Posted in Elementary School:


June 29th, 2022

Kindergarten Information for the 2022-2023 School Year

We are excited to welcome our kindergarten families to CMCSS! Whether this is your first student in the district, or you are an experienced first-day family, here are some things you should know as we begin the school year.

Registration and Enrollment

If you have not yet signed up for school, you can register online at parents.cmcss.net.

Online registration is the first step in the enrollment process. Families will still need to turn in important registration documents in person to either the Enrollment Center or their child’s school once the school front offices reopen on July 21.

If you need technical assistance or prefer to register in person, please contact the Enrollment Center at 931-542-5078 to set up an appointment.

See a list of the necessary documents here.

Elementary School Open Houses

All elementary schools will host Open Houses on Friday, August 5 from 5-7 p.m. This is a great time to visit with your child’s teacher, tour the school, and learn about a typical kindergarten day! If families have already purchased classroom supplies, this is a great time to bring those to school.

First Day of School

All kindergarteners will attend the half-day of school on Monday, August 8. Each elementary school will host its first day of school in a manner best suited for its families. While it is not required that families attend the entire half-day, some may choose to do so. Additional information will be provided by each school.  

What does my student need to bring on the first day of school?

This half-day is designed to make your child comfortable with the transition to school. While nothing is required to bring on the first day, they can carry their backpack and water bottle. It may also be a good time to drop off school supplies.

Can I walk my child into school on the first day?

Yes, parents are welcome to walk with their children into school on Monday, August 8, and attend a brief meeting. Teachers are ready to greet families in their classrooms. More information on the first day of school will be provided during the Open House on August 5.

Kindergarten Flex Days (August 11-12; 15-16)

Schools will communicate individually with families regarding kindergarten flex days. Your child will be scheduled to come into school on one of the four days following August 8. All kindergarteners will then begin school on Wednesday, August 17 for their first full day of school. Caregivers can walk their child to class on their assigned flex day, where teachers will acclimate students to the schedule and routines of a typical kindergarten day.

Riding the Bus

If your child will ride the school bus to and from school, rest assured that school staff are waiting to help them navigate their way to the classroom! Families can assist with the bus rider process by helping their child learn their bus number and writing the bus number in a safe location where your child can find it. If you have questions about the bus rider process, someone will be able to assist you at the Open House.

School Supplies

Each teacher will have specific school supplies for their classroom that will be communicated on one of the first days of school. Families can find a general school supply list here.

If you would like to help your child’s teacher with additional classroom supplies, you can connect with them directly during the Open House.

Other Helpful Information

We are thrilled to have your child join us this school year. While everyone experiences a mix of emotions at the start of school, remember our CMCSS teachers are here to work with you and support your child throughout their academic journey.

This video provides helpful ways you can work with your child to prepare for kindergarten!


June 29th, 2022

A Family Guide to Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²) 2022-2023

What is RTI²?

Response to instruction and intervention is the way CMCSS intervenes with students who are struggling academically by focusing on quality core instruction and intervention of specific skill deficits. The purpose of RTI² is to intervene with students quickly in the area of need so skill deficit gaps do not develop as they progress through school.

What does the RTI² Framework look like?

The RTI² Framework has three tiers; each tier provides intensifying levels of support.

  • In Tier l, all students receive evidence-based, high-quality, general education standards-based instruction that incorporates ongoing universal screening and assessments to inform instruction. Tier I is another name for the regular core instruction all students get every year.
  • In Tier ll, students identified as having significant skill deficits receive intervention targeted to the specific area of need. Student progress is consistently monitored during intervention and decisions about tier movement are based on progress monitoring data.
  • In Tier III, more intensive interventions are provided to students who have not made significant progress in Tier II, or who demonstrate a deficit significant enough to warrant immediate Tier III intervention. Students are monitored closely to determine if the intervention is effective. Movement from Tier III is dependent upon intervention success.

Tier II and III intervention occur in addition to regular classroom instruction. Schools will communicate with parents in writing when students go into and out of intervention, as well as update progress during intervention.

What are the key components of RTI²?

RTI² has been around for many years and is proven to improve instruction for all students by identifying areas for improvement in core instruction.

