C & I Update 16 (October, 2015)


    Art C&I Update #16
    Posted by HEATHER CASTEEL at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    Visual Art Professional Learning Session

    4th Tuesday of the Month- October 27

    At West High School, 4:30-6:30

    Please sign up in Randa to receive inservice credit.


    (Last 4th Tuesday meeting of the semester. Next meeting is Jan. 26.)

  • Choral Music C&I Update #16

    Posted by SARAH CUMMINGS at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    A huge THANK YOU to the presenters who helped make the In-Service on Septemeber 28th a success!  

    • Christy Bock
    • Allison Bradley
    • Sarah Cummings
    • Kenton Deitch
    • Steve Simpson
    • Wendy Skinner
    • Jessica Strutz
    • Brenda Swinson
    • Edie Taylor
    • Suzie Vaughan
    • Janna Waldrupe
    • Ashley Waller

    Elementary Teachers:

    1. Don't miss the Inservice opportunity on Tuesday, October 27th "Classroom Management and Rehearsal Techniques for the Elementary Music Teacher" from 4-6pm at Rocky Hill Elementary.  
    2. Thank you to all of the teachers who will be taking their students to theYoung People's Concerts on October 28-30th at the Civic Auditorium.  What a great learning experience this will be!!

    Middle/High Teachers:

    1. Preparations are underway for the All-East Honor Choir event taking place at Maryville College from November 19-21st.  Looking forward to hearing good reports from our participants!


  • Educational Technology C&I Update #16

    Posted by THERESA NIXON at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM


    We would like to officially welcome Whitney Barnett to the Educational Technology Department. She is serving in the role of Personalized Learning Environment (PLE) Facilitator. We are excited to have her on board our amazing team. 


    PLE Advisory Council

    Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Personalized Learning Environment Advisory Council! This team throughout the year will be learning more about personalized learning, networking, and finding ways to continue to innovate teaching and learning. Follow our journey through a year of challenges on twitter with #kcs747. The September challenge was a paperless classroom, and October is setting up a Mystery Skype. If you would like to participate, please contact anyone from the advisory council. 

    PLE Advisory Council

    Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities

    October PD


  • Social Studies C & I Update #16

    Posted by JUDY NEWGENT at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    Elementary, Middle, and High School teachers:


    • To all social studies teacher leaders who presented at the September 28 system-wide in-service, thank you!
    • Thank you for the excellent lesson plans/resources you've submitted; please continue to share standards-aligned lessons for Schoolwires.
    • Hispanic Heritage Month wraps October 15.
    • American Indian Heritage Month begins November 1.
    • November 11- Happy Veteran's Day and THANK YOU to all who have served our country!
    • Congratulations to Amanda Sharp and Karen Stanish for being selected to present at NCSS and for representing Knox County Schools!


    • Schoolwires Module Resources are updated on a weekly basis. Check it out!
    • Optional Module Assessments are housed on Schoolwires.
    • Primary Source Tasks available on Schoolwires
    • Comprehensive Blueprints (including Reporting Categories), Scoring Rubrics, Performance Level Descriptors, Practice Items, and additional supporting documents for the new state assessments available at tn.gov/education/assessments/ushistory/socialstudies

    Content and/or New Assessment Support:

    • Contact Judy at judy.newgent@knoxschools.org or Katherine at katherine.petko@knoxschools.org to schedule your team for content and/or new assessment support. 

    Upcoming Professional Learning:

    • Teaching With Primary Sources, Thursday, October 15, East TN History Center - Topic: Age of Exploration - best suited for 4th and 7th grade teachers 
    • Teaching With Primary Sources, Thursday, November 19, East TN History Center - Topic: Economics and Culture of the 1920s  - best suited for 5th and 11th grades teachers
    • Primary Source Strategies for the Primary Grades, December 3, East TN History Center, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    • Middle School Honors Teachers: please continue to submit assessment items for the upcoming Honors Midterm to either Katherine or Judy. Also, all honors teachers are invited to join us on Monday, November 2 at Bearden Middle from 4:00-6:00 to finalize all middle school honors midterms.
    • Ongoing support for content and new assessments (contact Judy or Katherine for a school visit)

