C & I Update 8 (January 2014)


Departments Announcements

Submitted by
Heather Casteel
Art Specialist

Congratulations to the winners of the Trane light switch sticker contest. The winning students received a new iPad air and were recognized at the Jan. 8th board meeting. The winning designs will be displayed on the light switches in every Knox County school building. Congratulations also to Mike Weininger, Angie McCarter, and Karen Bertollini who coached the winning students. These teachers received a $150 gift certificate to Jerry's Artarama. A special thanks goes to Nancy McBee from Trane for arranging this opportunity and providing the prizes for our teachers and students!

The Arts & Culture Alliance will host several KCS art teachers in a panel discussion on our art program. The event will be from 4:00-5:00 at the Emporium Building at 100 S. Gay St. and is open to the public.

Save the date for the annual art teacher art show: Art Source. The first Friday opening reception will be on May 2nd from 5:00-9:00 at the UT Downtown Gallery.

Jan. 28th: Art Dept Meeting, 4:30-6:30 at South Doyle Middle School
Feb. 25th: Art Dept Meeting, 4:30-6:30 at Knoxville Museum of Art

Follow us on Twitter: @KCS_VisualArts

Submitted by
Daphne Odom
Avid Supervisor

PD Sessions
We will be hosting the AVID Path Training at Sarah Simpson Professional Development Center for cohorts chosen from each AVID school on Friday Feb 28th & March 1st 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. both days. This is our district's first time to host a regional path training and we are thrilled to be able to provide and host this incredible professional development for our AVID schools.

Submitted by
Richard Mitchell

Choral Music Specialist

Choral Music News
  • Elementary K-2 music students will have the opportunity to see and hear the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Tuesday, 25, 2014 9:30a.m. at the Tennessee Theatre. This is the annual "Very, Young People's Concert" presented annually for our little ones.
  • Many of our High School Choral Departments choirs and ensembles will be participating in the annual J. B. Lyle (Adjudicated) Choral Festival at Pellissippi State February 26 – 27, 2014. We are so proud of our high school vocal students and their awesome display of talent and dedicated work that will be evident at this festival. Come, see and hear the excellent work of our district KCS choral teachers at this East Tennessee regional event. There is no charge for admission. Performance schedules are posted on etva.org website.
  • Mark your calendars now for these annual district wide performances:
    • KCS Middle School 2014 Honors Choir Concert Tuesday, March 4, 2014 hosted by Northwest Middle School, 6:00p.m.
    • KCS High School Choral Showcase 2014 Tuesday, March11, 2014 at Bearden High School, 7:00p.m.
    • KCS Elementary Honors Choir Concert Sunday, April 27, 2014 at South-Doyle Middle School, 3: 00p.m.
Hope you had the opportunity to hear one of our awesome choirs or instrumental groups during the holiday season.
If you did, please take the time to express your gratitude and enjoyment.
Happy 2014 from the Knox County Schools Music Department.


Submitted by
Rocky Riley and
Chris Tucker

CTE Supervisors

Feb 17th In-service

Business and Marketing - Bearden MS
Family and Consumer Science - Bearden MS
Early Childhood Education - Bearden MS

Engineering (Middle and High School) - Lincoln Park Kelley Room
CAD- Lincoln Park Kelley Room
Networking- Lincoln Park Kelley Room
Health Sciences - Lincoln Park Kelley Room
Agriculture - Lincoln Park Kelley Room
Culinary Arts - Lincoln Park Kelley Room
Criminal Justice - Lincoln Park Kelley Room
Cosmetology - Lincoln Park Kelley Room

Electrical - Lincoln Park Room 6
HVAC - Lincoln Park Room 6
Plumbing - Lincoln Park Room 6
Welding - Lincoln Park Room 6
Carpentry - Lincoln Park Room 6

Transportation - Lincoln Park Conference Room

January 11th KCS Technology Student Association hosted regional of about 300 + students from across our region.

January 29th KCS HOSA Regional Conference

CTE State Monitoring will be February 26-28th

Round One of PARCC Readiness Training

The CTE department has concluded round one of PARCC Readiness training in December. This training was created to help teachers personalize their content into a close reading task for students. Round Two of PARCC Readiness Training will expand and utilize the teacher's knowledge of the close reading task. Teachers will create and share their own text-dependent questions and will be reviewed by peer and adjusted to ensure that quality text dependent questions are a part of CTE lessons.

