May 11th, 2023
As we wrap up the 2022-2023 school year, please see below for a few updates and reminders:
- May 19, 22-23 – High School Exams
- Wednesday, May 24 – Last Half Day of School
- May 24-27 – High School Graduations (Click here for info on livestreaming)
- Monday, August 7 – First Half Day of the 2023-2024 School Year
Visit cmcss.net/calendars to view calendars for upcoming school years. Jostens is generously sponsoring the CMCSS printed calendar for next school year! We hope to have calendars delivered to homes by the end of July.
CMCSS is announcing three exciting updates that will begin next school year:
- ParentSquare: CMCSS will be transitioning its mass notification service from SchoolMessenger to ParentSquare. ParentSquare provides families with improved options to receive communications from schools and the District when and how families want to receive them, with translations in 100+ languages. Phone calls will still be available for emergencies or other urgent communications, but families will primarily receive communications via text, email, and the ParentSquare app and/or desktop version. Additionally, ParentSquare will provide a platform for translatable, two-way communications between educators and parents/guardians and open mass notification access for teachers to families of students in their classes. All families will receive invitations via text and email to join ParentSquare over the summer.
- StopFinder: If your child does not ride CMCSS transportation, please disregard. During the 2022-2023 school year, CMCSS piloted StopFinder on a few campuses. The StopFinder app uses GPS tracking information to determine the location of a school bus along its route. StopFinder provides real-time information on where your child’s bus is as they travel to and from school. In 2023-2024, CMCSS will be expanding StopFinder access to all families across the District. For details on StopFinder, click here. Families will receive an invitation in the coming weeks to activate accounts and download the app.
- Student IDs (K-5): During the 2022-2023 school year, several CMCSS schools participated in a pilot program for student identification cards. CMCSS will be expanding implementation to all elementary schools in 2023-2024. The student ID cards use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology to monitor when students get on or off a CMCSS school bus and allow students to use them when purchasing breakfast or lunch items. At no time do the ID cards track or monitor a student’s location in any way. Student identification cards will not have a photo ID but will have their personal QR code, which assists with logging into school-issued laptops. Cards will not contain any information, including home address, birth date, health-related information, or other personal details.
CMCSS will share more information with families on the above updates over the coming weeks.
Get Ready for 2023-2024!
There is always much excitement about summer break. With only a few days of school left and warmer temperatures arriving, we know the anticipation is only growing. We hope all families have a safe and enjoyable summer! CMCSS will share our Family Guide to the 2023-2024 School Year in July. In the meantime, please see below for a few items:
- Free/Reduced Meal Applications: Even with a few days of school left, it is not too late for families of traditional (non-virtual) students to apply for free/reduced meals for this school year. Families may apply and potentially qualify for free or reduced-price meal benefits at any time during the school year. Online applications are available at schoolcafe.com. If you need a paper application, please contact your child’s school or the Child Nutrition Department. Applications for the 2023-2024 school year will be available beginning on Monday, July 17. Applications must be submitted and approved each school year for a student to receive benefits.
- Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 7th Grade Immunizations: Per state law, no child can be permitted to attend any public school until proof of immunization is presented. If your student qualifies for a Medical or Religious Exemption, documentation must be provided. Please click here to learn more. We ask families to please make arrangements before the first day of school.
- Registration: If your family will have any students who are new to CMCSS in the 2023-2024 school year, visit cmcss.net/registration to learn more and begin the enrollment process online.