    Upcoming Rangefinding, Item Review, and Passage Review Opportunities from TDOE (TIME SENSITIVE):

    The TDOE is seeking educators for the following opportunities:

    High School Rangefinding Committee:

    • Overview: Rangefinders are educators who will work with the department to score student work samples against the rubrics and set the expectations at each score point. These guidelines will then be used by the testing vendor to score all student responses from the operational test.
    • Eligibility: High school U.S. History educators
    • The application process for rangefinders in grades 3-8 will launch laterthis school year.
    • Time commitment: Rangefinders will need to be available for an in-person meeting in Nashville from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 and should anticipate a commitment of approximately five full work days.
    • Application process: history teachers can apply by following the link shared in an email or by clicking here. Applications are due October 29, and applicants will be notified of acceptance by November 6.

    Elementary, MS, and HS Item and Passage Review Committee:

    • Overview: Item and passage reviewers are educators who will work with the department to review passages and test items for content, standards alignment, appropriateness, and bias/sensitivity.
    • Eligibility: Social studies educators in grades 3-11
    • Time commitment:

    Social studies reviewers will need to be available for an in-person meeting in Nashville from Dec. 15 through Dec. 17 and should anticipate a commitment of approximately three full work days. Additional hours of virtual review are not required.

    • Application process: History teachers can apply by following a link shared in an email or by clicking here. Applications are due Oct. 29, and applicants will be notified of acceptance by Nov. 6.

    If you have questions about the social studies committees or cannot access the application links, please email Kadie.Patterson@tn.gov

    Samples for Social Studies Extended Response Questions:

    TDOE has recently released samples of social studies extended response questions and a range of student responses for each tested grade on the TDOE website under the Scoring and Accountability section. These materials are a resource to help teachers better understand how to grade the extended response items.  Please visit www.tn.gov/education/assessment and click on the Social Studies/US History tab. If you have questions, please email Judy or Katherine.

    October Secondary Department Chair Meeting:

    • Secondary Social Studies Department Chair Meeting, Thursday October 22 at SSPDTC

    Best Wishes:

    • Best wishes to the 11th grade teachers and especially to our students who will be taking Part I of the new state US History assessment in November.
  • Elementary Reading and ELA C&I Update #16

    Posted by KERRY CROOK at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    SEPTEMBER 28 In-Service:

    Much appreciation to the numerous teachers and instructional coaches who provided professional development on the September 28 System-wide in-service day. Many thanks to teachers for time spent learning and planning in collaborative teams. It was a productive day of learning for ALL!


    Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities:


    • Thursday, October 22th 3:30 - 5:00 at the Brickey-McCloud
    • Thursday, October 29th 3:30 - 5:00 at the Reading Center


    • Wednesday, October 21th 3:30 - 5:00 at Hardin Valley Elementary
    • Wednesday, October 28th 3:30 - 5:00 at the Reading Center


    • Monday, October 19th 3:30 - 5:00 at the Reading Center
    • Monday, October 26th 3:30 - 5:00 at the Reading Center



    Teacher Created Materials:

    • Thank you, Lauren Clowers (Pleasant RIdge)! Lauaren created 1st grade decodable reader lessons for every week, every unit.
    • Thank you, Ruth Lau (Gap Creek)! Ruth created Zaner Bloser Handwriting Cards for teacher reference

    All teacher created materials are located on our ELA department page on School Wires.



    • Teacher Leaders from grades K-2 shared the ELA Major Works of the Grade with teachers at the system-wide in-service on September 28th.
    • ALL Major Works' documents will be uploaded to School Wires for teachers.
    • The next phase of professional development for the Major Works of the Grade will focus on planning for instruction, assessment, and what it means to master a standard.
    • The goal is to provide this second phase of PD in late November or early December. Once again, teacher leaders will develop and share this professional development.

