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Tennessee Celebrates 2017 Reward Schools

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced Tennessee’s 2017 Reward schools today, which include the top 5 percent of schools for academic achievement and the top 5 percent for student growth. These 169 schools span 60 districts across Tennessee.


The schools from Knox County are

  • Blue Grass Elementary
  • Gap Creek Elementary
  • Sequoyah Elementary
  • L&N STEM Academy
  • East Knox Elementary
  • Pleasant Ridge Elementary
  • Whittle Springs Middle School

“These schools represent what is possible for students in Tennessee as they exemplify excellence in performance or progress and in some cases, both,” Commissioner McQueen said. “We want to replicate this success across the state and continue to celebrate the hard work of our educators and students happening in classrooms every day.”


Of the 2017 Reward schools, 59 are being recognized for performance, 85 are recognized for progress, and 25 schools are Reward schools both for performance and progress. The complete list of Reward schools is below and is also posted on the department’s website.


In addition to recognizing Reward schools, Commissioner McQueen also named schools that have improved and earned their way off of the Priority or Focus school lists. The Priority school list captures the schools that are in the bottom 5 percent in academic achievement, and the Focus school list includes the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students. While new Priority and Focus schools will be published in 2018, schools have the opportunity to come off the lists every year if they make significant improvements.


Four schools earned their way off the Priority list this year. Three are located in Shelby County – Mitchell High School, Treadwell Elementary, and Northwest Prep Academy – and the fourth is in the Achievement School District: Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary School. Seven additional schools were named Priority Improving schools due to the gains they made this past year. Fifteen schools exited the Focus school list, and another 20 made significant improvements. Those schools are listed below.


Complete state-, district-, and school-level TNReady results from 2016-17 were released yesterday and are available More information about the school and district accountability designations announced today is available on the department’s website. For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast, director of communications, at or (615) 532-6260.