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November 18th, 2021

Family Life Curriculum Feedback

UPDATE:

Thank you to the over 400 parents/guardians who completed the Family Life Curriculum review and feedback process. In the communication that was sent on November 18, 2021, regarding the curriculum feedback, a short summary was provided of the state law. Regrettably, the summary that was sent to families and posted on the website was from another bill that failed in the legislature, not the final bill. We apologize profusely and want to ensure that all parents/guardians receive the accurate language from this section of the law, provided below. Please note that the standards included in the curriculum review process and feedback survey were correct. The error was in the summary of the components of the law listed in the email and posted on the website.

CORRECTION: T.C.A. 49-6-1304 describes the required and prohibited components of the Family Life Curriculum:

(a) A family life curriculum shall, to the extent that the topic and the manner of communication is age-appropriate:

(1) Emphatically promote only sexual risk avoidance through abstinence, regardless of a student’s current or prior sexual experience;

(2) Encourage sexual health by helping students understand how sexual activity affects the whole person including the physical, social, emotional, psychological, economic and educational consequences of nonmarital sexual activity;

(3) Teach the positive results of avoiding sexual activity, the skills needed to make healthy decisions, the advantages of and skills for student success in pursuing educational and life goals, the components of healthy relationships, and the social science research supporting the benefits of reserving the expression of human sexual activity for marriage;

(4) Provide factually and medically-accurate information;

(5) Teach students how to form pro-social habits that enable students to develop healthy relationships, create strong marriages, and form safe and stable future families;

(6) Encourage students to communicate with a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult about sex or other risk behaviors;

(7) Assist students in learning and practicing refusal skills that will help them resist sexual activity;

(8) Address the benefits of raising children within the context of a marital relationship and the unique challenges that single teen parents encounter in relation to educational, psychological, physical, social, legal, and financial factors;

(9) Discuss the interrelationship between teen sexual activity and exposure to other risk behaviors such as smoking, underage drinking, drug use, criminal activity, dating violence, and sexual aggression;

(10) Educate students on the age of consent, puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, sexually transmitted diseases, including but not limited to HIV/AIDS, and the financial and emotional responsibility of raising a child;

(11) Teach students how to identify and form healthy relationships, and how to identify and avoid unhealthy relationships;

(12) Notwithstanding § 49-6-1302(a)(1), inform students, in all LEAs, concerning the process of adoption and its benefits. The state board of education, with the assistance of the department of education, shall develop guidelines for appropriate kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) instruction on adoption, what adoption is, and the benefits of adoption. The guidelines shall be distributed by the department of education to each LEA by the start of the 2015-2016 school year;

(13) Provide instruction on the detection, intervention, prevention, and treatment of:

(A) Child sexual abuse, including such abuse that may occur in the home, in accordance with the declarations and requirements of §§ 37-1-601(a) and 37-1-603(b)(3); and

(B) Human trafficking in which the victim is a child. The instruction provided under this subdivision (a)(13)(B) must be accomplished through the viewing of a video recording approved by the LEA; and

(14) Provide instruction on the prevention of dating violence.

(b) Instruction of the family life curriculum shall not:

(1) Promote, implicitly or explicitly, any gateway sexual activity or health message that encourages students to experiment with noncoital sexual activity;

(2) Provide or distribute materials on school grounds that condone, encourage or promote student sexual activity among unmarried students;

(3) Display or conduct demonstrations with devices specifically manufactured for sexual stimulation; or

(4) Distribute contraception on school property; provided, however, that medically accurate information about contraception and condoms that is consistent with public policy may be provided so long as the information is:

(A) Presented in a manner consistent with this part and that clearly informs students that while such methods may reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases or becoming pregnant, only abstinence removes all risk;

(B) Reviewed and approved by the local board of education or charter school governing body, prior to the information being used by the LEA or public charter school in a family life curriculum, to ensure that it is:

(i) Medically accurate;

(ii) Age appropriate;

(iii) In compliance with this part; and

(iv) Aligned to academic standards in this state; and

(C) Provided, upon request, to a parent of a student attending a school in the LEA or charter school, to allow the parent to review the information and to opt the parent’s student out of receiving the information as part of a family life curriculum, without penalty.

