Rutherford County Schools Address Accelerated Learning Initiatives for Students Affected by Pandemic

Aug 12, 2021 at 08:49 am by WGNS


Rutherford County Schools already has plans in motion to accelerate learning for students who experienced learning loss during the 2020-2021 school year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Tennessee Department of Education released achievement scores today from last spring’s TCAPs, and as expected, the assessments show students from across the state, including Rutherford County, experienced learning losses because of the pandemic’s impact on schools and the community. 

The latest results do not include academic growth information for students, which once released, will provide more complete information on student performance. 

RCS uses assessment data, like those from TCAP, for diagnostic purposes to address student needs. 

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“We anticipated the assessment results would show a learning loss in our county, but we are fortunate that our students continued to perform well above the state average,” Director of Schools Bill Spurlock said. “I have complete confidence in our administrators and teachers, and I’m certain they will help our students rebound quickly.” 

RCS already has recovery programs in place and will soon be announcing more. These programs will extend through the 2023-2024 school year to assist students with recovery. 

The district hosted learning camps during the summer, for example, and more than 6,000 students in grades K-8 participated. The district also offered credit recovery programs in the summer for high-schoolers, and more than 1,000 credits were earned. 

The district will soon hire a Learning Loss Coordinator, who will oversee additional accelerated learning programs, including more summer camps and after-school tutoring programs. 

Despite the effects of the pandemic, RCS made several instructional accomplishments during the 2020-2021 school year, including: 

• The district had a 96.6% participation rate in TCAP testing
• The district offered in-person learning throughout the school year
• The district launched the district’s first standalone virtual school, which now has nearly 500 students enrolled.
• RCS high school students achieved more than 1,000 industry certifications, an increase of more than 300 from the previous year
• The district launched an Early College program with Motlow State Community College and 35 students at LaVergne High School completed their associate’s degrees while simultaneously graduating high school. The program will be further expanded to include more students.

“We have some of the best educators in the state, and they are professionals who know how to meet the needs of students,” Director Spurlock said. “We look forward to the gains and accomplishments our students will make this year.”

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