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Smithville First Baptist Church Choir and LIVE Models Entertain During Christmas on the Square (VIEW VIDEOS BELOW)

December 6, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A Choir from the Smithville First Baptist Church entertained with Christmas classics from the steps of the courthouse during Thursday night’s “Christmas on the Square”

In addition to the videos below view almost 30 photos from Christmas on the Square in the slide show and photo gallery on the WJLE homepage

(VIEW VIDEO BELOW)

IMG_3276 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

(VIEW VIDEO OF LIVE MODEL ANNA RACHEL BLAIR AT JAMIE A BOUTIQUE WITH THE THEME “SUGAR PLUM FAIRY MUSIC BOX)

IMG_3282 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

(VIEW VIDEO OF LIVE MODELS in the story window of Cantrell’s the home of Fluty: The Grinch is portrayed by Deana Ruth Colwell and Cindy Lou Who is played by Lola Colwell)

IMG_3278 from dwayne page on Vimeo.




New State Report Card Measures Local Schools’ Academic Performance (VIEW REPORT CARD HERE)

December 6, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

The latest report card on the DeKalb County School District reveals that students made gains in four areas of academic achievement in 2017-18 and reached the highest level of overall growth  and in three of the four subjects

The new report card released this week by the Tennessee Department of Education has been retooled to make it easier for families to understand school performance and student success.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW THE ENTIRE STATE REPORT CARD ON DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOLS)

https://reportcard.tnk12.gov/districts/210/page/DistrictOverall

The redesigned version includes a number of updates. For the first time, the report card provides schools with ratings on up to six indicators which capture different aspects of school performance including academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, progress on English language proficiency, and graduation rate. The report card also includes a new measure called the Ready Graduate indicator  that looks for students’ readiness for college and career to let families know how students are being prepared for life after graduation.

The rating system provides a score of 0.0 to 4.0 on each indicator, similar to a GPA, with 4.0 being the highest. Ratings are based either on how well the school is doing overall or how much it improved over the last year; the school receives the higher of the two.

For 2017-18, the DeKalb County School District’s overall success rate for academic achievement was 38.6% compared to 39.1% for the state. The one year success rate represents the percentage of students that scored on track or mastered on annual state tests.

The mathematics achievement rate for DeKalb County was 31.2%, a 2.9% increase from 2017 and just below the state rate of 33%.

The mathematics achievement rate represents the total number of mathematics tests on which students scored on track or mastered divided by the total number of mathematics assessments.

The assessments included in this rate are:

  • Grades 3-8 Math,
  • Algebra I,
  • Algebra II,
  • Geometry,
  • Integrated Math I,
  • Integrated Math II, and
  • Integrated Math III.

The DeKalb English Language Arts achievement rate was 31.7%,  a 1.6% increase from 2017 and slightly below the state rate of 32.8%

The English language arts (ELA) achievement rate represents the total number of ELA tests on which students scored on track or mastered divided by the total number of English language arts assessments.

The assessments included in this rate are:

  • Grades 3-8 English Language Arts,
  • English I,
  • English II, and
  • English III.

The Science achievement rate for DeKalb County was 58%, a 2.4% increase from 2017 and well above the state rate of 54.8%

The science achievement rate represents the total number of science tests on which students scored on track or mastered divided by the total number of science assessments.

The assessments included in this rate are:

  • Grades 5-8 Science,
  • Biology I, and
  • Chemistry.Grades 3-4 Science is not included due to shortened testing.

The DeKalb achievement rate in social studies was 36.1%, an increase of 11.7% from 2017 and just under the state rate of 37.7%

The social studies achievement rate represents the total number of social studies tests on which students scored on track or mastered divided by the total number of social studies assessments.

The assessments included in this rate are Grades 3-8 Social Studies and US History.

Overall the DeKalb County District reached a level five growth rate, the highest attainable as well as in the subject areas of English Language Arts, Science, and social studies. DeKalb reached level three in mathematics.

Overall growth provides an indication as to the amount of growth achieved by students in the school or district, regardless of whether or not the student is on grade level. Based on the growth achieved by their students, the school is assigned a level between Level 1 and Level 5, with Level 5 being the highest.




Smithville Elementary to Receive “Read to Be Ready Summer Programs” Grant

December 6, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Smithville Elementary is among 218 Tennessee public school recipients of the  state’s 2019 Read to be Ready Summer Grants.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said these grants statewide will provide a total of $8,900,000 in funding for tuition-free, month-long literacy-focused summer camps for 8,910 students in need across the state.

For summer 2019, the fourth year of the grant program, the department expanded students’ access to the program by changing the student-to-teacher ratio from 1:5 to 1:6. This allows more students to participate without sacrificing the quality and close-knit nature of camps.

“I am proud that once again our state is investing in some of our youngest students who are furthest behind in reading as we work toward the goal that every child is reading on grade-level by the time they leave third grade,” Commissioner McQueen said. “This year, we are increasing access to our camps by providing additional capacity to programs so that more students with the highest need can attend. As we have seen over the last three years, these camps play a crucial role in increasing students’ reading skills and motivation as they have shown statistically significant results each year.”

Over the past three years, the Tennessee Departments of Education and Human Services, with support from First Lady Crissy Haslam, have partnered to expand the Read to Be Ready Summer Grant program. In summer 2018, about 7,700 rising first, second, and third grade students collectively spent over 6.8 million minutes reading and over 4.6 million minutes writing. Students participating in 2018 summer camps saw statistically significant increases in reading comprehension, accuracy, and motivation. Additionally, through the 2018 summer grant program, more than 193,000 high-quality books were sent home with students, and each student, on average, received 25 new books for his or her home library.

Students who attend Read to be Ready summer camps generally are economically disadvantaged and not reading on grade level. Rather than sliding backward, students in Read to be Ready camps have a chance to keep learning and advance their reading skills through a variety of literacy experiences over the critical summer months. For summer 2019, there will be 218 summer programs in 114 districts across the state, including 56 camps located in economically distressed or at-risk counties.

All Tennessee public schools were eligible to apply for the Read to be Ready Summer Grant program. Prospective applicants were asked to design summer camps that were at least four weeks in length and at least four hours per day—providing students with access to at least 80 hours of literacy-focused instruction and enrichment during the summer. The summer camps will use high-interest books, authentic literacy experiences, and engaging field trips to help increase students’ motivation.

Read to be Ready is a coordinated campaign launched by Governor Bill Haslam, First Lady Crissy Haslam, and Commissioner Candice McQueen in February 2016 with the goal to increase third grade reading proficiency in Tennessee to 75 percent by 2025 through a variety of initiatives. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of reading, unite efforts to address low reading achievement, highlight best practices, and build partnerships.

The full list of 2019 Read to be Ready summer grant recipients is available on the department’s website. To find out more about the grants, visit the Read to be Ready website. For more information on the Read to be Ready summer grant program, contact Miya Libes, Read to be Ready summer grant program director, at Miya.Libes@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast, director of communications, at (615) 532-6260 or Sara.Gast@tn.gov.




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