In monthly communications, CMCSS has been providing updates and reminders regarding school safety. In this last month of school, our community faced several concerns with social media threats and “swatting.” Although these are terrible situations that CMCSS and school systems across the nation have been facing for years, the number of threats occurring over a few days and in the wake of the tragedy at the Covenant School in Nashville created even more fear and anxiety in our community. School safety will always be our top priority, and we appreciate our strong collaboration with law enforcement and partnership with families to help make our schools and communities safe. Please see below for a reminder and two updates:
- School Safety Hub: Last summer, CMCSS launched the School Safety Hub. This online resource for families provides important information about CMCSS’ safety and security measures. CMCSS does not publicly advertise its complete plan to ensure that those who wish to do harm do not have access to the information, but the School Safety Hub provides an overview of protocols and practices. We encourage all families to review the information and resources on the School Safety Hub. The Active Threat tab on the top left provides families with information and a video on the quarterly drills all CMCSS schools conduct to prepare in the event of an active threat on campus.
- NEW Social Media Lawsuit: This week, the Frantz Law Group, APLC, working with Lewis Thomason, P.C. in Tennessee, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of CMCSS for the damages and growing mental health crisis among students that have been caused by social media companies. Over the past few years, CMCSS has experienced a rise in mental health issues, threats of school violence, cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and other challenges, damages, and disruptions linked to students’ use of social media and the lack of protections, controls, and cooperation by social media companies. Without cooperation and support from social media companies, CMCSS has been fighting an uphill battle. It is time for social media companies to be held accountable for the lack of monitors, controls, and cooperation to protect children and our society, and CMCSS appreciates the partnership with the Frantz Law group to do that. We will keep families updated as the litigation progresses.
- NEW Weapons Detection Pilot: A team from CMCSS and MCSO conducted a metal detector feasibility study. The team studied the research and best practices; types of metal detectors and new technologies; practices of other school districts; and the costs and logistics for implementing metal detectors. Through this research, MCSO and CMCSS leaders are planning a pilot for Evolv technologies. Unlike metal detectors, wanding, and other traditional solutions, Evolv offers an innovative and accelerated approach to physical security screening and weapons detection through enhanced sensors and artificial intelligence (AI). Sheriff Fuson is committed to partnering with CMCSS to proactively enhance layers of security, and MCSO has established funding for a pilot program for mobile units that can be piloted at multiple campuses to determine logistics and feasibility with various building and campus layouts. As details are confirmed about where, when, and how the pilot will be implemented, CMCSS will share information directly with families.
March 13th, 2023
Kindergarten enrollment has begun for the Class of 2036!
How to Register
Information on registration and required information can be found on our registration page. The registration page includes a list of all necessary documents required and information on preparing for kindergarten.
Visit Your Child’s New School
CMCSS Elementary Schools offer a Kindergarten Kick-off to introduce students to their new schools. Kindergarten Kick-off will be held in person at each child’s zoned school on Tuesday, April 4, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
If you are unsure of your zoned school, visit http://businfo.cmcss.net/. Families can input their child’s primary residence address to find out which school their child is zoned.
Interested in CMCSS K-12 Virtual?
CMCSS K-12 Virtual kindergarten kickoff will be at 5:00 pm via Zoom. Here is the link for the Zoom session.
Help Your Child Prepare
Watch this video and learn simple ways you can help your child prepare for school!
We look forward to welcoming all our new CMCSS students and families this August!
January 5th, 2023
The state of Tennessee has had a student promotion and retention law in place since 2011. During the 2021 Special Session, the Tennessee legislature updated that law to ensure that all students have the support to read and perform on grade level no later than the 2022-23 school year. If a student does not pass the 3rd-grade section of the ELA TCAP (a student who receives an approaching or below score), they will be provided support to ensure they are ready for grade-level ELA lessons in fourth grade. If a student’s family does not wish to take advantage of these supports, the student will be retained to third grade to ensure that they receive an additional year of instruction and can participate fully during their fourth grade ELA classroom moving forward.
CMCSS has been communicating with the families of students currently in third grade, sending individualized benchmark data and reports, and providing resources and informational meetings based on the current guidance. For more information, click here for the Tennessee Department of Education’s (TDOE) FAQ document.
