July 18th, 2023
Are you excited for the start of the 2023-24 school year? Here is what you need to know!
Before School Begins
During the School Year
How do I register my child?
If your kindergarten through 12th-grade student is new to Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools or is transferring between schools, enroll online by visiting parents.cmcss.net.
The Enrollment Center serves as a centralized location for parents and guardians to register their children and gather documents, resources, and support for the enrollment process.
CMCSS Enrollment Center
430 Greenwood Ave.
Clarksville, TN 37040
The Enrollment Center is open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., throughout the calendar year when district offices are open. Parents and guardians are able to begin the registration process at the Enrollment Center, including the ability to submit important registration documents. Parents and guardians still have the option to complete the enrollment process at their child’s zoned school when buildings are open and staff is available. School offices reopen on July 20. Visit cmcss.net/registration for more information.
How do I stay connected with communications from my child’s school and the district?
CMCSS families are encouraged to sign up for PowerSchool and ParentSquare notifications. These are the primary means of communication from both school-based administrators and the District. Families will receive everything from inclement weather messages to instruction updates. You can download the PowerSchool mobile app (free) and the ParentSquare mobile app (free) on any Android or iOS device.
Please note that families will receive communications over the coming days and weeks regarding electronic forms for 1:1 technology, emergency cards, the Student Code of Conduct, health assessments, and other important topics. Reminders will be sent until the forms are completed.
UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION:
Throughout the year, if a parent or guardian needs to update his or her contact information, please visit CMCSS Parent Self-Service and click the “Update Student Information” tile to enter new contact information.
CMCSS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Follow CMCSS on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @cmcssinfo. Subscribe to the district’s YouTube channel, Focus, @cmcssfocus.
For the directions below, please note that PowerSchool will be enabled on August 4, 2023. If you do not already have an account, please check back on or after August 4 to create an account.
CREATING A POWERSCHOOL ACCOUNT:
To create a PowerSchool account, visit powerschool.cmcss.net, click the Create Account tab, and complete the form. You can find your child’s Access ID by visiting parents.cmcss.net and click on Get Student Security Info.
POWERSCHOOL MOBILE APP:
The PowerSchool app is a free and convenient resource for families to review their child’s academic progress. Once you set up an account using the directions above, download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Use CMCSS’ district code P Z Q N when you register.
Visit cmcss.net/parentsquare for more information on how to register your ParentSquare account and download the mobile app.
If school buildings must close due to inclement weather or other emergencies, the CMCSS Communications Department will use ParentSquare to notify families via call, text, email and push notifications on the app. The district also will share inclement weather closure updates on official CMCSS social media accounts, district and school websites, and local media. Please ensure that you check your sources when viewing school closure information on social media.
What school supplies will my child need?
Having your child prepared is a great way to start the school year. Click here for a list of supplies typically needed for elementary students. The supplies will be collected and stored for classroom use. Depending upon usage, students may need to replenish their supplies at some point during the school year. Additionally, sometimes teachers may request other items, depending on the curriculum.
Middle and High Schools have more differences in supply lists, so it’s best to wait until students receive the list from their teacher.
When is Tennessee Tax-Free Weekend?
The state of Tennessee’s annual sales tax holiday is held every year, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the last Friday in July and ending at 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday night. During this weekend, certain goods may be purchased tax-free. The 2023 tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 28, and ends Sunday, July 30 at 11:59 p.m.
Click here for more information about the sales tax holiday from the TN Department of Revenue.
How will we learn about school bus information?
Routing information for the 2023-2024 School Year will be available at cmcss.net/bus-zoning/ beginning Friday, July 21.
If you have questions, please call (931) 358-4089 for more information.
For parents of younger children, please ensure they either know their address or have it written down for them in a safe place. Also, caution your child not to get off the bus if the stop is unfamiliar to them. Please visit cmcss.net/bussafety for more information.
Bus Rider Eligibility:
The parent responsibility zone (PRZ), the area in which families are responsible for providing transportation (car rider, walker, etc.), is:
- 1 mile for elementary students
- 1 ½ miles for middle and high school students
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
- This does not impact students who receive Special Populations transportation services as indicated in their IEPs.
- If a daycare is in the PRZ, CMCSS will not provide transportation.
- Families must ensure that their students are at their assigned bus stops five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- Students will be picked up and dropped off at the same bus stop every day.
