The Sevier County School System receives federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Title I is the nation’s largest federal assistance program for schools. The goal of Title I is to help every child get a high-quality education. Title I school-wide programs are the dominant model for school reform. The model is designed to generate high levels of academic achievement in core academic areas for all students, especially those who are not demonstrating proficiency in meeting the academic content and achievement standards set by the State Department of Education.
The following is a list of the eligible Title I school-wide programs in Sevier County: Catlettsburg Elementary, Catons Chapel Elementary, Gatlinburg-Pittman Jr. High, Jones Cove Elementary, Northview Primary, Northview Intermediate, Northview Jr. Academy, New Center Elementary, Pi Beta Phi Elementary, Pigeon Forge Primary, Pigeon Forge Intermediate, Pigeon Forge Junior High, Pittman Center Elementary, Sevierville Primary, Sevierville Intermediate, Sevierville Middle, and Wearwood Elementary.
Title I serves schools with two program models: school-wide and targeted assistance. A school-wide program is a comprehensive reform strategy designed to upgrade the entire educational program in a Title I school; its primary goal is to ensure that all students, particularly those who are low-achieving, demonstrate proficient and advanced levels of achievement on state academic achievement standards. This school-wide reform strategy requires that a school do the following:
Adopting this strategy should result in an ongoing, comprehensive plan that is unique to the entire school community. The emphasis in school-wide program schools is on serving all students, improving all structures that support student learning, and combining all resources, as allowed, to achieve a common goal. School-wide programs maximize the impact of Title I.
The following are actions evidenced in school-wide programs:
A targeted assistance program signifies that the services are provided to a select group of children--those identified as failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State's challenging content and student performance standards--rather than for overall school improvement, as in schoolwide programs. Like schoolwide program schools, the goal of a targeted assistance school is to improve teaching and learning to enable Title I, Part A participants to meet the challenging State performance standards that all children are expected to master.
The following are actions evidenced in targeted assistance programs:
If your child is enrolled in a Title I school-wide program, all students in the school are supported in some way by Title I funding. In targeted assisted programs, only those students who have been identified as most at-risk of not meeting proficiency participate in specialized supplemental educational programming. Currently, all Title I schools utilize the school-wide model. Title I funds are spent on personnel, instructional materials and supplies, instructional technology, and parent activities. Committees of school personnel and parents, as well as input from annual surveys, decide how Title I funding can best meet the needs of all students. Parents are an important part of the Title I planning team; your involvement is encouraged and welcomed.
The establishment of a home and school partnership is essential in order to meet the needs of all students. Some of the activities supported by Title I funds include:
Each Title I school must jointly develop, with parents of children served under Title I, Part A, a Parent-School-Student Compact as a component of its written parent involvement policy. A compact is a written agreement between the school and the parents of children participating in Title I that identifies the activities that the parents, the entire school staff, and the students will undertake to share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement. In addition, the compact outlines the activities that the parents, school staff, and students will undertake to build and develop a partnership to help the children achieve progress toward the state’s high academic standards.
The Sevier County School System will be governed by the statutory definition of parent involvement as cited in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and will carry out programs, activities, and procedures in accordance with this definition.
ESEA expects districts and schools receiving federal funds to ensure that parents are actively involved and knowledgeable about their schools and their children’s education. The law requires schools to give parents many different kinds of information and notices in a uniform and understandable format and to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand. Listed below are the required notifications that must be made to parents:
Parents have the right to request certain information regarding their child’s teachers. Upon request, you can be provided with information regarding, information regarding whether professionals are highly effective, including the qualifications of the student’s teachers and paraprofessionals. This includes information about whether the student’s teacher:
In the event that the Sevier County School System must employ a teacher not meeting licensure requirements for four (4) or more consecutive weeks, the parents of students receiving instruction from this teacher will be notified.
Paraprofessionals, or instructional assistants, are valuable assets to our educational community. Under ESEA, Title I paraprofessionals must have a required academic background in order to provide instructional assistance to your child. In order to be highly-qualified, a paraprofessional must have passed a competency test, earned an associate degree or higher, or completed two or more years of higher education. All of the Title I paraprofessionals in the Sevier County School System are highly-qualified under ESEA. You also have the right to request information about the paraprofessionals that may work with your child.
