State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has announced Tennessee’s 2017 Reward schools, which include the top 5 percent of schools for academic achievement and the top 5 percent for student growth. The 169 schools span 60 districts across Tennessee.

Also, Dayton City Schools and Grundy County Schools have been designated "Exemplary" school districts. Districts designated as exemplary are exceeding the growth expectation on average for both all students and each historically underserved student group.

Of the 2017 Reward schools, 59 are being recognized for performance, 85 are recognized for progress, and 25 schools are Reward schools both for performance and progress. The complete list of Reward schools is posted on the department’s website.

In addition to recognizing Reward schools, Commissioner McQueen also named schools that have improved and earned their way off of the Priority or Focus school lists. The Priority school list captures the schools that are in the bottom 5 percent in academic achievement, and the Focus school list includes the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students. While new Priority and Focus schools will be published in 2018, schools have the opportunity to come off the lists every year if they make significant improvements.

The Information released by the state places Hamilton County in a very competitive position in comparison to other districts in the state.

There are four levels:

  1. Needs Improvement
  2. Progressing
  3. Achieving
  4. Exemplary

Hamilton County is ranked as “Achieving” with a total score of 2.97. This means the district is only .03 points from the highest level ranking of “Exemplary.” Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson said, “Thanks to our amazing teachers, leaders, and community support, this District Designation moves us closer to our goal of becoming the fastest improving district in the state of Tennessee.” 

Five Hamilton County schools earned Reward School status for being in the top 5% percent for achievement (Performance) and/or growth (Progress). Two schools earned Reward for Progress designation. They are East Ridge Middle and Thrasher Elementary.

Four Hamilton County schools earned Reward for Performance. They are Lookout Mountain Elementary, Nolan Elementary, Thrasher Elementary and STEM SchoolIn addition, Hixson Middle School was able to exit Focus status.

Other area Progress Reward schools are: Pikeville Elementary, Englewood Elementary, Monteagle Elementary, Copper Basin High, Rhea County High and Sequatchie County High.