Photo by Dan Andrews. John Zalesky, age 5, is not tall enough yet to reach the microscope at Sequoyah Elementary’s Family Engineering Night so his dad gives him a boost!

Photo by Dan Andrews.
John Zalesky, age 5, is not tall enough yet to reach the microscope at Sequoyah Elementary’s Family Engineering Night so his dad gives him a boost!

By Sally Absher
South Doyle Middle School Announces State of the Schools for January 12
The administration and staff of South Doyle Middle School invite you to attend their State of the School address and open communication meeting at 6 p.m. on January 12th in the auditorium.
Principal Taiwo (Tye) Sutton and the administrative team from South Doyle Middle School will provide an overview of the school’s overall status, including academic progress, school culture, and discipline. They will also review their strategic visionary plan for the school, which is designed to achieve excellence for every child.
All community stakeholders are encouraged to attend this important meeting. A Title 1 presentation will also provide information on how funds are being appropriated to support instruction. A time for questions and answers from stakeholders will be provided.

Sequoyah Elementary Hosts 4th Annual Family Engineering Night
Last Thursday, Sequoyah Elementary held its 4th Annual Family Engineering Night. Sequoyah Elementary has again partnered with University of Tennessee’s electrical engineering department CURENT. CURENT and Sequoyah’s Science Lab have collaborated significantly over the past five years to bring Sequoyah students the best in STEM instruction and activities.
The event was full of engineering design challenges to engage and motivate the entire family. Several new activities were featured this year, as well as a few popular activities from past years. Using the design process, families planned, created and improved upon specific design challenges. Challenges included straw rocket launching, parachutes, magnetic fishing poles, and more.
Additionally, the six brand new microscopes and a digiscope purchased by the Sequoyah Elementary Foundation were on display for students to use and observe surprising objects. Bearden Middle School Science Olympiad hosted a “pretty sweet” station! Camp Invention hosted be a “great catch” activity, and a surprise robot was on display.

East Knoxville Youth Public Health Presentation
Also last week, Vine Middle Magnet, Green Magnet Academy, and Sarah Moore Green Magnet, in conjunction with Masters of Public Health students from the University of Tennessee, hosted Project ToWeR (Teens Working for Reform).
Through the PoWeR initiative, students researched and assessed public health issues such as safety, traffic, and area lighting. On Friday December 4 students of East Knoxville shared their assessment of community safety, presenting their findings to community leaders and stakeholders, parents, and Public Health advocates.

Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations
The Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, co-chaired by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam, announced it is accepting nominations for the first Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations. These awards have been created to recognize collaborative and innovative projects that are helping Tennessee students enter the classroom prepared to learn.
The Tennessee School Readiness Model describes goals to help Tennessee students enter the classroom prepared to learn. It provides indicators of what communities, schools and families need to do to promote children’s early learning and development. “Readiness” is not seen solely as a condition within a child but is a condition that exists when communities, schools, and families create a nurturing environment for child development starting at birth.
The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Early Foundations include three organizational award categories – Community Excellence, School Excellence and Excellence in Supporting Children and Families – and six individual innovator award categories, each sponsored by one of the Children’s Cabinet departments:
· Excellence in Promoting Physical Activity (Department of Health)
· Excellence in Building Resiliency (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services)
· Excellence in Promoting Early Literacy (Department of Education)
· Excellence in Keeping Kids Safe, Healthy, and On Track (Department of Children’s Services)
· Excellence in Promoting Wellness (Health Care Finance and Administration/TennCare)
· Excellence in Promoting High Quality Early Care and Education Programs (DHS)
Nomination materials and instructions can be found at All nominations must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. CST on January 15, 2016.