ELA/Reading K-5

Submitted by
Janet Sexton

K-5 ELA/Reading Supervisor

ELA/Reading News
NUTRITION ESSAY CONTEST Please join us in congratulating the following winners in the Fifth Grade Nutrition Essay Contest.
  • Max Novinger - Beaumont Magnet (Teacher Sarah Mercer)
  • Nate Stapf - Copper Ridge Elementary (Teacher Diana Brach)
  • Max Kaplan - Hardin Valley Elementary (Teacher Christopher Deal)
  • Ayden Austin - Mount Olive Elementary (Teacher Kelly Farr)
  • Sharon Melton - Carter Elementary (Teacher Denise Baker)
  • Maria Alma Pintoc - Powell Elementary (Teacher Karla Hodges)
  • Chloe Porter - A. L. Lotts Elementary (Teacher Robin Schleifer)
  • Sophia Trent - Dogwood Elementary (Teacher Marla Crossley)
The essay was sponsored by the Knox County Schools Nutrition Department and Bush's Best Beans. The Knox County Elementary Reading Department developed the writing prompt using informational text provided by Bush's Best Beans and a team of instructional coaches scored the essays. Winners received a bicycle donated by the KCS Nutrition Department and a helmet donated by Texas Roadhouse. Digital cameras were given to the teachers of the winning students.

C.A.R.E. Follow-Up PD The following sessions have been rescheduled to AFTER school and will not require a sub. These sessions are for NEW first and second grade teachers and those NEW to first and second grade.
  • SECOND GRADE (register for ONE of the following)
    • January 22, 2014
      • 3:30 – 5:00 
      • Reading Center Knox Central
    • January 23, 2014 2014
      • 3:30 – 5:00
      • Reading Center Knox Central
  • FIRST GRADE (register for ONE of the following)
    • January 29, 2014 
      • 3:30 – 5:00
      • Reading Center Knox Central
    • January 30, 2014
      • 3:30 – 5:00
      • Reading Center Knox Central


Submitted by
Shannon Jackson
6-12 ELA/Reading Supervisor

Staff Development
Secondary ELA In-service/PD Committee:
January 16, 4:30 – 5:45 at West High School – Develop PD needs assessment
Organize Feb 17th
January 30, 4:30 – 5:45 at West High School – Review long term plan against
Beliefs and Action Plan
Review/ Revise plan for February 17
Assess equipment and supplies needs
February 5, 4:30 – 5:45 at West High School - Final walk through of February 17th January 18, 4:30 – 5:45 at Panera at Mercedes Place - Debrief February 17th

Secondary ELA Vision, Mission, Beliefs, Action Plan Committee:

February 13, 4:30 – 5:45 at the Reading Center on Central Street
March 12, 4:30 – 5:45 at the Reading Center on Central Street
April 10, 4:30 – 5:45 at the Reading Center on Central Street

Secondary ELA Curriculum/Assessment Committee:
January 22, 4:30 – 5:45 at the Reading Center on Central Street
February 27, 4:30 – 5:45 at the Reading Center on Central Street
March 4, 4:30 – 5:45 at the Reading Center on Central Street

Theater Curriculum
Theater teachers worked on developing curriculum support for the 2014-2015 School Year. It is available for review on the Secondary ELA Intranet page. Teachers will have an opportunity to provide feedback and revise in February.

KCS Teachers Featured in PBS Online Learning Modules
TDOE in partnership with PBS is creating online learning modules to supplement the summer trainings. KCS teachers will be featured in the modules focused on teaching academic vocabulary in ELA and specialized disciplines. In November, we arranged filming Tiffany Nicely at Karns Elementary, Jeni Powell and Bearden Middle School, and Dedra Hall at Karns High School. In January, we will film Glenn Arnold at STEM Academy, Katherine Petko and Karen Stanish at STEM Academy, and Arthur Baham at Gibbs High School.

Secondary ELA Online Professional Development for System-wide Credit

Thanks to Tressie Norton at STEM, KCS Secondary ELA will offer asynchronous, online professional development for teachers. The content for the first round comes from the CCSS summer training modules, so it is targeted for teachers who did not have an opportunity to attend. Teachers who did attend and want another review of the material may also participate. While each module is worth two hours of system-wide credit, teachers do not need to complete all of the two hours in one session. They may meet multiple times after school until the work is complete. Modules are a combination of presentation of material, a group activity, and development of a product to use in the classroom. Teachers will benefit most if they participate in pairs or small groups. Those wanting to participate for credit should contact Shannon Jackson after January 30th.

Writing Workshops for the Non-ELA Teacher

Linda Perry and Stacy Hilliard are planning workshops to orient the content area teachers to the writing demands of CCSS. They will review types of prompts that students may encounter and the source material that could be provided. The workshop will also focus grading practices on precision with content and idea development. If you would like them to schedule a workshop at your school for afterhours or for a PLC meeting, please email them at linda.perry@knoxschools.org (middle school) or stacy.hilliard@knoxschools.org (high school).

