Montgomery County, TN – The Clarksville-Montgomery County School Board reviewed the system’s results on its newly released state report card during its Tuesday work session, seeing improvements across grades, subjects and schools.
Chief Academic Officer Dr. B.J. Worthington reminded School Board members of the changes that Tennessee schools have experienced with more rigorous standards and assessments; redefined proficiency levels; a change in how results are calculated; and a state-legislated mandate that TCAP assessments count as part of students’ math and language arts grades for the second semester.
With that explained, Dr. Worthington provided information on the meaning of the grades assigned by the state. An ‘A’ or ‘B’ indicates the school performed above the identified target while a ‘C’ means the students in the school performed at the expected target. A ‘D’ or ‘F’ would indicate students did not meet the target. High schools do not receive letter grades, but do receive status grades, which is based on the students’ predicted achievement and expected growth created from prior performance on state assessments.
Dr. Worthington shared each elementary and middle school’s achievement and growth (value-added) grades and noted the increase in above expected grades throughout the system. He also provided data that showed increased performance in students’ writing scores. And, he noted an upward trend in high school juniors’ ACT scores.
Additionally, he provided a snapshot of the 16 largest school districts in Tennessee, pointing out the favorable comparison of CMCSS to others which have fewer students who are economically disadvantaged. He also shared that CMCSS has the best graduation rate of 93.5 percent among the 14 largest Tennessee districts and credited community efforts and support with leadership from local businessman David Smith.
In other business, the Board heard a proposal to accept a letter of intent with the YMCA of Middle Tennessee to consider the construction of a YMCA family wellness center on the site of the future Kirkwood schools complex, located in the northeastern part of the county. While not binding, the letter of intent would allow consideration to enter into a long-term ground lease for a 5-14 acre portion of the 152 acres owned by CMCSS. The YMCA would be responsible for construction and maintenance with special access and benefits provided to CMCSS students.
The Board also was given the names of the recommended seven-member management team which would work with seven certified professional employees under the state’s Collaborative Conferencing Act. Certified professional employees voted two weeks ago in favor of collaborative conferencing. The Act became an option for school systems after collective bargaining was ended by the state Legislature.
The proposed management team would include: Michael Harris, Director of Schools; Dr. B.J. Worthington, Chief Academic Officer; Danny Grant, Chief Financial Officer; Dr. Sean Impeartrice, Middle Schools Director; Dr. Ann Griffin, Elementary Schools Director; Priscilla Story, Elementary Schools Director; and Jeanine Chester, current Assistant Director of Human Resources.
School Board Attorney Jill Ayers also presented to the Board a recommendation to use the Tennessee School Boards Association in the search for a new CMCSS Director of Schools. TSBA will provide services in the search, including gathering community feedback, conducting individual interviews with each Board member, recruit candidate who meet the Board’s criteria, perform background checks, schedule interviews and assist in developing and negotiating a contract. TSBA’s charge for the service would be $8,500. Current Schools Director Harris announced in September his plans to retire in July.
The School Board will meet in formal session on Tuesday, December 13th to vote on the issues discussed at the work session.