More than 300 schools in 85 districts were honored on Friday as Tennessee released its annual list of “reward” schools, the largest number of schools since the list was created.

This is only the second list of reward schools the state has published since 2015, and it’s the first year of using a new criteria based on:

  • State test and growth scores;
  • English language learner proficiency;
  • Chronic absenteeism;
  • Graduation rates and ACT test scores.

Previously, the Department of Education highlighted the 5 percent of schools that showed the most academic achievement and the 5 percent with the most annual growth.

Because of the new criteria, the number of reward schools this year, 318, is a big jump from the the 2017 list, which recognized 169 schools, and the 2015 list which consisted of 170. A 2016 list wasn’t created after some exams were canceled amid technical difficulties, creating a lack of test results.

Reward schools were named on the same day as the state’s 2018 priority schools, which rank at the state’s bottom on student achievement or with graduation rates less than 67 percent.

Shelby County Schools has 39 schools designated as reward schools, up from 13 last year.

“In this first year with our new system, it is incredibly encouraging to see more than 300 of our schools are earning reward status for how they are supporting our students’ academic achievement and growth,” Commissioner Candice McQueen said in a statement.

Below is the 2018 reward list, which is sortable based on school and district. You can learn more on Tennessee’s accountability system here.