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Tennessee Releases New State Report Card

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Commissioner McQueen
Director of Schools Curtis

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today released the new, redesigned state report card for 2017-18. This tool was developed over the past year with educators, parents, and community organizations and includes a number of new features based on that feedback, including school ratings, a Spanish translation of the site, and additional new data about the performance of different student groups.
The new report card is intended to help families better understand school performance and support student success. The updated design of the report card and information that is included in the tool, including the new rating system, is based on input the department received as it developed a plan to transition to the new federal K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and has several components that are unique to Tennessee.
“We want families to have easy access to information about their school’s performance and how it is meeting the needs of all students, and we want them to have that context on a variety of metrics that encompass success,” Commissioner McQueen said. “The report card provides parents and community members with an additional snapshot of information to understand how their school is performing, see successes, and know where to ask questions and get engaged.”
While the department has published a state report card for a number of years, the redesigned version includes a number of updates. For the first time, the report card provides schools with ratings on up to six indicators designated in Tennessee Succeeds, the state’s ESSA plan. These indicators capture different aspects of school performance and include academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, progress on English language proficiency, and graduation rate. The report card also includes a new measure called the Ready Graduate indicator that that looks for students’ readiness for college and career to let families know how students are being prepared for life after graduation.
The rating system provides a score of 0.0 to 4.0 on each indicator, similar to a GPA, with 4.0 being the highest. Parents can click through to see more information behind each rating, including how both the full student population and different student groups are performing. Ratings are based either on how well the school is doing overall or how much it improved over the last year; the school receives the higher of the two. The department has shared more information about the rating system and indicators, as well as context on how schools were rated in 2017-18, here.
Additional new features include a new full Spanish translation of the website, an opportunity for principals and superintendents to share messages about their schools, and a wealth of new metrics, including new details on the performance of different student groups and new data in areas like discipline and attendance. The department will continue to update and improve this tool in future years as it receives additional feedback, which families can share via the report card home page. To view the new report card, click here.
Director of Cannon County Schools, William F. Curtis stated in his personal message on the Cannon County Schools Report Card, "Welcome to the Cannon County School District. It is a distinct honor to serve as your Director of Schools. Our desire is for all students to graduate from Cannon County High School prepared for college or a career. It takes ALL of US - Parents, Teachers, Staff, Administrators, and Community Leaders to see our MISSION - "Preparing All Student for Their Future" become a reality! We accomplish this through our VISION - "E3 = Engaged in Excellence Every Day!" We strive to maintain a safe, healthy and positive school environment. Our desire is to see this Report Card improve every year! Please visit our website at www.ccstn.net."  He further stated, "The Report Card shows the progress from the last school year 2017-2018.  Our school system personnel are all working hard to see improvement in our schools.  There is good news in that progress has been made to lower those students that are chronically absent. And as always on a report card – there is room for improvement, specifically in academic achievement and growth.  We are all motivated to see our scores continue to improve.  Thanks to all stakeholders in Cannon County for aiding us in that improvement."

Commission Meeting Set For Thursday

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The agenda for this month’s meeting of the Cannon County Commission has been released by county executive Brent Bush.
A budget policy will be up for consideration by the commission for the 2019/2020 budget year.
Commissioners will consider resolution 2018-14 calling for the county, Tennessee Board of County Commissioners Partnership Initiative provided by the Tennessee Corrections Institute of the Department of Commerce and Insurance of the State of Tennessee.
Frank Matthews will address the commissioners concerning the courtroom security grant.
David Brown has asked for time before the commissioners about carnival/fair planning for May of next year.
Greg Johnson will address the commission regarding a website for the county.
And the steering committee will make their recommendations for committees known.
The regular meeting is slated for Thursday at 5:00pm in the courtroom of the Cannon County Courthouse.

Location and Date Announced for Toys for Christ

Monday, 3 December 2018

Toys For Christ project has been announced for this year.  The event has been moved to Pleasant View Baptist Church at 2355 Lonnie Smith Rd Woodbury. This will be the seventh year for the free toy store to benefit families in need in Cannon and surrounding areas.
The event runs from 9 AM to 2 PM on December 8, 2018. The group will have shuttle buses running from the Lions Club and ballpark area to our church for those unfamiliar with the area or that are in need of a ride. There are two main requirements to enter the toy store. A valid birth certificate or social security card must be presented on each child or grandchild that will be shopped for with a limit of 4 per adult.
The second requirement is that participants must listen to a ten minute gospel presentation in order to enter the toy store. Finally, in order to ensure the group touches the most lives, we limit a child to being shopped for once. The goal is to share the Love of Christ to all this Christmas as He is the reason for the season. 

Stones River to Expand Service

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Stones River Hospital recently announced its intention to open a new Adult Psychiatric Unit on the campus of the hospital.
The Adult Psychiatric Unit at Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital will have six beds and was developed as part of Saint Thomas Health's longer term strategy to address behavioral health needs, particularly in the rural communities it serves. The new unit will serve as a dedicated space for adult psychiatric cases and will make the emergency department more accessible for other emergent issues.
“As we continue to grow our services based on community need, we will focus our efforts at Stones River on outpatient services and inpatient behavioral health services,” said Andy Wachtel, President and CEO of Saint Thomas DeKalb, Highlands, and Stones River Hospitals. “This includes adding an adult psychiatric unit and continuing to grow the existing Riverside Center that serves the senior population.”
In addition, the unit will alleviate the burden of travel for many patients to get the care they need now being closer to home. The unit is planned to open on April 2nd.