Supports/Pathways to 4th Grade
For some 3rd-grade students in Tennessee, this updated law requires the student and their family to make some important decisions. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, 3rd-grade students who receive “approaching” or “below” on the English Language Arts (ELA) section of the TCAP assessment are able to get important learning supports from their school for free to ensure they are ready to move on to the 4th grade.
If a student’s family does not wish to take advantage of these supports, which are outlined in the graphic below, the student will be retained to 3rd grade the following school year and will not be promoted to 4th grade. However, the following students are exempt from 3rd-grade retention: English learners with less than two years of ELA instruction, students previously retained in grades K-3, students with a disability that impacts reading or students with a suspected disability that impacts reading.
The state has an appeal process for students who have been identified for retention in third grade and achieved a performance level of “approaching” on either the third-grade TCAP English Language Arts (ELA) portion or the TCAP retake assessment. A parent or legal guardian has 14 calendar days from the time of notification of a third-grade student who scored “approaching” on the ELA section of TCAP to submit an appeal. The appeal window will close on June 30.
The following criteria outline eligibility for an appeal approval:
1. The student received a score at or above the 40th percentile on their spring universal reading screener, OR
2. A catastrophic situation occurred during the days leading up to the TCAP test that impacted the 3rd grade student’s ability to perform on the test. Catastrophic situations include, but are not limited to, a death in the immediate family, loss of a family home, significant medical diagnosis, abuse, physical or emotional neglect, or household dysfunction (e.g., substance abuse, incarcerated relative, mental illness).
Click here for the Tennessee Department of Education Third Grade Retention Parent Appeal Form.
Please see below for a timeline from the Tennessee Department of Education:
- Your child will take a universal reading screener.
- You will receive your child’s home literacy report, which should include information on your child’s current reading development, the support the school is providing your child in reading, and what to do to support literacy at home.
- Discuss results with your child’s teacher, if needed.
- Your child will take a mid-year universal reading screener.
- You will receive another home literacy report. This literacy report will also indicate whether your child may be at-risk for retention.
- Discuss results with your child’s teacher, if needed.
- Your child will take an end-of-year universal reading screener and the TCAP.
- You will receive a final home literacy report which should also indicate whether your child may be at-risk for retention.
- Schedule a parent-teacher conference to review the results of your home literacy report and any necessary next steps, including a testing retake opportunity, if needed.
- Sign your child up for summer programming and/or tutoring to support their literacy development.
- Review third-grade ELA retake and appeals information (if appropriate).
- Collect necessary information and file an appeal (if appropriate and desired).
Please see below for resources from the Tennessee Department of Education:
- CMCSS Parent Academic Resources – Third Grade Retention
- TDOE Learning Acceleration Webpage
- Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation Family Reading Time at Home Guides
- At-Home Decodable Reading Series
As with all legislation, the laws, rules, regulations, and guidance are subject to change.
October 6th, 2022
Each year, CMCSS sets strategic goals for what the district will focus on that academic year. In order to be successful, we need to hear your feedback on these goals. The district will host a series of focus groups with parents and community members to collect input on our progress toward strategic goals.
What: Strategic Work Focus Groups
When: End of October (Times and dates will vary; participants can select a date and time in the form linked below.)
Why: The District holds focus groups with key partners to collect feedback on specific areas and make adjustments to ensure we meet student, employee, and parent expectations.
How: If you are interested in being part of a focus group, click here to complete a short form and express your interest. We will randomly select 10-12 participants per focus group.
September 13th, 2022
2021-2022 School Accountability Designations
In accordance with Tennessee’s accountability system, the Tennessee Department of Education names schools that are excelling, as well as those that need additional support. Late yesterday afternoon, TDOE released the 2021-2022 designations. As Dr. Luna-Vedder emphasized in July when the initial TCAP District scores were released:
“There are many bright spots in the data to celebrate as a result of the hard work of our educators and students! We will not rest on our laurels and will be having critical conversations over the coming days and weeks to develop strategic plans to address gaps and areas of concern. I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure CMCSS is one of the best school districts in the state of Tennessee.”
