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Dodson Branch Elementary Earns High Marks Among Tennessee K-8 Schools

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Dodson Branch Elementary Earns High Marks Among Tennessee K-8 Schools

US News and World Report ranked Dodson Branch Elementary School 85th of some 1,500 Tennessee elementary schools.

Dodson Branch Principal Brian Lee announced the distinction at the Jackson County Board of Education Meeting Tuesday night. Lee said that number makes them the highest-ranked public K-8 school in all of Tennessee outside of magnet and charter schools.

“Our school is a small school, so everybody just pitches in and does the best they can and they go above and beyond every day whether that’s students or teachers,” Lee said. “Everyone wants to strive for excellence and do their best every day.”

Lee said Capshaw Elementary School was the only Upper Cumberland school ranked higher. Only two other K-8 schools in the state ranked higher on the list, neither is public.

“Of course, if you look at it, we all know our students’ lives are a little different than those at Capshaw, but we were proud of that,” Lee said.

Lee said he is excited to have achieved this distinction prior to the state releasing their letter grades designed to inform parents and families on how each school performed in the previous year. According to the report, Dodson Branch Elementary had 42% of their students score at or above the proficient level for math, and 32% for reading.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Lee said. “This is a very prestigious report that comes out. A lot of people see it with different Universities, and they’ve started doing it for elementary and high school and different things, so it was a big honor.”

Lee said he feels the positive recognition is nice following the negative publicity over the past month surrounding a paddling incident that resulted in the arrest of a teacher and Vice Principal.

Jackson County Board of Education Chairman Mark Brown said Tuesday that he hopes “everyone does something in support” of the Dodson Branch teachers, but declined further comment.


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