By the Numbers: JCHS Report Card Shows Improvement Needed in Academic Achievement and School Climate

Just prior to Christmas Break, the Tn Department of Education rolled out its’ 2017/2018 District/School Report Card complete with a new, easier to read system of scoring schools and districts. The new report card follows much the same system as student report cards. The various areas of scoring are done on a scale of 0-4 with 4 being the highest score given. If more than one area of consideration are being scored than they are averaged together. The reasoning behind this new method of scoring schools and districts was for readability for parents and educators.

In the most recent report card, Jefferson County High School scored a 1.6 out of 4 possible points on Academic Achievement which indicates the number of students that are performing on grade level on state assessments such as TNReady and TCAP tests which are taken statewide. Jefferson County High School general student population showed 37.6% of the students tested were on grade level and those in special groups such as economically challenged had much lower numbers of a little less than 25% tested showing competence in testing areas. While Jefferson County High School scored well on Academic Growth garnering a 3.5 out of 4 in this assessment area, growth assessment does not take into consideration if students are performing on grade level or are testing below grade level. So, while a school or district may have strong growth assessment numbers its students may still be lagging behind their academic peers on the state level.

Jefferson County High School also scored poorly on attendance with a score of 1.3 out of 4 for chronic absenteeism. State wide 13.3% of students are considered to be chronically absent, meaning they missed 45 or more days of school. Jefferson County High School has just north of 20% of their student body considered chronically absent. One contributing factor could be the rate of suspensions and expulsions, which the state notes as climate indicators of the school. More than twice the number of Jefferson County High School students serve time in In-school Suspension with 13.5% at JCHS compared to 6.7% across the state. Jefferson County High School also has more out of school suspensions and expulsions than state numbers indicate as the state average.

Areas where Jefferson County High School exceeded the state numbers include Ready to Graduate where the school score a 3.2 out of 4. High numbers in the school’s CTE programs show that 42.7% of graduates have taken the appropriate number of credits to be considered employable or candidates for further training. This number exceeds the state numbers and is a contributing factor in Jefferson County High School’s most exceptional category of assessment, graduation rate where they scored a perfect 4 out of 4. JCHS also met state levels of graduates that are seeking post secondary education.

According to the State Report Card, Jefferson County High School has 122 classroom teachers and 16 additional teachers serving 2089 students as of the 2017/2018 school year. There are 7 administrators at Jefferson County High School as well as multiple classified staff.

Source: Kristin Depew, News Director