Stopfinder provides real-time information on where your child’s bus is as they travel to and from school. This secure and protected app allows you to provide access to trusted guardians or friends for as long or short of a time as you wish. Parents and guardians can also choose to share access with students. Registration invitations will be sent out at the beginning of the school year. Click here to learn more about StopFinder.
When are Open Houses at the school?
Elementary School Open Houses, or “Back to School Nights,” are Fri., Aug. 4, from 5-7 p.m.
Middle School Open Houses will be on Thu., Aug. 17, from 5-7 p.m.
High School Open Houses will be on Thu., Aug. 24, from 5-7 p.m.
What information do families with a kindergartener need to know?
Elementary School Open Houses are a great time to visit with your child’s teacher, tour the school, and learn about a typical kindergarten day.
All kindergarteners will attend the half day of school on Monday, August 7. 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 families may choose to do so.
Schools will communicate individually with families regarding kindergarten flex days (Aug. 10-11 & 14-15). Your child will be scheduled to come to school on one of the four flex days. All kindergarteners will then begin school on Wednesday, August 16 for their first full day of school.
When is Freshmen Orientation?
Families of ninth graders will be contacted soon by their enrolled schools regarding the details of their Freshman Orientation. Please contact your child’s enrolled school if you have any questions.
What are the state requirements on immunizations?
Click here for CMCSS Health Services-related information, including information on immunizations.
If your student qualifies for a Medical or Religious Exemption, please see our admission policy and Religious Exemption form on the district website (HEA-F092).
For information regarding Meningococcal and Influenza immunizations, please refer to the Health Services page. TN Code § 49-6-5005 states that schools must provide parents and guardians with information about meningococcal disease and the effectiveness of vaccination against meningococcal disease at the beginning of every school year.
What school safety and security protocols does CMCSS have in place?
School safety is CMCSS’ top priority. To learn more about CMCSS’ school safety and security protocols, visit the CMCSS School Safety Hub.
Important Reminders for Families:
- Please continue to partner with us by talking to your children about making good choices, the consequences for offenses in the Student Code of Conduct, and the consequences for illegal activities.
- An individual can be charged for threatening to commit an act of mass violence on school property or at a school-related activity by any means of communication. In several cases, students have made threatening statements they claimed were jokes. Making a threat is not a joke, and the consequences are serious.
- Please talk to your children about the importance of immediately reporting any safety concern to a teacher, administrator, SRO, or other trusted adults. For imminent threats, immediately call 911. Please do not post or repost threats or rumors of school violence on social media. This adds to the panic and confusion and makes investigating threats much more difficult for law enforcement and administrators.
- One of the most important things we can all do is truly get to know our children. When students have meaningful connections with family members, teachers and staff, and other trusted adults, it can make a tremendous difference when they are struggling emotionally or need extra support. If your child needs support, CMCSS has school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers who are ready to assist and can provide additional community resources to families.
What is the Student Code of Conduct?
The Student Code of Conduct communicates the rights, responsibilities, rules, and due process procedures for CMCSS students. The Code of Conduct applies to any student who is on school property, who is on a school bus or at a school bus stop, who is in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity/program, or whose conduct at any time or place (i.e., off-campus conduct) has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the schools. This includes all social media.
Annually, families are required to acknowledge that they have read the Student Code of Conduct. The Technology Department will send electronic acknowledgment forms to all families at the beginning of the year. Families need to ensure their contact information is up-to-date. See the “How do I stay connected with communications from my child’s school and the district?” section above for directions on how to update contact information.
With the escalating student behaviors observed over the past few years, it is extremely important that families read the Student Code of Conduct, reinforce positive behaviors with students, and explain the consequences, including potential criminal charges, for offenses.
During the School Year
When does school begin?
Monday, Aug. 7, is the first half day, and Thursday, Aug. 10, is the first full day.
Aug. 8-9 are Staff Development Days. These are important days for staff to make adjustments to class rosters, schedules, transportation routes, and other logistics after the first half day when many new students will arrive at school who have not pre-registered.
Visit cmcss.net/calendars for the 2023-2024 school year calendar. With generous sponsorship from Jostens, the CMCSS Communications Department will provide a printed calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. These calendars will be arriving soon at the homes of enrolled students!
How can I find out what my child is being taught throughout the school year?
CMCSS teaches the Tennessee State Standards as approved by the State Board of Education. The CMCSS Instruction & Curriculum Department developed the Parent Academic Resources Hub to share the instructional units, unit pacing guides, and standards with parents and students so they know what is being taught throughout the year.
What are the school meal prices, and how do I apply for free/reduced meals?
