Parent Advisory Council's

Volume 2 Issue 1

Our Mission:

To support students with special needs and their families to successfully navigate the support services offered by Knox County Schools and the surrounding community

WELCOME BACK to the 2017 - 2018 School Year

Let's Start Off the Year Right

5 Simple steps to help your child to successfully transition into the school year

  • Reach out to your child’s teacher early. Find out how to best reach your teacher if you have a question or concern. Many use digital communication such as texting, classroom newsletters, and websites. Written notes are also effective to discuss how to support learning at home or offering to volunteer your time and talents.

  • Create a homework routine. Allow the child some time to power down. This could mean that the child can come home, have a snack, and then hit the books. For others it is more effective to give more time, such as offering 30 minutes of physical activity or quiet down time, before focusing on home work. Whichever works best for your child is fine, as long as you stick with the routine. (Remember, different children have different needs and preferences. One may need to shoot some hoops for 30 minutes while the other would rather listen to music to unwind.)

  • Just saying hello can make a big difference. As often as you can, greet your teachers, administrators, and secretaries by name. The next best way is to stay in touch with your teachers electronically or by phone. These interactions should be short. However, they make a big difference when getting information about your child’s social and academic progress.

  • Practice good communication skills Ask your child specific questions and listen to the answers. Questions such as: What did you like at the assembly today? Rather than: Did you have a good day?

  • Updates If your child has an IEP or a 504 Plan, meet with the new teacher(s) and review the plan. Update any information such as changes in medication or new developments over the summer.

Successful Employment Empowerment Kickoff (SEEK) 2017

Over the summer, seven recent and upcoming graduates participated in this two week program hosted by the Transition School to Work Grant Team. Each SEEKer received job readiness training in the form of interview preparation, career exploration, and the importance of self-advocacy. The group had the opportunity to tour three area businesses and learn about their operations and employees, and one of those tours also taught the students how to ride KAT. For the rest of the summer, the TSW Team continued to follow up with the students as they completed job applications and interviewed for positions in their communities. Immediately following SEEK, Katelyn A. (Picture below) was called in for an interview and offered a position in the bakery/deli at Food City! With the help of the TSW Team, she found her dream entry level job and is thriving in her new environment.

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Upcoming Event for Students and Their Families

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Tennessee Succeeds Update

The Tennessee Succeeds was launched two years ago as a strategic plan. Dr. McQueen, the State's Education Commissioner, is reporting strong progress toward the goals including:

  • Collectively ensuring equity that each student has opportunities needed to be successful
  • Alignment to high expectations for all students - All means all
  • Providing authentic pathways to success in life after high school

To Learn more, check out the following websites:

2017 State of Education in Tennessee brochure:

Tennessee Succeeds Strategic Plan:

Community Information/ Events

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Autism Site Knoxville (ASK)

Calendar of events for individual and family orientated events designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum. Some events are free and others have specific fees attached for which families are fully responsible.

East Tennessee Technology Access Center (ETTAC)

Details and registration for the (Starting People Along the Road to Knowledge) SPARK Program. Ages 14 and up. Any related fees are the responsibility of the families.

Support and Training For Exceptional Parents (STEP)

We improve the lives of families of children with disabilities by guiding them through challenges they face accessing education and community programs.