Board Policy 651 outlines the system’s policies regarding the administration of surveys to students and protection of student privacy. Neither the Board nor its agents will collect, disclose, or use personal student information for the purpose of marketing or selling that information or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose. Surveys conducted for agencies, organizations, or individuals must have the recommendation of the Director of Schools and the approval of the Board as to content and purpose. The District shall not administer a survey, analysis, or evaluation that collects individual student data on political affiliation, religion, voting history, or firearms ownership.
In 1974, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) Public Law 93-380, 438 was passed to ensure confidentiality of school records. FERPA requires that the Sevier County School System with certain exceptions, obtain the written consent of parents prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information from a child's educational records. Parents should be encouraged to carefully review the FERPA notice which is distributed for parent signature at each school annually. The notice specifically deals with the access of military recruiters. In 2015, the Sevier County Board of Education modified its Student Records Policy (BP 122) Every pre-kindergarten and kindergarten student will also receive a Portfolio Growth Model Notification that requests additional permission for student work samples to be collected as part of the teacher evaluation process, when applicable.
Two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories – names, addresses, and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. (Release of information to military recruiters is done at the high school level only.)
Parent Involvement Policy: The Sevier County Board of Education has a Parent Involvement Policy (BP505) which includes a Title I Parent Involvement section for schools that are identified as Title I. The policy explains the importance of communication and cooperation between the school, administrative staff, parents, and teachers. Family partnerships are an important part of education that is sought after by all of our schools. In addition, each Title I school has developed its own parent involvement policy. School administrators are encouraged to involve parents in decision-making and policy development at their schools. Each year, parents have the opportunity to make suggestions about revisions to the district’s Parent Involvement Policy when they complete the Title I Family and Community Engagement survey.
School-Parent Compact: Each school served under Title I, Part A must develop a school-parent compact that outlines the responsibilities of each party for improved academic achievement. 20 U.S.C. §6318(b), (c).
Title I Annual Meeting: Each school served under Title I, Part A must convene an annual meeting, at a time convenient for parents, to inform them of the school’s participation in Title I programs and to explain the Title I requirements and the right of parents to be involved in those programs. Your child’s school will offer a flexible number of additional parent involvement meetings, such as in the morning or evening so that as many parents as possible are able to attend.
The Tennessee State Department of Education prepares an annual report card which includes information about demographics, statistics, and performance indicators for both the system and school. The current Tennessee Report Card is available at the Tennessee Department of Education website. Hard copies may be obtained upon request at your child’s school.
As passed in the 2014 General Assembly, Public Chapter 892 requires the Tennessee Department of Education as well as school districts to post a calendar of all state and district mandated tests each school year. This information is available on the Testing page of the district's website. Individual student test results from state testing processes will be released to students and parents by the Sevier County School System promptly upon receipt of the information from the Tennessee Department of Education. Questions about assessment processes should be referred to your child’s teacher, principal, or Mr. Tony Stinnett, District Testing Coordinator. Mr. Stinnett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 865-453-4671.
Parents of children selected to participate in any National Assessment of Educational Progress assessment must be informed before the assessment is administered that their child may be excused from participation for any reason, is not required to finish any assessment and is not required to answer any test question. The district will make reasonable efforts to inform parents and the public about their right to access to all assessment data (except personally identifiable information), questions and current assessment instruments.
A school district that uses federal funds to provide a language instruction education program for children with limited English proficiency must no later than thirty days after the beginning of the school year give the parent(s) of each child identified for participation the following information: the reasons for the identification of the child as an English learner; the child’s level of English proficiency, how that level was determined and the status of the child’s academic achievement; methods of instruction in the program in which their child is placed and those of other available programs; how the program will meet the educational strengths and needs of their child; how the program will specifically help their child learn English and meet age-appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation; the specific exit requirements for the program; in the case of a child with a disability, how the program meets the child’s IEP objectives; and the information about parental rights detailing the right of parents to have their child immediately removed from such program upon their request and the options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another available program or method of instruction. For a child not identified as limited English proficient prior to the beginning of the school year, the district must notify parents within the first two weeks of the child being placed in such a program. [ESEA Title I, Part A, §1112].
