MCS Connected 2021-2022

March/April Newsletter for Marion County Schools

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ADVANCE EXCELLENCE

WHO WE ARE

Marion County Schools is a district filled with students who are leaders both in their school and local communities. Students crave challenge and are capable of meeting rigorous demands. We believe all students deserve access to quality instruction and support students in accessing grade level work. The vision of Marion County Schools is to prepare students to meet the challenges and demands of their futures.

News from the Academic Team


It's that time of year when "end of the year" assessments are rapidly approaching. This is a time for our students to shine! Our students are exposed daily to rigorous content and are held to high expectations. They have worked diligently throughout the year and we want their hard work to be reflected and recognized. Below is an overview from the TDOE website of the assessments in grades 3-8 and high school. An assessment schedule is also included. We appreciate your help in ensuring that your children are present and on time for each assessment day.


TCAP, Grade 2, Overview:


The Grade 2 assessment measures student mastery of the Tennessee Academic Standards in English Language Arts and mathematics.

  • The English language arts (ELA) assessment uses an integrated format to measure student progress through literary and informational texts requiring students to demonstrate the ability to read closely, analyze text, answer text-dependent questions, provide a written response to a prompt, and demonstrate command of the English language. Additionally, it measures fluency, comprehension, and listening skills.
  • The mathematics assessment will focus approximately 70 percent of the assessment items on major work of the grade and approximately 30 percent of the items on supporting and additional work. Student mastery of math fluency, ability to problem solve, and understanding of the grade-level standards will be assessed. Further, students will be assessed on their ability to connect topics across the grade-level domains.


Purpose & Use:

This test is given to help measure how much a second grade student grows academically over the course of a school year.


TCAP , Grades 3-8 Overview


Each subject-area test is divided into multiple subparts and will be administered during one testing window at the end of the school year.

  • English language arts (4 subparts) will assess the Tennessee Academic Standards through literary and informational texts requiring students to demonstrate the ability to read closely, analyze text, answer text-dependent questions, provide a written response to a prompt, and demonstrate command of the English language.
  • Mathematics (3 subparts) will consist of both calculator permitted and calculator prohibited subparts. It assesses the Tennessee Academic Standards requiring students to demonstrate a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics, number sense, fluency, problem solving and an understanding of the grade-level horizontal coherence embedded within the standards. The mathematics test will focus approximately 70 percent of the assessment items on major work of the grade and approximately 30 percent of the items on supporting work.
  • Science (1 subpart in grades 3-8) will assess the current Tennessee Academic Standards requiring students to demonstrate a deep conceptual understanding of scientific concepts in Life Science, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science. Please note science will be a field test in the 2018-19 school year. There are no score reports available for individual students.
  • Social studies (2 subparts in grades 6-8) will assess the current Tennessee Academic Standards for social studies requiring students to demonstrate historical awareness, geographical understanding and the ability to analyze primary source documents.


Purpose & Use:

The TCAP tests are designed to assess true student understanding and not just basic memorization and test-taking skills. TCAP measures student understanding of our state standards.


TCAP, High School End of Course, Overview:


Each subject-area test is divided into multiple subparts and will be administered during one testing window at the end of the course.

  • English I and English II (4 subparts) assess the Tennessee Academic Standards through literary and informational texts requiring students to demonstrate the ability to read closely, analyze text, answer text-dependent questions, provide a written response to a prompt, and demonstrate command of the English language.
  • Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II and Integrated Math III (3 subparts) will consist of both calculator permitted and calculator prohibited subparts. Each assesses the Tennessee Academic Standards requiring students to demonstrate a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics, fluency, problem solving, and an understanding of the grade-level horizontal coherence embedded within the standards. The mathematics test will focus approximately 60 percent of the assessment items on major work of the grade and approximately 40 percent of the items on supporting work.
  • Biology will assess current Tennessee Academic Standards requiring students to demonstrate a deep understanding of scientific inquiry, engineering and technology as related to the scientific concepts in the course.
  • U.S. History and Geography (3 subparts) will consist of a written response item requiring students to provide a response to a prompt with the use of several sources as well as multiple choice and multiple select items. Students will be assessed on the current Tennessee Academic Standards and be required to demonstrate a deep understanding of civics, economics, geography within the context of U.S. History with special attention to Tennessee connections.


