Sunday, September 15, 2019
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PCSS Looks for Improvement Following State Report Cards
Putnam County Schools will look for ways to improve after receiving several low scores from the state's report card system on the district's schools. Algood Elementary received one of the highest ratings in the county (File Photo)

PCSS Looks for Improvement Following State Report Cards

The Putnam County School System will look for ways to improve after the state released its annual report card grades for schools and districts.

Director of Schools Jerry Boyd says the grades given to schools in the county were disappointing.

“I know how hard our teachers and our students and our principals and the team across the district are working,” Boyd says. “The outcomes were certainly nowhere near what we expect and certainly nowhere near what we wanted to see.”

Putnam County Schools received a 38.1 percent success rate in the state’s academic achievement category, just one percent below the state average.

“Being below and, quite honestly, being clsoe to the state and not well above is not where we want to be. We want to be well above the state average,”  Boyd says. “That’s what our students are capable of. That’s what the talents of their teachers, principals, and other educators across our district are capable of, and we need to realize that.”

Boyd says pinpointing a single source of the low report card grades is not the answer and can often times be much more complicated.

“People always want to find that one thing that was the problem, and that one solution that will fix the problem,” Boyd says. “Quite honestly, there is not one thing. We are doing some things that are on-track and we’re doing those very well. But there are areas too, in the way that we might be trying to serve some of our smaller groups of students called our subgroups.”

Despite low ratings for many schools across the district, multiple elementary schools excelled in several categories. Algood, Capshaw, and Prescott South all received ratings above 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA-like scale in academic achievement, while Sycamore Elementary received a perfect 4.0 rating for progress in English language proficiency.

Boyd says the elementary schools are some of the strongest aspects of the Putnam County School System.

“[The principals] work well together. They look at that and they’re already having many conversations like ‘we see that you had some successes, what are you doing, what are your teachers doing,'” Boyd says. “We need to put ourselves side-by-side put ourselves side-by-side and see if there’s anything we need to do differently. They’re very reflective and eager to try and find a way to make any necessary adjustments so they can try to find a way to make any necessary adjustments so they can serve students better at their individual schools.”

The school district as a whole saw decreases from the previous year across all four major subjects including math, English language arts, science, and social studies.

Only three school districts in the Upper Cumberland received overall ratings above 40 percent, including Cumberland (42.5), Overton (42.2), and Smith County school districts (40.6). Van Buren County Schools saw the lowest overall rating in the region at just over 30 percent.

A full list of report card results can be found on the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.