Crews were called to 608 Equestrian Circle in the Blount County section of Seymour just after 3:00 a.m. Monday morning for what was originally a robbery call. Once officers arrived, they discovered an active meth lab.More >>
Five people are facing charges after an early morning meth lab bust in Seymour. Crews were called to 608 Equestrian Circle in the Blount County section of Seymour just after 3:00 a.m.More >>
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County students head back to school Tuesday, starting a new year with lots of changes in the classroom.
It's all about education reform in Tennessee. There are changes to the curriculum, training for new programs for teachers and even the class day schedules for some students has changed.
Austin-East High School students will have an extended day, heading to class 30 minutes earlier and getting out 30 minutes later.
Kindergartners will have a full day this year as well, and those in third through eighth grades will get their first taste of the state's new Common Core standards in math.
Sixth graders headed back to class a day early on Monday, for a half-day orientation to middle school. High School freshmen had their orientation as well.
At Bearden Middle School, teachers were preparing to welcome students and introduce them to the new, more challenging standards.
Julie Langley teaches eighth grade language arts. "Parents need to understand. It is going to be more difficult, and for kids to understand it's going to be more difficult," she said. "The expectations are there and certainly the pressure on teachers is there."
The focus under the state's new Common Core standards is putting the most emphasis on improving math scores this year.
"It will be more self discovery so that the students are figuring out the math on their own, and then supported by the teacher through the instruction," explained Bearden Middle Technology Coordinator Heather Mounce. "So a lot of group work, a lot of understanding how math is in the real word every day."
Bearden is increasing time spent in math, science, and language arts classes this year. "We will have about 30 additional minutes in class every day, which is wonderful because for one thing it allows us to go deeper into our subject matter. We don't feel like we're just skimming the surface," Langley said.
Also unique to Bearden Middle this year is a new student mentoring program. The mentors will meet with each of their assigned students each month for 30 minutes.
"Every adult in our building is going to be assigned a student," explained Mounce. "So it could even be our teacher's assistant, our book keeper, our secretaries. They're going to have students that they're going to build relationships with."
More rigorous standards will likely translate into more homework for students. "It does mean more homework, and it does mean that students must engage in the time that they're here and use it wisely," Langley said.
Teachers say they'll need parents to engage more than ever, but they'll also have tutoring programs and other measures in place to help students succeed. The key is making sure no one falls through the cracks.
There will be more instructional coaches, additional LEAD teacher positions, 30 more school tutoring programs, an expanded early intervention reading program, just to name a few changes this year.
These additions will be paid for with an additional $7million built into Knox County Schools' budget this year.
The school system also learned Monday that one of its schools, Sarah Moore Greene Elementary, is on the state's priority school list. Administrators had thought none of Knox County's schools would be on the list after the state received a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Law.
The International Biscuit Festival made its way to Knoxville this week, wrapping up on Saturday.More >>
It's one of the most delicious times of year once again, as downtown Knoxville is transformed into a biscuit-lovers paradise. The International Biscuit Festival made its way back to town this week, wrapping up on Saturday.More >>