Matthew Stewart-The Daily Times
It looks like Carpenters Elementary School really hit on something special with its creation of a living, outdoor learning place for students.
On the heels of winning the Conservation Organization of the Year Award — presented by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation at the 50th annual Conservation Achievement Awards in Nashville — comes a study that finds students in schools surrounded by more green space have an educational edge.
By Matthew Stewart- The Daily Times
Blount County Schools has expanded a federal provision that will allow every child at participating schools to receive free meals.
During Thursday's meeting, the Blount County Board of Education added Mary Blount Elementary School to its list of schools that are participating in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act's Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). It will serve free breakfasts and lunches for every child.
By Matthew Stewart -The Daily Times
Blount County Schools is the state's benchmark for behavioral health programs.
Blount County Coordinated School Health Coordinator Mary Beth Blevins won the inaugural Award for Excellence in the Area of School Counseling, Psychological and Social Services, which was presented by the Tennessee Department of Education's Office of Coordinated School Health. The state recognized Blevins's "instrumental" role in the development of community partnerships that resulted in additional programs and services for Blount County's students.
"I'm honored and humbled to receive this inaugural award on behalf of our school district," she said. "We set this benchmark as a result of our leadership team, including (Blount County) Director of Schools Rob Britt and the (Blount County) Board of Education, investing in and possessing the vision to remove these nonacademic barriers to learning. "Many other people also invested in our district's initiatives and programs. Our school counselors, our school nurses, our SROs, our teachers, our families, our community partners."
In collaboration with Cherokee Health Systems, Blevins developed a school-based counseling program that is available for all students needing care regardless of their ability to pay. Tennessee CSH Coordinator Sara Smith advises it serves as a "state best practices model." Cherokee Health Systems, which is a federally qualified health center, provides services to all students regardless of their ability to pay. Its in-kind donation for the past school year was $147,132.
Fine craftsmanship and competition converged Saturday as local students displayed their hand made furniture for all to see. As a part of the first annual Battle of the Build competition, Maryville High School, Maryville Junior High and Heritage High School each submitted a chair constructed by a team of students to be reviewed by a panel off four judges.
From left: Ryan Bates, T.J. Gooden, Josh Burns, Casey Roark, teacher Lee Martin, Jordan Sands, Dennis Sarson and J.T. Roberts pose with their winning entry during the competition held Saturday at Foothills Mall.