2012 SCORE Prize Winners: Embracing High Standards - Page 2

4. Increase public and private support for education by continuing to seek the involvement and participation of the entir e community in the Hamblen County school sy stem. 5. Provide well-trained, highly motivated, caring individuals to serve in all levels of the organization. 6. Provide physical facilities and resources that are safe, secure, functional, and supportive of the learning program. “Their secret of success is having high expectations, rigorous instruction in every classroom, awesome principals, and strong community partnerships,” said Hamblen County mayor, Bill Brittain. “We work together and we work hard, and you can see it in our results.” The district believes in supporting all aspects of child development, including helping students engage in extracurricular activities such as sports, service to the community, music, and the arts. Hamblen County Schools is fully supported by its community in all of its efforts, and has strong partnerships with almost every large business in the county. Local businesses donate food, materials, and funds to support both academic achievement and the additional activities provided to the students. County also began its preparation for all teachers by providing professional development on rigorous instruction and the new language arts standards. In 2011-12, the district implemented the Common Core standards in K-2, had three teachers selected by the state to serve as Common Core math coaches for grades 3 through 8, and sent about 100 teachers to a three-day training with state coaches. Common Core resources were placed on the district website for teachers to use, and faculty meetings, learning clubs, learning lunches, and trainings were provided throughout the district to inform teachers and administrators about the standards. Other professional development opportunities for teachers were also offered, including training on formative assessment, reading beyond the text, Common Core algebra and geometry, informational texts, and opportunities offered by the Tennessee Department of Education’s Centers of Regional Excellence. Administrators were also provided with a three-day training for in-depth exploration of Common Core concepts in math, reading, and writing, and attended the state’s Common Core leadership training. “The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with Common Core” http://www.tnscore.org/scoreprize/ downloads/2012/the_Core_6_.pdf EMBRACING HIGH STANDARDS Hamblen County’s leaders embrace high expectations for student learning and expect every student to be college and career ready when they graduate from high school. Leaders are very proactive in anticipating rising expectations, and started preparing for the increased rigor reflected in the Common Core State Standards in 2010. The district put in place a series of professional learning opportunities to increase the rigor in every classroom. They also launched a series of programs to ensure that students are ready for postsecondary education and career. Preparing for the Common Core. Once leaders knew that the Common Core standards were going to be adopted in Tennessee, multiple strategies were put in place to ensure teachers were ready and implementation would proceed smoothly. In 2010-11, district leaders assigned five teacher leaders to serve as Common Core specialists for the district, and sent lead K-2 teachers and instructional coaches to the state training to learn about the standards for those grade levels. Hamblen Pathways to the Prize Lessons from the 2012 SCORE Prize District Winner 12