KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Schools superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk is holding a news conference Wednesday morning to discuss items related to achievement data shared by the Tennessee Department of Education and the district’s work to accelerate academic growth.

The briefing was held at Copper Ridge Elementary. Principal Dr. Jennifer Atkins spoke about the work she and her staff have done to foster achievement gains by students.

This week, The Tennessee Department of Education announced the School and District Designations for the 2021-2022 school year. Knox County was among the school districts that are in need of improvement, according to the state.

In a board meeting Monday, Knox County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jon Rysewyk said, “to be in the bottom five percent of overall accountability is not where we want to be.”

Each year, schools are eligible for four types of designations based on their overall performance across indicators that are essential to student success, including how the school prepared students to be proficient (Achievement), accelerated student learning (Growth), encouraged students to attend school regularly (Chronically out of School), prepared students for postsecondary success (Graduation Rate and Ready Graduate), and supported English learners acquiring language skills.

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Across the state, 427 schools spanning 92 districts received designation as a Reward school, and 16 districts received designation as an Exemplary district, according to a news release shared by TDOE on Monday, and all individual district designations are pending State Board Of Education approval.

Wednesday’s briefing event included remarks from Copper Ridge Elementary principal Dr. Jennifer Atkins about the work she and her staff have done to foster achievement gains by students, as well as from Matt Ryerson, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Knoxville, about the community’s commitment to support the school district.