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September 15, 2013

New approaches at Clarksville Community Schools

Superintendent Kim Knott works on bringing a new school concept to the district with the hopes of increasing enrollment

CLARKSVILLE — This is one in a series of Q&As with local schools superintendents.

Though financially solvent, Clarksville Community Schools still faces declining enrollment. But superintendent Kim Knott said that’s leveled off quite a bit over the years and new opportunities will hopefully stop the bleeding altogether.

With expanding 1:1 [computers for every student] and crossing some of the big hurdles with getting its New Tech facility off the ground, Knott said this year will mark a few milestones for her district.

How did you guys start off this year with the introduction of the balanced calendar?

The balanced calendar adjustment has been very smooth. We’re a full month into school and I think come Oct. 9, our teachers and students are going to enjoy the short break that they have.

We had a good start to the school year in that we had online registration this year, which really was a good thing for our parents and our students. It has been a little hectic because we had the vacancy at the elementary and we had to bring someone in. But as far as the students and the parents, it’s been a rather seamless transition for them.

When we have parent teacher conferences, which will be in October, then we’re also going to combine that with a meet and greet for our elementary principal so she’ll actually have the opportunity to talk with parents one-on-one as well.

You’ve had 1:1 in your middle school to some level, but how have you expanded it this year?

We’ve got Chromebooks completely at the middle school, which has been an extremely smooth transition. We were just pleasantly pleased with the process of handing out the Chromebooks, getting kids to log on to Angel and My Big Campus and Google Apps. We had some very creative processes for the teachers to get students to log on, so it’s gone unbelievably well at the middle school, and I’d say that’s partly because they’ve been doing that the longest in the corporation.

We’ve moved all the laptops from the middle school to the high school and then after the holidays, we’ll roll out 1:1 in our elementary.

We’re looking at two different platforms, possibly an iPad for the primaries and we don’t know if we’re going to do laptops or Chromebooks for the upper grades.

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