Piedmont is a small rural community west of Dandridge and located on the south side of Jefferson County. State Highway 92 links this community with Dandridge and Jefferson City while U.S. Highway 25W-70 and I-40 give this community easy access to Knoxville, Sevierville, and the Great Smoky Mountains.
In l915, John Curry and J.W. Meadows gave land on which a “modern” building was erected. This new building led to the consolidation of Wesley’s Chapel, Newman’s School, and Piedmont School. This new school building was named Piedmont School, but this building burned. In l951, a larger building was built on land purchased by donations of parents interested in keeping the school in the Piedmont community.
In l977, a cafeteria was added to the building. Within the last few years, several changes have taken place at Piedmont, as we have experienced tremendous population growth in our area. In l995 renovations added a new primary area, a media center, and larger office space. Other renovations included heating and cooling systems, wiring for technology advances, and a teacher workroom.
In June of 1999, groundbreaking started on Phase II of the building program for Piedmont. On the Primary wing five classrooms and office areas were added. These house kindergarten, special education, speech, and guidance. On the west wing eleven classrooms were added to house grades two through four. A new cafetorium, bathrooms, staff area, and a nurse’s clinic were also included. Space was renovated for an art/music room, storage areas, and bathrooms in the gymnasium, additional conference rooms, and front office space. The minimum capacity for the building is four hundred students with a maximum of four hundred and fifty students. The Board of Education purchased an additional two acres of land to enhance our outdoor activities and for further growth. In 2004 a pre-school for Exceptional children was added. In October of 2005 a pre-kindergarten class was added as a result of Governor Bredesen’s literacy initiative. We are now serving approximately four hundred and fifty-one students in pre-school through fifth grades.
After a thorough review of student and school data, test scores, input from many areas, and development of goals for improvement, our school was very proud to receive accreditation in the spring of 1999 in SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). In the spring of 2004 accreditation was maintained in SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) after a Peer Team Review. Piedmont Elementary School is in “Good Standing” with SACS and NCLB. We look forward in continuing to serve our community with the same high standards that have governed our school through the years.
The school plant sets on twelve acres in the community of Piedmont. The school has twenty-four classrooms, two special area classrooms, a gymnasium, a cafetorium with seating for 180, a library, and a state of the art kitchen, with the building being handicapped accessible. There is one computer server room. There are two custodial storage rooms. There are two full sets of restrooms for students, with K-1-2 having a single restroom in the classroom; there are also four staff restrooms. There is a clinic that contains one restroom. The school contains two teacher workrooms. Office space consists of rooms with two separate conference rooms. The library office was converted to a leveled reader book room where teachers may check out sets of leveled books for classroom use. There is an area in the library with books and videos on child development and parenting skills that parents are encouraged to use. The plant consists of 233 sq. ft. per student. There is 174,240 sq. ft. of usable outdoor space.
Environmental and Safety Conditions
In order to ensure that our school is a safe place to attend and work we adhere to policies outlined in “JCS Emergency Management,” a safety manual developed by our school system. Our own school developed a plan entitled “Piedmont Elementary School Emergency Preparedness Plan” which details procedures for emergencies within our building.
In November of 2002, teachers were given a copy of the Emergency Plan to keep in their classroom. Each teacher is required to review and practice the plan of procedures with the students every six weeks. This plan is reviewed each year with all teachers and staff.
The Plan includes procedures for: Crisis Management, Evacuation, Tornado or Severe Weather, Death Management, Medical Emergency, Major Student Disruption, School Safety, Preparedness Checklist. A Chain of Command is specified in the Plan.
Evacuation Procedures are posted on the wall in each classroom and other designated areas. These plans and procedures are updated each year, and copies are given to all designated personnel.
Teacher contracts are for 200 days with students attending 180 days. Teachers spend 7.5 hours in the classroom each day, while students spend a total of seven hours a day in the classroom. Teachers have approximately 5.5 hours per week planning time. Piedmont, a public school, serves Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. There is a school technology plan in place that correlates with the county technology plan. Each teacher has a teacher’s station and at least four student computers for student usage.
There are four kindergarten classes, four first grade classes, three second grade classes, three third grade classes, three fourth grade classes, and three fifth grade classes. The third, fourth, and fifth grades redistribute each year because of enrollment. There is one pre-kindergarten class, one resource classroom, and one pre-school class for Exceptional children.
Textbooks are adopted every six years in consecutive order starting with reading, social studies, science, reading/language, math, music, literature, and health. Committees are formed in each school with the grade chair being the coordinator for that grade. Two teachers are selected to serve on the county wide committee. All teachers have access to adoption samples with reasonable time for review and input.
- Ann Lindsey