District News

First Lady Visits Sevierville Primary School
November 10, 2016

Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam visited Sevierville Primary School to talk with students about the importance of reading.  Her Read20 Book Club was established for the purpose of promoting the importance of early literacy and family engagement in academics.  The program encourages children and families to read aloud for 20 minutes every day to help young children develop a larger vocabulary, a longer attention span, better listening skills, and a solid reading foundation.  If you would like to learn more about the Read20 Book Club, please visit the Read20 website at http://www.tn.gov/firstlady/topic/about-read20.  

ACT Performance
August 24, 2016

The Sevier County School System received good news in the most recent release of ACT score
reports. The school district has continued to demonstrate improvement in ACT performance since
2012. In each of those years, the school district’s composite has been above the state average
composite. Sevier County’s ACT composite increased three-tenths of a point in 2016 to 20.6 which exceeds the state composite of 19.9. Tennessee is one of only 18 states that requires all students to take the test. Tennessee’s goal is to raise the average composite to a 21 in alignment with the national average and Sevier County is within striking distance of meeting the national average.

TNReady Testing Information
February 10, 2016
The Tennessee Department of Education recently informed school districts across Tennessee that, due to technical difficulties with the online testing platform, TNReady (or TCAP) will be administered via paper and pencil (both Part I and Part II) during the 2015-2016 school year. New dates for testing will be released as soon as a new testing schedule is communicated from the Tennessee Department of Education. In the meantime, teachers and staff of the Sevier County School System will continue to provide instruction designed to promote academic achievement which will ultimately result in preparing students for testing - this time in a paper-pencil format. 

Please remember that TNReady is designed to assess student understanding and problem-solving abilities, not just basic memorization skills. Regardless of the method of assessment, this newly designed test will provide schools, teachers, and parents with valuable information about college and career readiness.

As always, we need to make each day count while awaiting new testing schedules and information about the transition to paper-pencil testing. Our main focus will remain on STUDENT LEARNING! If you have questions or concerns about TNReady (or TCAP), please contact your child's teacher.

Sevier County School System Announces Teacher of the Year Selections
January 28, 2016
The Teacher of the Year program is designed to recognize and honor outstanding teachers in Tennessee. A district selection committee of professional colleagues chose the following teachers as 2015-2016 Teachers of the Year. These teachers will represent Sevier County at the district and state levels, competing for the 2016 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.
Secondary Teacher (9-12)
Kari Garrison - Pigeon Forge High School

Middle Grades Teacher (5-8)
Sara Rawlinson - Northview Junior Academy

Primary Grades Teacher (PreK-4)
Michelle Oliver - Seymour Intermediate School

Sevier County Board of Education Member Recognized for 25 Years of Service
November 14, 2015

The Tennessee School Boards Association recently inducted school board members into their Quarter Century Club who have served 25 years on their local boards of education. Congratulations to John McClure, Sevier County Board of Education member, who received this service award for his years of hard work and dedication to the Sevier County School Board. 

Congratulations to Dr. Stacia Lewis, Director of Elementary Education
October 29, 2015

The annual Supervisor of the Year Award recognizes instructional supervisors who support and facilitate educational opportunities for Tennessee’s students through their leadership, programs, and vision. Award winners for each grand division of Tennessee were 
recognized by Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen on Tuesday at a banquet in Nashville. Dr. Stacia Lewis, Director of Elementary Education for Sevier County Schools, was named Supervisor of the Year for the East Grand Division! 

Sharon Griffin, a Regional Superintendent of Innovation Zone Schools in Shelby County, was named Tennessee’s 2015-16 Supervisor of the Year as well as West Grand Division Winner. Jennifer Brown, supervisor in Dickson County Schools, was named the winner for the Middle Grand Division. 

Dr. Jack A. Parton stated, “I am so proud of Stacia and the work that she does each day on behalf of the students, teachers, and principals of the Sevier County School System. She is an innovative leader who has a true commitment to teaching and learning.” 

Dr. Debra Cline further clarified, “Stacia is very deserving of this honor. She provides outstanding leadership in our elementary education program and has been instrumental in the development of several programs and processes in our school system. For example, Stacia’s work has been instrumental in the effective implementation of Response to Intervention and Instruction. I appreciate and respect Stacia for her well-developed professional skills, dedication, outstanding work ethic, and passion for education!” 

2015 Tennessee Report Card
October 22, 2015

The Tennessee Department of Education recently released the 2015 Tennessee Report Card. As part of this process, the final accountability determination for the Sevier County School System for the 2014-2015 school year is Achieve/Intermediate status, with no areas designated for subgroup improvement. The 2015 Report Card presents information on Tennessee’s accountability model that includes data on Achievement, Student Growth, and Gap Closure. Essentially, the model represents how all students are performing on tested subjects and whether achievement gaps are being closed among subgroups of students (Economically Disadvantaged, Limited English Proficient, Students with Disabilities, Black/Hispanic/Native American). Academic performance is presented through the high school End of Course exams and elementary TCAP assessments. Information about student demographics and a review of accountability standards under No Child Left Behind are also featured. 