It is extremely important that all families who believe their children qualify for free or reduced meals complete the application for the 2023-2024 school year, beginning Monday, July 17, 2023. An application can be completed online at schoolcafe.com, the fastest and preferred method, or a paper application can be picked up at a student’s enrolled school. Applications must be submitted and approved each school year for a student to receive benefits. You can use your student’s school ID number for the online application, but it is not required.
Below are school meal prices, which have not increased since 2018:
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
When and where are 2024 graduations?
All ceremonies will take place at Austin Peay State University in the Dunn Center.
Wednesday, May 22
- Middle College at APSU – 10 a.m.
- CMCSS Adult High School – 12 p.m.
- CMCSS K-12 Virtual – 2 p.m.
- Adult Education – 4 p.m.
Thursday, May 23
- Rossview High School – 4 p.m.
- Clarksville High School – 7 p.m.
Friday, May 24
- Kirkwood High School – 4 p.m.
- Northwest High School – 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 25
- Northeast High School – 9 a.m.
- Montgomery Central High School – 12 p.m.
- Kenwood High School – 3 p.m.
- West Creek High School – 6 p.m.
How can I access social and emotional support for my child?
If your child needs support, CMCSS has school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers who are ready to assist and can provide additional community resources to families. Resources are available to families via the district website. For more information, visit cmcss.net/sel.
Beginning this year, CMCSS has a partnership with Care Solace to make accessing mental health care even easier for families. Care Solace navigates the mental health care system to find available providers matched to specific needs – so you don’t have to. For an anonymous pathway to care, the community can utilize Care Match, a self-service tool, to find verified providers on their own. Click here to access CMCSS’ Care Match self-service tool.
Handle with Care
Handle with Care is a program in which first responders work together with schools to provide proactive support for potentially trauma-affected students within the community. CMCSS does not share any FERPA-protected information with any person or entity as a partner in Handle with Care. First responders identify children at any scene who have been potentially exposed to trauma. The child’s name, age, grade, and “handle with care” will be sent by first responders in a confidential notice to the child’s school before the child starts school the next day. Click here to watch a video about Handle with Care.
What is the attendance policy?
Regular attendance is important to the success of our students. Consistent attendance in an educational setting provides students with a strong foundation for the school year.
The Compulsory School Attendance Law in Tennessee (T.C.A. §49-6-3001) requires children (ages 6-17 inclusive) to attend school each day. Students who accumulate five (5) days of unexcused absences will be required to participate in a conference with their parent/legal guardian and may be referred to Juvenile Court according to the CMCSS Progressive Truancy Intervention Plan (STS-P010). The following are official or adequate excuses that should be turned in to the Attendance Secretary in the school office:
- Medical note (doctor, dentist, hospital, etc.) for which the student was a patient
- Court note for which the student was required to be in court
- Funeral notice (obituary/funeral program of a family member)
- Military deployment paperwork-for military dependents, TN Law (T.C.A. 49-6-3019) allows the following for out-of-country deployments:
- 1 excused absence when the parent leaves for deployment
- 1 excused absence when the parent returns at the end of deployment
- Up to ten (10) days excused absences when the parent is home from the deployment for
- Rest and Recuperation
- In addition, local policy allows up to five (5) consecutive days of excused absences (either before or after the deployment) when the parent deployment is less than twelve (12) months
- Military paperwork/documentation MUST be provided to the school for these to be excused.
- Parents or legal guardians may submit notes for students to be excused up to five (5) days per school year, for any reason. To be excused, notes must be provided by the parent or legal guardian and received by the school within five (5) school days of the absence.
For high school and middle school classes, an absence per class is defined as missing ten (10) or more minutes of the class period.
Make-up work: (Including suspension and remandment) Upon the first day of returning to school, it is the student’s responsibility to make contact with the teacher(s) regarding make-up work. During the school year, make-up work must be completed within a number of days equal to the number of consecutive days of the absences. A grade of “0” shall be entered into the teacher’s grade book for any missing work until the assignments have been completed and turned in.
Will elementary schools be rezoned with the construction of the new Kirkwood Elementary School?
Kirkwood Elementary is projected to open for the 2024-25 school year. With the opening of new schools and continued growth in Clarksville-Montgomery County, redistricting is unavoidable. District leaders understand the uncertainty of zoning changes can be difficult for some families. The district is committed to engaging stakeholders throughout the process and will provide timely and transparent updates about elementary rezoning for the 2024-25 school year.
