2012 Report Card
Shows That System
Meets All Criteria
BY SARAH GREGORY
The Greeneville City Schools system is on the path to becoming only the second school district in the state to be officially recognized by the state as a "High Performing School District."
On Thursday, Board of Education members voted unanimously to approve a High Performing School District resolution.
In May, Gov. Bill Haslam signed the High Performing School Districts Flexibility Act into law.
Greeneville City Schools became eligible for designation as a High Performing School District by meeting four criteria, as evaluated by the state's 2012 report card.
Those criteria were:
* a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher;
* an average ACT college entrance exam composite score of 21 over a three-year period;
* a TCAP grades-three-through-eight average composite score of 55 or higher; and,
* a three-year average composite gain of 1.75 or higher in the value-added state assessment system.
The Greeneville City Schools system not only met the criteria, but surpassed each requirement.
The graduation rate for 2013 was 97.4 percent.
However, as Director of Schools Dr. Linda Stroud has pointed out in the past, the Greeneville school system technically has a 100 percent graduation rate, but due to the state's classification of special education graduates as dropouts, the percentage appears lower.
The system's average ACT composite score was 22.1 over a three-year period.
Greeneville City students achieved TCAP composite scores above 55 in all subjects -- mathematics, reading/language arts, social studies, and science in grades three through eight.
The school system's value-added composite growth measure was 3.6 on the state's 2012 report card.
The High-Performing School District designation lasts for three years. After that, the declaration may be made again if criteria continue to be met.
Under the new law, the designation will afford the school district some additional flexibility, in the use of funds and methods used in teacher evaluations.
According to the act, a High Performing School District may:
* appropriate additional funds as needed from the fund balance of self-sustaining or self-sufficint funds, such as the cafeteria fund or extended school program fund;
* use a teacher evaluation system different from that established by the Tennessee Department of Education;
* add educational days to the school calendar; and,
* apply to the state commissioner of education for a waiver of any state board rule, regulation, or statute "that inhibits or hinders the district's ability to meet its goals or comply with its mission statement."
A number of statutes, however, may not have waivers granted, including such issues as civil rights, health and safety, public records, immunizations, possession of weapons, personnel background checks, parental rights, and open meetings, among others.
School board members voted unanimously in favor of adopting the resolution to designate the system as High Performing.
"That's exciting. That's what we're about," said Chairman Craig Ogle.
School board member Cindy Luttrell noted that the designation "gives credit where credit is due" for school districts that perform well.
"It's high criteria. Greeneville City [Schools system] meets the criteria, and it's all due to the work of our teachers, students, principals, and administrators," Stroud said.
Oak Ridge Schools are currently the only school system in the state designated as a High Performing School District.