The Knoxville Adaptive Education Center serves select students in grades K through
12 from all schools in Knox County who require a structured and supportive school
environment with a strong mental health component. Students access the Intervention
Program at KAEC through the IEP Team process.
The Intervention Program currently consists of three elementary, three middle, and
seven high school classrooms at KAEC, plus 18 similarly run “Satellite” classrooms
in elementary, middle, and high schools across the county. Classroom staff have the
support of an Intervention Consultant, as well as, a mental health team consisting of
a licensed mental health professional and a mental health case manager. Classroom
and support staff are all trained in verbal de-escalation techniques to assist
students who may be in crisis.
The goal of the program at KAEC is to re-educate students who have not been
successful in their zoned schools in emotional self-regulation, improved decision
making, problem solving techniques, and social interactions, to prepare them to
return to and be successful in their zoned school, while maximizing each student’s
academic progress. Students typically step down to a Satellite class prior to
returning to their zoned school.
In addition to academic instruction following the curriculum guidelines of Tennessee
and the Knox County Schools, KAEC offers special-area classes in art, music, PE, and
computer skillls. In addition to the classroom computers, KAEC has a dedicated
Plato Lab. All students at KAEC participate in a number of group counseling
activities, one of which is an adventure-based counseling group. Group process is
vital to a student’s learning at KAEC. For each class, the school day starts with
a planning group and ends with an evaluation group. In these groups students are
encouraged to support one another in developing goals for growth and then evaluating
their progress on those goals.
Students at KAEC take all the standardized tests given throughout Knox County
Schools, including: T-CAP Achievement tests in grades 3 – 8, the TCAP Writing
Assessment in grades 5, 8, & 11, and Gateway and End-of Course Tests in high school.
Although our goal is to return students to their zoned schools, each year a number
of seniors graduate from KAEC, earning a regular education diploma if they have
passed the three Gateway tests, and either by earning the required 28 HS credits, or
by mastering the goals of their IEP’s.
During 1998, KAEC was recognized as a BEST Award winner by the Knoxville Area
Chamber Partnership in the Principal/Faculty category.