Unicoi County school board reviews data behind exemplary district ranking

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Nov 9, 2017 at 10:02 PM

ERWIN — Following up on Unicoi County schools recent designation as an Exemplary School District, the Board of Education on Thursday received a detailed breakdown of the data that went into the state achievement recognition.

Sherry Ray, secondary curriculum instruction supervisor for the school district, presented the board with a summation of the four-step assessment used by the Tennessee Department of Education to evaluate the schools TN Ready scores and other key achievement indicators.

The first step, Ray said, was a Minimum Performance Goal that required a least 95 percent of the school district’s students to take part in the testing. Ray said Unicoi County’s 99 and 100 percent participation level at all grade levels was something the district was very proud of and credited the students and their parents for making it happen.

From there, Ray said the state assessment moved through three “all-or-nothing” goals in the categories of achievement, value added and underserved student subgroups.

In TNReady testing for grades 3-8, Ray said the district made gains in every area except one, which remained the same as the prior school year.

At the high school level, the state ranked the district on measurable objectives, including achievement improvement, graduation rate and ACT scores.

Unicoi County High School students met six out of eight of the state’s achievement goals and graduated 90.6 percent of its class of 2016 seniors.

Student ACT scores also increased up to an overall average score of 19.7.

In underserved student subgroups — defined by the state as English as a second language, special education and economically disadvantaged students — students’ scores were ranked as exemplary based on all of the same indicators assessed for other students.

Finally, Ray said, the state averaged the district’s exemplary subgroup point assessment with its achieving point assessment of other students for an overall exemplary score for the district.

For the current school year, she said teachers and staff are training now for a new state achievement testing platform to be implemented for the first time in the spring.

In other business on Thursday, the school board recognized high school students Cassi Foster and Trey Hatcher for their success at the Technical Students Association National Flight Endurance Competition in Orlando, Florida.

Foster finished second in the nation for flight endurance and also set a national flight time record of 3 minutes 12 seconds. Hatcher finished third in the nation for flight endurance.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.


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