    Kudos to all of our Major Works Teacher Leaders:


    Teresa Lawson

    Belle Morris

    Wendy Markwood

    West View

    Bill Cameron


    Ruth Lau

    Gap Creek

    Melissa Church

    Hardin Valley

    Lindsey Church

    A. L. Lotts

    Kathy McGinnis


    Jaime Woolman


    Amy DiFranco

    Cedar Bluff

    Beth Antone


    Cynthia Coley

    West Haven

    Jamie Czornohus


    Maggie Sullivan


    Amy Stackhouse

    Farragut Primary

    Susan Berry

    West Hills

    Cynthia Cox

    Bonny Kate

    Deborah Neal

    Copper Ridge

    Carrie Sweet


    Martha Routh


    Holly Roberts


    Christine Jones

    Brickey McCloud

    Teresa Greer


    Kristy Holmes

    Rocky Hill

    Jessica Bennett

    Cedar Bluff

    Jo Smith


    Beth Anderson

    Ball Camp

    Honey Spalvins


    Jody Minnich


    Amy Slay


    Angie Johns

    Farragut Primary

    Phuong Tutor






    Laurel Humphreys

    Cedar Bluff

    Natalie Drafts

    Adrian Burnett

    Elizabeth LeFevere


    Lori Burrhoughs

    East Knox

    Lauren Rosenbush

    Blue Grass

    Lana Hsieh


    Whitney Blaylock

    Sarah Moore Greene

    Tami Luttrell

    Farragut Primary

    Chase Valentine

    Pond Gap

    Renee Kelly

    West Hills

    Abigail Espy

    Mooreland Heights

    Angela Patrick

    Belle Morris

    Ashley Piburn

    Spring Hill

    Kristen Moore

    A.L. Lotts

    Tina Whitehead

    West Haven

    Mary L. Glander


    Katie Gagley

    Farragut Primary

    Becky Foust


    Kristi Graap

    Ball Camp

    Meredith Johnson


    Haley Kesler


    Lindsey Harkleroad

    Cedar Bluff

    Amie Wheeler

    Brickey McCloud

    Rosemary Newport


    Darby Allen

    A. L. Lotts

    Andrea Schlomer

    Cedar Bluff

    June Frear

    Farragut Primary

    Kayla Latham


    Tammy Young


    Gina McGhee

    West Hills



    Jessica Worsham


    Nicole Crawford

    Cedar Bluff

    Mariah Danzey


    Janice Stone

    Hardin Valley

    Kim Dodson

    Pleasant Ridge

    Danielle Richardson

    Farragut Primary

    Carrie Baggett

    East Knox

    Rachel Howle

    Fountain City

    Linsday Russell

    Cedar Bluff

    Pam Richardson


    Amanda Hollis

    Belle Morris

    Jane Manning

    A.L. Lotts

    Tiffany Collins


    Darla Robbins


    Myra Pickett

    West Haven

    Kim Hornsby

    Ball Camp

    Becky Clifton

    Farragut Primary

    Catherine Dodson


    Sarah Johnson


    Hannah Allen

    New Hopewell

    Jacie R. Davis

    Mount Olive

    Jessica Everitt

    Belle Morris


    Year Long Reading Course:

    Shout out to the 308 teachers who are engaged in learning the science of teaching reading! 22 schools have representatives attending the Year Long Reading Course this year, implementing bridge to pracitce and seeing results! We are well on our way to meeting our goal of training all K-5 teachers in this important work.



    In response to the TN State Board of Education Cursive Writing Legislation: The Elementary Reading & ELA Department invited a team of teachers to preview the research and to create professional development to guide practical implementation of cursive in Grade 3.

    We want to extend our appreciation for the hard work and effort of our cursive handwriting team:

    Liana Gibson – Sarah Moore Greene

    Amy Brantley – Mount Olive

    Nikki Blevins –Blue Grass

    Tracy Barnes – Sarah Moore Greene

    Whitney Farquhar –Pleasant Ridge

    Julie Cabbage –South Knox

    Four sessions were offered at our System-wide In-Service on September 28, and additional PD will follow.


