Archive for: February 2014

Not Just For Tennis Players

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.



Every year millions of teenagers participate in sports activities. 40% of all pediatric injuries are sports related. When a sports injury occurs, it is important to quickly recognize it and seek proper treatment. Injuries among young athletes can be divided into two categories: acute and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are caused by a sudden trauma, for example a collision on the field between players. Overuse injuries occur gradually over time and can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons and growth plates. They are caused by repetitive trauma to a certain body area with no adequate time to heal. Training errors combined with rapidly changing physical characteristics of a young body contribute to a rising injury rates.  Read more →

College Planning Timeline

Article and photo by Liz Stucke, owner of Admissions Prep



“Junior year marks the official start of the college search and application process.”

A friend of mine with older children warned me, “As soon as your daughter starts high school, it’s over…. She’ll be off to college in the blink of an eye.”  While I resist the societal nudge toward prepping children for college from the start of preschool, it is true that much of high school is spent with an eye towards college admissions.   Here is a year-by-year guide to help your child nudge towards college: Read more →

Dear Knox County School’s Families

By Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of Knox County Schools

Dear Knox County Schools’ Families,

As we continue the fifth year of the implementation of our five-year strategic plan, I reflect upon some of the specific strategies we have put in place in the Knox County Schools to enable our students to be adequately prepared for college, career and life:

Multiple pathways and strategies to success – Creating pathways designed to meet the needs of struggling students and those who excel.  Magnet programming, interventions, access to Advanced Placement (AP), dual enrollment and dual credit experiences, creation of a Career Magnet Academy in partnership with Pellissippi State Community College and the Knoxville Chamber, as well as the creation of an International Baccalaureate (IB) program are just a few examples of our work in this area.

  • Small Learning Communities – Divides large populations of students into smaller groups to create a more personalized learning environment to better meet students’ needs.
  • Freshman academies – Provides our ninth graders additional support as they transition from middle school to high school.  Research shows if a student has a successful freshman year, he or she is more likely to graduate from high school.
  • Graduation coaches – A critical form of support that helps ensure each student is prepared to graduate on time.

I will be updating the community on many of these strategies contained in our Strategic Plan during the third annual State of the Schools Address scheduled for Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at 6 p.m. at Hardin Valley Academy.  More specifically, I will provide our community with an overview of academic progress in the Knox County Schools, give an update on implementation of our five-year strategic plan and outline our educational goals and aspirations for the coming year.  This report to the community will give me an opportunity to share the work needed to prepare our students for transitions they will face as they engage in today’s global and competitive society.   Please join us for this important update on public education in our community!

We are enjoying unprecedented levels of success in many areas in the Knox County Schools.  For the first time since the Tennessee State Report Card began issuing grades in the year 2000, the Knox County Schools scored straight As in achievement.  We have advanced from Cs to Bs in value-added in reading/language arts and science, and the district improved from a B to an A in math.

These are tremendous academic results for children, and I recognize these results could not have been possible without the outstanding work of our teachers and staff coupled with the support and input of our parents and community.

As we have engaged our community in a process to define the educational priorities for the next five years, one thing is very clear to me:  You care.  You are enormously invested in what’s best for our students, and together, we will continue to work to achieve our very ambitious goal of Excellence for All Children.

The next five years will be ever more critical to our reaching our goals of providing the best education possible for our students in a supportive and positive educational environment.  I’m excited about our future.


Jim McIntyre

Superintendent, Knox County Schools


Understanding Teens’ “Love Languages”

By Tracey Matthews, Knox County Schools Supervisor of Family and Community Engagement
Contributing Writer: Kiera S. Alston, Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement, University of Tennessee Student Intern


This month we highlight Dr. Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages of Teens.  This relationship counselor has written a series of books that help identify five uniquely different actions that express “love” in the ways others most appreciate and receive it.  In general, teenagers and parents communicate differently, but beyond lingo and slang, teens also develop a sense of specific acts of love from parents that they most prefer.  To enhance parents’ emotional communication and help effectively meet their teenagers’ need for love, let’s look at Chapman’s five love languages of teens. Read more →