Family Guide to the Start of the 2023-24 School Year
July 18, 2023
Are you excited for the start of the 2023-24 school year? Here is what you need to know!
Before School Begins
During the School Year
How do I register my child?
If your kindergarten through 12th-grade student is new to Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools or is transferring between schools, enroll online by visiting parents.cmcss.net.
The Enrollment Center serves as a centralized location for parents and guardians to register their children and gather documents, resources, and support for the enrollment process.
CMCSS Enrollment Center
430 Greenwood Ave.
Clarksville, TN 37040
The Enrollment Center is open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., throughout the calendar year when district offices are open. Parents and guardians are able to begin the registration process at the Enrollment Center, including the ability to submit important registration documents. Parents and guardians still have the option to complete the enrollment process at their child’s zoned school when buildings are open and staff is available. School offices reopen on July 20. Visit cmcss.net/registration for more information.
How do I stay connected with communications from my child’s school and the district?
CMCSS families are encouraged to sign up for PowerSchool and ParentSquare notifications. These are the primary means of communication from both school-based administrators and the District. Families will receive everything from inclement weather messages to instruction updates. You can download the PowerSchool mobile app (free) and the ParentSquare mobile app (free) on any Android or iOS device.
Please note that families will receive communications over the coming days and weeks regarding electronic forms for 1:1 technology, emergency cards, the Student Code of Conduct, health assessments, and other important topics. Reminders will be sent until the forms are completed.
UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION:
Throughout the year, if a parent or guardian needs to update his or her contact information, please visit CMCSS Parent Self-Service and click the “Update Student Information” tile to enter new contact information.
CMCSS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Follow CMCSS on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @cmcssinfo. Subscribe to the district’s YouTube channel, Focus, @cmcssfocus.
For the directions below, please note that PowerSchool will be enabled on August 4, 2023. If you do not already have an account, please check back on or after August 4 to create an account.
CREATING A POWERSCHOOL ACCOUNT:
To create a PowerSchool account, visit powerschool.cmcss.net, click the Create Account tab, and complete the form. You can find your child’s Access ID by visiting parents.cmcss.net and click on Get Student Security Info.
POWERSCHOOL MOBILE APP:
The PowerSchool app is a free and convenient resource for families to review their child’s academic progress. Once you set up an account using the directions above, download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Use CMCSS’ district code P Z Q N when you register.
Visit cmcss.net/parentsquare for more information on how to register your ParentSquare account and download the mobile app.
If school buildings must close due to inclement weather or other emergencies, the CMCSS Communications Department will use ParentSquare to notify families via call, text, email and push notifications on the app. The district also will share inclement weather closure updates on official CMCSS social media accounts, district and school websites, and local media. Please ensure that you check your sources when viewing school closure information on social media.
What school supplies will my child need?
Having your child prepared is a great way to start the school year. Click here for a list of supplies typically needed for elementary students. The supplies will be collected and stored for classroom use. Depending upon usage, students may need to replenish their supplies at some point during the school year. Additionally, sometimes teachers may request other items, depending on the curriculum.
Middle and High Schools have more differences in supply lists, so it’s best to wait until students receive the list from their teacher.
When is Tennessee Tax-Free Weekend?
The state of Tennessee’s annual sales tax holiday is held every year, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the last Friday in July and ending at 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday night. During this weekend, certain goods may be purchased tax-free. The 2023 tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 28, and ends Sunday, July 30 at 11:59 p.m.
Click here for more information about the sales tax holiday from the TN Department of Revenue.
How will we learn about school bus information?
Routing information for the 2023-2024 School Year will be available at cmcss.net/bus-zoning/ beginning Friday, July 21.
If you have questions, please call (931) 358-4089 for more information.
For parents of younger children, please ensure they either know their address or have it written down for them in a safe place. Also, caution your child not to get off the bus if the stop is unfamiliar to them. Please visit cmcss.net/bussafety for more information.
