By Sally Absher

KCS Transfer Window Now Open

Parents may now request magnet or general transfers within KCS for 2016-2017. The transfer window is open through 4 pm on February 16, 2016.

Transfer applications are available online at  and at the Transfers and Enrollment Office, 912 S. Gay Street. Magnet schools transfer applications also are available at magnet school locations.

Knox County has nine magnet schools:

Elementary Schools

Beaumont Magnet Academy

Green Magnet STEAM Academy

Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy

Middle Schools

Vine Middle Magnet STEAM School

High Schools

Austin-East Magnet

Career Magnet Academy

Fulton’s Magnet School of Communication

L&N STEM Academy

West’s International Baccalaureate Programme

For more information about transfers, visit the Knox County Schools website or contact the Transfers and Enrollment Office at 865-594-1506.


Break Mist Day…Broken

October 1 was designated “Break Mist Day” across the state. The TDOE scheduled a “trial run to test the capacity of MIST (the platform for the new TNReady online assessment) and help identify challenges when there is still plenty of time to fix them.” Based on the feedback we received, there needs to be a lot of fixing…

From Halls High School, “Mist broke. Students could not scroll on the screen on math questions… could not paste a statement for a question that was asking to sequence a set of statements. Computers froze. Computers were painfully slow. Display on laptops would not show all of both screens.”

Also from Halls HS, “many problems began at question #7. Messages to Reload after spinning several minutes followed by Restart to continue.”

From Ball Camp Elementary, “Break at most worked for us for ten minutes and then booted us out. What concerned me is that we were told the kids wouldn’t be given scratch paper and pencils to work.”

“South Doyle Middle School cancelled. They couldn’t even start the test. “

“Many problems at Bearden High. Many. It froze up some kids’ Macs.”

“Farragut MS aborted almost from the start, continuous loading that never completed, kicking students off, skipping questions, losing work that was done, etc.”

Rumor is Middle Tennessee couldn’t get on at all. Another class period wasted. Mist is broken.


Joint Education Committee

The Joint Education Committee, consisting of members from Knox County Commission and the Knox County School Board, met last Thursday. The topic of the meeting was “Exploring How to Meet Common Goals.”

Brad Anders, Sam McKenzie, Jeff Ownby, and Charles Busler from Commission, and Doug Harris, Karen Carson, Terry Hill, and Patti Bounds from the BOE, talked about how to work together on legislative issues, funding, and how to measure success.  Board members gave Commissioners a summary version of the KCS 2020 Five Year Strategic Plan.

The Joint Committee will meet again November 5, January 7, and February 4. The meetings are held at 4:30 pm in the first floor board room of the Andrew Johnson Building (912 S. Gay Street).


Lauren Hopson Honored as Outstanding Community Advocate.

Lauren Hopson, former third grade teacher at Halls Elementary School and current KCEA president, is sometimes credited with initiating the “teacher revolt” in Knox County. The University of Tennessee Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education (TPTE) thinks she is an outstanding community advocate, and will be recognizing her at an awards ceremony on October 6, at the Crowne Plaza Summit Ballroom downtown, immediately preceding a reception and the Billie Grace Goodrich Distinguished Lecture.

A TPTE Community Advocate has “made outstanding contributions as indicated by one or more of the following: a) a record of diligent effort to further the goal of access for all students to quality education or interpreting services so essential to a thriving and just democracy; and b) a strong record of civic-minded activities that support the tireless work of striving and caring teachers and/or interpreters.

TPTE’s mission is “to develop innovative, research based programs for teachers, teacher educators, and interpreters; to work in close harmony with schools and educators across the university, in the state, region, nation, and world for the improvement of education and educational interpreting; to develop leadership in scholarly research and writing; to participate and assume leadership in professional organizations.”

TPTE said of Hopson, “In your work, we recognize that you are helping to realize our mission. We want this award to honor your efforts by sharing with our community your accomplishments on behalf of education.”

Hopson said that she is honored to receive this award, but says she couldn’t have achieved what she has over the past two years without the support of countless other teachers, many of whom put their jobs on the line to speak out. “I don’t view this as an award for me, but an award for us.”