Purpose & Use:

The TCAP tests are designed to assess true student understanding and not just basic memorization and test-taking skills. TCAP measures student understanding of our state standards. TCAP EOC assessments are given to help measure how much a student grows academically in a particular content area.



Source: TDOE Website

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Message from the Office of Coordinated School Health


*Life Maze for all 8th grade students was held March 11th at Jasper Middle School. 185 students attended the event and provide great feedback from their experience. A huge shout out to our community partners for spending the day with our students and guiding them to make better decisions.

*Healthy Horizons will be held for all 4th grade students and interested parents April 29th at Jasper First Baptist Church. Transportation will be provided. More information will be provided closer to time. Look for Parent Permission notes coming in March.

*Life Skills Health Curriculum is being taught in elementary, middle and high schools weekly this semester. The students are engaged and sharing their thoughts during these classes. Topics covered include: Good Health; Decision Making for Health; Risk-Taking and Substance Abuse; The Media and Health; Managing Stress, Anger and other Emotions; Family Communications and Healthy Relationships. Thanks to our teachers and staff for getting the training and sharing this information with our students.

*Did You Know?

  • 493 elementary students received dental screenings at Whitwell Elementary and Jasper Elementary schools? 1318 sealants were placed; 491 received fluoride treatments; 60 were referred for dental appointments for an in-kind amount of $53,491.75!! Thank you Julie Griffith for great care of our students!

  • 1356 students were screened for Blood Pressure, Height/Weight—BMI, Vision, Hearing

  • To date, Coordinated School Health has brought in $222,991.75 worth of in-kind funding for our schools.

  • If you are not taking care of your wellness, you will be taking care of your illness?


*Marion County Schools BMI Weight Categories Comparison between 2018-2019 and 2021-2022

  • Underweight 2018-2019 2.66%

  • Underweight 2021-2022 6.49%

  • Normal weight 2018-2019 54.55%

  • Normal weight 2018-2019 57.03%

  • Overweight 2018-2019 19.42%

  • Overweight 2021-2022 14.41%

  • Obese 2018-2019 23.37%

  • Obese 2021-2022 22.07%


*Volunteer Behavioral Health Information

First time appointment 1-877-567-6051

Crisis Line for Adult Clients 1-800-704-2651

Crisis Line for Child and Adolescents Crisis Services 1-866-791-9221


*National Crisis Resources:


*National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255) for free 24/7 support

Call 888-628-9454 for Spanish support


*The Trevor Project 866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678-678 for mental health support specialized for the LGBTQ+ communities


*Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Line

Helpline 800-985-5990 or text “TALKINGWITHUS” to 667-46 to connect with a trained crisis counselor


*Get At-Home COVID-19 Tests

  • ParTNers for Health members now have multiple ways to get at-home COVID-19 tests at no cost to them. The federal government site is https://www.covidtests.gov/

  • ParTNers Health plan members can get over the counter COVID-19 tests as part of their pharmacy benefit. Covered plan members may get up to eight individual, at-home tests per month. Get these tests at any CVS Caremark pharmacy that chooses to participate in this program and has kits in stock.

Message from the School Nutrition Department featuring Nutrition News You Can Use from Dynamic Dietetics, Inc.

The impact food waste is having on the environment has been a topic of concern for several years. People often define food waste as leftovers or spoiled food in the fridge they eventually throw away. The truth is, food waste is a much larger problem. According to the USDA, it’s estimated that Americans dispose of 30% to 40% of the food supply in the United States, which wastes money, time, and natural resources. (Source: https://www.usda.gov/foodwaste/faqs) We encourage you to adopt a zero-waste shopping and cooking strategy. This will help you to decrease food waste and will also save money.

At the consumer level, food waste often results from overbuying, lack of meal planning, improper storage, or misconceptions about best-by dates. While food spoilage is one of the chief reasons people throw away food, many Americans discard good, safe, and consumable food. Here are some shopping and cooking changes that will have a positive impact:

1. Engage in Zero-Waste Cooking. Zero-waste cooking is a cooking style that uses as much of the food purchased as possible and incorporates shopping and food storage strategies that waste the least amount of food. The first steps in zero-waste cooking involve knowing what you have on hand and buying only what you need or what you can use in the next week or so. Next is proper food storage to help reduce waste, and, finally, engaging in meal planning, cooking, and eating everything purchased—including cooked leftovers.

