SPED Newsletter

Volume 8 Number 2


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

Click on the Parent Advisory Council Logo to connect to the web page for more information dealing with Special Education Issues including videos, community calendar, and much more!

Helping Kids Who Struggle With Executive Functions

Executive Functions are self-regulation skills needed to help plan, organize, make decisions, and learn from our mistakes. Children rely on these skills for tasks ranging from taking a shower to packing their backpack for the next day of school. If a child has poor executive functioning, they can be overwhelmed by basic chores, struggle with homework, and often fail to turn in work.

Click on the article below to learn more about a mixture of strategies designed to give children the tools to help tackle these responsibilities both at home and at school.

5 Tips for Families to Help Students Prepare for Tests

For many students, tests can be the cause of a great deal of stress and anxiety. One of the most effective ways to deal with the anxiety and improve testing performance is to have a plan on how students prepare for tests and identify specific supports. The article below gives tips on how to plan for test days as well as some advice on how to be more effective when taking a test. Click on the link below to learn more.
articulo en español

Exceptional Lives

Self Regulation for Kids

Dealing with stress can be difficult for all of us however, teaching your child some ways of dealing with uncomfortable emotions can help them develop important self regulation skills. Self regulation are the skills needed for a child to calm down in a stressful situation. These skills take time and practice to develop. The article below provides 5 tips on empowering youth to deal with emotions in a positive and socially appropriate way.

Have you set up your Parent Square account? (Here's Why You Should)

You can use ParentSquare on any device. You can download the free mobile app for iOS or Android or use the desktop version at parentsquare.com.

Our goal is for every family to join ParentSquare and engage with our school community. We encourage parents to activate their accounts so they can download the mobile app and update their preferences on when and how they are notified.Here’s what you can do with ParentSquare:

  • Receive messages from the school via email, text or app notification
  • Choose to receive information as it comes or all at once with a daily digest at 6pm

  • Communicate in your preferred language
  • Comment on school postings to engage with your school community
  • Direct messages from teachers, staff and other parents
  • Participate in group messages
  • Sign up for parent-teacher conferences
  • Send sign forms & permission slips, sign up to volunteer and more, all from your desktop or mobile device
Click here for more information about Parent Square

Desplácese hacia abajo para obtener información en español

September is Suicide Prevents Month

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

September is Suicide Prevention Month — a time to raise awareness and discuss this highly stigmatized topic. In addition to shifting public perception, we use this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is ensuring that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.

The 988 Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. We're committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

Click Here to learn more

988 Suicide and Crisis LIFELINE

Parent Training Series Returns for the 2023 - 2024 School Year

We are proud to announce that the the SPED PAC will continue to support the Parent Training Series. This semester will include presenters from the State (The Department of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities) community partners and advocates, and members of the School Culture Department of Knox County Schools. See below for this month's training, about the MAPs program for Transitioning Youth.
MAPs Program

What is the MAPS Program?

Monday, Sep. 18th, 12-1pm

This is an online event.

MAPs is a program that will set people with intellectual and developmental disabilities on a path to learn skills to help them work, live independently, learn about their neighborhoods, and find hobbies that interest them. MAPs service give people in the program the tools, technology, and support they need to meet the goal they set for themselves.

This program is available to anyone with an I/DD diagnosis who has graduated high school or will graduate within three years.

Click here to register MAPS Program Information Session

Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and SPED PAC

Transition Tuesdays - Knox County Transition Team

The Knox County Schools Transition School to Work Grant (TSW) Team is hosting Transition Tuesdays- information sessions for students with disabilities and their families. The sessions are on the 3rd Tuesday in September, October, and November from 6pm-7pm. Each session will feature a different topic and guest speaker(s). These sessions are geared toward students and parents/guardians. You must register for each session. Please call TSW at 865-594-1490 with questions.

Tennessee Rehabilitation Center-Smyrna Information Session

Tuesday, Sep. 19th, 6pm

This is an online event.

The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC) in Smyrna is a state-operated training center that provides career and technical education to prepare individuals with disabilities for greater independence and competitive integrated employment in their local communities. In addition to comprehensive vocational evaluation, TRC-Smyrna provides vocational skills training in several Areas of Study and offers additional enhancement courses as needed to support individual students’ educational goals. Students who attend TRC participate in classroom instruction, hands-on-training, and campus life activities. Length of enrollment at TRC varies depending upon individual students’ interest, abilities, and educational needs.

Please call TSW at 865-594-1490 with questions.

Community Online Events

Assistive Technology for Healthy Habits

Thursday, Sep. 14th, 7:30-8:45pm

This is an online event.

Families know that all children need good health to function well in school and at home, but how can parents help their children develop and stick to healthy habits? In this workshop, parents will see demonstrations of several fun and engaging apps, along with other tools that can help support wellness. Topics covered include: exercise, nutrition, sleep, social emotional learning, and screen time.

Assistive Technology to Support Elementary Academics

Tuesday, Sep. 26th, 3-4pm

This is an online event.

This workshop for parents and educators will showcase a variety of low- and high-tech assistive technology tools to help elementary-aged students with reading, writing, and math.