We apologize again for this oversight. There was no intent to mislead our families on the new law. Thank you for your understanding.

Communication from November 18, 2021:

Parents/Guardians of Students in Grades 6-12:

With a recent update to state law, effective this school year, all school systems in Tennessee are required to provide a medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education that teaches students:

  • The benefits of abstinence and delaying sexual activity;
  • The importance of effectively using contraceptives and barrier methods to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
  • The age of consent, and that an affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in a sexual activity is required for valid consent;
  • How sexual activity results in pregnancy and the effects of pregnancy;
  • How to communicate with a parent or other trusted adult about sex;
  • How to develop the relationship and communication skills to form healthy, respectful relationships free of violence, coercion, and intimidation; and
  • How to make healthy decisions about relationships and sexual activity.

In accordance with this revision to state law, CMCSS is notifying parents/guardians of this new requirement and seeking feedback from parents/guardians on the selection of a Family Life Curriculum. Please click here to review three proposed Family Life Curriculum resources and provide your feedback. Please complete your review by Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Parents/guardians have the right to excuse their students from any or all portions of the sex education. A student who is excused from any or all portions of the sex education will not be penalized for grading purposes if the student satisfactorily performs alternative health lessons. After a Family Life Curriculum is approved by the School Board and before Family Life Curriculum is taught, CMCSS will provide parents/guardians with more information on how to opt-out of the curriculum.



October 27th, 2021

Accessing Student Report Cards – October 2021

CMCSS student report cards for the first nine weeks of the 2021-22 school year will be available on Wednesday, October 27. 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.

At any time, parents/guardians can check their student’s academic progress on PowerSchool. 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.

TNREADY DATA

TNReady data from the 2020-21 school year will be sent home with your student(s) beginning Wednesday, October 27. Please contact your child’s enrolled school if you do not receive this information.

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

16 STEPS

1. To begin, navigate to cmcss.net and click Students & Parents

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2. Click Parents

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3. Click Parent Self-Service

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4. Scroll down and click on Get Student Security Info

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5. Enter the student’s first name

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6. Type Middle Name

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7. Type Last Name

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8. Click Month

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9. Click Day

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10. Click Year

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11. Click Continue

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12. Scroll undefined and click EnteredCode

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13. Click Submit Code

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14. Power School Access Code 1 will appear in this cell

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15. Power School Access Code 2 will appear in this cell

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16. That’s it. You’re done.

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Here’s an interactive tutorial

** Best experienced in Full Screen (click the icon in the top right corner before you begin) **

https://www.iorad.com/player/1866690/Accessing-PowerSchool-Access-Codes

 

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.



October 19th, 2021

2021-2022 Federal Impact Aid Survey Will Be Released October 20

On October 20, parents and guardians of CMCSS will receive an electronic Federal Impact Aid survey.

Federal Impact Aid is designed to assist local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to tax-exempt Federal property. Federal Impact Aid is set up for school districts where federally owned lands (such as Fort Campbell, government buildings, TVA steam plants, subsidized housing, etc.) are located. It intends to help offset the lost property taxes that would have been collected if businesses or privately owned residences were located there instead. Federal Impact Aid does not provide funding for every military-dependent child who is served in our school system.

Each year, the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System sends out to parents a survey to collect data about federally connected students. The funding formula that determines how much money a school system will receive hinges on accurate information collected on the survey.

It is crucial that parents complete the forms. And the information must be what is accurate on November 2. This year, there will be an electronic survey that is confidential and has no effect on personal taxes or on those who live in subsidized housing.

Please complete the survey by November 12, 2021.



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].



September 29th, 2021

Social Media and School Safety Concerns

Good evening, CMCSS families,

Across the nation, schools are observing an increase in concerning student behaviors that are linked to social media, especially the app TikTok. As many CMCSS schools communicated with families a few weeks ago, an increase in vandalism and theft in schools and on buses was linked to a TikTok challenge. Recently, the District has been made aware of other planned challenges that promote crimes such as assaulting employees, sexual assault, and public nudity. 