CMCSS will be working with a third-party consulting firm with expertise in school system rezoning as the District did with rezoning middle and high schools. In collaboration with the consulting firm and community stakeholders, the CMCSS Zoning Project Team will study and evaluate existing school zones and building capacities to identify opportunities to better serve students, per the district’s Zoning Procedure (OPS-P017). The following criteria guide the team’s work:
- Rezone as few students as possible
- Proximity of students to existing schools
- Transport students the least distance possible
- Equitable distribution of resources according to the learning needs of all students
- Enrollment capacity of existing schools
- Consideration of free and reduced lunch status (socioeconomic)
- Allow for future growth where possible (based upon Regional Planning Commission lot and permit data)
More information will be provided to families in the coming months.
How do student IDs work for elementary students?
During the 2022-2023 school year, several CMCSS schools participated in the pilot program for student identification cards. The student ID cards use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology to monitor when students ride a CMCSS school bus and proved a useful tool in increasing accountability for students.
For the 2023-2024 school year, all elementary students will be issued a student ID card.
There are several ways in which RFID technology will be used. First, students will be required to scan their ID cards when entering and exiting the school bus. Card readers on buses will account for the students’ movement, so transportation employees and principals will know when students are on the bus. At no time will the ID cards track or monitor a student’s location in any way.
In the school cafeteria, students will use their ID cards to check out when purchasing breakfast or lunch items. Parents and guardians will continue to load money using their SchoolCafe account. The new student ID card will be linked to the SchoolCafe account.
Families, the safety and security of our students is a top priority. Student identification cards will not have a photo ID but will have their personal QR code, which assists with logging into school-issued laptops. Cards will not contain any information, including home address, birth date, health-related information, or other personal details.
Students will be expected to bring their ID card each day.
May 11th, 2023
As we wrap up the 2022-2023 school year, please see below for a few updates and reminders:
- May 19, 22-23 – High School Exams
- Wednesday, May 24 – Last Half Day of School
- May 24-27 – High School Graduations (Click here for info on livestreaming)
- Monday, August 7 – First Half Day of the 2023-2024 School Year
Visit cmcss.net/calendars to view calendars for upcoming school years. Jostens is generously sponsoring the CMCSS printed calendar for next school year! We hope to have calendars delivered to homes by the end of July.
CMCSS is announcing three exciting updates that will begin next school year:
- ParentSquare: CMCSS will be transitioning its mass notification service from SchoolMessenger to ParentSquare. ParentSquare provides families with improved options to receive communications from schools and the District when and how families want to receive them, with translations in 100+ languages. Phone calls will still be available for emergencies or other urgent communications, but families will primarily receive communications via text, email, and the ParentSquare app and/or desktop version. Additionally, ParentSquare will provide a platform for translatable, two-way communications between educators and parents/guardians and open mass notification access for teachers to families of students in their classes. All families will receive invitations via text and email to join ParentSquare over the summer.
- StopFinder: If your child does not ride CMCSS transportation, please disregard. During the 2022-2023 school year, CMCSS piloted StopFinder on a few campuses. The StopFinder app uses GPS tracking information to determine the location of a school bus along its route. StopFinder provides real-time information on where your child’s bus is as they travel to and from school. In 2023-2024, CMCSS will be expanding StopFinder access to all families across the District. For details on StopFinder, click here. Families will receive an invitation in the coming weeks to activate accounts and download the app.
- Student IDs (K-5): During the 2022-2023 school year, several CMCSS schools participated in a pilot program for student identification cards. CMCSS will be expanding implementation to all elementary schools in 2023-2024. The student ID cards use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology to monitor when students get on or off a CMCSS school bus and allow students to use them when purchasing breakfast or lunch items. At no time do the ID cards track or monitor a student’s location in any way. Student identification cards will not have a photo ID but will have their personal QR code, which assists with logging into school-issued laptops. Cards will not contain any information, including home address, birth date, health-related information, or other personal details.
CMCSS will share more information with families on the above updates over the coming weeks.
Get Ready for 2023-2024!
There is always much excitement about summer break. With only a few days of school left and warmer temperatures arriving, we know the anticipation is only growing. We hope all families have a safe and enjoyable summer! CMCSS will share our Family Guide to the 2023-2024 School Year in July. In the meantime, please see below for a few items:
- Free/Reduced Meal Applications: Even with a few days of school left, it is not too late for families of traditional (non-virtual) students to apply for free/reduced meals for this school year. Families may apply and potentially qualify for free or reduced-price meal benefits at any time during the school year. Online applications are available at schoolcafe.com. If you need a paper application, please contact your child’s school or the Child Nutrition Department. Applications for the 2023-2024 school year will be available beginning on Monday, July 17. Applications must be submitted and approved each school year for a student to receive benefits.
- Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 7th Grade Immunizations: Per state law, no child can be permitted to attend any public school until proof of immunization is presented. If your student qualifies for a Medical or Religious Exemption, documentation must be provided. Please click here to learn more. We ask families to please make arrangements before the first day of school.
- Registration: If your family will have any students who are new to CMCSS in the 2023-2024 school year, visit cmcss.net/registration to learn more and begin the enrollment process online.
In monthly communications, CMCSS has been providing updates and reminders regarding school safety. In this last month of school, our community faced several concerns with social media threats and “swatting.” Although these are terrible situations that CMCSS and school systems across the nation have been facing for years, the number of threats occurring over a few days and in the wake of the tragedy at the Covenant School in Nashville created even more fear and anxiety in our community. School safety will always be our top priority, and we appreciate our strong collaboration with law enforcement and partnership with families to help make our schools and communities safe. Please see below for a reminder and two updates:
- School Safety Hub: Last summer, CMCSS launched the School Safety Hub. This online resource for families provides important information about CMCSS’ safety and security measures. CMCSS does not publicly advertise its complete plan to ensure that those who wish to do harm do not have access to the information, but the School Safety Hub provides an overview of protocols and practices. We encourage all families to review the information and resources on the School Safety Hub. The Active Threat tab on the top left provides families with information and a video on the quarterly drills all CMCSS schools conduct to prepare in the event of an active threat on campus.
- NEW Social Media Lawsuit: This week, the Frantz Law Group, APLC, working with Lewis Thomason, P.C. in Tennessee, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of CMCSS for the damages and growing mental health crisis among students that have been caused by social media companies. Over the past few years, CMCSS has experienced a rise in mental health issues, threats of school violence, cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and other challenges, damages, and disruptions linked to students’ use of social media and the lack of protections, controls, and cooperation by social media companies. Without cooperation and support from social media companies, CMCSS has been fighting an uphill battle. It is time for social media companies to be held accountable for the lack of monitors, controls, and cooperation to protect children and our society, and CMCSS appreciates the partnership with the Frantz Law group to do that. We will keep families updated as the litigation progresses.
- NEW Weapons Detection Pilot: A team from CMCSS and MCSO conducted a metal detector feasibility study. The team studied the research and best practices; types of metal detectors and new technologies; practices of other school districts; and the costs and logistics for implementing metal detectors. Through this research, MCSO and CMCSS leaders are planning a pilot for Evolv technologies. Unlike metal detectors, wanding, and other traditional solutions, Evolv offers an innovative and accelerated approach to physical security screening and weapons detection through enhanced sensors and artificial intelligence (AI). Sheriff Fuson is committed to partnering with CMCSS to proactively enhance layers of security, and MCSO has established funding for a pilot program for mobile units that can be piloted at multiple campuses to determine logistics and feasibility with various building and campus layouts. As details are confirmed about where, when, and how the pilot will be implemented, CMCSS will share information directly with families.
March 13th, 2023
Kindergarten enrollment has begun for the Class of 2036!
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 Tuesday, April 4, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
If you are unsure of your zoned school, visit http://businfo.cmcss.net/. Families can input their child’s primary residence address to find out which school their child is zoned.
Interested in CMCSS K-12 Virtual?
CMCSS K-12 Virtual kindergarten kickoff will be at 5:00 pm via Zoom. Here is the link for the Zoom session.
Help Your Child Prepare
Watch this video and learn simple ways you can help your child prepare for school!
We look forward to welcoming all our new CMCSS students and families this August!
January 5th, 2023
The state of Tennessee has had a student promotion and retention law in place since 2011. During the 2021 Special Session, the Tennessee legislature updated that law to ensure that all students have the support to read and perform on grade level no later than the 2022-23 school year. If a student does not pass the 3rd-grade section of the ELA TCAP (a student who receives an approaching or below score), they will be provided support to ensure they are ready for grade-level ELA lessons in fourth grade. If a student’s family does not wish to take advantage of these supports, the student will be retained to third grade to ensure that they receive an additional year of instruction and can participate fully during their fourth grade ELA classroom moving forward.
CMCSS has been communicating with the families of students currently in third grade, sending individualized benchmark data and reports, and providing resources and informational meetings based on the current guidance. For more information, click here for the Tennessee Department of Education’s (TDOE) FAQ document.
