‘We want kids to love reading’ | Maryville City Schools ace TCAP

Maryville City Schools was among the best in the state for TCAP third-grade English scores.
Maryville City Schools was among the best in the state for TCAP third-grade English scores.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - One East Tennessee school district is standing out from the pack on the third-grade TCAP scores.

Previous Coverage: How did East Tennessee third-graders do on the English TCAPs?

74.68% of third-graders at Maryville City Schools scored “proficient” or better on the English section of TCAP. That’s fourth-best in the state, and it’s significantly better than Tennessee’s average, which is 40%.

“Through all Maryville City Schools, there’s a lot of time spent reading,” Principal of Sam Houston Elementary School Molly Rice said.

That’s why the TCAP results came as no surprise to Rice. Nearly three out of four students scored “proficient” or better in the English section.

“Over the last four years, I would say that we’ve really dug deep into the English Language Arts standards,” Rice said.

The principal said there are several factors that went into acing the test. One of them is emphasizing reading and grammar beginning in kindergarten.

“We’re focused on phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension,” Rice said. “We’re implementing those into our reading.”

Of the 387 third-graders in the school district, only 20 could need to go to summer school. Those students can take a re-test next week.

Rice said the district also uses several measurements to make sure students get extra help if they fall behind.

“We use benchmark assessments, we use small group reading instruction, we use fluency checks, we’re using a lot of different things,” the principal said.

She said the instruction didn’t change this year just because of the law. They always prioritized third-grade reading skills to help kids in the long run.

“We want kids to love reading. We want kids to love books,” Rice said.