Chromebooks ahead for all KCS students

Josh FloryOur Town Youth

In May 2020, the Board of Education approved a 1:1 plan that will make a Chromebook computer available to every KCS student in grades K-12, starting in August.

This initiative was made possible by federal funding provided through the CARES Act, and will enable teachers to enhance their instruction through the use of technology. By making computers available to every student, we believe the district will have more flexibility to continue teaching during unusual circumstances, such as a weather event or a closure due to illness. Equally important, we believe that even during normal operations the availability of Chromebooks will provide new learning opportunities and prepare students to succeed in a world where technology plays such an important role.

Chromebook registration forms and insurance forms are now available online, and paper forms are available at schools. Please note that these forms require a student number (which begins with an “S”). If you do not know your student’s number, log in to the Aspen portal or call the school. Once the forms are submitted to the students’ base school, the school will contact them with details about how and when the devices will be distributed.

For additional information, see the “Frequently Asked Questions“ document.

Teachers are back at work. To see several teachers talk about their first day visit our YouTube channel.

The recent death of John R. Lewis, a longtime U.S. Representative and an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, brought back a special memory for one member of the Austin-East High School community.

McArthur Douglas poses with U.S. Rep. John Lewis during a trip to Washington, D.C., in 2011.

Jesse Jones is a Project Grad student and family support coach at Austin-East, and in 2011 he helped lead a trip to Washington for eight A-E students who were part of a mentoring group called Brother To Brother.

The trip was sponsored by Carolyn and Will Minter, and Jones said the group met civil rights and political leaders from near and far. In addition to Lewis, Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the group unexpectedly met Knoxville Mayor Daniel Brown in a hallway.

The chance meeting with Brown reinforced a message that Jones had emphasized to students throughout the trip, about the importance of carrying themselves with respect.

“(The mayor) stopped on a dime and took a picture with our young men,” Jones recalled, “and I looked around and I said, ‘You see that? … You never know who knows you.’”

One of the most vivid memories was seeing Lewis, who represented Atlanta in Congress. Mr. Lewis passed away on July 17 and his body lay in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Lewis posed for a picture with McArthur Douglas, a volunteer chaperone on the trip, and Jones said the group understood that they were in the presence of greatness, even though Lewis didn’t carry himself with arrogance.

Jones said the Congressman’s legacy was one of boldness in standing up for what was right: “He was a bold and brave fighter for civil rights who wasn’t afraid, as you heard, to get into good trouble.”

Josh Flory is a multi-media specialist with Knox County Schools and writes this blog, Hall Pass, for the KCS website.

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