Vine Middle Magnet School

Parent/Community Update

Happy New Year!

Thank you for sending your students to Vine!

It's been a great start to the year. We are over 500 students strong! It would be great if all 508 Vine Middle School Families can get involved. Even at half that, the trajectory of our school would be changed forever.

We are off to a good start! During inservice in July, the time when our teachers learn before students arrive, our teachers worked hard together to get ready to teach our Golden Bears. Their enthusiasm and creativity is inspiring.

I see evidence of the What, Why and How throughout the building as our teachers present our instructional focus to students. Ask your student about the What, Why, and How of each of their classes. Our teachers are consistently teaching the Core Values and Non- Negotiables, as well as using Circles in their classrooms and making our school a community. The classroom Challenge is ramping up, we are making those Connections and making our school a tighter knit Community.

I also want to shout out our administrators who have been working long hours to support our students and teachers. It is difficult to follow in the footsteps of two administrators per grade level, so I want to thank Denise Neal (6th Grade) , Sofia Roth (7th Grade), Joe Lancaster (8th Grade), and Jennifer Vacek (Student Support) for daring to step up to that challenge. It is hard being one where there were previously two. I also want to thank Clarence Swearengen for supporting us all.

Your student is the reason why we do what we do. Please partner with us to make sure they are at school on time, every day and ready to learn.

Item of the Month!

Each month we will have an item of the month to collect supplies for the school. Feel free to drop items off in the main office. The item of the month for September will be Kleenex! It’s never to early to start planning for the weather change!

Give your input about Vine through our Focus Groups!

We are starting a new process of stakeholder input in the form of Focus Groups. A Focus Group is a demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about a particular topic, or to provide ongoing feedback on an issue, institution, etc.

I have LOVED the process of gaining insights through focus groups this year. In the spring, I sat with teacher groups and gathered information, and I have had 5 days of student focus groups. I have heard from twenty-two 8th graders with a wide array of ability levels, race and gender, and it has been the highlight of my days. These students' answers and input have been bright, insightful, and rings true. The questions I am asking students during this first round of groups have to do with their impressions of Vine, classroom instruction, the Core Values and Non-Negotiables and Student leadership. I will continue meeting with 7th and 8th graders in the coming weeks.

The initial Parent Focus Groups on Wednesday, 8/21 were a bright point. It was so good to see and talk with parents who are committed to diversity, restoration, learning and growth. It was also very good to talk with adults who are looking for ways to support Vine Middle School.

If you are interested in participating in our next parent focus group on Wednesday, September 25th, please fill out the Google Form below:

Vine Middle School has a new PTSA!

Our PTSA is officially up and running. To stay connected or sign up for membership ($5) please connect with PTSA president, Rachel Reynolds, at

SMART Institute Begins September 4th!

Wednesday, Sep. 4th, 3:45pm

1807 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue

Knoxville, TN

If you are interested in having your student be part of The SMART Institute located on campus at Vine, which is where most of our afterschool clubs are, please contact their director, Laschinski Emerson at or 865-384-4048. They will begin programming on Wednesday, September 4

Volunteer in our PBIS Golden Ticket Store or Donate!

Golden Ticket Store: To encourage and reward meeting expectations, our school distributes Golden Tickets to students who are caught doing the right thing according to our Core Values. 2 days a month we let students “shop” for fun prizes, toys, trinkets, etc.

These items are highly sought after by our students:

Please consider donating to the Vine PBIS Golden Ticket Store.

The following items are highly prized by students:


Slim Jim’s

Capri Suns

Jolly Ranchers



Sports items in general

Water bottles

Art Supplies

We always need volunteers to help pass out items to students. To sign up to work the Golden Ticket Store or to make a donation please contact Sarah Shanks at or 865-594-4461. Volunteers are needed from 9:50a to 12:15p on the dates below. If you can only come for part of the time that is ok as well!

September 10 and 11

October 15 and 16

November 19 and 20

December 17 and 18

January 21 and 22

February 18 and 19

March 10 and 11

April 14 and 15

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