The Sevier County School System will ensure that all children and youth receive a free, appropriate public education and are given meaningful opportunities for success in school as outlined in BP 522. The system will follow the requirements outlined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. A copy of the policies related to McKinney-Vento is available in the school office. For information contact: Rebekah Atchison, Local Liaison for Children and Youth in Transition at email@example.com (email) 865-453-4671 (phone) or Vanessa Waters, McKinney-Vento Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org (email) or 615-253-3101 (phone).
A program or activity funded as part of a 21st Century Community Learning Center providing before and after school activities to advance student academic achievement must undergo periodic evaluation to assess its progress toward achieving its goal of providing high-quality opportunities for academic enrichment. The results of evaluations are available to the public upon request, with public notice of such availability provided [ESEA §4205(b)(2)].
If a school district requests the U.S. Secretary of Education to waive any provision or regulation of the ESEA, it must provide notice and information about the waiver to the public in the manner in which is customarily provides public notice [20 U.S.C. §7861(b)(3)(B)] [ESEA Title IX, Part D, §8401(b)(3)(B)(ii)].
All Sevier County Schools have been deemed “safe schools” under the guidelines of our state and ESEA. However, should your child become the victim of a violent crime at any Sevier County School, you have the right to request a transfer to another grade-appropriate school in the district.
Each spring, a program evaluation is conducted to measure the content and effectiveness of our parent involvement program. The family and community engagement survey is distributed to a random population of parents representing all Title I schools. The program evaluation gathers information from parents about what they consider have been effective practices in their child’s school toward educating, informing, and involving parents in their child’s education. The results of the survey are compiled and shared with each Title I school and are used to design strategies for more effective parent involvement.
The content standards printed in this publication identify what students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The content standards represent an essential core of knowledge and abilities that all students must have to be successful in school and in their adult life. With set standards for learning in each subject area and at each grade level, it is important for parents to have information about what their child is expected to know and be able to do. With this information, parents are more prepared to talk with teachers about their child’s abilities, support their child’s learning at home, and understand the results of standardized testing. This publication is available at your child’s school.
The Sevier County School System has an emergency message system in place called Parent Link. The use of the phone messaging system is an attempt by the Sevier County School System to make announcements in a more direct fashion when school closings are so unexpected that students and parents may not realize a media announcement is likely. Please contact your child’s school office to make changes to phone numbers associated with Parent Link.
Announcements about school closures are posted on the school system’s website at www.sevier.org as well as local television and radio stations. Interested parties can download the Sevier County School System mobile app available for both Apple and Android devices to receive real time news and up-to-date access to information related to the school system and schools.
The community resource guide is developed by the Sevier County Family Resource Center and the Department of Human Services as a reference to the network of human service programs available to assist all members of the community. View the Community Resource Guide on the district's website. Printer copies are available at your child’s school.
Home & School Connection is a newsletter for parents designed to provide busy parents with practical ideas that promote school success, parent involvement, and more effective parenting. Each month, the current issue of Home & School Connection will be sent home with your child.
The purpose of the Family Resource Center is to help families by combining family, school, and community. This can be done by helping families deal effectively with problems through linkage to health and social services. The Family Resource Center also refers parent/guardians to parenting workshops that will assist parents with skills for behavior modification and child development stages. You may contact the Sevier County Family Resource Center at 428-7999.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sevier County School System has been exploring different ways to provide services to all students. The District has worked with state and local agencies, including our local health department, to draft and implement guidelines moving forward regarding cleaning, screening, social distancing, etc. Though the District and its agents will work hard to implement and abide by our guidelines, we cannot guarantee an environment that is entirely free of COVID-19 related risks.
When students return to schools for the fall semester, we must all understand that their attendance will require physical interaction with staff members, other students, and even our volunteers. Such interactions may pose some degree of risk to you, your child, and your family due to the COVID-19 pandemic.