By Crystal Burns
Leaders, including the director of schools, supervisors of instruction and the principals from each of the Gibson County Special School District’s (GCSSD) nine schools reviewed their 2018-19 testing data at Thursday’s school board meeting.
GCSSD is designated as Exemplary, the highest achievement the state Department of Education gives under its accountability system. Gibson County High School, South Gibson County High School, South Gibson County Middle School, Rutherford and Spring Hill were all named Reward Schools.
The district’s overall percentage of students scoring On Track/Mastered on TNReady (grades 3-8) and high school End of Course tests beat the state average in every area. The district’s scores also showed improvements from the 2017-18 school year in several areas.
3-5 Math – 60% (up from 53.7%); State 45.4%
3-5 ELA (English/Language Arts) – 41.3% (down from 41.7%); State 35.5%
6-8 Math – 61.9% (up from 60.9%); State 36%
6-8 ELA – 42.3% (down from 43.8%); State 32%
6-8 Social Studies – 55.8% (up from 53.4%); State 40.9%
*There are no results for 6-8 Science because last year the subject was field tested.
3-8 Math 61.0% (up from 57.3%); State 40.8%
3-8 ELA 41.8% (down from 42.8%); State 33.7%
High School Math 48.5% (up from 38.8%); State 29.6%
High School ELA 51.6% (up from 43.3%); State 37.6%
U.S. History 30.7% (up from 30.4%); State 28.6%
In addition to being measured in achievement, individual schools and districts also receive TVAAS (Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System) growth scores on a scale of 1-5, with one being the lowest and five the highest. Level 3 indicates that the student grew one grade level.
The district ranked Level 5 overall for the fourth consecutive year, and four individual schools – Dyer, GCHS, SGCHS and SGCMS earned Level 5 status.
CTE (Career-Technical Education) Concentrator 4
“How do we consistently keep our achievement and growth levels so high?” Pruett said. “We have a great team in our district. Everybody knows they are here to help kids, and they work tirelessly to ensure our students achieve success they couldn’t imagine was possible. I am so thankful that our board, administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community understand the importance of our partnership.”
The state also measures schools and districts in chronically-out-of-school, graduation rate and Ready Graduate rate indicators. The Ready Graduate indicator measures the percentage of students who earn a diploma and meet success milestones that increase their probability of seamlessly enrolling in postsecondary education and securing high-quality employment.
GCSSD made significant improvements in its chronically-out-of-school indicator, decreasing from 6.0% in grades K-8 to 4.3%; from 7.5% to 5.5% in grades 9-12; and from 7.5% to 5.5% in K-12. Those numbers are well below the state averages of 10.4% in K-8, 19.3% in 9-12 and 13.1% in K-12.
The district’s graduation rate was up slightly from 93.6% to 93.7%, well above the state average of 89.1%. The Ready Graduate indicator was up from 47.9% to 55.1%. State data was not available.
“We can’t have results like that without what happens in the schools,” Pruett said, seguing into the principals’ portion of the data. Each principal noted areas of strength and weakness and said they are working with faculty to improve in subjects where their data lags.
New principal Dr. Lane Collins, who took over from Steve Maloan at SGC Middle School, had the quote of the night. Collins said the data he reviewed belongs to Maloan and compared the retired principal to Alabama football coach Nick Saban. Collins said he couldn’t promise Saban-like results but would avoid the pitfalls second-year Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has endured.
“Mr. Maloan was a Nick Saban,” he said. “Just because you work for Nick Saban doesn’t mean you are Nick Saban. I may not be a Nick Saban, but I’m not going to be a Jeremy Pruitt. I promise you that.”
Pruett received an overall score of 4.22 on his annual evaluation from the school board. The board uses a 1-5 scale, with one being the lowest and five the highest to measure the director’s performance and progress each year. Pruett’s score of 4.22 is considered significantly above expectations.
“I believe we’ve seen great progress in Eddie Pruett as a director,” board member Treva Maitland said.