  • 6-12 Reading/ELA C & I Update #16

    Posted by SHANNON JACKSON at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM


    Congratulations to our Language! Live teachers!  They continue to draw national attention for the progress they are making with middle school reading.  Thank you to Andrea Ensor, Angela Taylor, and Judy Fugate and the administrations at Northwest Middle School, Career Magnet Academy, and Halls Middle School for allowing us to film for training videos.

    Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is holding its annual essay contest. There is a link to the contest and the requirements on the announcements section of the department webpage. Included in their information are four lessons in Curriculum Ideas for the Classroom. The lessons are aligned to our state standards and to the NCTE Standards for Language Arts.  This is a great cross-curricular opportunity for social studies and English/language arts teachers. Please let Shannon Jackson and Judy Newgent know if you plan to nominate a student essay.

    TNReady Writing

    Last month, the department chairs and coaches participated in a rubric calibrating activity, focusing on Development in the Informational/Explanatory rubric.  The presentation is ready for redelivery by chairpersons or by members of the TNReady Road show.  If schools are interested, please reach out to Shannon Jackson.


    Vocabulary Task Force

    Vocabulary is an access point for complex text.  The following teachers and coaches worked with William Van Cleave to study high quality vocabulary instruction and to develop an instructional routine. They are field testing their strategy for the rest of this semester.  If any teacher is interested in participating in their work, the leader of the group is Emily Jellicorse.  Members of the group include: Michele Abbott, Robin Bowman, Whitney Lawson, John Sides, Robin Bell, Nada Cox, Candace Farrow, Amy Evers, Meshon Crateau, Erin Powers, and Elaina Gutierrez. Department chairs from middle and high school recognized a need for this work during the leadership retreat on August 1, 2015.  It will continue to evolve, so it meets the needs of our secondary ELA teachers.


    Vocabulary Learning Series

    Karla Halcomb, Karen Irwin, and Linda Perry are ready to being a 4-part series on effective vocabulary instruction.  Their sessions synthesize the learning with William Van Cleave, the Big Word strategy from the Reading Course, and the research from Dr. Anita Archer on direct, explicit instruction. Sessions are on Randa. All sessions are at the Knox Central Building from 4:15 - 5:15.

    Session 1: The Importance of Vocabulary Literacy, October 21

    Session 2: Morphology Instruction, November 16

    Session 3: Academic Vocabulary, January 27

    Session 4: Implementing Instructional Strategies, February 16


    Year Long Reading Course

    Module 2 of the Year Long Reading Course is next week, October 20-22.  The focus of Module 2 is on Orthography.


    Website Updates

    Each month, we review the department website and update resources.  Please take a minute to look at the Text Complexity Placemats that are available under Teacher Resources.  While these are not necessarily approved texts, these placemats have been completed by your colleagues.  They may be useful as you determine the texts that you want to use to meet certain standards. Next month, we will highlight the Professional Development page.


    Vertical Alignment of the Standards

    Many teachers have asked for sessions to work K-12 to understand each grade level's role in the development of the literacy skills.  On October 22nd, Shannon Jackson will work with three schools to unpack the standards and to study the progression.  Should other feeder patterns be interested in this work, please email to schedule a time.