Schools assess all students in the fall, winter, and spring using what is called a Universal Screener. This is a skills-based measure students are given to quickly check how they perform compared to grade-level expectations. Screeners are brief and measure math and reading proficiency, as well as social-emotional protective factors. School teams consider data from a variety of sources, including the screener, to determine the level of intervention most appropriate and the specific skill deficit.

Another key component of RTI² is progress monitoring. Progress monitoring is a way for teachers to take a snapshot of how children are doing on a specific skill. It includes formal and informal assessments. Progress monitoring helps determine whether an intervention is successful or needs to be changed. Data from this type of monitoring is shared with parents on a regular basis (every 4-5 weeks).

When progress monitoring indicates a student is not responding to the intervention at an acceptable rate (gap closure is not occurring at a reasonable rate), another approach or intervention may be implemented. If a higher level of support is needed, students may be provided more intensive intervention that further focuses on the supporting skills they need to be successful learners (Tier lll). Students who do not respond to Tier III interventions may be referred for a special education evaluation.

What if I think my child needs special education?

If at any time parents/guardians become concerned that their child needs special education services, they should contact their child’s teacher or administrator. Other forms of evaluation, in addition to information gathered through the RTI² framework, are needed to determine if a student is eligible for special education services. A parent’s written consent is required for these evaluations to be conducted.

Additional information about RTI² implementation will be provided by each school.

A SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING SCREENING AND CONTINUED INTERVENTION

If your student was recommended to continue participation in tiered intervention in the spring, that intervention will be continued this fall. The district will begin administering fall universal screening measures to gauge student progress and make instructional plans to meet the needs of all students as soon as students return to school. Data from the fall universal screening will be used in conjunction with previous screening, progress monitoring, and curriculum-based data to determine the need for continued intervention, tier level, and pinpoint specific deficits. After universal screening measures are administered, parents/guardians will be provided information if the continued or initial placement of their student(s) in tiered intervention is recommended. All data will be treated as continuous (i.e., the summer break does not necessitate a ‘restart’ on data collection and/or delay progression toward referral) and data teams will meet frequently and consistently to review student progress and make informed decisions.

TENNESSEE LITERACY SUCCESS ACT AND THE CMCSS FOUNDATIONAL LITERACY SKILLS PLAN

In compliance with the Tennessee Literacy Success Act, each district and public charter school must submit a Foundational Literacy Skills Plan. School districts and public charter schools must create a local Foundational Literacy Skills Plan for students in kindergarten through fifth grade and submit the final approved plan to the department for approval. The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System’s Foundational Literacy Skills Plan has been approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and may be found here.

We wish you and your student(s) a healthy, productive school year! Should you have any questions, please contact your school’s RTI2 lead or the district RTI2 data team at [email protected]


May 18th, 2022

TCAP Scores Not Included in Students’ Spring 2022 Grades

CMCSS will not include the TCAP state standardized test results as part of students’ final grades this school year. CMCSS updated the District grading policy in 2015 to align with T.C.A. § 49-1-617. District policy states that students’ TCAP scores will not be included in their final spring semester grades if the TCAP scores are not received by the District at least five instructional days before the end of the academic year. As CMCSS nears the end of the school year and finalizes student grades, the raw scores were not received within the last five instructional days and will not be included.

As a reminder, the last half day of school is Wednesday, May 25.


May 9th, 2022

Operational Updates for the 2022-2023 School Year

CMCSS is reaching out with two operational updates for the 2022-2023 school year. Please note these changes will not take effect until next school year. We want to provide families with as much advance notice as possible.

End of USDA Waiver and No-Cost Meals

The USDA has not indicated that they will be extending the waiver for school districts to continue offering no-cost student meals for the 2022-2023 school year. For the past two school years, CMCSS has been able to provide breakfast and lunch meals at no cost to students each school day because of the USDA’s waivers.

