Value-Added Achievement Awards, 2009First Place, East Division, Elementary Schools

Julie Thompson, Principal
9304 College Lane
Strawberry Plains, TN 37871
Knox County Schools

Recipe For Success:

There are many factors that contribute to the success of Carter Elementary School. We have had a long history of excellent Value-Added scores and work diligently to maintain that level of achievement each year. Organization, programming, and academic focus are at the heart of our success.

The staff at Carter Elementary School has been working together as a professional learning community for the past three years. We have studied the current research, attended professional development for professional learning communities, and developed grade-level plans and activities to enrich our growth in this area.

The organization of our school day enhances our work together. With the current parallel-block schedule, teachers are provided time each day to meet with grade-level teams to plan weekly lessons, review student assessment data, and make adjustments in instruction to meet student needs. Within these grade-level teams, teachers are able to focus on individual student progress and to have professional conversations with one another to improve teacher instruction and student achievement.

Providing maximum time on-task is crucial. Interruptions are kept to a minimum and student disruptions are dealt with quickly and respectfully in an effort to maintain an orderly learning environment.

There are many intervention and enrichment programs available to students at Carter Elementary to ensure their success. Fast Math, Voyager Passport, and Accelerated Reading are just some of the offerings our students utilize daily.

Five years ago we partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and the Carter Elementary PTO to offer an after school program to further enhance student success. Through this program students are able to participate in tutoring, enrichment activities such as book clubs and Scrabble club, Healthy Kids club to promote physical well-being, Open Access library for homework help, and the Creating Dreams Fine Arts School for piano, guitar, art, and gymnastic lessons. Over the years, we have found that students who participate in our after school programs have a higher than average achievement rate than students who do not participate.

Finally, and most importantly, our focus on the academic success of each child is key. All of our resources are dedicated to meeting the needs of students and we are continually focusing on the goals of our school improvement plan. The staff is excellent, well trained, and dedicated to do their best each day for all students. A strong work ethic and high expectations for student success permeates the faculty and is evident by our student achievement.