photo_combsThird Place, West Division, K-8/Middle Schools

John Combs, Principal
7785 Highway 51 S
Brighton, TN 38011
Tipton County Schools
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Recipe For Success:

Team, according to many leadership books I have read, is the single most important predictor of an organization’s success. Obviously, I believe that holds true with the opportunity for success we have experienced at our school. As a member of this team (and I do feel like we have one of the best), it has been opportunistic to utilize a number of programs which increased our capacity for success.

One of the first things we did to increase student achievement was to maximize instructional time. Six years ago we increased each class period from 48 minutes to 55 minutes and decreased “non-instructional” time to a ten minute homeroom utilized for announcements, the Pledge of Allegiance and Channel 1.

Athletes, band participants and other students involved in extra-curricular functions were offered (and occasionally assigned) a directed study period during the day in which they could complete homework and receive needed assistance from a certified member of the faculty.

As an added resource for student achievement, e-4TN has been available to us for the last three years courtesy of state resources. This online program has been extremely beneficial in meeting the extended learning needs of some of our upper quintile students. And since I mentioned quintiles, we not only look at our students TVAAS growth…we have come to rely on it. Utilizing the information provided to us through the value-added system we are able to accommodate our students’ various readiness levels and predict future success or areas of concern.

Another strategy we look forward to seeing come to fruition is the development of a common planning time among subject matter teachers. We have seen the sharing of instructional strategies increase exponentially since the introduction of common planning a little over a year ago. Collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom is expected and this is one way to provide a time to make this expectation become a reality. I will also admit that it is much more efficient to meet with subject matter teachers during their planning periods rather than before or after school – we can also focus our discussions on specific topics since they all teach the same subject matter. Obviously, differentiated instruction, technology integration, writing across the curriculum and most recently, the benefits of Discovery Education have been major factors in our instructional arsenal.