parent homework

Schools in our area are averse to allowing students to wear their Halloween costumes to school. Their brilliant solution to children with costumes and treats on the brains is to have students dress as a book character or a dead author or a career that interests them. This might be a fun assignment if parents […]


This picture was taken three years ago, on Northshore. This is what Northshore looks like on winter mornings around the same time that the elementary bus arrives. It is a dark, dangerous road that has a roadside memorial every few yards. Some of those memorials are recent enough that it is still painful to see […]

things I saw this past week

tons of wood shop, auto shop & beauty class equipment incoming freshmen who look like babies old schools built to last forever a new school that looks like it won’t withstand a strong wind a dozen floors being polished student teachers getting orientation a school built on top of a cave a lab that hasn’t […]

bees can make honey or they can sting

Last week, I started touring all of Knox County’s high schools and meeting the principals. It is the focus of my energies this week and my children are taking advantage of my time away to destroy the house. The end result is that I am scattered in too many directions until next week. Although I […]

What’s happening in my child’s school?

If last month’s PTA meeting was Pythonesque fun, then today’s meeting was a demonstration in frustration. The parents were frustrated that their children were subjected to a random weapon search. “We didn’t KNOW that was a new policy.” The principal was frustrated that the parents were upset. “Didn’t you get the *automated call this morning?” […]

Is that something shiny?

Sometimes, I wonder if our School Board and/or Superintendent suggest changes like school uniforms, the start date of school and the start time of school, just to distract everyone. Maybe they do these things to give the illusion that parents’ input is considered in our school system. Maybe it’s the only way they can get […]

Community Schools

Knox County NEEDS to have someone or a group of someones attending the Coalition for Community Schools Learning Lab. IF that person could be me, the event would be live blogged. IF an agency or group sponsored me, I would wear a t-shirt with their logo to the event. I am an education and mental […]

If I had stimulus dollars (for schools)…

Our school system could benefit from a lot of things. Old, decrepit buildings need repairs and shiny new buildings need basic supplies. We have students with multiple disabilities who need adaptive equipment and gifted students who need advanced tools and information. Maybe our new Super would like to put his STEM high school in a […]

Dear Knox County Schools,

When School Matters was created, I pretty much stopped writing about school topics on this blog. As the site has gained users, I realized that I was spending more of my time nudging discussions and calming tempers than just writing what was on my mind. That ends now. When the Superintendent search was narrowed down […]