January and February Secondary ELA Workshop Schedule

SRN Number
1/13/14 & 1/14/14
Both days
To be determined
Sarah Simpson Prof. Dev. Center
6-12 Intervention Course Covering Classes 1 & 2 from the State Reading Course

This course consists of 7 classes. The cohorts will meet monthly through May. The first 2 cohorts are teachers from the following middle schools: NWMS, VMS, WSMS, SDMS
Karen Irwin and Karla Halcomb
1/15/14 4:15–5:15
Powell Middle
Jamestown Beginning Training & Refresher
Natasha Cass
1/16/14 4:00–5:00
Farragut Middle 
Pearson Essay Scorer Training – What you need to know to effectively use this online program.
Cheri Thomas
1/21/14 4:15 - 5:30
Sarah Simpson Prof. Dev. Center 
Reading for Meaning
Stacy Hilliard and Hayley Jackson
1/22/14 4:15 – 5:15
Karns Middle
Writing Workshop
Linda Perry and Stacy Hilliard
1/27/14 4:15 - 5:15
Sarah Simpson Prof. Dev. Center
Language!Live and the TEAM/TAP Rubrics
Karen Horton and Erin Powers
1/28/14 4:15 - 5:15
To be determined
Central High
Read 180 – Ensuring Success for Every Student
Judy Rule and Laura Webb
1/30/14 4:15 - 5:15
Carter High
Making Close Reading Fun
Laura Webb
1/30/14 4:15 - 5:15
Northwest Middle
Reading for Meaning
Jessica Thomas
4:15 - 5:15
Bearden Middle 
Common Core Approach to Lesson Planning and Student Writing: Revising the RAFT
Ken Stansberry
4:15 – 5:15
Powell Middle 
Accountable Talk Follow-up: What is Working, What Isn’t, and What are the Next Steps
Natasha Cass
4:00 – 5:00
Farragut Middle
Grammar Instruction in the Common Core Classroom – What does it look like and how do we do it?
Cheri Thomas


4:15 – 5:15


Whittle Springs Middle
Teaching Morphemes to Expand Vocabulary
Heather Jarrell
4:15 – 5:45 
Karns High
How Well Do I Know These Words? – Vocabulary PD
Dedra Hall
4:15 - 5:15
Bearden Middle 
Developing and Expanding Context and Relevance
Ken Stansberry
4:15 – 5:15
Sarah Simpson Prof. Dev. Center
Explicit Instruction: Utilizing Examples and Non-examples in Grammar Instruction
Jennifer Ross and Beth Barlow
February In-service
The February in-service session for Secondary ELA has been moved to Fulton High School and will meet from 8:00 – 11:30. Teachers should bring a text or a topic that they will be teaching in the upcoming weeks. If they have laptops, they may want to bring them, as well.

English IV Children’s Book Contest
Teachers who plan to participate in the book contest for this semester need to let Stacy Hilliard know by February 14, 2014. One student from each participating school will be invited to read at the Knox County Library’s Festival of Reading on May 18, 2014. Their books will also be on display for the month of May at the KMA.

Submitted by
Alyson Lerma
 ELL Supervisor

We would like to welcome the following teachers to our ELL Department: Claudia Sanchez (FIS and FPS), Tim McGrath (SMG and BMES), and Carmen Esparza (Fulton).

At Mooreland Heights, Dr. Roy Miller honored 38 international students in an assembly prior to Winter Break. 30 of the students are in Ms. Brightwell's ESL classes and all of the 38 received Christmas gifts provided by a sorority from UT.

On Jan. 29th, the ELL Department is hosting an all day session on Best Practices and new WIDA standards. Jan Lanier, State Coordinator for Title III, is facilitating the training. The ELL Dept (Title III) will pay for subs for that day. The training will be from 8-4:30 at the Burlington Branch Library in Knoxville.

To access the presentation shared with secondary assistant principals at the December meeting, visit: http://padlet.com/wall/ELLandWL

Submitted by
Julie Thompson, Susan Turner, & Donna Howard
Elementary Supervisors

Pre-K News
    • Dr. Shari Lillestolen has been working with the staff of Sam E. Hill and Fair Garden. She presented a training for them on how early childhood instructional strategies tie in with the TEAM/TAP rubric.
    • The new COR Advantage assessment is in place for all preschool classes. This assessment address the whole child and all state standards. New teachers in VPK and Special Ed Preschool along with all teachers and instructional assistants at Fair Garden and Sam E. Hill completed training on COR Advantage. An additional training session is planned at Cedar Bluff on January 28th for anyone interested in learning more about COR Advantage.
    • Cedar Bluff Preschool is pursuing the implementation of family style meals in their inclusive classrooms to better facilitate oral language, self help, and independence of students.
    • Sandra Rosa presented a staff development session on the reading curriculum Growing Readers in December.
    • Training on the use of the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) will begin this month. The PQA is used as a self assessment to ensure that each classroom is providing the best possible learning environment for students. Action plans are written to address areas for growth.