Approach "Free Trials" with Caution Advises State

Thursday, 29 November 2018

The option to “try before your buy” when looking for a product or service can be enticing, but the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Consumer Affairs Division is advising consumers to approach free trial offers with caution.
While there are many reputable companies offering free trials, some use these offers as a way to sign you up for more products—even if you don’t want them. These subscriptions can end up costing hundreds of dollars before the consumer realizes their accounts have been debited.
Unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of consumers by making it hard to cancel, by hiding the terms and conditions, pre-checking sign-up boxes during the initial order, or by making their cancellation terms so strict that it is next to impossible to stop the deliveries and billing. Other scammers take advantage of consumers by charging a seemingly low “shipping and handling fee”. While you think you’re getting a product by paying only a few dollars in shipping and handling costs, the scammers now have your bank information and continue to charge you after the trial ends.
“Trial offers can be a great way for consumers to test a product or service before they buy, but they are also an easy way for scammers to take advantage of consumers,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We encourage Tennesseans to do their research before signing up for free trials to avoid falling victim to scammers.”
To help consumers avoid hidden costs associated with free trial subscriptions, TDCI’s Division of Consumer Affairs shares the following tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

  • RESEARCH THE COMPANY: Read reviews to see what other people are saying about the company. Complaints from other consumers can tip you off to “catches” that might come with the trial.
  • FIND THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Carefully read the terms and conditions for all types of offers—online, TV, newspaper, or radio. If you can’t find them or can’t understand exactly what you’re agreeing to, don’t sign up.
  • LOOK FOR WHO’S BEHIND THE OFFER: Just because you were on a webpage of a well-known business doesn’t mean the offer or pop-up is from them. Double-check the URL and ensure the offer is from who you think it is. If a product claims to be endorsed by a celebrity, verify the endorsement from the celebrity’s official website or social media account.
  • BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR PRE-CHECKED BOXES: If you sign-up for a free trial online, look for boxes that have been automatically checked. These checkmarks could give the company authority to continue the offer past the free trial or could sign you up for more products—only this time you will have to pay.
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Many free trials have a time limit. Once it passes without you telling the company to cancel your “order”, you may be on the hook for more products.
  • LOOK FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO CANCEL FUTURE SHIPMENTS: It’s important to know how to cancel the subscription if you decide you no longer want the product or service.
  • REVIEW YOUR CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD STATEMENTS: Keeping track of your credit and debit card statements can provide you with an early warning if you are being charged for something you didn’t want or didn’t order. If you see charges you didn't agree to, contact the company directly to sort out the situation. If that doesn't work, call your credit card company to dispute the charge.

For more information on being a savvy consumer, visit tn.gov/consumer. More information on subscription scams can be found here.

Think Safety When Using Medical Oxygen

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Medical oxygen is a necessity for those suffering from respiratory illnesses, but, tragically, medical oxygen has been present in several home fires that resulted in the deaths of Tennesseans in 2018.
State fire data shows medical oxygen was present in 9% of the fatal fires that have occurred so far in 2018 (eight out of 89 total fatalities). In October 2018 alone, medical oxygen was present in one-third of fatal home fires (two out of six fire fatalities). As winter approaches and people spend more time indoors, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) urges consumers using medical oxygen to renew their commitment to taking fire-safety precautions in order to prevent fires and burns from occurring.
“Complying with the safety instructions provided by the home medical oxygen supplies is imperative in protecting yourself, your property, and your loved ones from unintended, dangerous fires,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak. “There is no reason for anyone to ever smoke while using medical oxygen, period.”
Why is medical oxygen so prevalent in home fire deaths? Fire needs three things to grow: Heat, fuel, and oxygen. Where medical oxygen is present, the surrounding air’s oxygen saturation is increased. This allows fires to start easier and burn hotter and faster, making escape more difficult.
The SFMO encourages Tennesseans to remember the following tips to avoid fire hazards associated with the presence of medical oxygen:

  • There is no safe way to smoke in a home when medical oxygen is in use. A person utilizing medical oxygen should never smoke.
  • Candles, matches, wood stoves, and even sparking toys can be ignition sources and should not be used in a home where medical oxygen is present.
  • Keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from heat sources, open flames, or electrical devices.
  • Items containing oil or grease, like hand lotion, can easily ignite. Keep oil and grease away from where medical oxygen is being used.
  • Never use aerosol sprays, especially those that indicate flammable contents, near the oxygen.
  • Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs inside and outside the home to remind people that medical oxygen is present.
  • Ensure smoke alarm are working by testing them monthly. Replace the unit if it is more than 10 years old.
  • Create a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and a designated meeting place outside. Practice the plan with every member of the household.

For more information on keeping you and your family fire safe, visit tn.gov/fire.  


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