help get students back on track, Ray said.
"Before we had just the one spring test to really determine where students are, so this will give us a look at where students are achieving … and if we can target them early enough, get some intervention in there," Ray said.
Staff Writer Jason Cox can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 45 or by e-mail at email@example.com.