At this time, unless CMCSS receives notification otherwise from the USDA, the district will be required to return to its normal meal payment methods in August. Families will continue to be highly encouraged to preload funds on a student’s online account. More information will be communicated before next school year, but below are the meal prices:

Elementary Student Meal Prices

Breakfast (Full Pay): $1.00

Breakfast (Reduced): $0.30

Lunch (Full Pay): $2.65

Lunch (Reduced): $0.40

Secondary Student Meal Prices

Breakfast (Full Pay): $1.15

Breakfast (Reduced): $0.30

Lunch (Full Pay): $2.85

Lunch (Reduced): $0.40

It will be extremely important that all families who believe their children qualify for free or reduced meals complete the application for the 2022-2023 school year. CMCSS will provide more information on the application over the summer and at the beginning of next school year. Applications for next school year cannot be completed until later in July. Applications must be submitted and approved each school year for a student to receive benefits.

Transportation Parent Responsibility Zone

In an effort to improve transportation services while facing the ongoing local, state, and national bus driver shortage, CMCSS is updating its transportation routes and qualifications for the 2022-2023 school year.

State law establishes that school districts may provide school transportation for children who live more than 1 ½ miles from their zoned school. CMCSS has exceeded the expectations of the state law to provide transportation to elementary students who live more than half a mile (.5) from their zoned school and middle and high school students who live more than a mile (1) from their zoned school.

Effective the 2022-2023 school year, CMCSS will be expanding the radius of the parent responsibility zone (PRZ), the area in which families are responsible for providing transportation (car rider, walker, etc.), by half a mile for both elementary and secondary students to:

  • 1 mile for elementary students
  • 1 ½ miles for middle and high school students

Exceptions: 

For student safety, transportation will still be provided for students who live in the PRZ under the following travel conditions:

  • 4 or more lanes of traffic without a crossing guard
  • Roads with insufficient road width (less than 24 ft.) with speeds above 35 mph
  • Roads with no sidewalks with speeds above 35 mph

Notes:

  • This change will not impact students who receive Special Populations transportation services as indicated in their IEPs.
  • Any future development within the PRZ that has accessible safe travel paths may not be eligible for CMCSS transportation.
  • If a daycare is in the PRZ, CMCSS will not provide transportation.

The Transportation Department will be directly contacting families who have students in the 1/2 mile expanded zone. Click here for more information and interactive maps of the PRZ for each school.


April 4th, 2022

Open Enrollment for 2022-2023 School Year

CMCSS is offering Open Enrollment in specific schools and grade levels with available capacity for the 2022-2023 school year. The Open Enrollment application period will be April 18-May 18, 2022. Due to the comprehensive rezoning that changed capacities at some schools, the District had to delay the determination of open seats for Open Enrollment until spring 2022. The Open Enrollment process is separate from the application period for schools and programs of choice that took place January-February 2022.

Space for Open Enrollment is limited to only the specific schools and grades listed below. Each grade listed has a limited number of available seats. If more requests are received than available seats, a lottery drawing will be held.

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

School Kindergarten 2nd grade 4th grade 5th grade
Byrns Darden Elementary 20 seats
Carmel Elementary 10 seats 10 seats 20 seats 20 seats
Cumberland Heights Elementary 5 seats
East Montgomery Elementary 20 seats
Kenwood Elementary 18 seats
Minglewood Elementary 40 seats 15 seats

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

School 6th grade 8th grade
Kirkwood Middle 15 seats
Richview Middle 15 seats 15 seats

 *Note: a previous version of this chart indicated Richview had 15 seats in 7th. This error has been corrected above.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

School 9th grade 10th grade 11th grade 12th grade
Kenwood High 10 seats 10 seats 10 seats 10 seats
Montgomery Central High 10 seats 20 seats

*For high school students, parents/guardians and students will need to consult with a school counselor to ensure the open enrollment transfer would not affect a student’s graduation track.

 

Application Form

Click here for the 2022-2023 Open Enrollment Request Application.

 

For more information on CMCSS’ Open Enrollment policy, click here.

 

Note on Virtual School: If families are interested in CMCSS K-12 Virtual for the 2022-2023 school year, there will be additional enrollment periods from April 1-30, 2022, and July 1-22, 2022. Please contact K-12 Virtual Enrollment Specialist Ashley Pledger at 931-553-1117 or [email protected] to learn more about CMCSS K-12 Virtual School enrollment.