“These social media challenges may appear to be harmless or fun to an adolescent, but what parents need to clearly understand is that these thoughtless actions will come with serious consequences,” stated Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson. “I have heard some say ‘what is the big deal, it’s just a soap dispenser’ or ‘I was just messing around.’ The reality is, the damages left behind to school property and the invasion or violation of another student or staff member’s person can easily lead to thousands in fines and restitution for parents to pay and a felony offense for their child. I encourage parents to pay close attention to what their children are doing and intervene where it is needed. We plan to take the most appropriate action necessary to help resolve this issue and get their attention.”

In addition to concerns about TikTok challenges, there are other digital dangers like cyberbullying, child exploitation, sharing personal information, and offensive content. 

“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the leading federal law enforcement agency that investigates crimes involving exploitation of minors,” said Nashville HSI Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet Jr. “Our agents continually work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes and identify and rescue victims. While the internet is a great way to interact with friends and family, as well as meet new people, predators know this and actively stalk online meeting places such as chat rooms and social media sites. Education and community awareness regarding the dangers of online activity is extremely important.”

Finally, when a threat of violence is brought to our attention, we take it seriously and move forward to take the necessary action. Law enforcement and school officials work together to investigate. We will be vigilant in finding individuals responsible, and, as Sheriff Fuson has stated, “any and everybody involved will be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” 

School Resource Officers and CMCSS employees work diligently to keep our schools safe, but it takes the entire community working together to provide a secure educational environment. We are asking parents and guardians to please talk to their children about online safety, appropriate behaviors, and consequences for criminal behaviors and offenses in the Student Code of Conduct.

Additionally, please talk to your children about the importance of immediately reporting any safety concern to an adult. Whether it is on social media or in the schoolhouse, if you see or hear something, say something. Please report concerns of school violence to officials, do not post or repost rumors or threats on social media.

Thank you for your support.

The following are a few resources on internet safety for parents/guardians:



September 21st, 2021

Nationwide Food and Supply Shortages Impact Cafeteria Menus

The CMCSS Child Nutrition Department is being impacted by nationwide food and supply shortages. These shortages are creating unavoidable, last-minute menu changes and modifications to the serving trays and utensils. Menu selections may be further limited or altered. However, please know that students will continue to receive a free breakfast and a free lunch this school year. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these shortages.

Contact your student’s cafeteria manager with any questions regarding the school menu. For more information about Food Services, visit the Child Nutrition employee page.

 

Update September 29, 2021

During the September 28 CMCSS School Board meeting, Dr. Angela Huff, Interim Director of Schools addressed the board with information concerning the current supply shortage situation. In her remarks, Dr. Huff mentioned the following:

  • Nationwide, high-volume shortages and supply chain disruptions are creating unavoidable, last-minute menu changes and modifications to serving trays and utensils. However, please note that complete, USDA-approved meals are still being served every day at no charge to students.
  • With the shortages, non-conventional meal tray replacements are being implemented such as bagging all items without a tray. Menu selections may be unconventional, such as sides not matching traditionally with entrees or hamburger/hotdog buns being replaced with flatbreads, wraps, or crackers.
  • Although the Child Nutrition Department has contracts with vendors, they are continuously exploring alternative suppliers and options. A major issue is that many vendors are not taking on new high-volume customers as they work to supply their current customers. For some, sourcing can be as simple as going to Kroger if Publix is out something they need. The District serves over 150,000 meals a week, so sourcing locally is generally not a viable option.
  • The Child Nutrition Department will continue navigating the supply chain disruptions and shortages that have been making national headlines to ensure our students continue to be served USDA-approved meals each school day.
  • As a reminder, CMCSS is not the agency which supplies P-EBT cards. The Tennessee Department of Human Services oversees the pandemic food benefits program.


September 19th, 2021

Face Mask Requirement

On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, the CMCSS School Board established a face mask requirement for students and employees indoors in CMCSS facilities when physical distancing is not possible. This requirement will be effective Monday, September 20, 2021, and will be revisited by the School Board at each monthly Formal School Board Meeting through January 11, 2022, when the requirement is set to expire. Parent(s)/guardian(s) can opt their child out of this requirement.