Summer School News:

Teachers, I hope you have had a restful holiday. It is hard to believe, but we are already planning for our summer school program for this year. Teachers in a full time teaching position that are interested in teaching summer school this year will need to view the ELP video found on the ELP intranet site and fill out the application and questionnaire found on the ELP web page. To access the ELP intranet log onto to the KCS intranet, click on Professional Development Center, and click on Extended Learning Program. All instructions, as well as the required video are found here.

Call or e-mail Brandy Hall if you have any questions about the website.

The video is in place of the ELP meeting that is typically held at the Sarah Simpson Professional Development Center. To those that have already applied, you will need to visit the ELP page to obtain the questionnaire.

The dates for the academy this year are June 2-27. There will be a registration night you are required to attend which is the night of April 10th from 4:30-7:30 and a training day scheduled for May 30th. Questionnaires will be due by March 7th and will need to be sent to Brandy Hall.

The sites for summer school will be Cedar Bluff Elementary, Christenberry Elementary, Dogwood Elementary, Green Magnet Academy, Halls Elementary, Lonsdale Elementary, Norwood Elementary, Ritta Elementary, and Sarah Moore Green Magnet Academy. Teachers will have a summer school curriculum correlated to common core and a daily schedule to follow.

Remember you cannot apply for summer school if you have not viewed the video, filled out an application and filled out the questionnaire. I look forward to another successful summer school program for our students.

Adam Parker
Elementary Supervisor

Submitted by
Daphne Odom
Gifted Supervisor

Start off 2014 with some exciting Professional Development. The following workshops are being held this month:

"Not Just Pretty Pictures" led by Jean Terry and Traci Lenz at Beaumont Magnet Academy from 4:00-5:00 pm on January 28. Text features have a purpose. Don't let your students ignore them! Text features provide an alternate route to information, which can help struggling readers understand the information as well as solidify the understanding of more advanced readers. (Norman and Roberts) In this workshop, we will offer strategies to focus your students' attention on the information found in text features. Embark on this scavenger hunt of hidden treasures with us!

"There's an APP for that!" led by Brenda Norris & Shayna Holmes at Dogwood Elementary from 3:30-4:30 pm on January 21.
Are you hunting for fun, creative, and engaging apps to use with your students? It may be simple matter of steering you in the right “app” direction. If you goal is to foster students’ development as creative and critical thinkers, there’s an app for that will make you h'app'y, h'app'y, h'app'y!

"Think Tank: No Sinking Allowed" led by Kim Dalton and Heather Mounce at Powell Middle from 4:00-5:00 pm on January 21.
  • Have you found yourself questioning how to best incorporate thinking within your daily lesson plans?
  • As an educator, have you asked yourself how to structure your lessons to provide these valuable opportunities for students? If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, this session is for you! Please join us at this interactive session where you will walk away with multiple ways to incorporate thinking within your classroom on a daily basis.

"The Power of the Prompt" led by Beth Millirons and Jean Terry at Brickey-McCloud Elementary from 3:30-4:30 pm on January 23. How many times have your read your students’ responses to a prompt only to find that they didn’t respond accurately to WHAT the prompt was asking? Many students struggle with finding evidence to support their opinions, answers, and even finding evidence to support what the prompt is asking. Come to this session and learn practical, ready-to-use strategies to implement with your students that will help them deconstruct a prompt to critically analyze evidence that supports the prompt.

Visit our newly designed GT website at http://gt.knoxschools.org for more information on our department.

Follow us on Twittter @GiftedKCS for details on PD and resources to use with your advanced students.

Submitted by
Jean Heise
Humanities Supervisor

The Humanities Department includes Art, Choral Music, Instrumental Music, PE, Health and Wellness and World Languages and we are excited about being an important part of supporting CCSS.

Each Humanities academic department is creating a curriculum guide for the 2014-15 school year. Teams of teachers are collaborating to develop the curriculum guides with a strong emphasis on Common Core connections and applications.

Professional development for Humanities teachers is focused on helping teachers understand where there are natural connections to implement the ELA and Math Common Core State Standards in their instruction.


Submitted by
Walter Mincer
Insrumental Music Specialist

Instrumental Music News
Congratulations to all of the Directors and students in the KCS band and orchestra programs for the outstanding winter concerts that were presented at the end of the first semester.
Congratulations to all KCS high school jazz band students that auditioned and made the All East Jazz Band Clinic.
The instrumental music department has several events coming up in January and February:
  • All East Senior Clinic additions for high school band and orchestra students, January 11, at Bearden High.
  • All East Jazz Band Clinic and Concert January 24 and 25, Walker Valley High School.
  • All County Middle School Concert Band Clinic and Concert, January 30 & 31, at Halls Middle School.
  • All East Senior Band and Orchestra Clinic and Concert February 6 through 8 at the Park-Vista Hotel, Gatlinburg, TN.
  • ETSBOA Solo and Ensemble Festival February 11 through 13, West Valley Middle School.