Supports/Pathways to 4th Grade
For some 3rd-grade students in Tennessee, this updated law requires the student and their family to make some important decisions. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, 3rd-grade students who receive “approaching” or “below” on the English Language Arts (ELA) section of the TCAP assessment are able to get important learning supports from their school for free to ensure they are ready to move on to the 4th grade.
If a student’s family does not wish to take advantage of these supports, which are outlined in the graphic below, the student will be retained to 3rd grade the following school year and will not be promoted to 4th grade. However, the following students are exempt from 3rd-grade retention: English learners with less than two years of ELA instruction, students previously retained in grades K-3, students with a disability that impacts reading or students with a suspected disability that impacts reading.
The state has an appeal process for students who have been identified for retention in third grade and achieved a performance level of “approaching” on either the third-grade TCAP English Language Arts (ELA) portion or the TCAP retake assessment. A parent or legal guardian has 14 calendar days from the time of notification of a third-grade student who scored “approaching” on the ELA section of TCAP to submit an appeal. The appeal window will close on June 30.
The following criteria outline eligibility for an appeal approval:
1. The student received a score at or above the 40th percentile on their spring universal reading screener, OR
2. A catastrophic situation occurred during the days leading up to the TCAP test that impacted the 3rd grade student’s ability to perform on the test. Catastrophic situations include, but are not limited to, a death in the immediate family, loss of a family home, significant medical diagnosis, abuse, physical or emotional neglect, or household dysfunction (e.g., substance abuse, incarcerated relative, mental illness).
Click here for the Tennessee Department of Education Third Grade Retention Parent Appeal Form.
Please see below for a timeline from the Tennessee Department of Education:
- Your child will take a universal reading screener.
- You will receive your child’s home literacy report, which should include information on your child’s current reading development, the support the school is providing your child in reading, and what to do to support literacy at home.
- Discuss results with your child’s teacher, if needed.
- Your child will take a mid-year universal reading screener.
- You will receive another home literacy report. This literacy report will also indicate whether your child may be at-risk for retention.
- Discuss results with your child’s teacher, if needed.
- Your child will take an end-of-year universal reading screener and the TCAP.
- You will receive a final home literacy report which should also indicate whether your child may be at-risk for retention.
- Schedule a parent-teacher conference to review the results of your home literacy report and any necessary next steps, including a testing retake opportunity, if needed.
- Sign your child up for summer programming and/or tutoring to support their literacy development.
- Review third-grade ELA retake and appeals information (if appropriate).
- Collect necessary information and file an appeal (if appropriate and desired).
Please see below for resources from the Tennessee Department of Education:
- CMCSS Parent Academic Resources – Third Grade Retention
- TDOE Learning Acceleration Webpage
- Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation Family Reading Time at Home Guides
- At-Home Decodable Reading Series
As with all legislation, the laws, rules, regulations, and guidance are subject to change.
December 20th, 2022
12-week Program Helps Families Develop Positive Behavior Strategies for School and Home
“He is such a kind-hearted person,” Demarques Largin says as he watches his son Liam interact with another child. “He will go out of his way to be kind.” Liam’s mom, Samantha, agrees, “He’s a big jokester and loves to make people laugh.”
Liam’s parents watch him move about the Norman Smith Elementary cafeteria and share funny stories about their son. They are part of the first Strengthening Families graduating class. For the past 12 weeks, the family has been attending the program hosted by CMCSS and TN Voices. A program, which they say, has completely changed their family.
“I love it. I wish I would have had this sooner,” said Samantha Largin. “It’s been a game changer in the way I discipline, reward, and how I view certain behaviors. Instead of identifying him as the behaviors, I realize it’s separate and how to handle those moments a lot better.”
Brittany Ballard, a coordinator for TN Voices, says this type of outcome is the driving force behind the program. TN Voices is a mental health agency that serves families statewide. Through a partnership with the district and a grant from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health Substance and Abuse Services, families could sign up for the 12-week program. “This is a program that’s unique in that we work with the whole family unit,” said Ballard. “It’s not just the parent. Our motto is, ‘In order to change a child, we have to change the whole family.’”
“What happens in the home carries over to the school and vice versa,” said Matt Slight, CMCSS director of social and emotional learning. “Parents must understand that when they send their children to school, they’re sending their family to school. Whatever took place in the house prior to, or the last words that are said, really impact the students learning for the entire day.”
