• 2020 Collaborative Conferencing Poll Announcement


    In early October, the Knox County Board of Education was presented with written requests from more than 15% of our professional employees to initiate the collaborative conferencing process.  In accordance with the Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act (PECCA), the Board established a “Special Question Committee” to conduct a confidential poll of eligible employees to determine if a majority of these employees express a desire to participate in collaborative conferencing. 

    The committee, comprised of three School Board members and three professional employees, decided to conduct an online poll beginning November 11th and continuing until 1:00 p.m. on November 17th.   VoteNet.com, a company specializing in online confidential polling, has been engaged to administer the election.  This will be the fourth time VoteNet.com has administered the Special Question Poll for the Knox County Schools.

    Using a secret electronic ballot, the eligible professional employees will answer two questions:


    1. Shall the professional employees of this LEA (Knox County Schools) undertake collaborative conferencing with the board of education?


    The second question will vary based on the yes or no answer to question one.

    1. If YES, which of the following professional organization would you like to represent you in collaborative conferencing?
    • Knox County Education Association
    • Professional Educators of Tennessee
    • Unaffiliated




    1. If NO, which of the following professional organizations would you prefer to represent you in collaborative conferencing?
    • Knox County Education Association
    • Professional Educators of Tennessee
    • Unaffiliated
    • None of the above


    All employees eligible to participate in the poll will receive this e-mail message when the poll opens.  The message will provide directions for participating in the poll and a unique code assigned to each participant.  VoteNet Solutions will maintain the security of the process and the confidentiality of the results.  No individual information will be shared with the Knox County Schools or any organizations with an interest in the poll. 

    The Special Question Committee will meet on November 17th at 4:15 p.m. to certify the results. At that time, VoteNet Solutions will share only the poll results with the committee.  The results will become public at that time.

    Only “professional employees” as defined by the PECCA legislation may participate in the process[1]. Unlike the 1979 Education Professional Negotiations Act, which included all licensed employees within the definition of “professional employee,” PECCA excludes members of the “management team.”  The management team is defined as employees who devote a majority of their time to system-wide area or areas of professional personnel management, fiscal affairs or general management.  Specifically, principals, assistant principals, supervisors and others whose primary responsibilities are administration rather than teaching are included within the definition of management team employees, and therefore excluded from the collaborative conferencing process.

    Participation is not required.  However, I strongly encourage you to provide teachers with information about this process through your routine methods of communication, so that every “professional employee” has the opportunity to participate in this important process.  

    Any non-managerial professional employee who does not receive an e-mail from Votenet Solutions on November 11th and who believes he or she should be eligible to participate in the poll, may send an email that includes their name, employee number, position, and school or primary worksite to Dr. Rodney Russell at rodney.russell@knoxschools.org.

    For additional information, please refer to the 2020 Collaborative Conferencing Poll FAQ by clicking here.  You can also see a calendar of the special question poll events by clicking here.


    [1] Professional employee" means any person employed by any local board of education in a position that requires a license issued by the Department of Education for service in public elementary and secondary schools of this state, supported, in whole or in part, by local, state or federal funds, but shall not include any member of the management team.