2. Create Shopping Lists That Yield Less Waste. The more organized the grocery list, the more opportunity there is to save money and prevent food waste. One budget-friendly, zero-waste shopping tip that will help to meet nutritional needs, and reduce food waste is to buy shelf-stable canned or frozen fruits and vegetables. Most Americans don’t meet fruit and vegetable intake requirements, so by including some canned and frozen fruits and vegetables in their diets, nutritional needs can be met with less food waste. In addition, incorporating these foods into the shopping list helps to maintain staple ingredients in the kitchen for planning healthful meals.

3. Proper Food Storage. Tip: If you find yourself not using fresh produce, try using your freezer as a food waste–reduction strategy. Blanch produce for a minute in boiling water, drain and rinse in cold water, dry in a colander, and place into freezer bags and then freeze.

4. Leftover Makeovers. Another way to prevent food waste is to create meals from a variety of leftovers. Incorporate leftover vegetables, cooked meats, or other ingredients before they spoil.

Information adapted from “Reducing Food Waste” article by Today’s Dietitian Magazine.

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News You Can Use from the Health Services Director

The TN Department of Health is celebrating the 7th annual Tennessee Quit Week and promoting this February 13 - March 4, 2022. This year's theme is "My Journey". The goal is to inspire Tennesseans to live healthier lives and to take advantage of our state's free resources to help individuals stop the use of tobacco products. Tennesseans who are ready to quit can call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, text “QUIT” to 615-795-0600, or access web-based services at www.tnquitline.com for free coaching and nicotine patches (if eligible). These effective services can double a tobacco user’s chance of quitting successfully.


Please share this information with family, friends and colleagues. I am also providing the link below for many other resources.


Thank you for helping reduce tobacco use in Tennessee.


https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/tennessee-tobacco-program/ttp/tennessee-quit-week.html


Tennessee Quit Week - Tennessee State Government - TN.gov


Information from TN Dept. of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

www.tn.gov

Family Resources

Free At-Home Decodable Books

The At-Home Decodable Book Series is now available for free for all Tennessee families of K–2 children to encourage at-home reading practice to help young learners become stronger readers. This launch is part of the family component of the state’s Reading 360 initiative to help boost strong reading skills amongst Tennessee students.

Each free decodable packet has 7 decodable booklets, which contain 20+ exciting stories full of sounds and words to practice. Families can read the stories at home with their child to help them sound out words and build their reading skills.

How to Order:

All Tennessee families can order one packet for each of their kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. The booklets will be delivered to the mailing address provided. The decodables order form, a step-by-step ordering guide and FAQs can be found here:

Continuum of Care Tennessee Housing Development Agency COVID-19 Rent Relief

For families who may need COVID-19 Rent Relief, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) now has a rent relief program that can help. Renters who have experienced economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who meet additional eligibility requirements may qualify for this assistance. If you know of a family who has fallen behind on their utility bill due to COVID-19, THDA’s Rent Relief program can help with that as well.

For more information visit THDA.ORG COVID Rent Relief or call (844)-500-1112 for assistance.

Tennessee March Literacy Month: S.I.M.P.L.E. Moments at Home for Tennessee Families


In continued celebration of March Literacy Month, the Tennessee Department of Education is emphasizing how families play an essential role in their student’s literacy development and can get involved with the S.I.M.P.L.E. Moments at-home literacy campaign with Riley the Reading Raccoon.

During March Literacy Month, the department will continue to share ways families can support learning at home with sounds-first reading tips, “Getting Ready to Read” backpacks, and family literacy events across the state. Follow #TNReadingforAll and #ReadLikeRiley on social media for regular updates.

Launched in December 2021, S.I.M.P.L.E. Moments aims to help families create research-based daily sounds-first experiences that will set their child on a path toward successful reading while in the classroom and the future. Using a sounds first approach, S.I.M.P.L.E. Moments encourages families to spend just a few minutes each day playing, modeling, listening, and learning about sounds together with the help of Riley the Reading Raccoon.

S.I.M.P.L.E. stands for:

  • S - Focus on hearing and playing with sounds to create pre-reading experiences.
  • I - Stay informed on ways to support your child.
  • M – Use the shared resources as a model for playing and talking with your child.
  • P - Play games at home that involve sounds and words.
  • L- Spend time listening and learning with your child.
  • E- Engage in opportunities to learn will best prepare your child for school.
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No School - April 15 - Good Friday

Inspirational Quote


“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Our Schools - Click on each school's picture to visit its website.