Pictured above: Washington County schools Lamar Elementary (left) and Grandview Elementary.
Washington County includes two public school districts as well as several private K-12 and K-8 schools. Students living in the corporate limits of Johnson City attend the Johnson City Schools, while those outside the city limits attend Washington County schools.
Both public schools systems exceed the state academic performance averages according to the Tennessee Department of Education Report Card.
To view the statewide report card, click here:TDOE Report Card.
To view the Washington County report card, click:Washington County Report Card
To view the Johnson City report card, click:Johnson City Report Card
For more information on those two systems, visit: Washington County Schools or Johnson City Schools.
Local private schools include:
Tri-Cities Christian School:www.tccstn.org
St. Mary's Catholic School (K-8):www.school.stmarysjc.org
Ashley Academy (PreK-8):www.ashleyacademy.com
Check out the article and video below for a glimpse into the quality of local schools:
Repeat success from Jeff Keeling on Vimeo.
To good effect
Boones Creek Elementary's methods leading to academic success
June 30 -- They've done it again at Boones Creek Elementary School. Boones Creek was named the top performing school in East Tennessee last year by the Education Consumer Foundation, which bases its rankings on value added test score improvements.
It was the school's third time on the list in recent years. The Washington County Commission passed a resolution June 27 in honor of principal Teresa Leonard.
For her part, Leonard said principals may set the atmosphere and climate of a school, but teachers are the key to widespread student success.
“The thing that makes great students, the number one factor, would be the teacher,” Leonard said.
At Boones Creek, a K-4 school, effective teachers working with the rest of the school community — from the administration and support staff to parents and community agencies — have helped children achieve at a rate that sets the school apart. Based on “value-added” testing criteria, the school has been at or near the top in East Tennessee several times in the last half-decade. This means students consistently improve their performance over a one-year period.
“They go back three years and average those together.”
It's all about how each student progresses from his or her own baseline skill level from the year before. In the case of these rankings, during the 4th grade year. So in 2010, Boones Creek had seen three consecutive classes of 4th graders add enough value to their knowledge base to once again rise to the top in the region.
The school received a $3,000 cash award for its performance.
Several years ago, Leonard decided she wanted to implement an individual plan for each Boones Creek student that would help teachers know the different learnings styles of students. She believes the decision has paid major dividends.
“About seven years ago I decided that we not only needed a school-wide improvement plan, but we also need an individual plan for every student, because every child's different,” Leonard said. “The teachers and I got together and started looking at various ways to make a form that would show each child's strengths and weaknesses, and we could use various interventions to improve every child.”
The method keys in on making sure teachers employ lessons that fit with the all the “modalities of learning,” such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic, that work best for different students.
“We show on the form how all the various interventions have worked with each student, and I really think that's a lot of the reason for our success with test scores.”
It's worked so well at Boones Creek, Vanderbilt University and a few partners have brought Leonard and several colleagues from other highly successful Tennessee schools in for a few days of interviews to study their methods.
It's not so much rocket science as a lot of hard work, Leonard said. “It's about 12-hour days, but I love it.”