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TCS sees improvement in third-grade ELA TCAP scores

Tullahoma City Schools saw improvement in its third-grade English Language Arts Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) scores, with a 17 percent increase in proficiency from the raw data provided to the district, compared to the third-grade ELA results from 2022.

“This 17 percent improvement says so much about our students and their hard work and effort over the course of the year, as well as our teachers and their dedication to meeting the unique needs of our students,” said TCS Director of Schools Dr. Catherine Stephens. “Additionally, our parents have been highly supportive and invested in their student’s school experience. While these results are not where we want them to be and there is certainly room for improvement, I am still proud of the progress that has been made.”

In 2021, the Tennessee General Assembly passed two key pieces of legislation, the Tennessee Literacy Success Act and the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act. These legislative pieces were passed to help Tennessee students recover from potential learning loss due to COVID-19. As part of this legislation, the General Assembly revised the state’s law regarding third-grade promotion. It was determined through this law that ELA TCAP scores would be used to determine which third-grade students must have additional support in reading before transitioning to the fourth grade.

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Using the metrics provided to determine promotion, 52 percent of TCS third-grade students are moving forward to fourth grade. Forty-eight percent of TCS third graders will have the opportunity to retest on the ELA portion of the TCAP on Thursday, May 25, or Tuesday, May 30.

Based on the retake results, some students may reach proficiency and advance to fourth grade. Students who remain in the approaching category might be eligible to appeal the test score outcome if they were included in the 40th percentile or higher on the universal screening measure conducted by the school district this spring. The state will determine if the appeal is approved or declined. That ruling will decide whether a student transitions to fourth grade, proceeds with summer programming or receives tutoring in fourth grade.

Students who received below proficiency will still be eligible to move to the fourth grade if they meet certain requirements. The complete list of advancement requirements can be found here. The list of criteria can include the student’s enrollment in summer programming with at least a 90 percent attendance rate and their participation in fourth-grade tutoring. TCS will offer summer programming from June 5-26. For students who have to make up missed days to achieve 90 percent attendance, the following dates will be provided, June 27 – June 30.

Parents are being contacted by their child’s school regarding results. Those discussions will include potential next steps, including retake options, appeals, summer school and fourth-grade tutoring. Third-grade parents who have not received their student’s information should contact their child’s school.

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“I want to reiterate how proud I am of the progress made,” Dr. Stephens said. “The challenges this class of students has experienced in their early educational journey have been unprecedented, beginning with COVID-19 in their kindergarten year, yet they have improved their results as compared to last year’s outcome. We will continue to focus on ensuring students have what they need to succeed, and we appreciate the additional parental and volunteer support as we strengthen literacy overall.”

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