Superintendent Sprinkles’ Council of Councils met on Thursday, December 15, to begin discussions on the transient population and enrollment trends in Knox County.
The council consists of one school based decision making (SBDM) or advisory council member from each Knox County school. The purpose of the council is to meet with the Superintendent and school district staff, both in person and virtually, to discuss how decisions made at the district and state level impact local schools and to offer SBDM members an opportunity to network and collaborate to solve school-level problems.
During the December meeting, the Superintendent and Gina Sears, director of pupil personnel, shared enrollment numbers with the group. Discussion concentrated on discussing Knox’s transient students, which are those students who frequently move between schools and districts during the school year.
There are a number of factors impacting the achievement of transient students, including different programs being used at the school, scheduling of the curriculum being taught, identification and delivery of intervention, and continuous monitoring of student growth through assessments and data analysis.
In Knox County, most of the movement occurs at the elementary level as students move from one community to another, thus changing school boundaries. Each SBDM council determines the curriculum and programs that the school uses, which can leave gaps in ensuring that the student learns all standards. For example, elementary school “A” might be teaching a unit on identifying shapes in math, while elementary school “B” might have taught that unit earlier in the year and is now teaching measurement.
The council plans on further discussion during their next meeting including identifying actions that the district can take to help support schools with high numbers of transient students.
A report was conducted by the National Center for Homeless Education on the topic, Classrooms with Revolving Doors: Recommended Practices for Elementary Teachers of At-Risk and Highly Mobile Students (http://nche.ed.gov/downloads/eff_teach_elem.pdf).