OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Fifty-nine percent of third grade students in Oak Ridge Schools scored proficient on the spring 2023 English Language Arts (ELA) Tennessee Comprehensive Academic Program (TCAP), nearly 19 percentage points higher than the statewide proficiency level of 40 percent. This represents a six percent increase from the district’s 2022 spring scores.
“We are thrilled with the growth we saw at the third-grade level and know it is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of not only our students, but our teachers, principals and the entire staff at the elementary level,” said Dr. Bruce Borchers, Superintendent of Oak Ridge Schools. “These results did not come easy and are a testament to our unwavering commitment to student success.”
According to the revision to the state’s law regarding the promotion of students from the third grade, more than 70 percent of Oak Ridge Schools students that did not score proficient qualify for an exemption or an appeal. In total, 11 percent of all ORS third graders scored not proficient and are non-exempt. Those students have been given the opportunity to retake the TCAP, attend summer school and receive additional tutoring sessions during the 2023-24 academic year to ensure promotion to fourth grade.
“Our elementary principals have been working with the families and caregivers of the non-exempt students who did not score proficient to decide the best next steps for each individual student, but we are extremely pleased with how few students fell into that category.” Borchers said. “As always, we will continue to work with each individual student to provide additional support throughout the next steps in their academic careers.”
According to the Tennessee Department of Education, students become exempt if they have previously been retained, are English Language Learners (ELL) with less than two years of ELA instruction or have a suspected disability that impacts reading. Additionally, appeals are available for students that scored in the 41st percentile or above on the spring Aimsweb universal screener or experienced a catastrophic situation during the days leading up to the TCAP test that impacted the ability to perform on the test or the re-test.
“Providing our students with the academic support they need will always be our top priority,” said Borchers. “Should parents have any additional questions or concerns, they should contact their student’s school principal.”