More changes under reorganization at Oak Ridge Schools

The recent reclassification of positions announced earlier this week has created opportunities for other staff to assume new positions in the Oak Ridge Schools, including at Robertsville Middle School and Secret City Academy, a press release said.

Here are the organizational changes:

  • D.T. Hobby will become the Robertsville Middle School assistant principal, which was open due to Garfield Adams being named the new Robertsville Middle School principal.
  • John Roberts will be the new Secret City Academy (formerly the ORS Alternative School) administrator due to the departure of D.T. Hobby. Roberts is currently an Oak Ridge High School assistant principal.
  • A vacancy will be posted immediately to fill the open Oak Ridge High School assistant principal position.

See a summary of the backgrounds of both Hobby and Roberts below. [Read more…]

Oak Ridge Schools introduces Access Oak Ridge Digital 1:1 Initiative

Oak Ridge Schools Logo

Oak Ridge Schools formally introduced its digital 1:1 initiative, called Access Oak Ridge, at its Board of Education meeting Monday evening. The Access Oak Ridge initiative will put a digital device in the hands of every ORS middle school student prior to the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

The digital 1:1 rollout will start with a proof of concept phase beginning this October, which will include the 6th grade at Jefferson Middle School and the 7th grade at Robertsville Middle School. This phase will be followed by a full, middle school rollout to include all middle school grades 5-8.

Bruce Borchers, Oak Ridge Schools superintendent, offered crucial context and explained the importance behind the Access Oak Ridge initiative, a press release said. [Read more…]

Commerce secretary to tour UT partner IACMI, ORNL manufacturing facility

Penny Pritzker

Penny Pritzker

KNOXVILLE—On Thursday, August 27, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Department of Energy Assistant Secretary David Danielson will visit the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation in Knoxville.

The visit is part of a two-day tour of the institutes make up the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will join Pritzker for portions of the day’s activities.

The group will tour the U.S. Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and National Transportation Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The University of Tennessee in Knoxville is a key strategic partner of IACMI and led the proposal efforts with ORNL.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced the new institute in January during a visit to East Tennessee. The White House initiative aims to strengthen the global competitiveness of America’s manufacturing sector and the workforce. The NNMI now has six institutes, and three more are being formed. [Read more…]


Updated: Preschool, SAB locked down after robbery reported at nearby medical office

Oak Ridge Medical Clinic Robbery

A robbery was reported at Oak Ridge Medical Clinic on West Tennessee Avenue early Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Note: This story was last updated at 4:50 p.m.

The Oak Ridge Preschool was temporarily locked down on Tuesday afternoon after a robbery was reported at a nearby medical office.

The robbery was reported at about 1:03 p.m. Tuesday at Oak Ridge Medical Clinic at 170 West Tennessee Avenue, on the north side of Methodist Medical Center and about a block away from the preschool. A woman reported that she was robbed of her purse and contents worth an estimated $300.

“The victim had parked her vehicle in the parking lot of the medical center, and as she was walking into the building, the suspect approached, violently grabbed her purse, and knocked her to the ground,” a City of Oak Ridge press release said.

The Oak Ridge police and fire departments and Anderson County EMS responded, and police set up a perimeter around the area. A canine unit was sent to help search for the suspect.

The Oak Ridge Police Department said the suspect fled on foot, running northbound through residential lots toward the Oak Ridge Preschool and School Administration Building at 304 New York Avenue.

[Read more…]

Lay moves to administrative job, Adams named RMS principal

Bruce Lay

Bruce Lay

Note: This story was updated at 6:05 p.m.

Robertsville Middle School Principal Bruce Lay is taking a new administrative position for Oak Ridge Schools, and RMS Vice Principal Garfield Adams will become principal.

The assistant superintendent job that is now vacant has been reclassified as executive director of school leadership. The position was reclassified and is now vacant after former Assistant Superintendent Chris Marczak left to become director of schools in Maury County, south of Nashville. Lay has been selected to fill the new position.

Lay moved to RMS from Jefferson Middle School in 2013.

Adams was named RMS vice principal in June 2014. [Read more…]

School board to consider buying $1.36M worth of 1:1 computing devices

The Oak Ridge Board of Education on Monday will consider buying $1.36 million worth of “one to one” computing devices for middle school students and teachers.

The purchase of the 1,636 devices would be through a $1.59 million, four-year CalFirst equipment lease that the school board will also consider on Monday.

The BOE will consider buying 1,520 student devices worth $1,223,600 from Personal Computer Systems, or PCS, in Louisville, Tennessee. The Lenovo 11E Yoga convertible laptops are worth $805 each and would be used by students in grades 5-8.