To streamline the opt-out process for parents/guardians and minimize the paperwork burden on employees, the Technology Department sent an electronic form to parents/guardians via text and email on Sep. 16. If you did not receive a customized electronic form for your child or had trouble accessing the form, you can complete the opt-out form linked here and return to your child’s school nurse. Please contact your child’s school if you need support with the opt-out process.

To access the CMCSS COVID-19 Dashboard, health and safety protocols, previous health and safety updates, and more, please visit ​​cmcss.net/covid19



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.



May 26th, 2021

11 CMCSS Schools Earn Purple Star School Award

The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System is proud to announce 11 schools in the district have been awarded the Tennessee Purple Star School Award. The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) Tennessee selected just eighteen schools across the state for this honor.

The Tennessee Purple Star School Award was designed to highlight military-friendly
schools that show a major commitment to serving students and families connected to
our nation’s military.

Military-connected families make up 30-percent of the CMCSS population. Strong supports for military-connected students is a focus for the district, as well as providing resources and opportunities for students to learn about our nation’s servicemembers.

To earn the Purple Star designation, schools must have a point of contact within the school that has completed a professional development component specific to the needs of military-connected students. The school website must contain a page that provides resources for military families. The school then chooses an additional activity that aligns with the school’s population and goals. To maintain the designation, the school must reapply every two years.

The following 11 schools were recognized in 2021:

Glenellen Elementary
Hazelwood Elementary
Kenwood Middle
Moore Magnet
New Providence Middle
Oakland Elementary
Rossview Elementary
West Creek Elementary
West Creek High
West Creek Middle
Woodlawn Elementary

Children in military families experience many challenges: transfers to multiple schools,
adapting to new environments, or a parent deployed to a war zone. Military-connected
children have needs that are different from other students. This program provides families a sense of relief that their child’s unique needs will be recognized.

In 2020, CMCSS had three schools that earned the Purple Star School Award – Ringgold Elementary, Rossview Middle, and Rossview High.



May 20th, 2021

Kenwood Middle School earns STEM Designation from TN Department of Education

Science_Student

Kenwood students are provided with hands-on experiences as they explore the scientific method.

The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System is proud to announce that Kenwood Middle School has received a STEM Designation from the Tennessee Department of Education. Kenwood is one of 13 schools across the state recognized in 2021. This will be the first CMCSS STEM-designated middle school, and the fourth school in the district to receive a STEM designation.

“STEM-based education helps prepare students for future success in both their academic education and in their careers,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Governor Lee and the department are committed to providing students with STEM learning experiences to enrich their education, and we are thrilled to see the number of the STEM-designated schools continue to grow.”

Kenwood’s focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) has propelled students to think critically and explore their world. Students are introduced to complex learning opportunities through coding, drone technology, electric cars, and more. Kenwood was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the TVA to expand their drone initiatives.

“These students are our future,” said Dr. Marlon Heaston, Kenwood Middle principal. “Our future innovators, creators, and leaders. We are committed to providing them with the tools they need to achieve their potential.”

drone and laptop

Kenwood 8th graders solve complex problems through coding software. Students must determine the proper formulas necessary to have their drone fly in the correct sequence.

According to the TN Department of Education, each school awarded the Tennessee STEM School Designation was evaluated through a rigorous application process including a self-evaluation, interviews, and hosting site visits with the Tennessee STEM Designation review team. The determination is based on five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and postsecondary partnerships.

As a part of the process, schools were required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. Kenwood Middle students have the added advantage of continuing their transdisciplinary studies during high school, as Kenwood High is also a STEM-designated school.

“A STEM education is increasingly important as technology continues to grow and expand in Tennessee,” said State Sen. Bill Powers. “It provides powerful learning opportunities to students so they can compete for higher-paying, in-demand jobs. I am very proud of the work being done at all of these schools, especially Kenwood Middle School in my district, to achieve this designation. It is a tremendous investment in these students’ futures.”

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