Bus Rider Eligibility:
The parent responsibility zone (PRZ), the area in which families are responsible for providing transportation (car rider, walker, etc.), is:
- 1 mile for elementary students
- 1 ½ miles for middle and high school students
For student safety, transportation will still be provided for students who live in the PRZ under the following travel conditions:
- 4 or more lanes of traffic without a crossing guard
- Roads with insufficient road width (less than 24 ft.) with speeds above 35 mph
- Roads with no sidewalks with speeds above 35 mph
- This does not impact students who receive Special Populations transportation services as indicated in their IEPs.
- If a daycare is in the PRZ, CMCSS will not provide transportation.
- Families must ensure that their students are at their assigned bus stops five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- Students will be picked up and dropped off at the same bus stop every day.
Stopfinder provides real-time information on where your child’s bus is as they travel to and from school. This secure and protected app allows you to provide access to trusted guardians or friends for as long or short of a time as you wish. Parents and guardians can also choose to share access with students. Registration invitations will be sent out at the beginning of the school year. Click here to learn more about StopFinder.
When are Open Houses at the school?
Elementary School Open Houses, or “Back to School Nights,” are Fri., Aug. 4, from 5-7 p.m.
Middle School Open Houses will be on Thu., Aug. 17, from 5-7 p.m.
High School Open Houses will be on Thu., Aug. 24, from 5-7 p.m.
What information do families with a kindergartener need to know?
Elementary School Open Houses are a great time to visit with your child’s teacher, tour the school, and learn about a typical kindergarten day.
All kindergarteners will attend the half day of school on Monday, August 7. Each elementary school will host its first day of school in a manner best suited for its families. While it is not required that families attend the entire half-day, some families may choose to do so.
Schools will communicate individually with families regarding kindergarten flex days (Aug. 10-11 & 14-15). Your child will be scheduled to come to school on one of the four flex days. All kindergarteners will then begin school on Wednesday, August 16 for their first full day of school.
When is Freshmen Orientation?
Families of ninth graders will be contacted soon by their enrolled schools regarding the details of their Freshman Orientation. Please contact your child’s enrolled school if you have any questions.
What are the state requirements on immunizations?
Click here for CMCSS Health Services-related information, including information on immunizations.
If your student qualifies for a Medical or Religious Exemption, please see our admission policy and Religious Exemption form on the district website (HEA-F092).
For information regarding Meningococcal and Influenza immunizations, please refer to the Health Services page. TN Code § 49-6-5005 states that schools must provide parents and guardians with information about meningococcal disease and the effectiveness of vaccination against meningococcal disease at the beginning of every school year.
What school safety and security protocols does CMCSS have in place?
School safety is CMCSS’ top priority. To learn more about CMCSS’ school safety and security protocols, visit the CMCSS School Safety Hub.
Important Reminders for Families:
- Please continue to partner with us by talking to your children about making good choices, the consequences for offenses in the Student Code of Conduct, and the consequences for illegal activities.
- An individual can be charged for threatening to commit an act of mass violence on school property or at a school-related activity by any means of communication. In several cases, students have made threatening statements they claimed were jokes. Making a threat is not a joke, and the consequences are serious.
- Please talk to your children about the importance of immediately reporting any safety concern to a teacher, administrator, SRO, or other trusted adults. For imminent threats, immediately call 911. Please do not post or repost threats or rumors of school violence on social media. This adds to the panic and confusion and makes investigating threats much more difficult for law enforcement and administrators.
- One of the most important things we can all do is truly get to know our children. When students have meaningful connections with family members, teachers and staff, and other trusted adults, it can make a tremendous difference when they are struggling emotionally or need extra support. If your child needs support, CMCSS has school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers who are ready to assist and can provide additional community resources to families.
What is the Student Code of Conduct?
The Student Code of Conduct communicates the rights, responsibilities, rules, and due process procedures for CMCSS students. The Code of Conduct applies to any student who is on school property, who is on a school bus or at a school bus stop, who is in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity/program, or whose conduct at any time or place (i.e., off-campus conduct) has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the schools. This includes all social media.