CMCSS is proud to have almost 30% of our schools recognized by the state as Reward schools! Schools receiving this designation typically demonstrate high levels of performance and/or growth across all indicators. Congratulations to the students, faculty, staff, and administrators at the following CMCSS Reward Schools:
Byrns Darden Elementary
Cumberland Heights Elementary
East Montgomery Elementary
West Creek Elementary
Montgomery Central High
CMCSS has one Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) school. Schools with overall accountability scores in the bottom five percent statewide for the performance of a given student group are identified as Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools. Schools can be identified as TSI schools for any of the following given student groups when meeting the identification criteria: Black/Hispanic/Native American, Economically Disadvantaged, English Learners, Students with Disabilities, Hispanic/Latino, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, and White. These schools are supported by the department and are eligible for additional funding. Kenwood High School has received the TSI designation for the Economically Disadvantaged and White subgroups. CMCSS is providing additional resources and supports to close the achievement gap at this school.
CMCSS has three Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) schools. Only schools identified as TSI based on the most recent TSI list will be eligible for ATSI identification. TSI schools whose student group success rates are less than or equal to the maximum success rate of any Priority school in their school pool will be identified as ATSI if they do not also have a score of 4 or 3 for each indicator for which that student group is eligible. Schools identified in 2021-22 will receive the designation for one year and can exit the designation in 2022-23 by meeting exit criteria. Kenwood Middle School, Montgomery Central Middle School, and West Creek Middle School have received the ATSI designation for the Students with Disabilities subgroup. CMCSS is providing additional resources and supports to close the achievement gaps at these schools.
As a District, CMCSS received the second highest designation – Advancing. Districts designated as advancing received an overall score equal to or greater than 2.1 but less than 3.1. Only 1% of Tennessee’s districts received the highest designation of Exemplary. CMCSS is focused on improving student achievement, especially in literacy and math, and Dr. Luna-Vedder has continued to emphasize that CMCSS can and will be one of the best districts in the state as we work together to be better than ever.
Please note the upcoming items for September:
- Wednesday, September 14, 5-7 p.m. – Annual College Fair (click here for more info)
- Thursday, September 15, 4:30-7:30 p.m. – Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Monday, September 19 – Staff Development | Students Do Not Report
- Thursday, September 22, 4:30-7:30 p.m. – High School Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Thursday, September 29, 4:30-7:30 p.m. – Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences
To view calendars, visit cmcss.net/calendars.
August 26th, 2022
We appreciate the vigilance and quick response of law enforcement who were at the game and those who responded to the incident of gun violence last week in the parking lot at the West Creek HS v. Northeast HS football game. Additionally, we thank the students, families, coaches, faculty, staff, and administrators for their quick actions and support of each other.
In partnership with law enforcement, CMCSS will continually review and improve its safety and security protocols. There has been and will continue to be increased law enforcement on our campuses. CMCSS strongly believes in the importance of interscholastic athletic events and welcoming the community onto our campuses. However, providing a safe and secure environment on our campuses must always be the top priority. CMCSS will be releasing new safety and security policies for athletic events that will be communicated to the community by next week.
It is important that everyone understands that all persons, personal belongings, lockers, and vehicles on school property at any time are subject to be searched for drugs, drug paraphernalia, dangerous weapons, or any property that is unlawful to carry on our campuses. Lawful, random searches by law enforcement can and will be utilized on our campuses to keep our schools safe.
As a reminder from previous communications, the District has created the School Safety Hub as a resource for families. We ask all families to please talk to their children about the importance of immediately reporting any safety concern to a teacher, administrator, SRO, or other trusted adult. Whether it is on social media or in the schoolhouse, if you see or hear something, say something. Additionally, it is important that families read the Student Code of Conduct, reinforce positive behaviors with students, and explain the consequences, including potential criminal charges, for offenses.
