Value-Added Achievement Awards, 2009First Place, West Division, K-8/Middle Schools

Lex Suite, Principal
760 Highway 77
Atwood, TN 38220
West Carroll Special School District

Recipe For Success:

West Carroll has been recognized for three consecutive years by ECF and we are incredibly honored. I believe we have had better achievement because we started many years earlier disaggregating our data and focusing on standards and achievement. As this practice becomes more prevalent, especially as an integral part of all Tennessee School Improvement Plans many more schools will also become “highly effective.”

My recipe for our achievement at West Carroll Jr/Sr High School is quite simple. We have good teachers; and we have good students. A good core of teachers has continued to work together, uninterrupted, over the past few years. We analyze TVAAS test data as well as our target populations. I believe we have made important strides in early identification of economically disadvantaged subgroups and other at-risk categories. We have also had very good success with students with special needs. It has been important for us to not focus all of our attention on students who fall into the upper and lower quartile, but to spend equal efforts on students in the two middle quartiles. All students can learn, and I believe our “recipe” maximizes that.

West Carroll students, from our primary school to our high school teachers, also recognize the importance of standardized testing as well as the acquisition of the skills needed to be successful on these tests. Without daily efforts in the classroom, we would not be able to achieve as a school. It is truly a partnership between our teachers and students. As a principal at a 7-12 school, Dr. Stone’s comment that “gaps do not originate in high school” and are difficult to remediate at the high school level, ring very true to me. I am honored for West Carroll Jr/Sr High to be recognized for our efforts with this Value-Added Achievement Award.