Submitted by
Theresa Nixon
Director of Instructional Technology

Instructional Technology News
All Professional Learning sessions have registration available on ERO.
Title of Course
Time Location Intended Audience Other Comments
Professional Learning Opportunities
Register Today!

Activboard Basic Concepts 
January Session  Register on ERO- Closes January 24 ONLINE All Staff This course will be offered on a monthly basis from now on.
Cloud Storage 101 January 8- January 29 Register on ERO ONLINE All Staff
Cloud Computing 102 - Evernote Online  January 8- January 29 Register on ERO ONLINE All Staff
Getting the Most From Your Mac OS (part 1)  January 27- February 7 Register on ERO ONLINE All Staff
Activboard Basic Concepts February Session Register on ERO ONLINE All Staff

This course will be offered on a monthly basis from now on.

Excel 101 for Mac Online Class February 3- March 5 Register on ERO
ONLINE All Staff Course will open on February 3.
Excel 101 for Windows - Online Class February 3 - March 5 Register on ERO ONLINE All Staff Course will open on February 3.
Getting the Most From Your Mac OS (part 2) February 10- February 21 Register on ERO ONLINE All Staff

Intro to Mac Multimedia Tools (QuickTime, PhotoBooth, & iPhoto)

February 24- March 7 Register on ERO ONLINE All Staff
Word Intermediate January 14  4:00-6:00 pm SSPDTC All staff
Canvas for Supervisors, Specialists & Coaches January 15
9:00-11:00 am 1:00-3:00 pm SSPDTC Supervisors, Coaches and others working on district pages
Activboard Trouble-shooting for Technicians January 16 1:30-3:30 pm SSPDTC Computer Technicians only
10 Creative Ways to Engage Students with an Activboard January 16 4:00-5:30 pm SSPDTC Certified Staff Only One is offered for all staff in February.
Canvas for Supervisors, Specialists & Coaches
January 17 9:00-11:00 am Lincoln Park Supervisors, Coaches and others working on district pages
Canvas for Supervisors, Specialists & Coaches January 21 9:00-11:00 am 12:00-2:00 pm 2:30-4:30 pm AJ Building- Mezzanine Supervisors, Coaches and others working on district pages
Excel Intermed. January 21 4:00-6:00 pm SSPDTC
All staff
Using Activ-Expressions for Formative Assessment January 22 4:15-5:15 pm Northshore Elementary Library Certified Staff Only
10 Creative Ways to Engage Students with an Activboard January 22 4:00-5:30 pm SSPDTC Certified Staff Only One is offered for all staff in February.
Canvas for Supervisors, Specialists & Coaches January 23 1:00-3:00 pm 4:00-5:30 pm SSPDTC Supervisors, Coaches and others working on district pages
Randa Tower for New Lead Teachers/ Admins January 23 4:00-6:00 pm SSPDTC Lead Teachers/ Admins/
10 Creative Ways to Engage Students with a SMART board February 4 4:15-5:45 pm SSPDTC All Staff
The Canvas Challenge Kick-Off February 5 4:15-5:15 pm SSPDTC 2 Ambassadors from each school
The Canvas Challenge Kick-Off February 6 4:15-5:15 pm Northshore Elementary Library 2 Ambassadors from each school
Word Intermed. February 11 4:00-6:00 pm SSPDTC
All staff
The Canvas Challenge Kick-Off February 12 4:15-5:15 pm Carter Elementary Library 2 Ambassadors from each school
iPads in the Elementary Classroom February 13 4:15-5:15 pm Northshore Elementary Library Certified Elementary Teachers
Activboard Skill Series: Using Actions & Multimedia  February 12 4:00-5:30 pm SSPDTC
All staff
The Canvas Challenge Kick-Off February 13 4:15-5:15 pm SSPDTC 2 Ambassadors from each school
Student Creations Elementary February 13 4:00-5:30 pm SSPDTC Certified Staff Only  Focus on Edu-
Excel Intermed. February 18  4:00-6:00 pm SSPDTC All staff
10 Creative Ways to Engage Students with an Activboard February 18 4:00-5:30 pm SSPDTC All staff
iMovie I February 20 4:15-5:45 pm SSPDTC All staff
PowerPoint Intermed. February 25 4:00-6:00 pm
SSPDTC All staff
iMovie II February 26 4:15-5:45 SSPDTC All staff
Student Creations f February 27 4:15-5:45 pm
SSPDTC All staff
iWork: Pages for Beginning Users February 27
4:15-5:45 pm SSPDTC All staff


Submitted by
John Whalen
Library Media Director
Connie Booher
Library/Media Specialist

Librarians are strong assets!
Happy New Year from Library and Media Services! As you begin this semester, remember that your librarian can be a strong asset in transitioning to the new Common Core standards. Ask your librarian about finding just-right informational texts for your students using the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) and KCS's subscription databases, many of which are searchable by Lexile level. Librarians are also experts in qualitative and reader-task assessments of texts--that is, finding the right book for the right student. Consider collaborating on a lesson to teach kids to search for and choose their own just-right texts!

