Hawkins Special Ed one of six in state named Exemplary ACCESS District

Jeff Bobo • Feb 10, 2019 at 3:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County Schools’ Special Education Department was one of six public school systems in Tennessee honored last month as a 2018 Exemplary ACCESS District.

ACCESS stands for All Children Challenged and Equipped for Success.

For the past 2½ years, Carters Valley Elementary School, Hawkins Elementary School and the Special Education Department have been involved in an intensive special education professional development program funded through a Tennessee Personnel Development Grant. The purpose of the grant is to achieve high quality instruction for all students.

CVES, HES and the Special Education Department were recognized last month by the Tennessee Department of Education for being an Exemplary ACCESS District.

On Thursday, staff from the two schools along with Special Education Supervisor Angela Jackson and her staff were recognized by the Hawkins County Board of Education.

Director of Schools Matt Hixson told the BOE that Hawkins County was recognized as being “exemplary” for implementing intensive work and exceptional dedication to providing all students with access to high-quality instruction and intervention over the past two years through a state Personnel Development Grant.

“The grant involves special education teachers and general education teachers in our county working together to meet all students’ needs,” Hixson said. “The first year of training was designed to improve access to the core curriculum based on the universal design of learning for special education and general education teachers. The second year of the grant involved intensive training for all special education teachers.”

Hixson added, “(Exemplary) designation was based on training, improvements in teaching methods, improvements in the quality of individual education plans, and improvements in reading screening scores.”

CVES and HES were recognized for being the first two schools in this program to participate; however, Hixson said the program will gradually be implemented at all Hawkins County schools. Several faculty members and administrators from both schools attended Thursday’s BOE meeting for the recognition.

“Special thanks to Carters Valley and Hawkins Elementary Schools for their excellent work and stepping up and taking on this challenge and doing what’s right for our students — all of our students,” Hixson said. “We look forward to the next steps within this grant as we take these efforts districtwide.”