FSSD sign

In a year of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Franklin Special School District maintained its long history of outperforming the state in every grade level and subject area in its scores for the 2020-21 TCAP results.

In fact, the district as a whole outperformed the proficiency percentage of the state by double digits in every subject area.

  • English/Language Arts — 14 percent higher than the state proficiency percentage
  • Math — 16 percent higher 
  • Science — 27 percent higher
  • Social Studies — 29 percent higher 

While the scores demonstrate student achievement well above the state average, they also make clear that there are students in the FSSD who will continue to need extra support to overcome the impact of lost learning time last year. 

“As we welcomed students back for in-person learning last year, our goal was for students to feel supported by everyone in the school,” FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden said in a press release. “Our first priority was to reacclimate students and assure them that school is a place where they could rely on the compassion and patience of their teachers, the predictability of learning in a classroom with their friends, and an environment where they could set aside their worries for the day and concentrate on learning, playing, eating and growing.”

As those fundamentals were established, teachers assessed where students were academically and tailored their instruction of new standards accordingly, as well as targeted knowledge gaps that arose as a result of the 2020 spring closure.

The FSSD pointed out the following academic achievements reflected by the 2021 TCAP scores:

  • The FSSD scored well above the state in all tested subject areas at every grade level.
  • A few areas met or exceeded the percentage of students from 2019 TCAP who scored Mastered or On-Track, including 4th grade English Language Arts, 7th grade Social Studies, and 8th grade English Language Arts. 
  • The district has placed a high priority on ELA/Literacy by defining it as one the four main goals of the District Strategic Plan, Reach 2024. As such, it noted encouragement to see that two of its largest areas of growth (4th grade ELA and 8th grade ELA) occurred in ELA/Literacy scores.
  • While formal rankings are not provided to districts, analysis shows that the FSSD is among the top 10 percent of Tennessee districts for achievement in all subject areas.
  • 8th grade geometry students had the highest average score in the entire state, testing against high school students as well as other middle school geometry students.

The 2021 TCAP results also revealed the impacts of the extended closure in the spring of 2020 and the expected gaps this created in students’ learning. While math is typically an area of strength for the FSSD, all grade levels experienced a small drop in the proficiency of students this past year.

Additionally, student proficiency in ELA/literacy is between 40 percent to 53 percent in all grade levels, which shows that more work is needed in closing the gaps in students’ reading and writing skills.