Westwood Elementary credits quality instruction, attendance in Reward School designation

The faculty and staff at Westwood Elementary School celebrate being named a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education.

Westwood Elementary School was recognized by the Department of Education as a Reward School for showing academic growth and progress for all students.

The Reward designation is based on last year’s TNReady Scores, based on achievement and growth.

“Our teachers are very hands-on. We try to teach to the whole child. We do a lot of differentiated instruction. We meet the child where they are and grow them from where they are,” Westwood Principal Melissa Glenn said.

Attendance, Glenn added, is also factored into the designation.

“Our attendance is better than the state average. We had on 6.5% chronically absent, which is great. When they’re here, we’re able to teach,” she said.

“Our school counselor, Mrs. (Rachel) Sain works closely with attendance. She runs an attendance report every morning, makes phone calls and home visits,” Glenn said.

Attendance is a matter of making sure that the children feel good about being at school. There is a reward party for students with good attendance at the end of the year.

Assistant Principal Rebecca Welch added, “We make sure that all kids know that we want them at school. It’s a great place to be.”

Attendance is important to ensuring academic success. These successes are due to the instruction offered at the school.

“We feel like we have fantastic teachers,” Welch said. “We have teachers who are very passionate about delivering excellent instruction. They work hard to dive deeper to reach every learning ability.”

The administrators said that they welcome the designation as some positive news in education.

“We say it’s not only the teachers, it’s everybody, from the custodians to the lunchroom workers,” Glenn said.

“And we want to thank our parents for having the students here on time and here every day…and had a good breakfast during that testing window,” Welch added.