We'd like to take this opportunity to introduce our department's new Specialist, Sarah Searles. Sarah comes to us from the library of West High School, where she was fortunate to work on a wide variety of collaborative projects to integrate research, inquiry, and technology into instruction across many content areas. She is looking forward to working with librarians and their programs across the district.

Submitted by
Daphne Odom
Magnet Supervisor

Accepting Applications
We are currently accepting applications for all of our magnet schools. For information on each of our unique programs, tours, and Open Houses visit the department website at http://choice.knoxschools.org.


Submitted by
Libby Burney
K-5 Math Specialist

to Rocky Hill Elementary School teacher, Amber Hodge, for being named the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Tennessee. The PAEMST award is the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Thank you Amber, for everything you do to provide an excellent education for your students!!! https://recognition.paemst.org/finalist_profile/29769

Professional Development Opportunities for January and February
  • enVisionMATH: A Four Course Meal January 16, 2014 Register on ERO MATH4228
  • Using Elementary Math Tools to Support Instruction January 30, 2014 Register on ERO MATH4238
  • Elementary Math: From Problems to Rich Tasks February 6, 2014 Register on ERO MATH 4241

Submitted by
Gary Petko
Math Supervisor

Inside the December edition of Benchmarks - a monthly e-newsletter produced by the Knox County Schools, a vertical PLC initiative for mathematics that is getting results was highlighted. Below is the link to the article. http://video.knoxschools.org/books/benchmarksdec2013/index.html

Upcoming Professional Development opportunities for secondary math teachers are listed below:
2012-2014 High Mathematics School Professional Development
  Session Title
(see ERO for session descriptions
Jan 14, 2014
What is the Difference Between r and r-squared?
Jan 16, 2014 
High School Content Networking
Jan 30, 2014 
What is a Logarithm & Where Would I Use It?
Feb 1, 2014 
High School Content Networking
Migrant Education-
Title III

Submitted by
Alyson Lerma
ELL Supervisor

As a reminder, please be sure to include the occupational survey (migrant survey) in all enrollment packets for students new to KCS. Registration personnel should follow the directions on the bottom of the form when submitting all surveys where at least one answer was "yes." This is required by law.

Also, be reminded that migrant students are marked in STAR and receive free lunch for 36 months after the state approves the migrant status.

Submitted by
Jean Heise
Humanities Supervisor

Track Dates
Elementary track dates have been set:

Elementary Track Dates
Weather Date
April 7
April 9
Karns High
April 8
April 9
Halls High
April 10
April 14
Fulton High
April 11
April 14
South Doyle High 
Elite Meet
April 25
Hardin Valley

A big thank you to all the PE, Health and Wellness teachers who have served on our curriculum guide teams. We are moving forward with important differentiation and personalization for emerging, proficient and advanced learners as we develop exemplar lessons to include in the curriculum modules.

System-wide in-service for PE, Health and Wellness teachers will be at West High School on Feb. 17 from 8:30-11:30. Topics will include large group games, curriculum guide review and great apps for your iPad. Thank you Nathan Lynn and Jeff Knox, PD Specialists for helping to plan our important in-service.

Submitted by
Millicent Smith

We want to hear from you! Please email suggestions or questions about professional learning to us at

February 17th System-wide Professional Development Day
Our last systemwide inservice day for the 2013-14 school year is scheduled for February 17, 2014. The emphasis of this inservice day will be personalization and differentiation within the content area/grade level, and will focus on the upcoming curriculum standards for teachers’ primary area of instruction. The attached memorandum outlines meeting locations by content area/grade level and meeting times. Please note that systemwide activities will be half day sessions only. Each educator will have a half-day working with their grade level/subject area and a half-day at their school. We hope this will allow time for teachers to plan for the next steps of our collective “journey” using best practices from professional learning. Please consult the attached documents to find your schedule and location for the day.

Learning Forward 2014 National Conference Call for Proposals
Learning Forward's 2014 Annual Conference in Nashville Dec. 6-10 promises you outstanding content and invaluable tools to bring the most powerful forms of professional learning back to your workplace. Learn from the innovative work of your peers and the perspectives of national leaders. Become skilled in data-driven decision making and implementing effective school improvement. Gain deep insight into the attributes of high-functioning school teams and learning communities, and the actions you can take as leaders to put these principles into practice.

Learning Forward is currently accepting proposals for presentations at the 2014 Conference in Nashville. Please visit the website to learn more and consider submitting a proposal. The submission deadline is January 31st.

Curriculum Framework Development Continues

Work continues across all grade levels and content areas to develop and refine the KCS Curriculum Frameworks. We welcome input of all teachers throughout this process. If you are interested in participating, please contact the appropriate content area supervisor to get details.

