JCS Staff Newsletter
November 3, 2021
JCS Staff Newsletter
We will distribute this newsletter on the Wednesday following the monthly Board of Education meeting. This newsletter will have information from District Departments and other helpful tips. If you have suggestions for content in this newsletter, please send them to Collin Brooks at BrooksB@jcschools.org.
Friday, November 5 | Maroon & Gold Jeans Day
Wear your maroon and gold with jeans to support the Hilltoppers! Our boys and girls cross country teams are competing in the state championship on Thursday. Our football team won the Region Championship and will host Farragut on Friday in the first round of the TSSAA Playoffs. The kickoff is set for 7 pm. Go Toppers!
United Way Campaign
Information From Finance & Insurance
Career Ladder payments will be made to eligible teachers on November 23rd.
Here4TN – If you are enrolled in medical insurance coverage with Johnson City Schools, you also have available to you WorkLife Services and an Employee Assistance Program through Here4TN.
WorkLife Services include child, family and parenting support services, discounted legal services, educational services, adult care and eldercare support services, chronic illness and condition support services, and personal services.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers 5 confidential sessions per problem, per year to help with topics including: depression, anxiety, and stress, living with chronic conditions, childcare and eldercare support, sleep disorders, substance use issues, and relationship and family counseling. You can talk with a specialist 24/7 at 855-Here4TN or visit Here4TN.com.
For more information, please look at this 4 Here TN PDF.
Information from Human Resources
Reminder from Technology
Reminder to all, there is an ongoing phishing email campaign as well as required annual and new hire trainings through KnowBe4. If you fail one of the phishing email “tests”, you will be automatically enrolled in additional required training. The automated enrollment email will come from Melony Surrett, and you will have three weeks to complete the training. The phishing email campaign and required trainings are intended to train our users to spot cyber-security threats in emails, in texts, on social media and websites, and in-person, before acting or responding in any way. Training of all employees is also a requirement for cyber-security insurance. If you’ve not completed the annual training or the new hire training (if you are a new employee), please do so as soon as possible. Thank you for helping keep our network systems, our data, and our users as safe as possible. If you have questions, you may email Melony Surrett at email@example.com.
Looking for something to do with your Halloween costumes for children?
The JCS Homeless Education Program is always looking for gently used Halloween costumes for children to provide to their families. Please contact Sydnee DeBusk at DebuskS@jcschools.org if you have a costume you'd like to donate.
The Learning Stream PD icon in the Single Sign-On Portal is where you'll find all district and school-based trainings available for PDP credit. At any time you may log in to your account to register for events, view certificates, and print your training records. Instructors, please check your instructor accounts to ensure that attendance has been taken for all first quarter trainings. Attendance should be completed in Learning Stream no later than a week past the date of the training. You may send me your sign-in sheet any time, and I'll be happy to complete the attendance and award PDP certificates. All new hires to the district will need to complete compliance training by registering for the New Hire Certified or New Hire Classified Staff Required Training 2021-2022. New classified staff should contact Tina Faust at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a Canvas account created for them to be able to register for PD sessions. Visit our Professional Learning department web page to find out how to order die-cuts and classroom resources from The Learning Center. Contact Tracey Coffey with any questions at email@example.com or (423) 434-5218.
The JCS Teacher Tech Leads program has been a tremendous success. The Tech Leads continue to provide support to building-level colleagues. In an effort to fine-tune the program and ensure we are infusing techniques to support all teachers, students, and families, we have revamped the program to a Train the Trainer Model with Cohort 6. The newly enhanced program strives to dive deep into district-provided resources. We are focused on being purposeful and leveraging technology resources to support student learning objectives. Cohort 6 will dive deep into our primary district resources to develop a knowledge base as a trainer with a focus on supporting pedagogy. Our Teacher Leaders have completed training with our first vendor partner, IXL Learning, and are available to assist their colleagues at the building level with this new platform.
Johnson City Schools remains committed to providing our staff and students with the most current and effective instructional technology platforms while balancing our utmost concern for protecting our student data privacy. Beginning this year, all instructional technology platforms must be approved at the district level by both the instructional technology department and the technology department. Teachers wishing to have an application considered should reach out to any instructional coach or Dr. David Timbs for more information. Once a consideration form has been submitted, it will be reviewed for possible inclusion in our list of platforms available for use within Johnson City Schools.
Johnson City Schools recently purchased premium accounts for all teachers and schools in grades PreK-8. Bloomz is a mobile app that allows you to easily and conveniently communicate with your families.
If you already have a Bloomz account through your JCS email, your account should have moved over to the premium version. With the premium accounts, your parents will have access to your school and district’s Bloomz accounts in their app. To check and see if your Bloomz account has been upgraded to premium:
- Click on your picture in the top left-hand corner.
- Click on Account Settings.
- Once you are in Account Settings, your account level will be the first thing listed.- If it still says sponsored, please send an email to Collin Brooks at BrooksB@jcschools.org so we can work with Bloomz to merge your account. It is a quick and easy process.
Bloomz On-Demand Training for Teachers
If you have any questions or problems with Bloomz, please contact Collin Brooks at BrooksB@jcschools.org.
November Board of Education Meeting
Towne Acres' Karen Bunch
Karen was recently named Tennessee Science Teachers Association Science Educator of the Year in grades K-4.
Science Hill soph. Aarushi Raj
Aarushi recently hosted a book drive for United Way of East Tennessee Highlands. As of this past Friday, approximately 671 books had been donated as well as $1,150 in cash donations which will be used to purchase another 150-200 books. We want to congratulate Aarushi and recognize her for her service to our community.
Science Hill junior Julia Gilmore
Julia is a longtime fundraiser and advocate for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Julia’s most recent fundraiser, Project Energizer, raised approximately $15,200 worth of batteries, chargers, gift cards and cash so St. Jude children could have properly functioning toys and devices.
Julia has partnered with St. Jude for about eight years. During that time, she has helped raise over $52,000 worth of items and donations for St. Jude.
In the News
Five Elementary Schools named Reward Schools by TDOE
Five Johnson City Schools earned the Tennessee Department of Education’s highest level of distinction for the 2020-2021 school year, according to data released on the TDOE.
Liberty Bell & Indian Trail earn honor
Indian Trail Intermediate School and Liberty Bell Middle School were both recognized in the inaugural US News & World Report rankings of the Top Middle Schools in Tennessee. Out of the 535 middle schools included in the rankings, Indian Trail ranked 42 and Liberty Bell ranked at 43.
Nine Toppers named Commended Students in National Merit Scholarship Competition
Science Hill is excited to announce that nine students have been recognized amongst 34,000 nationwide as Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
Science Hill announces four 2022 National Merit Semifinalists
Share your Good News!
Suggestions for Content?
Do you have any suggestions for newsletter content? Are there any sections you'd like added to our newsletter? Send comments and suggestions to Collin Brooks at BrooksB@jcschools.org