A handful of East Tennessee school systems are celebrating the glow of being named "exemplary" status from the state Department of Education.

Seven other systems, however, know they have work to do to improve.

The state on Friday released its list of shining systems and those that need to do better.

The coveted exemplary list includes Athens City Schools, Clinton City Schools, Greeneville City, Loudon County and Maryville City Schools.

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Some systems are planning to celebrate including Loudon County, which is planning an event Monday at North Middle School, according to Superintendent Jason Vance.

Maryville School celebrates its designation

Systems identified as being in need of improvement include Blount and Sevier counties, Campbell County, Cocke County, Monroe and Morgan counties and Union County Schools.

The state evaluated school systems on metrics such as assessment data, Ready Graduate data, ACT or SAT participation rate and absenteeism.

The top performers ended up with exemplary ratings. School systems that achieved exemplary status generally exceeded expectations on average for the overall student population as well as historically underserved groups such as poor, black and Hispanic students.

According to the state, a district in need of improvement failed to meet certain minimum progress goals and has failed to show "evidence of meaningful student progress based on achievement, growth, or subgroup improvement as well as meeting 95 percent participation rate on state assessment and the ACT.

Such districts will get extra state-level support, according to the Department of Education.

On Friday, the state also released its more details list of "reward" and "priority" schools.

About 20 percent of schools in Tennessee scored reward status, according to the state.

You can find more information about them here.

Reward schools show across-the-board improvement in student academic achievement and student growth.

Priority schools are deemed to need the most improvement. They're in the bottom 5 percent among schools in state test scores over three years, for example.

The only East Tennessee school identified as a priority school is Jellico Elementary in the Campbell County system.