Knowing a change needs to happen, and learning how to change, are two different things. Through Strengthening Families, Matt and his team hope to change the behavior patterns and invest in a positive path forward. “Helping parents learn how to strengthen that connection with their child has helped how the child comes to school and be prepared for learning. When the child comes home from school, it helps the parents receive that child as well. Helping them adjust and regulate. We are really seeing the connection.”
Brittany Ballard explains that by decreasing the risk factors and putting protective factors in place, the result is strengthening the family unit. “[We’re] going back to the basics of connection and communication,” she said.
Families meet once a week for 12 weeks. In an effort to reduce barriers, childcare and dinner are provided. Montgomery Central High School students enrolled in the Early Childhood Development courses assisted with the childcare efforts. During the first hour of the program, groups are separated into children and parents. Matt Slight and a team of social workers lead discussions and group activities. At the end of the night, everyone comes together to work on family goals and planning.
For Kristain Copeland, the process has changed her entire outlook. “This week has been amazing,” she said, referencing the family agreements and planning. She has seen a difference in both her elementary and high school children. With the tools and resources she’s learned, Kristain realizes the way she grew up is not the way she intends to parent her children. “When things happen, I can parent better,” she explained. “Listen more. Be patient. I don’t have to be overbearing or controlling.” The program has shown her how to respect and trust her children more. For her son, the results have been tremendous.
Demarques could not attend the first few sessions, but after witnessing its impact on his son, he knew he had to join. “When she was telling me about the progress and seeing the progress, I was like “Okay, I definitely need to get on board and see if I can strive and make it a better process for him.” He explained that before he had a “my way or the highway” approach to parenting. “Now I better understand how I can communicate with him and make it easier for him,” he said. “He’s only eight. I need to stand back and have context clues. Give him space and try to bring it back. Instead of just saying what’s wrong, allow him to open up and be a person too.”
The families now hope to inspire others. The second Strengthening Families sessions are set to begin the second semester in the Liberty, Woodlawn, and Minglewood school zones. Sessions will be held at Minglewood Elementary. Families interested in learning more can speak with their school or the CMCSS Learning Centers and register using the link provided by the school.
Change can begin at home for families who want to create a better future for their children, and Strengthening Families can provide the tools. Kristain Copeland knows the future is bright for her kids. “They’re both caring, loving, and affectionate. I don’t have any major problems I have to be concerned about. I’m grateful for that,” she said. “It’s taught me a better way of parenting and understanding my kids on a different level.”
October 6th, 2022
Each year, CMCSS sets strategic goals for what the district will focus on that academic year. In order to be successful, we need to hear your feedback on these goals. The district will host a series of focus groups with parents and community members to collect input on our progress toward strategic goals.
What: Strategic Work Focus Groups
When: End of October (Times and dates will vary; participants can select a date and time in the form linked below.)
Why: The District holds focus groups with key partners to collect feedback on specific areas and make adjustments to ensure we meet student, employee, and parent expectations.
How: If you are interested in being part of a focus group, click here to complete a short form and express your interest. We will randomly select 10-12 participants per focus group.
August 26th, 2022
We appreciate the vigilance and quick response of law enforcement who were at the game and those who responded to the incident of gun violence last week in the parking lot at the West Creek HS v. Northeast HS football game. Additionally, we thank the students, families, coaches, faculty, staff, and administrators for their quick actions and support of each other.
In partnership with law enforcement, CMCSS will continually review and improve its safety and security protocols. There has been and will continue to be increased law enforcement on our campuses. CMCSS strongly believes in the importance of interscholastic athletic events and welcoming the community onto our campuses. However, providing a safe and secure environment on our campuses must always be the top priority. CMCSS will be releasing new safety and security policies for athletic events that will be communicated to the community by next week.
It is important that everyone understands that all persons, personal belongings, lockers, and vehicles on school property at any time are subject to be searched for drugs, drug paraphernalia, dangerous weapons, or any property that is unlawful to carry on our campuses. Lawful, random searches by law enforcement can and will be utilized on our campuses to keep our schools safe.
As a reminder from previous communications, the District has created the School Safety Hub as a resource for families. We ask all families to please talk to their children about the importance of immediately reporting any safety concern to a teacher, administrator, SRO, or other trusted adult. Whether it is on social media or in the schoolhouse, if you see or hear something, say something. Additionally, it is important that families read the Student Code of Conduct, reinforce positive behaviors with students, and explain the consequences, including potential criminal charges, for offenses.