  • Mathematics C & I Update #16

    Posted by GARY PETKO at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM
    Sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the teachers and coaches who presented during the system-wide in-service on September 28.  It takes a great amount of planning, preparing, and effort to create these valuable opportunities for professional learning.  Kudos for a job well done!
    Classroom Updates
    Elementary teachers across Knox County have been hard at work attending professional development and PLCs aimed at creating a shared understanding of our content standards across the grades.  Teachers have been engaged in rich conversations about standards alignment and instruction and are actively scouting new resources to enhance instruction.  Keep up the good work!
    Parental Resources
    Please see the Elementary, Middle, & High school Math public pages on SchoolWires for helpful information for parents.  As we continue our work on instructional shifts, parents may need support as they help their children at home. Each grade level page includes helpful, grade-specific links for parents. 
    TNReady Updates
    Teachers can access the TNReady Update VoiceThread on the Elementary, Middle, & High school Math teacher pages in SchoolWires. This brief presentation explains the additional standards that will be assessed as part of the performance task on the February TNReady assessment. Also included are links to resources for lessons to help support teachers in some of these changes. As always, teachers can access the blueprints, unpacked standards, differentiated tasks, and teacher-created tasks from each grade level teacher page. 
    Professional Development
    More math professional development is currently being planned for the month of November. Teachers will be able to access dates and times on Randa and under the Professional Development tab on the Math Department Teacher page. Upcoming Secondary Math Department Chair meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, October 20th and Tuesday, November 24th from 4:00 - 5:30 pm at the Sarah Simpson Professional Development Center.
  • Magnet Department C&I Update #16

    Posted by DAPHNE ODOM at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    The KCS Magnet Department will host the annual District Magnet Showcase on October 15 from 6:00pm - 7:30pm at The Standard.  Administrators and Magnet Facilitators will share information about their magnet programming and host student demonstrations. 


    Upcoming Magnet Open Houses: 

    Open Houses

    Commissioner McQueen visited Green Magnet Academy on October 8 to talk about the integration of STEAM into elementary schools.  When interviewed, she said, "it [magnet theme integration] just doesn't happen on its own, and I am a firm believer we must plan and be intentional and purposeful in how we integrate a magnet theme such as STEAM into the daily learning."  Principal Dexter Murphy, and GMA staff did a wonderful job showcasing all GMA has to offer.  

  • PE, Health and Wellness C&I Update #16

    Posted by BARBARA HEISE at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    Thank you to all the PE, Health and Wellness teachers who planned and presented at the Sept. 28 system-wide in-service:

    • Kara Monk, South Knox Elementary
    • Josh Van Pelt, Norwood
    • Jennifer Allen, Bearden High
    • Ashley Powell, Bearden High
    • Brianne McCroskey, Hardin Valley Academy
    • Josh Ballard, Northshore
    • Mandy Irvin, South Doyle High
    • Gina Legg, Gibbs High
    • Janna Newell, Farragut Middle
    • Brenden Cleer, Farragut Middle
    • Kerrie Byrd, West Hills
    • Pat Fontenot, Belle Morris


    Elementary PE Portfolio:  The elementary PE teachers are participating in a "practice year" for the PE portfolio.  Teachers are working hard to assess students in locomotor skills, overhand throw and other physical and cognitive skills. Thank you teachers for your positive attitude toward a new way to measure student growth.  A special thank you to our 4 Portfolio Mentors:  Kara Monk, Josh Van Pelt, Elizabeth Stone and Renee Graham.  Their support for their peers has helped make this practice year easier for everyone!  What an awesome group of teachers!


    Wellness EOC Review Team:  Thank you teachers for your time and commitment to review our new (and improved) EOC for Wellness! 

    Jeff Phillips, Austin East

    Jennifer Allen, Bearden High

    Nikki Baker, Career Magnet Academy

    Amy Rountree, Carter High

    Julia Russell, Central High

    Lyn Powell, Farragut High

    Stefanie Crawford, Fulton High

    Jerilynn Carroll, Halls High

    Brianne McCroskey, Hardin Valley Academy

    Hannah Smith, Karns High

    Debbie Bretscher, L&N STEM Academy

    Rodney Ellison, Powell High

    Mandy Irvin, South Doyle High

    Debby Jones, West High

    Jessica Lee, West High


    More online webinars will be available soon for PE, Health and Wellness teachers to earn unscheduled in-service hours.  