In accordance with state law, an individual can be charged for recklessly, by any means of communication, threatening to commit an act of mass violence on school property or at a school-related activity. Additionally, the Student Code of Conduct was updated this school year to make credible threats a Zero Tolerance Offense (mandatory calendar-year expulsion).In several cases over the years, students have made threatening statements they claimed were jokes. Making a threat is not a joke, and the consequences are serious.
We must work together to keep our schools and communities safe.
Family Life Curriculum (Grades 6-12)
In accordance with state law, school systems must implement a Family Life Curriculum in conformance with state curriculum guidelines. In CMCSS, curriculum development teams comprised of educators, medical professionals, and community stakeholders collaborated to locally devise Family Life Curriculum resources in conformance with state standards for grades 6-12.
On Tuesday, September 6 at 5 p.m. in the CMCSS Board Room at 621 Gracey Ave., a public hearing will be held to explain the curriculum development process, required curricular components, and implementation of the curriculum.
In CMCSS, the Family Life Curriculum will be taught no sooner than mid-March 2023. The Family Life Curriculum units for all grade levels will be available online for all parents/guardians to access and review beginning in mid-January 2023. Parents/guardians have the right to excuse their students from any or all portions of the Family Life Curriculum. Parents/guardians will receive the curriculum and information on how to opt-out of any or all portions of the curriculum beginning in mid-January 2023 after teachers have been trained.
ESSER In-Person Health & Safety and Budget Plans
CMCSS is continuously seeking feedback from stakeholders on the ESSER Health & Safety and Budget plans in accordance with state and federal rules and regulations.
To review the CMCSS 2022-2023 In-Person Learning COVID-19 Overview and provide feedback, click here.
Please note on the Return-to-School/Work Flowchart that at-home tests are not accepted for COVID-excused absences for students or COVID leave for employees. Families that choose to use an at-home test without healthcare provider documentation will be required to use parent notes for absences.
To review the CMCSS ESSER 3.0 Funds Allocation and provide feedback, click here.
Better Than Ever, Together
As we continue this year’s theme of Better Than Ever, Together, we are so excited to see the continued positivity and partnerships from families and the community in our schools! From “Cookies and Curriculum Night” at Byrns Darden Elementary to West Creek’s community-wide spirit day and the dozens of other events and initiatives over the past few weeks, we are grateful for our community’s support of our students and educators.
CMCSS is continuing to address challenges like transportation and staffing and is committed to continuous improvement. Currently, CMCSS has 47 approved bus driver applications and 18 are completing the training program. Last Saturday, 118 individuals attended the Teaching Permit Info Sessions, and CMCSS received 107 new applications by Tuesday. We appreciate your support in sharing that CMCSS is hiring. Please visit cmcss.net/employment for available careers and to begin the application process.
As a reminder, next week is another full week of school. Schools and District offices will be closed on Monday, September 5 for Labor Day. To view calendars, visit cmcss.net/calendars.
Have a great weekend, CMCSS families!
August 12th, 2022
This information was released at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. As indicated below, please reference the individual school websites for their library collection. Click on “Library Media Center” on the homepage of your school’s website. Library-Media Specialists have access to update their schools’ webpages to keep the library collection current on each school’s page. The links below have been removed to alleviate confusion and ensure stakeholders are accessing the most updated list of materials on each school’s webpage. To find each school’s website, click the following links: Elementary, Middle, and High.
In accordance with the TN Age-Appropriate Materials Act, CMCSS has a policy and procedure to ensure that each school’s library collection is developed and periodically reviewed in accordance with state law and has a procedure to receive and evaluate feedback from students, parents/guardians, and employees of each school.
A list of each school’s library collection is linked below. In the future, a list of each school’s library collection will be found on each school’s website via the “Library Media Center” link on the homepage.