In grades 9-12, student performance on End of Course exams for the 2014-2015 school year was robust, with above average performance in Algebra I, Biology I, Chemistry, English II, and English III. In addition, the performance of Sevier County’s secondary students was above the state growth rate on the 3 year average in Algebra I, Biology I, English I, English II, and English III. In addition, Chemistry has been above the state growth rate for the two years that the subject has been tested. In the three-year averages of student performance on the ACT, Sevier County’s scores exceeded state averages in composite scores as well as sub-scores in English, Math, Reading, and Science. In the individual year of 2014-2015, Sevier County’s students also exceeded state scores on the ACT composite score and sub-scores in English, Math, Reading, and Science. Sevier County’s students exceeded the growth standard set by the Tennessee Department of Education for ACT reporting. Sevier County’s ACT composite of 20.3 in 2015 represents an increase annually over the last four academic years. 

In the Academic Achievement Grades portion of the 2015 Report Card for grades 3-8, the Sevier County School System received average (C) status in reading/language arts and above average status (B) in mathematics and science. Social Studies was not tested in a manner that yielded system or school data as the tests are in transition to align to new standards. Sevier County’s value added growth in grades 4-8 math received average (C) status and reading and science received below average (D) status. In other words, growth in elementary reading and science was flat in 2014-2015. 

In 2014-2015 accountability reporting, Sevier County was designated as an Achieve District by meeting a majority (8 of 11) Achievement Targets. The Sevier County School System saw improvement as represented in Achievement Targets on TCAP (Grades 3-8) in third grade math, seventh grade math, grades 3-8 math, and all End of Course Exams (Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology I, Chemistry, English I, English II, and English III). The 2015 Report Card shows a slight decline from the graduation rate presented in the 2014 Report Card. 

In addition, gap closure targets are set for grades 3-8 reading/language arts, grades 3-8 math, Algebra I and II (combined), and English II and III (combined) for the following subgroups: Black/Hispanic/Native American, Economically Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and Students with Disabilities versus students not in a subgroup. Of the fourteen subgroup areas that Sevier County is accountable for in Gap Closure, the district improved in more than two-thirds of the achievement targets for individual subgroups in terms of the percent proficient. As a result, the district was awarded Intermediate Status with no areas for subgroup improvement. This demonstrated improvement in academic performance in individual subgroups as compared to the 2013-2014 school year. 

The 2015 Report Card also presents information on system demographics. The Sevier County School System had 14,609 students in the 2014-2015 school year with 760 of those students designated as English Language Learners (non-English speaking students). This is an increase of 113 English Language Learners between the 2014 and 2015 reports and an increase of 186 non-English speaking students as compared to the 2013 report. In 2014-2015, 63.3% of the students served in the system were economically disadvantaged. In 2014-2015, 2,106 students were identified as students with disabilities needing specialized instructional programming. 

Dr. Jack A. Parton, Director of Schools, stated, “We continue to focus our efforts on providing an educational program that meets the needs of individual students. In 2014-2015, the Sevier County School System demonstrated significant academic achievement at the secondary level and improvement in the percent proficient in mathematics at the elementary level. I am pleased that the district earned Achieve/Intermediate Status with no areas for subgroup improvement and applaud teachers, principals, staff, students, and parents for their hard work and effort. We certainly have our challenges in terms of elementary reading and changing demographics; however, we continue to focus on meeting the needs of each learner every day. Overall, I am pleased with the significant academic progress that was made last school year.” 

Dr. Debra Cline, Assistant Director of Schools, also clarified, “We are focused on determining strategies to improve literacy levels in our county. At the present time, we continue to provide staff development to our teachers in an effort to facilitate the differentiation of learning opportunities for all students. The Sevier County School System is engaged in strategic planning that focuses on data review and program and resource development in order to enhance instructional opportunities within the district. Many programs flourish to support students who are not functioning at grade level or who are struggling with speaking the English language.”

Newsweek Recognizes Two Local High Schools
August 19, 2015

Gatlinburg-Pittman High School was recently named as one of two area schools on Newsweek's list of America's Best High Schools. This list reinforces their commitment to both academic excellence and post-secondary training and education. 

We are also delighted that the academic successes of both Gatlinburg-Pittman High School and Pigeon Forge High School were recently recognized by Newsweek on the "Beating the Odds" list. At both schools, commitment to an alignment of school programming to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of all students is evident. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, staff, and community members work in a unified partnership to make sure that each child has every opportunity to reach his or her highest potential. This commitment is exemplified in individualized student programming, recognition of academic achievement, and the provision of career and education counseling from the point of school entry until graduation.

Sevier County School System Announces New Administrative Appointments
July 21, 2015

The Sevier County School system is pleased to announce the following administrative appointments for the 2015-2016 school year:
  • Dr. Dustin Huffaker, Principal of New Center Elementary
  • Jon Manning, Principal of Wearwood Elementary School
  • Kevin DeBow, Principal of Northview Junior Academy
  • Adrian Watson, Assistant Principal of Northview Senior Academy
  • Dr. Amy Case, Assistant Principal at Catons Chapel Elementary
  • Hans Ballew, Assistant Principal at Pi Beta Phi Elementary
  • Tanya Morgan, Assistant Principal of Pigeon Forge Primary
  • Karen Strange, Assistant Principal of Catlettsburg Elementary School
  • Dr. Stacy Plemons, Assistant Principal of Northview Junior Academy