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Cannon County West Side Elementary Exits Targeted Assistance List

Nearly 200 Schools Across Tennessee Earned the Designation for Gains in Student Growth

NASHVILLE, TN and WOODBURY, TN — The Tennessee Department of Education recently announced the school designations for the 2020-21 school year, which include the top five percent of schools for academic achievement and the top five percent for student growth, including 188 schools spanning 61 districts statewide. 

In addition to recognizing Reward schools, the department also named schools that have improved and earned their way off of the Priority list. Priority schools, federally known as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools, were identified for poor academic performance at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. Focus schools, which are either Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI), could also exit if they met the respective exit criteria.  Cannon County Schools – West Side Elementary School was one of the schools that scored high enough to EXIT the Targeted Support status!

The complete list of Reward schools and schools exiting Priority or Focus status is posted on the department’s website (opens in a new window)

“These schools have shown how Tennessee districts and schools can overcome a variety of challenges including a global pandemic that impacted the past several months, including the majority of the 2020-21 school year,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “During these difficult times, the department continues to celebrate the hard work of our districts, educators, and students across the state.” 

Public Chapter 2 (opens in a new window) (PC 2) of the First Extraordinary Session of the 112th General Assembly amended laws regarding school and district accountability which offer the opportunity to remove negative consequences associated with accountability for the 2020-21 school year. This includes using student performance or student growth data from the 2020-21 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) administration to assign letter grades, or assigning summative ratings for schools eligible for accountability protections in the 2020-21 State Report Card.   

In accordance with PC 2, since all districts achieved a minimum 80% participation rate on the 2020-21 TCAP assessments (opens in a new window), all districts are held harmless for the 2020-21 school year. In other words, districts and schools will not use student achievement and student growth data to assign letter grades or any other summative ratings in the 2021 State Report Card, which will be released later in September. These data will not be used to identify Priority schools, nor to assign a school to the ASD. LEAs will still be responsible for performance goals, even though performance goals will not be determined using student achievement or student growth data from 2020-21 TCAP assessments.  

“Held harmless” refers to schools and school districts for whom student performance and student growth data from the 2020-21 school year cannot be used to assign letter grades or any other summative ratings in the 2021 state report card. These data also cannot be used to identify a school as a priority school, nor to assign a school to the Achievement School District (ASD).  

For the 2020-21 school year, schools earned Reward status based on the most recent year of data.  Schools that are held harmless can still earn Reward School status, even if they do not have a letter grade assigned.  

These districts are designated as Exemplary:

  • Maryville City Schools
  • South Carroll Special School District
  • Newport City Schools
  • Alamo City Schools
  • Bradford Special School District
  • Gibson County Special School District
  • Lincoln County Schools

“Despite the tremendous challenges faced by teachers, administrators, and personnel during the 2020-2021 school year, the TCAP assessment demonstrated many successes by our schools and specifically OUR students.  One of those celebrations that we have in Cannon County is the exit of West Side Elementary School from Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) status,” said Mr. William Freddy Curtis, Director of Schools, Cannon County Schools. “We are extremely proud of the work accomplished by our teachers and staff of West Side Elementary School to achieve results that literally got them off the Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) list!  Kudos to Principal Karen King and all of those excellent educators and hard-working students at West Side Elementary School, Curtis said. “This demonstrates, The VISION and MISSION of Cannon County Schools which has been adopted by the Cannon County Board of Education which states, “VISION – ‘To Actively Engage in Excellence EVERY Day in EVERY Way!’ through OUR MISSION – ‘To Create a Unified Environment That Will Provide Opportunities for All Students to Succeed and Reach Their Full Potential!’ Congratulations!”

“We were beyond excited to hear that we had moved off the target list. This was extraordinary considering we were teaching and learning in ways we had never done before due to the pandemic, said Mrs. Karen King, Principal of West Side Elementary School.  This was only possible because of the dedication of our teachers and staff, and the support of our parents. We still have some work to do in the area of achievement, but our growth scores show that we are growing our most at-risk kids, so we are going to celebrate this as a success for our entire West Side Elementary School family.” 

PC 2 allows for Priority schools to have the designation removed upon meeting both exit criteria and the requirements to be held harmless. In addition, Focus schools, which are either Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI), could also exit if they met the respective exit criteria. 

For the 2020-21 school year, Tennessee had the largest number of schools exiting Priority, Focus, and ATSI status in the state’s history, including: 

  • 7 of the 79 Priority schools from 5 of the 8 districts with Priority schools met the exit criteria
  • 18 of the 37 ATSI schools from 12 of the 17 districts with ATSI school met ATSI exit criteria
  • 108 of the 145 TSI schools from 57 of the 61 districts with TSI schools met TSI exit criteria – including Cannon County – West Side Elementary School.

These preliminary designations are available on the department’s accountability page (opens in a new window) and will be presented to the State Board of Education for approval at the October 29th Board quarterly meeting.  

For media inquiries, email edu.mediainquiries@tn.gov. (opens in a new window) 

For local media inquiries, please contact Mr. William F. Curtis, Director of Cannon County Schools at 629-201-4801 Extension 10101 or at williamf.curtis@ccstn.net (opens in a new window) for local Cannon County Schools information.

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