March 28th, 2022

Voluntary Pre-K Registration Opens April 4

Parents and guardians who wish to apply for the CMCSS Voluntary Pre-K Program (VPK), should review the following process:

  • VPK applications will open on April 4, 2022.
  • Income guidelines for Voluntary Pre-K.
  • Visit cmcss.net/Pre-K and start the “enrollment/application” process. Please choose VPK.
  • Once the Pre-K team receives your application one of the team members will contact you, via email, to meet via Zoom, to verify your family’s income and the child’s birth certificate.
  • If you qualify for the CMCSS VPK program, you will receive an email from the Pre-K Coordinator at the beginning of July if you have been accepted. If you qualify but are on the waiting list, your email in July will state that you are on the waiting list. If we have a spot become available, we will contact you throughout the year.
  • Our VPK program is a grant-funded program. You do have to meet the income requirements that the state has set forth to qualify for a spot.
  • A month’s worth of pay stubs (TN requires gross income, therefore pay-stub must show gross income)
  • Military: most recent LES (TN requires both BAH & Base pay to be added)
  • Recent food stamp letter (must show eligibility dates, case number, and parent’s name)
  • SS award letter
  • 2021 Income Tax (form 1040 or W2)
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Children do have to be 4-years-old by or on August 15, 2022, to qualify.
  • If you don’t have access to a laptop or a desktop, please contact Melinda Smith, Pre-K Coordinator, at 931-648-5653 to schedule a time to come to the Learning Center and use a district laptop.

Dates for zoom meetings:

April 6 – April 8
April 12 – April 14
April 18
April 19
April 22
April 26
April 28
May 2
May 6
May 10
May 12
May 17
May 19
and then as needed over the summer.

Evaluation for Special Education Services

Parents and guardians who wish to refer their child for an evaluation for special education services, please follow these steps. This would include transfer students, students that are receiving outside therapy, or if the district should schedule a screener.

  • “Transfer Referral” – Visit cmcss.net/Pre-K and start the enrollment process. Please choose “transfer” referral if you have a current eligibility/IEP from the location that you are moving from. Please email the current eligibility and IEP to Melinda Smith, Pre-K Coordinator, at [email protected]
  • “Parent Referral” – Visit cmcss.net/Pre-K and start the enrollment process. Please choose a “parent” referral if your child is receiving outside therapy and/or if your child isn’t receiving outside therapy and you need to schedule a screener. Please email any outside therapy reports (if applicable) to Melinda Smith, Pre-K Coordinator, at [email protected]

Tennessee Early Intervention Systems

Parents and guardians, if your child is with TEIS (TN Early Intervention Systems), please see below for more information. If your child is receiving services through TEIS, we will have a transition planning conference with the Pre-K Coordinator, your TEIS Service Coordinator, and your Early Interventionist to go over the process from TEIS and the school system.

  • Visit cmcss.net/Pre-K and start the enrollment process. Please choose “TEIS” referral. Once we have our TPC and receive information for the referral as well as information from your service coordinator, the Pre-K Coordinator will send this referral to the school for which you are zoned.

Peer Model Program

Our peer model program is for peers to attend one of our special education PreK classrooms to serve as peer models for our students receiving special education services. Both programs use the same curriculum, the teachers and EA’s train together, and they both have the same scope and sequence, among other things. Parents and guardians who are interested in their child participating in the Peer Model Program, please follow these steps:

  • Please fill out the information from this link – Peer Model Application
  • To be considered as a Peer Model, the child(ren) can’t be receiving any type of therapy (ST, OT, PT, etc.) or have an active IEP.
  • Once we receive this information, we will be in contact to schedule a screener
  • Students must be 4 by or on August 15, 2022
  • Please contact Melinda Smith – Pre-K Coordinator, [email protected] for more information.

March 14th, 2022

Updated Information for the Return to School/Work Flowchart

The following message was sent to families on Monday, March 14, 2022. 

Good afternoon, CMCSS families,

We are reaching out with a few updates regarding COVID-19 and the CMCSS communicable diseases procedure. In collaboration with the Montgomery County Health Department, the CMCSS Back to School/Work Flowchart has been updated based on current data available for Montgomery County.

School nurses will follow the Communicable Diseases Procedure (HEA-P001) for any students who exhibit symptoms of a cold, illness, or communicable disease. 

