The FSSD places a deliberate focus on personalized instruction tailored to meet each student's individual needs. For the third straight year, the district received all A's on its State Report Card based on student achievement and academic gains, which rank among the highest in the state (2007). Middle school students have the opportunity to participate in the Duke University Talent Search, and consistently has winners at the state and national level. Students in grades 7 and 8 may take high school credited courses in Algebra I, French I, and Spanish I, enabling them to earn as many as 3 high school credits. Each school has a fully staffed clinic to meet the health needs of all children. All schools and the Central Office are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The SACS CASI Review Team wrote in its report (2007) that the FSSD is "an exemplary school system led by an extraordinary professional staff, highly committed and knowledgeable board of education, educated and involved parents, and an extremely supportive community that collectively encourage and support student success at all levels of the system. It is evident throughout the system that instructional improvement that results in improving student achievement is the highest priority." The average teacher salary is 7th in the state, at $49,107 (2006-2007 Tennessee Education Assn. statistics). The FSSD's expenditures per pupil exceeds the state average by almost $3,000 (2007 Tennessee Dept. of Education statistics), in an effort to provide students with high quality teachers and resources while maintaining fiscal responsibility. The FSSD has been given a Aaa (Exceptional) Financial Strength Rating classification by Moody's, signifying the district's commitment to responsible spending. FSSD students have unique opportunities to use and develop their talents in the visual and performing arts. The FSSD provides extraordinary funding for programs such as art, theater, vocal and instrumental music as part of the student's academic day. The FSSD physical education program is recognized on both the state and national level as a model. Two schools are state demonstration centers and a third school is a national award winner. Students in grades K-4 receive daily physical education instruction. Special academic programs include the Honors program for high-ability learners as well as a program of services for gifted and talented students. There is a teacher of gifted students in each school who provides direct instruction to eligible students. The district is committed to early childhood education and has pre-kindergarten classes in all of the elementary schools, as well as one community based center. The FSSD exceeds the 250:1 pupil-teacher ratio which the state requires for English Language Learner (ELL) teachers, to better meet students' needs. The FSSD is committed to integrating technology at all grade levels. The FSSD operates a low-cost Morning and Afternoon Care (MAC) program for children five days a week and during most holidays and summer break. MAC is a self-sustaining program that provides enrichment, tutoring, and extra-curricular activities for its students. The FSSD began an employee child care education center for children of working parents. The Center serves children ages 6 weeks through preschool and is self-sustaining. The MAC program oversees the center, called Wee MAC. All FSSD schools are committed to student safety. A renovation program is providing safer, more secure access through an office vestibule for all schools. Cameras are also present in all buildings which are monitored by office staff. The FSSD attendance rate is at 96%, well above the state goal of 93% (2007 TN Department of Education statistics). Over the past six years, FSSD students taking high school credit courses have achieved a 100% success rate on the Gateway high school exit exam. The district-wide Honors Program reflects the College Board's Pre-Advanced Placement (PreAP) performance standards. All FSSD schools have met the federal government's benchmarks for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act for the past four years. The district has made a priority of not charging academic fees for supplies students need for core classes or related arts. No supplemental fees are required of parents. The district believes that summer instruction can be beneficial to both high ability and low ability learners. The district offers the Young Scholars Institute for high achievers as well as Adventure Academy and summer school for those who need remediation.
The FSSD places a deliberate focus on personalized instruction tailored to meet each student's individual needs. For the third straight year, the district received all A's on its State Report Card based on student achievement and academic gains, which rank among the highest in the state (2007). Middle school students have the opportunity to participate in the Duke University Talent Search, and consistently has winners at the state and national level. Students in grades 7 and 8 may take high school credited courses in Algebra I, French I, and Spanish I, enabling them to earn as many as 3 high school
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