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October 4th, 2021

Volunteer as an Educational Surrogate Parent for a Student with Disabilities

Caring individuals always make a difference in the lives of CMCSS students. The district is actively seeking community members who are able to represent the educational interests of students with disabilities.

All children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) under state and federal special education laws. Included in these laws is a mandate for the parents of children with disabilities to have the opportunity to actively participate in the educational decision-making process. Some children with disabilities may not have parents who can fulfill this very important role, leaving their educational planning solely to representatives from their local school system or other agencies. Federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and state rules, regulations and minimum standards require that an individual must be appointed to make decisions regarding the education students with disabilities must receive.

What is a surrogate parent?

A surrogate parent is a volunteer who is appointed by a local education agency to assist children who do not have parents or family members. The surrogate parent has all of the rights and can make all of the special education or early intervention decisions that are usually made by the child’s parents. Surrogate parents can review educational records; request and consent to evaluations and reevaluations; and challenge the recommendations of the education or early intervention agency by requesting informal and formal dispute resolution procedures. A surrogate parent does not have any rights and responsibilities for the child outside of the special education process.

When does a child require a surrogate parent?

A child with a disability requires a surrogate when:

  1. the parent (as defined in § 300.519) or guardian cannot be identified;
  2. the LEA, after reasonable efforts, cannot discover the whereabouts of a parent;
  3. the child is a ward of the State; or
  4. the child is an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined in section 725 (6) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(6).

What are the responsibilities of a surrogate parent?

The surrogate parent acts as a substitute parent and is given the responsibility of determining the child’s educational experiences. A surrogate parent is not responsible for any financial costs or direct care of the child with disabilities. The surrogate parent represents the child in every step of the education process including identification, evaluation, and educational placement. The Surrogate Parent fulfills the parent role at all Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Team meetings and works to ensure that the child receives FAPE. A surrogate parent is also responsible for keeping confidential all information from the child’s educational, medical, or social services records.

Who can be a surrogate?

Any citizen of the United States of permanent resident who is at least 18 years old and has no conflict of interest concerning the child’s education may serve as an educational surrogate and must be of good moral character. The educational surrogate must act in the best interest of the student he/she represents. Furthermore, an educational surrogate may not be an employee of a public agency providing care, custody, or educational services to the specific child in need of educational surrogate representation.

How much time and money will this commitment take?

Surrogate parents are required to devote approximately three hours to the training provided by Clarksville Montgomery County Schools at least annually. After a student with disabilities is assigned, the educational surrogate reviews the student’s record well enough to understand the student’s needs, strengths, interests as well as their school history. Training is provided free of charge.

If you are interested in attending a training to become a surrogate parent, please email [email protected].


Child Nutrition Department June 9th, 2021

No Cost Curbside Meals for Summer 2021

The USDA approved for CMCSS to continue serving free curbside meal pick-up to all children 18 and under. The USDA stated that these free meals will be available through June 2022, or until funds run out.

Meals are available for all children 18 and under in Montgomery County, including children not enrolled in CMCSS schools.

Curbside meals will be available for pick-up at any of the traditional high school locations on Wednesday, each week, from 10:00 – 11:00 am. Families with multiple children can pick up all meals in one location. 

Children are not required to be present for curbside pick-up. The person picking up meals will need to provide the name of the child(ren) not present.


February 26th, 2021

2021 Teacher of the Year, MCHS English Teacher Wins New Car

From left: Jessica Drudy, Christina Ploeckelman, Millard House, Victoria McAlman

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation hosted its fourth annual Teacher of the Year Awards, sponsored by James Corlew Chevrolet.

“On behalf of the entire James Corlew family, I am humbled and excited to be a part of this expression of respect and appreciation for all the great teachers in our community,” said Jason Blurton, general manager of James Corlew Chevrolet.

While the event wasn’t held in person this year, the Education Foundation and James Corlew broadcasted a live virtual event from the dealership’s showroom where one Teacher walked away with a brand-new Chevrolet Spark.

“The Foundation is forever grateful to James Corlew for supporting the event again this year and allowing us to host the virtual giveaway from their dealership,” said Robin Burton, Executive Director of the CMC Education Foundation. “With all the uncertainties we faced this past year, the Foundation is excited we are continually able to offer support and recognition to our CMCSS teachers, students, staff. None of this would be possible without the continued support of our sponsors and partners.”

The three District Teachers of the Year vying for the car were Jessica Drudy representing grades 9-12 from Montgomery Central High School, Christina Ploeckelman representing grades 5-8 from Richview Middle School, and Victoria McAlman representing grades pre-K-4 from Burt Elementary School.

Drudy, Ploeckelman, and McAlman drew for the order in which they would choose a boxed gift. Two of the boxes contained $500 Visa gift cards, sponsored by the Education Foundation, and the third box held the key to the Chevrolet Spark. Jessica Drudy was the winner of the car.

“It is so humbling,” she said. “To be recognized by your peers at your school is one thing, but to be recognized at the district-level is so humbling.”

In total, 62 teachers were honored as Teachers of the Year for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System district. Each Teacher received a crystal award recognizing their achievement. Also, since an in-person reception was not an option this year, the Education Foundation provided each Teacher of the Year awardee with a gift certificate to the Choppin’ Block.

WATCH: A video with all the nominated teachers, with comments by their administrators, is available below.

The top three finalists represent three grade-level categories set by the Tennessee Department of Education. They will compete at the regional level in the Tennessee Department of Education Teacher of the Year.

“Our teachers have worked tirelessly this year and persevered. This recognition is a great honor, and I am proud of the work of our educators each day.”

Jessica Drudy, an English Teacher at Montgomery Central High, sits in her new Chevy Spark.


January 12th, 2021

2021-2022 Voluntary Pre-K Applications

The Tennessee Department of Education has not yet released the Pre-K application for the 2021-2022 school year. After CMCSS receives information from the state, the district will release application information, including dates, times, and locations for application events. Based on previous timeframes for receiving information from TDOE, CMCSS is typically able to begin accepting applications in April.

If you would like to sign up to receive email updates from the CMCSS Pre-K Coordinator, please complete this form.

For more information on Voluntary Pre-K in Tennessee, please visit the State of Tennessee’s website (link).