The administrative staff at the Johnson County Board of Education have been extremely busy this past year, putting new programs in place to serve the students better, expand student learning opportunities, and mitigate possible learning loss. Photo by Karla Prudhomme.
By Karla Prudhomme
Director of Schools, Dr. Mischelle Simcox, stated that she and all those who work in our Johnson County school system are very excited to welcome students back for the new school year. The administrative staff at the Johnson County Board of Education have been extremely busy this past year, putting new programs in place to serve the students better, expand student learning opportunities, and mitigate possible learning loss.
Johnson County schools had a very successful summer school program which was offered to help combat learning loss, and with close to 400 students attending, many students (and their parents) feel better prepared to start the new academic school year. Teachers were also hard at work over the summer, as all Pre-K through 2nd-grade teachers attended a two-week professional development course pertaining to the new state ELA (English Language Arts) curriculum that focuses on building foundational skills. The Johnson County’ Book Bus’ toured Johnson County over the summer months, providing reading material to students in all areas of the county.
The Johnson County Board of Education is very excited to announce it’s ‘1 to 1’ program, which provides one Chromebook for each Johnson County student. Students in 3rd through 12th grades will receive a Chromebook to help with their academic studies and homework. And Chromebooks will be available in the classroom for each K-2 grade student. Also new this year are interactive televisions (ITVs) in each classroom in all Johnson County schools.
Partnering with Niswonger, Johnson County schools can offer an additional program for younger students who have experienced learning loss called ‘Project on Track.’ The three-day-a-week, small group tutoring program is available for kindergarten through 3rd-grade students. Additional programs made available by partnering with the Niswonger Foundation include the ‘Rural LIFE’ Program for middle school students, focusing on literacy, and ‘STEM. LD’, a program specifically designed to address the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Various other programs will also be available for students, including ‘Generation Genius’ [which supports science instruction for kindergarten through 8th grade], and ‘NEWS ELA,’ which aids K-12 teacher instruction in Science, Social Studies, and complex text lessons. This year’s additions at Johnson County Vocational School include a new Computer Science & Cyber Security Program and an Auto Diesel Program made possible by partnering with Tennessee College of Applied Technology.
Also new this year will be the addition of a food truck, which the culinary arts students will man. The vehicle was purchased with a portion of the Rachel Ray Grant that the Culinary Arts Department received last year. Other grant funds include the SPARC Grant, which made possible the purchase of the remainder of the STEM Modules, which can lead to industry certifications, giving Johnson County students an edge in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Thankfully Johnson County has a dedicated staff that works diligently to provide the tools necessary for students’ academic success.