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will still have at least a five-day exclusion from school. Please refer to the CMCSS Return to School/Work Flowchart regarding the specifics for exclusion, quarantine, and household contacts. 

It is important to continue to follow proper health and safety practices should you experience cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms. 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze in your bent elbow.
  • Clean your hands often.

Communicating Illness-Related Absences

Families should always notify their child’s school of any absences. If your child has tested positive for COVID-19, you must contact the school and provide proof of a positive test result. The School Nurse or Attendance Secretary will note the COVID-19 related exclusion. For all other illness-related or non-illness-related absences, please refer to the CMCSS Attendance Policy.


March 11th, 2022

CMCSS Kindergarten Kick-off Set for April 7

Kindergarten enrollment has begun for the Class of 2035!

How to Register

Information on registration and required information can be found on our registration page. The registration page includes a list of all necessary documents required and information on preparing for kindergarten.

Visit Your Child’s New School

CMCSS Elementary Schools offer a Kindergarten Kick-off to introduce students to their new schools. Kindergarten Kick-off will be held in-person at each child’s zoned school on Thursday, April 7, from 5:30-7 p.m.

If you are unsure of your zoned school, visit http://businfo.cmcss.net/. Parents can input their child’s primary residence address to find out which school their child is zoned.

For kindergarten families interested in enrolling in CMCSS K-12 Virtual, informational sessions will begin at 5:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Families can choose the session that works best. Kindergarten teachers will join via Zoom to share information about virtual kindergarten classes. To access the Zoom meetings, CLICK HERE.

We look forward to welcoming all our new CMCSS students and families this August!


Lego Robotics Club February 28th, 2022

Career Ready Classrooms

Lego Robotics Club

College and career readiness seems to be a daunting task until you watch the ingenuity of a CMCSS teacher. Classrooms across the district implement a mix of traditional learning and foundational concepts for the future. Eight-year-olds are exploring future-focused food sources, including hydroponic gardening. Middle school students are developing skills for computer coding. “Real-world skills have changed,” said Anne Stritzel, a sixth-grade science teacher at Richview Middle.

CMCSS teachers look for additional ways to provide next-level resources in their classrooms. Recently, multiple teachers were awarded grants from the TVA, Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation, and Google Data Center. These funds allow the teachers and the schools to purchase additional equipment, emphasizing building career readiness skills.

Brynne Thompson, a third-grade teacher at Sango Elementary, was awarded two separate grants. First, she applied for a grant through the TVA, focusing on energy. Mrs. Thompson chose hydroponic gardens. “I want Sango to use it not just for science. This is supply and demand. Cause and effect. There are so many aspects for every grade level,” she said.

With the grant funds, the school should be able to purchase two hydroponic gardens for the main foyer. As the school’s STEM club advisor, Mrs. Thompson and her club will maintain the gardens, but all students will have the opportunity to participate. Each grade level will use the gardens throughout the year for different concepts related to their curriculum. Tennessee Urban Farms will come to the school in the spring and show students basic farming and gardening skills.

She is excited about the prospects the gardens will bring. Through sustainability and accessibility conversations, students will be learning about food sources, supply chains, and more.

Big Idea Grant_Thompson

In addition to the TVA grant, the CMC Education Foundation awarded a Big Idea Grant to Mrs. Thompson to purchase Dash Robots. The robots use block-based coding and encourage self-guided exploration of robotics and code-based technologies. She plans to introduce her students to careers and opportunities for coding. For elementary school, it’s all about taking big ideas and making them attainable.

Students at Richview Middle School have already been exploring the world of coding through the Technology class and the afterschool Robotics Club. With the new TVA grant’s robots, more students can have hands-on experience with drag and drop coding based on Scratch programming. The grant will provide 11 additional Spike Prime kits. For the school, this is a huge opportunity. “We will be able to have not only more kids in our after-school program, but that’s a whole class,” said Christina Ploeckelman, seventh-grade science teacher and one of the Robotics Club advisors. A three-person team can use each robot.

“This is the same type of code they would use in the future,” said Ms. Stritzel. “It’s allowing students to understand across platforms.” The current robots are over 10-years-old and the platforms on which they run are no longer supported. The Spike Prime kits provide consistency across the classroom and more student connections.

