By Sally Absher

Northwest Middle Community School Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Northwest Middle is one of KCS’s newest Community Schools. And they are starting the year off with a bang! Liz Thacker, Site Resource Coordinator for Northwest Middle Community School is excited to announce Red Ribbon Week, October 26 – 30. Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign usually observed during the last week in October.

Northwest is partnering with the Metropolitan Drug Commission who will be providing Red Ribbons for staff, Project U and Jr. Honor Society students to wear. The following are some of the activities planned for the week:

Monday Oct. 26 – (Theme: Stop and think, don’t bully or do drugs – wear red).  The school will be decorated with red ribbons and balloons. Students will learn the history of Red Ribbon Week. There will be a poster decorating contest.

Tuesday Oct. 27 – (Theme: Stay true to your school and don’t do drugs – wear school colors). Students will continue decorating posters, Project U/YTeens will sign anti bully prevention chalk sidewalk, NMS Cheerleaders will parade through the building promoting a drug-free society.

Wednesday Oct. 28 – (Theme: Be a Superhero against bullying and drugs – wear superhero shirt). KCEA/Great Schools Partnership Campus Cleanup, 4-6 pm. Staff, students, and community members are welcome to participate!

Thursday Oct. 29 – (Theme: Friends don’t let friends bully or do drugs – dress to impress/twins day) – Drug-free rally, NMS Step Team performance, NMS Cheerleaders.

Friday Oct. 30 (Theme: Say Boo to bullying and Drugs – wear your favorite college shirt). Posters are due today, they will be hung in the cafeteria. Admin team will vote on most creative poster.

Northwest Middle Community School will also be hosting a parent night on Thursday – “Spooktacular Showcase of Learning” from 5:30-7:30 that will focus on Math and Science, and will be running the Book Fair this week


Reach Them to Teach Them

Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre. Reach Them to Teach Them serves educators through an evening of appreciation and personal challenge held every fall at the majestic Tennessee Theatre.

“The power of a positive influence can never be underestimated.  We seek to honor and inspire those who play a critical role in the lives of our children.”  Details: (register online).


KCEA to host Community Discussion on TNReady on October 29

Is your child ready for TNReady? Is TNReady ready for your child? Join KCEA in a community discussion for teachers, parents, and community members about how current standardized testing policy is affecting students and classrooms. Thursday October 29th at 6 pm, Halls Branch Library. For more information, contact KCEA at 865-522-9793.


State Department Seeking Feedback on Education Standards

From the too little, too late department, Jason Gonzales at the Tennessean (October 21) reports that state officials are asking for public input on the newly revised math and English/language arts standards. The revisions are part of the state’s review of the Common Core Standards.

The State Board of Education has created a website to gather feedback (

Gonzales reports that the first round of revisions brought education officials from throughout the state to sort through over 130,000 comments submitted through a similar online process. The majority of Round 1 feedback was from educators.

As a result, the team of education officials “then made many changes to the standards over the course of the summer based on those comments,” although the state board didn’t provide details on what was deleted, added, or changed.

(We suspect very little actually changed, since when the state adopted the common core standards, it was with the knowledge that they were copyrighted, and that no more than 15% of the standards could be revised in any manner).

The article continues, “Officials on both sides of the debate say the process will create more rigorous standards and better align them to Tennessee’s values.” But it remains to be seen if the state will attempt to “revise” or “repeal” the common core standards.

If Tennessee follows what other states have done, it will be neither, but simply a thinly veiled rebranding of a inferior set of national standards.