During a morning assembly Tuesday, McPheeters Bend principal Renee Bernard was presented with a Value Added Award, including $2,000 for the school from Education Consumers Foundation president and ETSU professor Dr. John Stone.
The MBE choir performed for several dignitaries during the assembly, after which students enjoyed a day of fun that included playing on inflatables that were set up in the gym.
Every year the Education Consumers Foundation presents awards to the Tennessee elementary schools that showed the greatest amount of improvement on the TCAP scores over the previous year.
Bernard and McPheeters Bend received the award previously in 2006, but that was in Nashville.
This is the first year the Education Consumers Foundation traveled to each of the 18 schools honored to present the awards in person.
Bernard attributed the school’s success to her “amazing teachers” and their “very dedicated, very effective teaching.”
“We focus much time on reading and math, and we also have reading and math intervention,” she said. “We had really high Value Added scores last year and our achievement scores were good. We got B’s. There’s no way to tell (how they did this year) but I hope very well.”
There’s a strong emphasis on getting students reading at grade level by third grade.
“If a student is not reading at grade level by third grade, 70 percent of those children will not be ready for college or career ready when they graduate,” Bernard said. “That’s what reading intervention is for. Targeting those K-3 children to get them reading on level.”
Bernard added, “Once they take their TCAP, the third grade gives us the base line, and then how much they improve from third to fourth is the growth measure — and ours was very high”
Director of Schools Charlotte Britton said Bernard, the McPheeters Bend faculty and staff, students, parents and the community are all to be congratulated for the achievement.
Britton said each of those elements must be working together for a school to be successful.
“The McPheeter’s Bend Elementary staff have engaged the students in active learning and focused daily on the curriculum in order to build strong academic skills,” Britton said. “The amazing achievement growth needs to be celebrated as well as every individual student’s achievement growth to make this possible. Mrs. Bernard and her staff have focused on school achievement data to guide the staff in the school’s continuous improvement plan in providing a quality education for every student.”
Britton added, “The hard work and dedication of every stakeholder in this school is one of the many elements of the school’s success along with the belief that all students can be successful.”