NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Education has awarded three-year School Improvement Grants totaling $27,228,598 in federal funds to seventeen schools that are among the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in the state, in terms of academic achievement.
“It is a priority of this administration to turn around the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in the state,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “We believe that this grant will provide schools with the necessary resources, time, and personnel to make this a reality.”
“The state expects to see exceptional strides because we are giving districts the money to put the most effective teachers in front of children and recruit the most effective principals to lead schools. The extended hours that the money will fund will give these children the time for instruction necessary to improve results,” said Rita Fentress, school improvement coordinator. “We owe it to these children and to the state of Tennessee.”
Whiteville Elementary in Hardeman County will receive $1,390,800 in School Improvement Grant funds while Sarah Moore Greene in Knox County has been awarded $1,504,045. Five schools in the Achievement School District in Memphis—Corry Middle, Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary, Whitney Achievement Elementary, Hanley Elementary, and Klondike Preparatory Academy—will be awarded $7,503,603 in total over the course of the grant. Douglass K-8, Riverview Middle School, Sherwood Middle School, and Treadwell Middle School within the Shelby County School district will receive $5,520,819 over three years. These awards are in addition to an $11,309,331 grant given to Hamilton County last fall to serve its six lowest-performing schools (Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Brainerd High School, Dalewood Middle School, Orchard Knob Elementary School, Orchard Knob Middle School, and Woodmore Middle School).
The grant will also provide the opportunity for school principals to work together in the state’s Turnaround Principal Cohort. “Our goal is to create opportunities for them to learn from one another, facilitate discussions, and share ideas and practices on a peer-to-peer level. We also want to create opportunities for them to visit high-performing schools across the state,” said Mike Koprowski, special assistant for accountability implementation. Koprowski will oversee the cohort in the department’s Office of School Improvement.