“Their interface supports problem-solving better,” said Ms. Stritzel. “It helps them learn fundamentals faster while using the engineering design process.” Now, the teachers can create a curriculum around the Spike Prime robots for their related-arts classes and bring more students into the world of coding. The teachers are thrilled to open up the opportunities to more than their Robotics Club. “It is very much group-oriented and student-driven. In the curriculum, we provide how to start. Then the students figure out what to change, how to modify, and develop a design.”

As the students moved through the room, the experience was filled with problem-solving and complex solutions. One team grew frustrated as their code did not elicit the intended result. The setbacks did not stop them, as they went back several times to collaborate, correct, and try again. In the robotics and technology classes, students learn how to face challenges head-on.

Ms. Stritzel added, “The skills they learn here are ever-evolving. So even if something changes, they have the foundation.”

Burt Science Family Night

At Burt Elementary School, these foundational skills will begin through a brand new set of manipulatives purchased through a Google grant from the local data center. In partnership with the CMC Education Foundation, the grant provided classroom equipment and a guest speaker, Mr. Science. Students and their families watched Mr. Science perform interactive STEM-related experiments with concepts they learned in the classroom.

Burt Elementary teachers will incorporate a variety of recently purchased items into their lessons. From soil testing kits, renewable energy kits, chemistry sets, and more, the students will explore science through hands-on learning. Through the lessons, teachers will introduce students to STEM careers. Many of the activities can be recreated at home, allowing students to share what they learned in school with their families.

“I tell my students every day, ‘You can do hard things.’ STEM allows students to think outside the box,” said Ms. Thompson. All of the teachers shared a similar sentiment of pride as their students grow in self-confidence. At all grade levels, the students are given the ability to work through complex problems. Critical thinking and problem-solving are foundational elements for future success.

“They are learning all of those 21st-century skills,” said Mrs. Ploeckelman. “We want them to see what they are learning in the classroom translates to careers.”


January 12th, 2022

Accessing Student Report Cards – January 2022

CMCSS student report cards for the second nine weeks of the 2021-22 school year will be available on Wednesday, January 12. Parents/guardians will access report cards online using the CMCSS Parent Self-Service webpage at parents.cmcss.net.

If parents/guardians have issues accessing their child’s report card using CMCSS Parent Self-Service, they can contact their child’s enrolled school.

The report card available through Parent Self-Service is considered the official report card with comments for the grading period.

Parents/guardians can check their student’s academic progress on PowerSchool at any time. PowerSchool is the official grade book and attendance tracker for CMCSS. While some digital learning platforms have a grade book, please note that official grades will only be recorded in PowerSchool.

CREATING A POWERSCHOOL ACCOUNT

If you need to create a PowerSchool account, visit powerschool.cmcss.net, click the Create Account tab, and complete the form.

Families will need an Access Code for each child. Access codes can be obtained through the parents.cmcss.net portal by clicking on “Get Student Security Info” and following the steps listed in the video below.

PowerSchool Access Codes: https://ior.ad/7PBU

If you are using the PowerSchool app, the CMCSS’ District Code is P Z Q N.

UNDERSTANDING POWERSCHOOL AND REPORT CARD ABBREVIATIONS

Families may see several abbreviations in PowerSchool, including:

  • N(#) ex. N1, N2, etc. This is the student’s current grade in the nine weeks.
  • S(#) ex. S1, S2, etc. This is the student’s semester grade, which includes the nine weeks combined. For high school students, this grade will reflect the semester credits earned for that period. This grade will also include mid-term exams when applicable.
  • Y(#) ex. Y1. This refers to the student’s cumulative grade for the year.
  • OT On-Track. Students in grades K – 5 may see this designation on their report cards.
  • AE Approaching Expectations. Students in grades K – 5 may see this designation on their report cards.
  • BE Below Expectations. Students in grades K – 5 may see this designation on their report cards.

Watch this video to understand the PowerSchool dashboard:
K-2 Standards-Based Iorad: https://ior.ad/7MKm
3-12 Traditional Grading Iorad: https://ior.ad/7O3p

Note: Students in grades 3 – 5 may be assigned a letter grade and have letter grades available through PowerSchool. Report cards may also display the OT, AE, or BE information under College and Career Readiness.