Annually, families are required to acknowledge that they have read the Student Code of Conduct. The Technology Department will send electronic acknowledgment forms to all families at the beginning of the year. Families need to ensure their contact information is up-to-date. See the “How do I stay connected with communications from my child’s school and the district?” section above for directions on how to update contact information.
With the escalating student behaviors observed over the past few years, it is extremely important that families read the Student Code of Conduct, reinforce positive behaviors with students, and explain the consequences, including potential criminal charges, for offenses.
During the School Year
When does school begin?
Monday, Aug. 7, is the first half day, and Thursday, Aug. 10, is the first full day.
Aug. 8-9 are Staff Development Days. These are important days for staff to make adjustments to class rosters, schedules, transportation routes, and other logistics after the first half day when many new students will arrive at school who have not pre-registered.
Visit cmcss.net/calendars for the 2023-2024 school year calendar. With generous sponsorship from Jostens, the CMCSS Communications Department will provide a printed calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. These calendars will be arriving soon at the homes of enrolled students!
How can I find out what my child is being taught throughout the school year?
CMCSS teaches the Tennessee State Standards as approved by the State Board of Education. The CMCSS Instruction & Curriculum Department developed the Parent Academic Resources Hub to share the instructional units, unit pacing guides, and standards with parents and students so they know what is being taught throughout the year.
What are the school meal prices, and how do I apply for free/reduced meals?
It is extremely important that all families who believe their children qualify for free or reduced meals complete the application for the 2023-2024 school year, beginning Monday, July 17, 2023. An application can be completed online at schoolcafe.com, the fastest and preferred method, or a paper application can be picked up at a student’s enrolled school. Applications must be submitted and approved each school year for a student to receive benefits. You can use your student’s school ID number for the online application, but it is not required.
Below are school meal prices, which have not increased since 2018:
Elementary Student Meal Prices
- Breakfast (Full Pay): $1.00
- Breakfast (Reduced): $0.30
- Lunch (Full Pay): $2.65
- Lunch (Reduced): $0.40
Secondary Student Meal Prices
- Breakfast (Full Pay): $1.15
- Breakfast (Reduced): $0.30
- Lunch (Full Pay): $2.85
- Lunch (Reduced): $0.40
When and where are 2024 graduations?
All ceremonies will take place at Austin Peay State University in the Dunn Center.
Wednesday, May 22
- Middle College at APSU – 10 a.m.
- CMCSS Adult High School – 12 p.m.
- CMCSS K-12 Virtual – 2 p.m.
- Adult Education – 4 p.m.
Thursday, May 23
- Rossview High School – 4 p.m.
- Clarksville High School – 7 p.m.
Friday, May 24
- Kirkwood High School – 4 p.m.
- Northwest High School – 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 25
- Northeast High School – 9 a.m.
- Montgomery Central High School – 12 p.m.
- Kenwood High School – 3 p.m.
- West Creek High School – 6 p.m.
How can I access social and emotional support for my child?
If your child needs support, CMCSS has school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers who are ready to assist and can provide additional community resources to families. Resources are available to families via the district website. For more information, visit cmcss.net/sel.
Beginning this year, CMCSS has a partnership with Care Solace to make accessing mental health care even easier for families. Care Solace navigates the mental health care system to find available providers matched to specific needs – so you don’t have to. For an anonymous pathway to care, the community can utilize Care Match, a self-service tool, to find verified providers on their own. Click here to access CMCSS’ Care Match self-service tool.
Handle with Care
Handle with Care is a program in which first responders work together with schools to provide proactive support for potentially trauma-affected students within the community. CMCSS does not share any FERPA-protected information with any person or entity as a partner in Handle with Care. First responders identify children at any scene who have been potentially exposed to trauma. The child’s name, age, grade, and “handle with care” will be sent by first responders in a confidential notice to the child’s school before the child starts school the next day. Click here to watch a video about Handle with Care.
What is the attendance policy?
Regular attendance is important to the success of our students. Consistent attendance in an educational setting provides students with a strong foundation for the school year.
