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Bradford Special School District earns Exemplary status

By Crystal Burns

The Bradford Special School District is among the state’s best.

The Tennessee Department of Education recently released its 2018 District and School Accountability lists, and Bradford ranked as one of 14 Exemplary districts.

The state department website explains that several metrics were included in district accountability for the first time in 2018. Bradford Director of Schools Dan Black told his school board last week that the new measures offer a more complete picture of district achievement.

Districts are assessed on student performance in six areas measured through three pathways. The score for each area is calculated by averaging the best of absolute performance or Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) target and value-added pathways.

The six performance areas and pathways are Grade 3-5 Success Rate, Grade 6-18 Success Rate, Grade 9-12 Success Rate, Graduation Rate, Chronically Out of School and English Language Proficiency Assessment.

Final district determinations are calculated by using a weighted average of the district’s scores on the All Students and Subgroup status, with all students weighted at 60 percent and subgroups at 40 percent. Final determinations are Exemplary, Advancing, Satisfactory, Marginal and In Need of Improvement.

A minimum score of 3.00 is required to be classified as Exemplary. Bradford scored a 3.18.

“We did well,” Black said. “It’s a great accomplishment for our schools.”

BSSD Supervisor of Instruction Amy Dunn said the district performed well in most areas, but there are some issues to look at, especially with economically disadvantaged students.

Bradford Elementary School is a Reward school. Reward schools are generally those that are improving in terms of achievement and growth for both all students and student groups.

BES was one of six schools in Gibson County to earn Reward status. Gibson Co. High, South Gibson Co. Middle (formerly Medina Middle), Rutherford Elementary, South Gibson Co. High and Spring Hill also achieved the distinction.

The Gibson Co. Special, Milan Special and Trenton Special school districts were categorized as Advancing.

New central office – The Bradford board met for the first time in the district’s new central office, formerly the fellowship hall of the Methodist Church, just a short walk from the old central office. The district did some remodeling to get the fellowship hall ready.

“If any group deserved a nice facility, it’s y’all,” said board member Dr. Dale Denning. You’ve earned it.”

Central office staff expressed their appreciation to the board for the investment. The district also purchased the Methodist Church, which could be used for school events such as music programs.

Kudos to Don Lannom – Retired board member Don Lannom, who missed the final two meetings of his term due to illness, attended last week’s meeting. Black and the board gave kudos to the longtime chairman.

“We’re where we are today because of your service,” Denning said. “The chairman sets the tone. You certainly set a good tone.”

“You made my job a whole lot easier,” Black said.

Lannom said his years on the board were a pleasure. He also thanked everyone for the prayers, calls and visits while he was ailing.

“I couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch to work with,” he said.

The board voted 5-0 to elect Dr. Kelvin Moore, who was absent, as board president/chairman. Denning noted that Moore is a Level V Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) member and had done a great job as Bradford’s vice president.

The board elected Rich Cunningham as vice president and Denning as Tennessee Legislative Network representative.

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