Un-Scheduled In-Service Reminder
The deadline for documenting unscheduled in-service hours is midnight on April 30, 2014. Employees are responsible for monitoring unscheduled in-service and parent contact hours to ensure documentation. It is important to periodically review your transcript for accuracy. Should you have questions about attendance, the first point of contact should be sponsor or facilitator of the activity. Please contact Becky Kidd (becky.kidd@knoxschools.org) with additional questions and concerns. Please reference the chart below for guidelines:

Contract Start
Number of Unscheduled In-Service Hours Included
Number of Parent Contact Hours Included
Total Hours in the Contract
October 18 or before
18 (12 system-wide)
October 21-December 20
12 (8 system-wide)
December 23-March 14
6 (4system-wide)
Employees hired on after March 17, 2014 will not have unscheduled in-service hours or parent contact hours included in the contract.

Contract Start
Number of Unscheduled In-service Hours Included
October 18 or before
October 21-December 20
December 23-March 14
Employees hired on after March 17, 2014 will not have unscheduled in-service hours included in the contract.

Web Resources


Five-Minute Professional Learning Opportunity
Check out this blog on Edutopia to learn more about the Growth Mindset! Interesting food for thought.

Summer Professional Learning Opportunities
The Summer 2014 Professional Learning Program of Study including specific dates will be released soon! Be sure to check out C & I Update #9 in late February for information.

Follow @KnoxCountyPD on twitter for updates, news, announcements, and information on current research-based strategies!

Submitted by
Andrea Allen
Science Supervisor

Upcoming Secondary Science PD:
  • Middle School Midterm Data Review, January 21 6th grade Content Cohort, January 22 @Gresham
  • 7th grade Content Cohort, January TBA
  • Uncovering Student Ideas Formative Assessment, January 30@SSPDC
  • Intro to Vernier Probeware, February 18 @Vine

Congratulations: KCS teacher, Julie Pepperman, was featured in Bearden Shopper as Science teacher Miracle Maker. Click on the link to read the article. We are proud of you Julie!   http://issuu.com/shoppernews/docs/bearden_shopper_news_112513?e=2310464/5744174

Elementary Science: Picture Perfect™ Challenge! All Elementary teachers are asked to be part of the optional Picture Perfect™ Challenge. This is committing to do one Picture Perfect science lesson from the curriculum resources before end of February. Remember if you need one of the children's books for check out go online and make a request. If your school is interested in a Picture Perfect Science/Reading PD that can be requested through your principal.

Unpacking the Science Standards for Elementary Teachers: Your school can request the Science Department to come out and unpack the science standards with your grade level to answer questions such as how would this standard look on TCAPS? What are the assessment barriers to this science concept? Your principal can schedule this today by emailing carolynn.bilbo@knoxschools.org .

Submitted by
Becky Ashe
KCS STEM Coordinator

Darwin Day Workshop for Middle & High School Teachers
The Departments of Science Education and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville are proud to announce the opening of registration for the UTK Darwin Day's "Teacher's Workshop for Teaching Evolution" to be held from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 8th at NIMBioS (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis) on the UTK campus. This workshop will bring together a diverse group of UTK professors and Tennessee science teachers to explore innovative methods for teaching evolution through the following activities:
  • Panel discussion with UTK professors, veteran science teachers, and special guests
  • Group activities that include lesson plan implementation and dealing with controversies in the classroom
  • Teachers will have the opportunity to trade lesson plans and useful websites for teaching evolution
  • Hands on experience with the Biology in a Box lesson modules developed at UTK
  • Professor talk on expectations of biological knowledge for incoming college students FREE! Lunch included! Door prizes and giveaways! Certificate of completion for professional development credit**!

Please register by January 25, 2014. To register, please e-mail whoskins@utk.edu Darwin Day Tennessee is a volunteer-run event at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville dedicated to informing the public about evolution and its importance as a unifying concept in all of biology. For more information about Darwin Day Tennessee, check out http://darwin.utk.edu .

Science Saturdays sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for students and teachers We are excited that Science Saturdays, sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) begins next weekend! The first date is January 18th. The events are FREE to students, teachers, parents and volunteers. The sessions are geared towards 8-12 graders, but younger students are invited to attend as well. The winter sessions will be held at West High School in Knoxville, from 9:30 am – 11:30 am. Sign-in will begin at 9:00 am. Please visit the website, www.orau.org/science-saturdays , for more information on the winter 2014 sessions and for links to registration pages for students, teachers, and volunteers.

We're going to the International Space Station! The STEM Dept is leading a systemwide STEM exploration of microgravity for all students in grades 5 - 12 at 7 school sites across the county from February - May in afterschool programs. We'll be sending out more info soon, but put Saturday, Feb 15 on your calendar as our district kickoff day at the L&N STEM Academy at World's Fair Park. Come learn how to be involved as a student, teacher, or volunteer!