Barkers Mill Elementary
Byrns Darden Elementary
Cumberland Heights Elementary
East Montgomery Elementary
Montgomery Central Elementary
Montgomery Central High
Montgomery Central Middle
Moore Magnet Elementary
New Providence Middle
Norman Smith Elementary
St. Bethlehem Elementary
West Creek Elementary
West Creek High
West Creek Middle
Click here for the CMCSS Library Services and Collection Policy (INS-A091).
Click here for the CMCSS Library Procedure (INS-P048).
Any student, parent or guardian of a student, or school employee may provide feedback regarding one or more of the materials in the library collection of the student’s or employee’s school by submitting a request for reconsideration. The request must be submitted to the school’s principal.
Click here for the CMCSS Request for Reconsideration of Resource form (INS-F164).
June 29th, 2022
We are excited to welcome our kindergarten families to CMCSS! Whether this is your first student in the district, or you are an experienced first-day family, here are some things you should know as we begin the school year.
Registration and Enrollment
If you have not yet signed up for school, you can register online at parents.cmcss.net.
Online registration is the first step in the enrollment process. Families will still need to turn in important registration documents in person to either the Enrollment Center or their child’s school once the school front offices reopen on July 21.
If you need technical assistance or prefer to register in person, please contact the Enrollment Center at 931-542-5078 to set up an appointment.
Elementary School Open Houses
All elementary schools will host Open Houses on Friday, August 5 from 5-7 p.m. This is a great time to visit with your child’s teacher, tour the school, and learn about a typical kindergarten day! If families have already purchased classroom supplies, this is a great time to bring those to school.
First Day of School
All kindergarteners will attend the half-day of school on Monday, August 8. Each elementary school will host its first day of school in a manner best suited for its families. While it is not required that families attend the entire half-day, some may choose to do so. Additional information will be provided by each school.
What does my student need to bring on the first day of school?
This half-day is designed to make your child comfortable with the transition to school. While nothing is required to bring on the first day, they can carry their backpack and water bottle. It may also be a good time to drop off school supplies.
Can I walk my child into school on the first day?
Yes, parents are welcome to walk with their children into school on Monday, August 8, and attend a brief meeting. Teachers are ready to greet families in their classrooms. More information on the first day of school will be provided during the Open House on August 5.
Kindergarten Flex Days (August 11-12; 15-16)
Schools will communicate individually with families regarding kindergarten flex days. Your child will be scheduled to come into school on one of the four days following August 8. All kindergarteners will then begin school on Wednesday, August 17 for their first full day of school. Caregivers can walk their child to class on their assigned flex day, where teachers will acclimate students to the schedule and routines of a typical kindergarten day.
Riding the Bus
If your child will ride the school bus to and from school, rest assured that school staff are waiting to help them navigate their way to the classroom! Families can assist with the bus rider process by helping their child learn their bus number and writing the bus number in a safe location where your child can find it. If you have questions about the bus rider process, someone will be able to assist you at the Open House.
Each teacher will have specific school supplies for their classroom that will be communicated on one of the first days of school. Families can find a general school supply list here.
If you would like to help your child’s teacher with additional classroom supplies, you can connect with them directly during the Open House.
Other Helpful Information
We are thrilled to have your child join us this school year. While everyone experiences a mix of emotions at the start of school, remember our CMCSS teachers are here to work with you and support your child throughout their academic journey.
This video provides helpful ways you can work with your child to prepare for kindergarten!
May 18th, 2022
CMCSS will not include the TCAP state standardized test results as part of students’ final grades this school year. CMCSS updated the District grading policy in 2015 to align with T.C.A. § 49-1-617. District policy states that students’ TCAP scores will not be included in their final spring semester grades if the TCAP scores are not received by the District at least five instructional days before the end of the academic year. As CMCSS nears the end of the school year and finalizes student grades, the raw scores were not received within the last five instructional days and will not be included.
As a reminder, the last half day of school is Wednesday, May 25.