By Sally Absher

Knox County TNReady Testing Underway…

Finally. KCS Director of Schools Jim McIntyre announced at last Monday’s Board workshop meeting that 44 of KCS schools had received the paper tests as of Friday February 26, and the remaining schools in the county received their tests on Monday February 29. The first day of the testing window for KCS schools was Wednesday March 2.

The testing window for the TNReady assessment was originally scheduled to take place between February 8 and March 4. But on the first day of online testing, major network outages on the platform developed by testing company Measurement Inc. led to state education officials canceling this year’s online assessment and announcing that the entire state would revert to paper-based tests. The testing window was revised to February 22 – March 18

Chalkbeat Tennessee reported on February 29 that after technical problems caused the state to cancel the official debut of the online debut of the new online TNReady assessment last month, the majority of the 142 school districts in the state had received printed material for students to take the paper and pencil version of the test.

The state has been using eight printing companies across the nation to produce the materials. Still, printing capacity issues caused delayed shipments to about a dozen districts across the state. As of February 29, the following districts were still waiting to receive the paper tests:

Tennessee Achievement School District; Bartlett; Hamblen County; Maury County; Madison County; Murfreesboro City; Putnam County; Robertson County; Sevier County; Sullivan County; Tipton County; and Wilson County.

One the tests arrive at schools, they must be unboxed, labeled, and organized. Many of these districts have again delayed the start of the assessments until March 7.

Tennessee Department of Education spokeswoman Ashley Ball said that during the first week of the testing window (February 22 – 26), about 60 districts completed the TNReady assessments. Larger districts will take the assessments later in the new February. 22 – March 18 testing window.


Knox County Schools Recruitment Fairs Planned

In March, April and June, 2016, the Knox County Schools’ Human Resources Department will host three recruitment fairs for those interested in starting a career with the Knox County Schools. The first of these took place this past Saturday, March 5 (Priority Staffing Schools Recruitment Fair) as reported in the Daily Focus . The remaining Recruitment Fairs are scheduled for:

  • Saturday, April 2: Certified Employees Recruitment Fair
  • Saturday, June 25: Classified Employees Recruitment Fair

On Saturday, April 2, the Certified Employees Recruitment Fair will be held at Central High School (5321 Jacksboro Pike) from 9 a.m. to noon. Certified positions require a license issued by the Tennessee Department of Education. Certified staff members require a valid professional license based on training that covers the subjects or grades taught and/or a specialty service area (e.g. school counselor) in accordance with rules and regulations of the State Board of Education.

On Saturday, June 25, the Classified Employees Recruitment Fair will be held at Central High School (5321 Jacksboro Pike) from 9 a.m. to noon. Classified positions do not require certification in accordance with rules and regulations of the Tennessee Department of Education and typically include bookkeepers, clerks, maintenance or custodial staff, cafeteria staff, instructional assistants, transportation staff, and security personnel, as well as many central office administrative services positions and part-time staff.

For more information about the recruitment fairs, contact Human Resources at 594-1929.


L&N STEM Academy’s Ethics Bowl First in State

The L&N STEM Academy’s Ethics Bowl Team won the 2015-2016 Tennessee Ethics Bowl competition held January 23, 2016 in Knoxville, TN. The competition is sponsored by The Department of Philosophy and the Humanities Center of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Campus, with support from Home Federal Bank.

The L&N STEM Academy Ethics Bowl Team will represent the State of Tennessee at the National Ethics Bowl competition at the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 15-16, 2016. Twenty three teams from across the U.S. (including the District of Columbia) and 1 team from Canada will compete for the national title.

The members of the L &N STEM Academy Ethics Bowl Team include: Madeline Lonas, Katlynn Armstrong, Chase Compton, Max Mylchreest, Justin Cross, and Mattie Collins. Coaches are: Christopher Webb, Georgi Gardiner.


CMA’s Principal Invited to Join Tennessee Educator Voice Fellowship

Career Magnet Academy Principal John Faulconer has formally accepted an invitation to join the 2016 inaugural cohort of the Tennessee Educator Voice Fellowship as a founding member.

As a founding Fellow, Faulconer is among 50 outstanding teachers and principals—selected from nearly 100 applicants and 137 nominees—who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence for Tennessee students and a passion for working to advance effective education policies in the best interest of students, educators, families and communities across the state.

The Fellows met for the first time at a weekend convention on Friday, March 4th, and Saturday, March 5th, at the Sheraton Downtown in Nashville. At the convention, attendees had the opportunity to build their leadership and advocacy skills; learned about the history of state education policies and how to partner with local legislators; gained insight on how to be effective on social media; and heard best practices regarding how to bring classroom success to life in ways that help change the public perception of education policies.