Teachers in grades 5-8 would get 116 devices worth $135,140 from PCS. Those devices, worth $1,165 each, would be Lenovo Yoga 12s. [Read more…]

Students to test skills, vie for scholarships in UT Pro2Serve Math Contest

Hundreds of Tennessee high school students will put their mathematics skills to the test and vie for scholarships during this year’s UT Pro2Serve Math Contest, hosted by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Registration opens Tuesday, August 25, for the 17th annual contest. The daylong event pits students—public, private, and home-schooled—from across the state in both individual and team competitions.

The contest, to be held Tuesday, October 27, at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park downtown, will award $6,000 annual scholarships to UT to the top 10 students in the individual competition. The scholarships are funded by UT and Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. Other prizes also will be given. [Read more…]

Roane State receives $27K grant for outreach, support for adult students

Roane State Community College Harriman Campus

The main Roane State Community College campus in Harriman. The college also has a branch campus in Oak Ridge.

Roane State Community College has received a $27,310 Tennessee Higher Education Commission Ready to Reconnect grant to support adult students.

The grant will fund communication tools (email newsletter, texting services, and mailings) that will help adult students better understand their degree options and how to navigate the enrollment process. The grant will also pay for training that will teach faculty how to assess whether adults’ work experience could count toward college credit.

“Increasing outreach to adult students and improving the process for awarding adults college credit for their work experience are two key areas that can lead to more adults completing degrees,” said Diane Ward, Roane State vice president for student learning. “With the Ready to Reconnect grant, we can take major steps forward in these areas and better serve adult learners in our communities.” [Read more…]

UT Arboretum Society presents urban forestry program Aug. 25

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society is sponsoring a lecture on the “Knoxville Urban Forestry Program” on August 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the UT Arboretum’s Program Shelter at 901 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge.

The program will be presented by Kasey Krouse, City of Knoxville urban forester, who will discuss the City of Knoxville Urban Forestry program and its attempt to move from a reactive to a proactive urban forestry program. He will also discuss proper pruning, planting, mulching, tree selection, and other arboriculture practices that are pertinent to an urban forestry program. The presentation will conclude by touring trees around the arboretum and discussing some of the issues they face in an urban forest, a press release said.

As the urban forester for the City of Knoxville, Krouse is responsible for the expansion, protection, and maintenance of the city’s urban forest and implementing the city’s Urban Forest Management Plan. [Read more…]

St. Mary’s brings home volleyball gold for second consecutive year

St. Mary's Volleyball TeamSubmitted

Several area middle schools were invited to Knoxville Catholic High School on August 15 to participate in the 2015 KCHS Volleyball Feeder Fest Tournament.

The tournament lasted more than eight hours, with some teams playing up to six games each. The varsity volleyball team from St. Mary’s School in Oak Ridge took first place in the overall pool and continued its winning streak through the finals, securing its second consecutive Feeder Fest championship.

The St. Mary’s Junior Varsity team also did very well, as they took first place in their pool and second overall in the finals. Both teams are coached by Laura McKenna and Rob Halcrow.

Coach McKenna said: “Both the JV and varsity teams have exceeded expectations in play, team bonding, and sportsmanship. The girls have laid a strong foundation for another spectacular season. As a coach, I could not be more proud of the hard work and dedication the team has shown and I look forward to helping the girls gain confidence in their volleyball skills and grow on and off the court.” [Read more…]

Community tour of Oak Ridge Schools on Aug. 25

There will be a tour of elementary, middle and high school classrooms on Tuesday, August 25, from 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

“See how Oak Ridge teachers and students are teaching and learning while school is in session,” a press release said.

The day will begin at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, then will proceed through an elementary school, middle school, and high school for classroom visits. Lunch will be provided. [Read more…]

Oak Ridge High School has open house on Thursday

Oak Ridge High School

The main entrance at Oak Ridge High School is pictured above.

Oak Ridge High School will have an open house on Thursday beginning at 5:15 p.m. in the Food Court. Parents are asked to print their student’s schedules prior to the event from Skyward Family Access.

From 5:15-6 p.m., school guidance counselors will have PSAT sign-up, freshman TCAP results, and senior information tables. School clubs and organizations will have information tables set up during this time.  Food and drinks will be sold by the Oak Ridge High School Band Boosters. PTSO will be accepting donations of hand sanitizer and Kleenex for teacher use.

Beginning at 6 p.m., parents will meet in the Auditorium for a short welcome by Martin McDonald, school principal, and the PTSO officers. Then, parents will follow their children’s schedule period by period, spending about 10 minutes with each teacher. Hall guides will be provided to direct parents. [Read more…]