The Compulsory School Attendance Law in Tennessee (T.C.A. §49-6-3001) requires children (ages 6-17 inclusive) to attend school each day. Students who accumulate five (5) days of unexcused absences will be required to participate in a conference with their parent/legal guardian and may be referred to Juvenile Court according to the CMCSS Progressive Truancy Intervention Plan (STS-P010). The following are official or adequate excuses that should be turned in to the Attendance Secretary in the school office:
- Medical note (doctor, dentist, hospital, etc.) for which the student was a patient
- Court note for which the student was required to be in court
- Funeral notice (obituary/funeral program of a family member)
- Military deployment paperwork-for military dependents, TN Law (T.C.A. 49-6-3019) allows the following for out-of-country deployments:
- 1 excused absence when the parent leaves for deployment
- 1 excused absence when the parent returns at the end of deployment
- Up to ten (10) days excused absences when the parent is home from the deployment for
- Rest and Recuperation
- In addition, local policy allows up to five (5) consecutive days of excused absences (either before or after the deployment) when the parent deployment is less than twelve (12) months
- Military paperwork/documentation MUST be provided to the school for these to be excused.
- Parents or legal guardians may submit notes for students to be excused up to five (5) days per school year, for any reason. To be excused, notes must be provided by the parent or legal guardian and received by the school within five (5) school days of the absence.
For high school and middle school classes, an absence per class is defined as missing ten (10) or more minutes of the class period.
Make-up work: (Including suspension and remandment) Upon the first day of returning to school, it is the student’s responsibility to make contact with the teacher(s) regarding make-up work. During the school year, make-up work must be completed within a number of days equal to the number of consecutive days of the absences. A grade of “0” shall be entered into the teacher’s grade book for any missing work until the assignments have been completed and turned in.
Will elementary schools be rezoned with the construction of the new Kirkwood Elementary School?
Kirkwood Elementary is projected to open for the 2024-25 school year. With the opening of new schools and continued growth in Clarksville-Montgomery County, redistricting is unavoidable. District leaders understand the uncertainty of zoning changes can be difficult for some families. The district is committed to engaging stakeholders throughout the process and will provide timely and transparent updates about elementary rezoning for the 2024-25 school year.
CMCSS will be working with a third-party consulting firm with expertise in school system rezoning as the District did with rezoning middle and high schools. In collaboration with the consulting firm and community stakeholders, the CMCSS Zoning Project Team will study and evaluate existing school zones and building capacities to identify opportunities to better serve students, per the district’s Zoning Procedure (OPS-P017). The following criteria guide the team’s work:
- Rezone as few students as possible
- Proximity of students to existing schools
- Transport students the least distance possible
- Equitable distribution of resources according to the learning needs of all students
- Enrollment capacity of existing schools
- Consideration of free and reduced lunch status (socioeconomic)
- Allow for future growth where possible (based upon Regional Planning Commission lot and permit data)
More information will be provided to families in the coming months.
How do student IDs work for elementary students?
During the 2022-2023 school year, several CMCSS schools participated in the pilot program for student identification cards. The student ID cards use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology to monitor when students ride a CMCSS school bus and proved a useful tool in increasing accountability for students.
For the 2023-2024 school year, all elementary students will be issued a student ID card.
There are several ways in which RFID technology will be used. First, students will be required to scan their ID cards when entering and exiting the school bus. Card readers on buses will account for the students’ movement, so transportation employees and principals will know when students are on the bus. At no time will the ID cards track or monitor a student’s location in any way.
In the school cafeteria, students will use their ID cards to check out when purchasing breakfast or lunch items. Parents and guardians will continue to load money using their SchoolCafe account. The new student ID card will be linked to the SchoolCafe account.
Families, the safety and security of our students is a top priority. Student identification cards will not have a photo ID but will have their personal QR code, which assists with logging into school-issued laptops. Cards will not contain any information, including home address, birth date, health-related information, or other personal details.
Students will be expected to bring their ID card each day.