CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – The Clarksville Montgomery County School System has received a new set of grades from the state. While overall CMCSS got top marks, there were some trouble spots.
Schools Director Jean Luna-Vedder told the School Board this week that the scores indicate that educators had some work to do in key subject areas.
“We have some things to celebrate, and we have some things to work on,” she said.
District student growth scores
Luna-Vedder was referring to the District Value Added Data from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS).
School districts and individual schools are scored on a 1 through 5 growth scale based on calculating the average of several performance indicators such as student achievement scores, TVAAS scores, graduate indicators, and graduation rate, as well as chronic absenteeism and an evaluation of a district’s Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
Luna-Vedder said according to this growth measurement system, districts need to achieve at least 3 out of 5 to show they are keeping up with the expected learning growth rate set by the state.
“As a system (I was) very happy to see we have a systemwide composite of a 5,” she said.
However, CMCSS ranked at the bottom in some subject areas, with only a 1 in both literacy and numeracy. The system scored a 5 in social studies.
“We have talked about the fact we are really going to continue to focus on literacy and math this next school year,” she said.
At the school level, 91 percent of CMCSS elementary schools had a growth rating of a 3, 4 or 5. She added that 29 percent of middle schools met those same growth markers, and 63 percent of high schools in the district achieved those 3, 4, or 5 growth rates.
K-12 Virtual School also scored a 5,.
Luna-Vedder said in the subjects of literacy and numeracy, while 87 percent of elementary schools met the 3, 4, or 5 growth rating, none of the middle schools did, and only half of high schools did.
“This really helps tell us more about where we have work to do,” she said.
Continuation of teacher recruitment
Luna-Vedder also addressed how the district is doing in filling vacant teaching positions.
“Currently we still do have 54 classroom postings,” she said. (There are) 18 (openings) in elementary, 13 in middle school, and 20 at high (school).”
“With the high school and middle school, a lot of that is science, math and special (education),” she said. “We also have to consider we are continuing to add more students, so we have something called ‘growth positions.’ As more students arrive, we need more teachers.”
According to the latest attendance figures, the school district had 929 more students on Day 5 than on Day 5 last year.
“So sometimes it feels a little bit like we are treading water as we hire more (teachers), we continue to need more,” she said.
Luna-Vedder said the district is continuing recruitment efforts, and four short informal information sessions are scheduled for this Saturday. “We will have four sessions at each half hour so; running from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For anyone who may be interested in becoming a teacher, come and learn about the different pathways and opportunities,” she said.