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Wilson County schools achieve reward status

Wilson County Schools announced last week that more than half of its eligible schools were named Tennessee Reward Schools for the 2018-2019 school year. As an entire school district, Wilson County Schools also was designated as an Exemplary District, the highest honor given in meeting specific criteria.

The 12 schools that were named Reward Schools are: Lakeview Elementary, Mt. Juliet Elementary, Mt. Juliet High, Mt. Juliet Middle, Rutland Elementary, Springdale Elementary, W.A. Wright Elementary, Watertown Elementary, Watertown High, West Elementary, West Wilson Middle and Wilson Central High School.

Of the district’s 21 eligible schools, 12 achieved Reward status, a significant increase from the seven schools that achieved it last year.

Reward status is the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee. Reward Schools are those that are improving overall student academic achievement and student growth for all students and for student groups. In 2018, 318 schools in 85 school districts, about 20% of schools in the state, earned Reward status.

The entire district also earned Level 5 status, the highest level, in the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS). Only 14 other districts across the state were able to achieve this status. The TVAAS measures the impact schools and teachers have on their students’ academic progress.

In a report released last week by the Tennessee Department of Education, Wilson County Schools was commended for areas in growth, academic achievement, major reductions in chronic absenteeism and graduation rate.

Some notable highlights in the report showed that Wilson County Schools increased the percentage of students scoring “On Track” and “Mastered” in all grade bands. Chronic absenteeism was reduced by 2.8%, which equates to 500 fewer students classified as chronically absent. Graduation rate continues to be over 95% and a steady increase of students meeting English language proficiency by 10%.

“Our vision for WCS is excellence in all we do, and this is exemplified every day in our district, from the bus driver, to the food service provider, the front office staff, and most importantly, the classroom,” said Dr. Donna Wright, director of Wilson County Schools. “Well over half of our schools have been identified and recognized by the TDOE as Reward Schools, which is exceptional by any standard; but we are also and Exemplary District, an extraordinary feat for any district, specifically for a district our size that includes high schools. This is very much a collection effort — all schools contributed to this coveted designation. I am so proud of all of our district employees and their collective contribution in Wilson County Schools being recognized as an Exemplary District.”

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