  • Gifted and Talented C&I Update #16

    Posted by DAPHNE ODOM at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    Upcoming system-wide in-service opportunities from the Gifted and Talented Department include:

    • Concept-Based Literature Circles Through Lenses – taught at Cedar Bluff Elementary by Tiffany Nicely and Tiersha Adkins (11/5/15)
    • Exploring resources to prepare students for TNReady – taught by Heather Mounce and Jennifer Maryanski at West Valley Middle School  (10/19/15)
    • Exploring resources to prepare students for TNReady – taught by Heather Mounce and Jennifer Maryanski at Vine Middle Magnet School  (11/9/15)
    • Number Talks – taught at Farragut Intermediate School by Laura Burgard and Suzanne Richards (10/29/15)
    • Making Thinking Visible: Thinking Routines for the Classroom – taught at Hardin Valley Elementary School by Callie Painter and Jessica Everitt (11/12/15)
    • Making Math Meaningful – taught at Amherst Elementary School by Shayna Holmes (11/12/15)
    • Managing Student Behavior – taught by La Rhonda Forsyth at New Hopewell Elementary (11/5/15)
  • ELL C&I Update #16

    Posted by SHARON CATE at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    These past few months have been very busy for the ELL Department.  Our enrollment of has reached an all time high of over 2,850 students! Our ELL teachers have worked diligently to test and place our new students. In addition teaching and testing, our teachers have also been busy sharing training with the classroom teachers at their schools. The following teachers have provided training since our last C & I Update.

    Robin Nelson and Melissa Mann at Northwest Middle

    Jenna Street and Caitlin Lunsford at Amherst

    Selena Lawrence-Morrow and Caitlin Lunsford at Pond Gap

    Anya James and Rachel Hutson at West Hills

    Dana Turner at Christenberry Elementary

    Carrie Arana and Claudia Sanchez at Farragut Primary

    Karl Mohlman (guidance) at Fulton High School


    The September In-Service was another opportunity for our ELL teachers to serve as leaders in the county. The following teachers provided training sessions for Knox County.

    Lisa Rinehart -  Accommodations and Modifications for ELL Students

    Selena Lawrence-Morrow -  ESL 101: Helping your ELL Student (for classroom teachers)

    Robin Nelson - Writing Strategies for the ELL Student 


    CONGRATULATIONS are in order for Jamie Wolf at Halls Elementary!!!! She was recognized as WBIR's Educator of the Week on October 13, 2015.

    A big thank you goes to the teachers who took their time to go and administer the W-APT at the local private schools: Jamie Brightwell, Meghan Bennett, Mike Ogle and Jenna Street.

  • World Language C&I Update #16

    Posted by SHARON CATE at 10/15/2015 3:00:00 PM

    Our World Language Department was treated by special presenters during the September 29th District Wide In-Service. Dr. Christopher Craig and Dr. Sebastein Dubreil from the University of Tennessee, both presented sessions to our World Language teachers. Dr. Craig worked with our Latin teachers and Dr. Sebastein led the modern language teachers in a session which focused on preparing students for World Language study at the university level.

    Suzanne Sherman and Angela Roberts led a session about teaching culture through storytelling and Gwen Richards worked with our Spanish teachers, showing them how to access on-line support for their textbook, Realidades.

    In addition to these sessions, we also had training from our own world language teachers. Melissa Newman presented a session about reaching across the curriculum and Valerie Schmidt-Gardner provided training about creating effective lessons through backward design.

    Congratulations to Valerie Schmidt-Gardner as she will be serving as the World Language Professional Development Specialist for this school year.

    In the last C&I Update, Korey Wheatley was recognized as a KC teacher who will be presenting at the National ACTFL Conventional in San Diego, California.  Ulla Carr should also be added to that list, as she will be presenting a session entitled, "Strengthening German Programs by STEMing against the Tide." Ulla will be presenting this session with Dr. Stefanie Ohnesorg and Dr. Maria Gallmaier from the University of Tennessee.  Congratulations, Ulla!

    A big thank you goes out to our world language students from West High School who served as greeters and translators at Open House. The students at Hardin Valley Academy have agreed to partner with Bridge Refugee and welcome incoming refugee students as they arrive at the airport. We are proud of our students who practice their language skills not only to hone their skills, but to serve others as well.




Check department sites for all C&I Updates by department