July 14th, 2016 by Jamie Woodson
By sharing the best ideas from some of the best educators at the SCORE Prize Summit: Strategies for Student Success, we hope to illuminate proven approaches for greater student achievement and to unleash innovative thinking for new ways to accelerate the progress.
May 23rd, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
New Vision Academy (NVA) has an exceptionally data-rich culture. Many tools for monitoring student growth are in use at this public charter school in Nashville – assessments, benchmarks, math and reading levels – and NVA sets a new standard for using this information productively. Data improves instruction, facilitates teacher collaboration, and aids communication with students and parents. “Once they start to believe, then they start to own their education,” said Executive Director Timothy Malone. “Everybody’s not on the same level, and we recognize that. But we want to see that growth in every child. The data doesn’t lie. We try to tie that data into everything we do.”
April 25th, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
At Covington High, which serves nearly 750 students in grades 9-12 in West Tennessee, a collaborative, teacher-focused atmosphere ensures that instructors are respected, treated as experts in their field, and encouraged to work together closely. The resulting culture is highly conducive to innovation, instructional risk-taking, and development of leadership. The school has narrowed achievement gaps while raising algebra proficiency rates. Covington’s students have made strong gains in English II and tremendous gains in Algebra I and II over the past three years.
March 28th, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
A consistent, high level of community engagement defines Grassy Fork, helping students complete their best work academically and maintaining a focus on student outcomes in the surrounding community. This small, rural school located in the mountains of East Tennessee has demonstrated tremendous growth over the last decade. A three-year partnership with the Niswonger Foundation starting in 2002 improved the school’s use of data and instructional differentiation. The results are noteworthy – middle school students, for example, score roughly 20 points above the state average across reading, math, and science and have shown strong growth on the three-year TVAAS measure.
March 22nd, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
Eight years ago, SCORE Prize finalist Johnson City Schools (JCS) won a sizable federal grant: $5 million in Safe Schools/Healthy Students funds, received over the course of four years. The grant allowed JCS to establish the HEROES program, a comprehensive set of services designed to meet a wide range of student mental health and safety needs. "We plan for the whole child," said Debra Bentley, director of instruction and communications for JCS. "When a child feels safe, when a child feels mentally and emotionally sound, then the academics will come."
March 3rd, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
A combination of individual attention, high academic expectations, and close monitoring of data delivers big opportunities for students at Trousdale County Schools, district winner of the 2015 and 2013 SCORE Prize. Trousdale County Director of Schools Clint Satterfield says the district’s leaders work hard to identify the best moves for students, and then make them happen, no matter what.
February 15th, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
At KIPP Academy, staff believe that strong relationships between parents, students, and teachers lead to fundamentally transformed outcomes. Families are deeply engaged from the very beginning of kids’ work at KIPP. And college conversations happen early and often at this public charter school, which serves 350 students in grades 5-8 within Metro Nashville Public Schools and was a finalist for the 2015 SCORE Prize.
January 22nd, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
Principal Beth Roeder’s expectation is that every teacher at Andersonville Elementary School takes on some form of leadership role. Depending on individual teachers’ interests and experience, this can mean taking charge of aspects of curriculum or data, rethinking playground safety, planning the school Christmas program, or helping out in the central office. And all this is in addition to a school structure that gives teachers a key role in decision-making and development of fresh interventions.
January 19th, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
2015 SCORE Prize district finalist Dyersburg City Schools does an exceptional job of preparing students for college and the workforce, starting with kindergarten and continuing through graduation. A rigorous, career-focused curriculum combined with comprehensive, age-appropriate development of soft skills ensures that students graduate with the academic preparation and personal focus needed to succeed after high school.
January 7th, 2016 by Amy Griffith Graydon
The Soulsville Charter School has adopted many innovative practices, including excellent academic advising and connections to real-world experiences outside of school, to help every student be ready for postsecondary education.