Excellence in Education
The Oak Ridge School System was hastily organized along with the city as The Manhattan Project. The situation is described on the school systemís Web site:
ďThe first superintendent, Dr. Alden H. Blankenship, had only 90 days to recruit staff, secure buildings, and supplies, and establish a curriculum to accommodate the first students in the fall of 1943. By the end of 1944, approximately 11,000 students were enrolled. During the peak period of the city's population, there were ten elementary schools, two junior high schools, one high school, and two nursery schools. The schools also doubled as churches and recreation centers. After the war years, the city's population gradually dropped to its present level of slightly more than 27,000.Ē
The school system has come a long way from this haphazard beginning, but building on the values of excellence and committment to progress instilled from the induction of the city and its schools, the Oak Ridge School System has become known both state and nation-wide for excellence in education.
- Oak Ridge schools was received the Gold Medal Schools honor in five years in a row, including in 2000.
- The Wall Street Journalís Offspring magazine listed Oak Ridge schools among the top 100 in the nation and number two in the South in 2000.
- Expansion Magazine has listed the Oak Ridge schools among the top performing systems in the nation for six years in a row.
- Oak Ridge Schools spends $8,400 annually per pupil for all students,preschool through high school, compared to the state's average of $4,555 and the national average of $5,894.
- Exceptional teachers uphold this level of excellence, with over 70 percent teaching in Oak Ridge holding a Master's degree or higher.
- The Tennessee State Department of Educationís 2005 annual Report Card gave the Oak Ridge School System exemplary ratings in all areas, and Oak Ridge is one of three school systems to receive straight Aís for academic achievement in all four curriculum areas.
Oak Ridge Schools include four elementary schools, two middle schools and one senior high school. The senior high school, Oak Ridge High School, is the focus of the additional information provided here on academics, athletics and activities.