By Sally Absher


Best wishes for a successful year!


KCS Named Exemplary School District

Last week, Knox County Schools held a “Celebration of Academic Achievement” at the Carter Middle School Gymnasium.

According to the press release, “This special celebration commemorates exemplary academic achievement in the Knox County Schools, achievements that are testament to the hard work and dedication of our extraordinary principals and teachers as well as our students, parents, and community.”

Few teachers were present at the celebration – most watched online from their classrooms, as the celebration took place on the first day of school for teachers, staff, and principals.

Knox County was one of 12 districts named “Exemplary” for significantly improving student performance and narrowing achievement gaps. It was the first of Tennessee’s large districts to achieve this status since Tennessee adopted the new accountability system in 2012 under Race to the Top.

In addition to Knox County being the first large urban district to be named “Exemplary,” the district also celebrated six schools that made the “Reward Schools” list – the top 5% of schools in the state for achievement, and for growth.  Across the state, 76 schools were recognized for overall academic achievement, and 85 schools for annual value-added growth. Nine schools were recognized for being in the top 5% for both achievement and growth.

2015 Knox County Reward Schools for achievement include Farragut High, Gap Creek Elementary, and Sequoyah Elementary. Reward Schools for growth include Carter Middle, Carter High, and Copper Ridge Elementary.

But having schools on the reward list is not new to Knox County, and being on the list is not new to several of the schools recognized. Last year Farragut High was recognized for both achievement and growth; L&N Stem, Rocky Hill and Sequoyah Elementary were recognized for achievement, and Powell Middle was recognized for growth.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Sequoyah Elementary has been named a Reward School for achievement, and the third consecutive year that Farragut made the list.

But KCS still has not repeated the success shown in 2012, when in addition to Sequoyah Elementary, Corryton, Gap Creek, and Shannondale Elementary schools were recognized for Achievement; and Bearden, Carter, and Ritta Elementary schools, South Doyle and Whittle Springs Middle schools, and Powell High school were recognized for growth.

Check The Focus in coming weeks as we look at Focus and Priority schools in Knox County.


Former HVE Safety Patrol celebrates Back to School

During the last week of July, the Safety Patrol from Hardin Valley Elementary celebrated with a  Back to School Picnic at McFee Park.  Coordinated by 5th grade teacher, Shelly Weiss, who is also one of the safety patrol’s team leader, nearly 50 former 5th graders and parents came together to celebrate the start of a new journey as they transition to MIDDLE SCHOOL!  It was a time to reflect and to also reconnect students before school starts.


Superintendent School Visits

This week, Dr. McIntyre will be at the following schools during the morning hours:

Monday Aug. 10 – Green Magnet, Bearden Middle, West High

Tuesday Aug. 11 – Sterchi Elementary, Inskip Elementary, Whittle Springs Middle

Wednesday Aug. 12 – Pleasant Ridge Elementary, Karns Elementary, Karns High

Friday Aug. 14 – Sequoyah Elementary, West Hills Elementary, Bearden High

Next week, Dr. McIntyre will be visiting these schools during the morning hours:

Monday Aug. 17 – Gibbs Elementary, Ritta Elementary, Carter High

Tuesday Aug. 18 – Cedar Bluff Elementary, West View Elementary, Vine Middle Magnet

Thursday Aug. 20 – Farragut Primary, Farragut Intermediate, Farragut High

Dr. McIntyre will wrap up his school visits during the week of August 24 as follows:

Monday Aug. 24 – Brickey-McCloud Elementary, Halls Elementary, Halls High

Friday Aug. 28 – New Hopewell Elementary, Bonny Kate Elementary, South-Doyle Middle