TN Department of Education Visits CMCSS as Part of State-wide Tour
July 2, 2021
Clarksville-Montgomery County School System district leadership participated in roundtable discussions July 1 as part of the Accelerating TN Tour hosted by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE). Tennessee Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn, representatives from TDOE, TN General Assembly, and select business leaders from Clarksville-Montgomery County met with CMCSS leaders to address military and post-secondary opportunities as well as summer learning.
“I was thrilled to join district leadership, community partners, and elected officials for the roundtable discussion,” said Commissioner Schwinn. “Clarksville-Montgomery County School System has nationally recognized career preparation programs and models, and their innovative work, creative programming, and student-centered approach stands out. The Accelerating TN 2021 bus tour has been a tremendous three weeks to travel the state engaging with and learning directly from districts’ summer programs, and the CMCSS team is clearly focused on leveraging engaging programs and meaningful opportunities for their students’ best outcomes.”
CMCSS has seen positive participation in the summer learning opportunities made available by the district. Nearly 20 percent of CMCSS students are participating through in-person summer classes or Imagine Learning online programs at home.
Community partnerships and post-secondary opportunities were a focus of the roundtable talks. Strong relationships have positioned CMCSS as a leader in early post-secondary and JROTC programs. Representatives from Fort Campbell and business leaders discussed current and future growth potential for multiple pathways. Fort Campbell Military Police worked with the Criminal Justice Academy at West Creek High School to develop a collaborative learning environment before the pandemic. Hands-on activities such as these are the types of student-centered learning the district will continue to develop.
Opportunities available to students will continue to evolve as the district grows. With this expected growth comes a unique set of challenges. CMCSS will continue its efforts to develop a strong teacher training and recruitment program. Current Grow Your Own programs initiated by CMCSS have received national recognition and continue to recruit high-quality educators. Partnerships with local colleges and universities provide future teachers with an excellent education while gaining real-world experience with exceptional CMCSS educators.
Along with teacher training, the district introduced the expansion of opportunities for students that will provide the skills necessary for high-growth, high-demand careers. Recently, CMCSS was awarded several grants to expand upon the career and technical education courses, including a competitive $1.5 million Innovative High Schools Grant. Currently, the district is exploring the HVAC, transportation and logistics, and information and technology fields as future growth areas.
“There were so many positives within our district we were able to share with Commissioner Schwinn and our elected officials,” said Dr. Angela Huff, CMCSS Interim Director of Schools. “Our conversation was focused on supporting our students and teachers in meaningful ways, which is of primary importance for district leaders.”
POINT OF CLARIFICATION:
The Tennessee Department of Education’s “Accelerating TN 2021 Tour” was developed by the state to discuss how state-level funding and initiatives are being utilized. State-level funding makes up roughly 55% of CMCSS’ budget. TDOE invited members of the TN General Assembly to district roundtable discussions.
From the TDOE:
“During the Tennessee General Assembly’s extraordinary legislative session in January, legislators passed the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act which set forward a path for all districts’ current and future summer programming opportunities to benefit students. In addition, this summer, districts and schools are in the process of planning how to spend their portions of historic federal COVID-19 relief and recovery funding flowing – about $4.2 million for K-12 education in Tennessee – to accelerate student achievement.