NEWPORT—Thursday evening’s school board meeting covered several topics but the main issue discussed was the recent release of the TN Ready test scores.

Instructional Supervisor of Schools, Dr. Amanda Waits, presented the board with a data overview of the TN Ready results, and scores showed that five schools in the county had one or more student groups falling in the bottom 5% of the achievement levels in the state.

These five schools become designated TSI (Targeted Support & Improvement) schools and are considered focus schools.

Each TSI school must adhere to certain state guidelines to show how the school will address the needs of the low scoring student groups.

Waits did say that Cocke County ranked higher in many other scores when compared to counties with similar demographics such as population and household income.

One mention was the ELA scores for the county’s fourth graders. This student group moved from being in the top 25 percentile to the top 13 percentile in the state.

“Overall, Cocke County schools are not very far behind the state average,” said Waits.

Math seemed to be where many of the lagging scores showed compared to ELA, English and US History.

Work Ethic Soon to be Statewide

Love Henderson told the board that the state now has the rights to the Work Ethic Diploma Program and the workforce readiness criteria will soon be offered statewide.

The Work Ethic Diploma prepares seniors in high school for employment by requiring participating students to complete certain achievement categories, one of those categories being attendance.

Students earn points in the program and at completion are certified and ready for job placement upon graduation.

Industries and businesses that support the program allow the Work Ethic students guaranteed interviews within their company.

Grants Helping with Family Resources and Safety

Additional state funding for the school is expected to allow for quality improvement on safety features including new door locks, upgraded cameras and windows.

Casey Kelley, Assistant Director of Schools, said lots of good things are happening for kids and families through the Family Resource Center.

“We are really helping a lot of these families with attendance issues by reaching out to the parents. Sometimes it takes a different voice in a situation not just from the principal,” Kelley said.

The program also is set to update its policies on suicide prevention.

Nancy Brawley announced that the finishing touches have been done to the high school auditorium. A ribbon cutting grand re-opening will be held at CCHS Sunday, September 29 at 2 p.m.

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