State education leader visits Collierville Elementary School

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 8:25 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn got an up-close look at the day in the life of Collierville Elementary School and the progress they’ve made over the last year.

Shooting hoops was off the table in school gyms across Tennessee this time last year but it was the grand finale of Tennessee Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn’s tour at Collierville Elementary Friday.

“School is about learning and mastering standards but it’s also about engagement and having fun and connection,” said Dr. Schwinn.

During the tour, administrators showed Schwinn students hard at work.

The district not only uses technology in the physical classroom, but they also still have hundreds of students learning from home virtually.

There’s still lots of work to do to adapt to all of the changes from this past year.

“When students have come back, starting the school year, they’ve come in with all kinds of trauma. they’ve come in with all kinds of learning loss, things like that. We know how to address it, but we’ve had to make changes along the way,” said Tyler Salyer, Principal, Collierville Elementary School.

Tennessee passed legislation requiring schools to host summer school to address learning loss.

“I think it’s about grade level readiness right? we want to make sure that when students enters school next year, they are ready for that grade,” said Dr. Penny Schwinn.

Schwinn says they also will be using this year’s TCAP testing to assess where students are in their learning.

This year’s test will be on paper, students have to take it in person, and 80 percent of students in each district are required to participate.

“It’s been interesting because I think people have been generally pretty positive about it. I think that we always know there’s going to be a broad conversation about testing, in general, I think there is this real desire to want to know how our students are doing so that we can provide additional support,” said Dr. Schwinn.

State Lawmakers also decided that schools will not be flagged for underperformance based on test results this year.

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