photo_thompson2Second Place, East Division, Elementary Schools

Julie Thompson, Principal
9304 College Lane
Strawberry Plains, TN 37871
Knox County Schools
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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 four years. A recent partnership with the National Staff Development Council’s Learning School Alliance has provided additional resources and structure to our PLC work that has allowed us to develop and refine on-site job embedded staff development to address specific teacher needs and improve student learning.

The organization of our school day enhances our work together. With the current parallel-block schedule, teachers are provided a daily common plan time to meet with grade-level teams to plan weekly lessons, to review student assessment data, and to 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.

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

We continue to partner 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, 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, Spanish, and karate 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.

A strong relationship with the parents and community organizations help promote well-being and high expectations for our students. Community partners support student needs apart from academics that are vital to their overall development. Local churches, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the University of Tennessee Extension service help provide services to students and their families that are critical to student learning.

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 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.

As a principal, I work to communicate well with the students, staff, parents, and community to express our expectations and needs. I am fortunate to work in a community that supports the high quality work being done at Carter Elementary School.