In accordance with state law, an individual can be charged for recklessly, by any means of communication, threatening to commit an act of mass violence on school property or at a school-related activity. Additionally, the Student Code of Conduct was updated this school year to make credible threats a Zero Tolerance Offense (mandatory calendar-year expulsion).In several cases over the years, students have made threatening statements they claimed were jokes. Making a threat is not a joke, and the consequences are serious.
We must work together to keep our schools and communities safe.
Family Life Curriculum (Grades 6-12)
In accordance with state law, school systems must implement a Family Life Curriculum in conformance with state curriculum guidelines. In CMCSS, curriculum development teams comprised of educators, medical professionals, and community stakeholders collaborated to locally devise Family Life Curriculum resources in conformance with state standards for grades 6-12.
On Tuesday, September 6 at 5 p.m. in the CMCSS Board Room at 621 Gracey Ave., a public hearing will be held to explain the curriculum development process, required curricular components, and implementation of the curriculum.
In CMCSS, the Family Life Curriculum will be taught no sooner than mid-March 2023. The Family Life Curriculum units for all grade levels will be available online for all parents/guardians to access and review beginning in mid-January 2023. Parents/guardians have the right to excuse their students from any or all portions of the Family Life Curriculum. Parents/guardians will receive the curriculum and information on how to opt-out of any or all portions of the curriculum beginning in mid-January 2023 after teachers have been trained.
ESSER In-Person Health & Safety and Budget Plans
CMCSS is continuously seeking feedback from stakeholders on the ESSER Health & Safety and Budget plans in accordance with state and federal rules and regulations.
To review the CMCSS 2022-2023 In-Person Learning COVID-19 Overview and provide feedback, click here.
Please note on the Return-to-School/Work Flowchart that at-home tests are not accepted for COVID-excused absences for students or COVID leave for employees. Families that choose to use an at-home test without healthcare provider documentation will be required to use parent notes for absences.
To review the CMCSS ESSER 3.0 Funds Allocation and provide feedback, click here.
Better Than Ever, Together
As we continue this year’s theme of Better Than Ever, Together, we are so excited to see the continued positivity and partnerships from families and the community in our schools! From “Cookies and Curriculum Night” at Byrns Darden Elementary to West Creek’s community-wide spirit day and the dozens of other events and initiatives over the past few weeks, we are grateful for our community’s support of our students and educators.
CMCSS is continuing to address challenges like transportation and staffing and is committed to continuous improvement. Currently, CMCSS has 47 approved bus driver applications and 18 are completing the training program. Last Saturday, 118 individuals attended the Teaching Permit Info Sessions, and CMCSS received 107 new applications by Tuesday. We appreciate your support in sharing that CMCSS is hiring. Please visit cmcss.net/employment for available careers and to begin the application process.
As a reminder, next week is another full week of school. Schools and District offices will be closed on Monday, September 5 for Labor Day. To view calendars, visit cmcss.net/calendars.
Have a great weekend, CMCSS families!
August 12th, 2022
This information was released at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. As indicated below, please reference the individual school websites for their library collection. Click on “Library Media Center” on the homepage of your school’s website. Library-Media Specialists have access to update their schools’ webpages to keep the library collection current on each school’s page. The links below have been removed to alleviate confusion and ensure stakeholders are accessing the most updated list of materials on each school’s webpage. To find each school’s website, click the following links: Elementary, Middle, and High.
In accordance with the TN Age-Appropriate Materials Act, CMCSS has a policy and procedure to ensure that each school’s library collection is developed and periodically reviewed in accordance with state law and has a procedure to receive and evaluate feedback from students, parents/guardians, and employees of each school.
A list of each school’s library collection is linked below. In the future, a list of each school’s library collection will be found on each school’s website via the “Library Media Center” link on the homepage.
Barkers Mill Elementary
Byrns Darden Elementary
Cumberland Heights Elementary
East Montgomery Elementary
Montgomery Central Elementary
Montgomery Central High
Montgomery Central Middle
Moore Magnet Elementary
New Providence Middle
Norman Smith Elementary
St. Bethlehem Elementary
West Creek Elementary
West Creek High
West Creek Middle
Click here for the CMCSS Library Services and Collection Policy (INS-A091).
Click here for the CMCSS Library Procedure (INS-P048).
Any student, parent or guardian of a student, or school employee may provide feedback regarding one or more of the materials in the library collection of the student’s or employee’s school by submitting a request for reconsideration. The request must be submitted to the school’s principal.
Click here for the CMCSS Request for Reconsideration of Resource form (INS-F164).
June 29th, 2022
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.
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.
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!