Submitted by
Judy Newgent
Social Studies Specialist

Thanks for the hard work!
Curriculum Writing to the New Social Studies Standards Continues! Please join this on-going work for Grades K-12. The next writing workshop is scheduled for January 15, 2014 from 4:00 - 6:00 at SSPDTC, ROOM 215. Registration is open on ERO. Additional January - April curriculum writing dates are posted on the Social Studies Teacher intranet under Department Announcements. To those K-12 teachers who have already devoted many hours to researching and writing new curriculum to the new Social Studies Standards, THANK YOU!

We come to you! 30- Minute After School Workshops available for Grades K-5... Training on the New Social Studies Standards and/or TCAP Prep! Please email Katherine Petko at katherine.petko@knoxschools.org to schedule a mini workshop for a particular grade-level.

The "Write" Stuff! Writing in the Social Studies, Professional Development for Grades 6 - 12- Please join us from 4:15 - 6:15 on Thursday, February 13, West High School. Register on ERO.

3rd Grade PD- W.O.W. Watch out World! The New Direction of 3rd Grade Social Studies- Please make plans to attend this content-specific PD focusing on the new 3rd Grade Social Studies Standards. Date: Monday, March 31, Time: 3:30 - 5:30, Location: SSPDTC. We will provide a general overview of the new 3rd Grade Social Studies Standards. Register on ERO.

7th Grade PD- Mapping a Course From Rome to the New World-
7th Grade Teachers, please make plans to attend this PD on Monday, January 27th, from 4:15 - 6:15, at West Valley Middle. We will provide a general overview of the new 7th Grade Social Studies Standards. Register on ERO.

Additional intensive grade-level workshops focused on the new Social Studies Standards will be provided for K-12 Social Studies teachers throughout Spring, 2014 and Summer, 2014. All K-12 Standards will be fully implemented with the 2014-2015 SY. Please visit the Social Studies Teacher intranet for additional information, including links to the new standards.

Data Analysis Workshop for Middle School Honors Teachers... Analyzing the Midterm Data- This workshop will be at SSPDTC on Tuesday, January 21st, from 4:00 - 6:00 in room 209. Registration is open on ERO. If planning to attend, please bring your datalink.

All Middle School Honors teachers are invited to submit assessment items for the May, 2014 Middle School Honors EOC to Katherine Petko at katherine.petko@knoxschools.org.

A sincere THANK YOU goes out to all who submitted assessment items for the December Middle School Honors Midterms; great job, writing teams! Also, to all who attended and offered feedback at the middle school and high school midterm/EOC previews, thank you!

Social Studies Textbook Adoption Official Caravan/Hearings, Saturday, February 1, 2014 at SSPDTC. Details were emailed to ALL K-12 Textbook Committee Members on January 9th. Textbook Adoption Committee members are busy previewing sample Social Studies Textbooks and e-books; to all official committee members- THANK YOU!

To all Social Studies teachers, K-12- as publishers offer links to sample Social Studies textbooks/e-books, they are being posted on the Social Studies Teacher Intranet. Please peruse and feel free to offer feedback.

Sample Social Studies Textbooks available for the upcoming adoption are being displayed for Public Viewing at SSPDTC, downstairs hallway, from January 17 - March 25. All teachers, as well as the public, are invited to stop by and peruse those resources. All comments/feedback may be submitted to Judy Newgent at judy.newgent@knoxschools.org.

Coming Soon:
  • 11th Grade United States History- Content-specific Professional Development, focused on the highlights of each unit/module
  • PD for Advanced Placement United States History teachers, facilitated by Lou Gallo, West High School Social Studies Teacher

If you are not a member, please join the Social Studies TEACHER intranet today!

Special Education

Submitted by
Melissa Massey
Executive Director
Student Support Services

In-service Offered
The special education elementary team will be offering the following in-service opportunities through February, registration available on ERO:
  • Jan. 28th - Co-Teaching/Inclusion
  • Feb. 3rd - Language Strategies "Make and Take"
  • Feb. 18th - Behavior and De-escalation

Submitted by
Keith Wilson

Adaptive Schools Training Jan 23 & 24 at SSPDC Great Room 8:30-3:30

Principal Meeting immediately following the Jan 23 training at 3:30

Submitted by
Alyson Lerma
World Language Supervisor

Rossy Toledo, a professor at UT, and HoLa have teamed up with Spanish teachers at HVA and Farragut to offer classes for interested Spanish-speaking students to compose and then, publish original works. This workshop series consists of 4 class meetings with Ms. Toledo and a formal ceremony recognizing the "publication" of the works in April.

To access the presentation shared with secondary assistant principals at the December meeting, visit: http://padlet.com/wall/ELLandWL