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Tennessee Department of Education announces the Accelerating TN 2021 Summer Bus Tour

Tennessee Department of EducationNashville, TN – Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the Accelerating TN 2021 Tour, a statewide tour spanning 50 school districts over the course of three weeks to highlight summer learning opportunities. Department members, elected officials, and education partners will have the chance to join the various engagements to learn more about how schools are accelerating student achievement.

Statewide Tour to Highlight Districts, Educators Accelerating Student Achievement Across TN
Statewide Tour to Highlight Districts, Educators Accelerating Student Achievement Across TN

Tennessee has led the nation in supporting students throughout the pandemic, prioritizing education policy and programs to ensure our children are set up for success. 

During the Tennessee General Assembly’s extraordinary legislative session in January, legislators passed the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act which set forward a path for all districts’ current and future summer programming opportunities to benefit students.

 In addition, this summer, districts and schools are in the process of planning how to spend their portions of historic federal COVID-19 relief and recovery funding flowing– about $4.2 million for K-12 education in Tennessee– to accelerate student achievement.

To highlight this important work, Commissioner Penny Schwinn, department staff, state and local elected officials, and community partners will be visiting over a third of Tennessee’s school districts this summer to connect directly with students, educators, and stakeholders. 

“After countless disruptions caused by a global pandemic, Tennessee is focused on implementing innovative and student-focused learning opportunities that will help accelerate student achievement,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. 

“Stopping at 50 school districts statewide, the Accelerating TN 2021 bus tour will support the important work happening this summer– highlighting best practices, facilitating key discussions and connecting the many stakeholders who want to help all Tennessee students succeed. By engaging, listening and learning over the next three weeks, we can help ensure Tennessee continues to lead on behalf of our children,” Schwinn stated.

Some planned highlights of the Accelerating TN 2021 bus tour include visits to the Summer Learning Camps and After-School STREAM Mini-Camps, as well as the Reading 360 Early Reading Training

Additionally, on numerous visits, the Commissioner and guests will partake in district leadership roundtables discussing federal stimulus investments as well as events highlighting state, regional or district work.


The schedule for the Accelerating TN 2021 Tour, visiting 50 districts, is: 

  • June 14th-17th: East Tennessee 
    • June 14th: Johnson City Schools, Bristol City Schools, Sullivan County Schools, Kingsport City Schools, Washington County Schools 
    • June 15th: Jefferson County Schools, Grainger County Schools, Claiborne County Schools, Scott County Schools, Oneida Special School District  
    • June 16th: Tennessee School for the Deaf, Knox County Schools, Sevier County Schools, Blount County Schools, Maryville City Schools, Alcoa City Schools, Clinton City Schools 
    • June 17th: Etowah City Schools, Polk County Schools, Bradley County Schools, Cleveland City Schools, Hamilton County Schools 
  • June 21st-22nd: West Tennessee 
    • June 21st: Benton County Schools, Hollow Rock-Bruceton Special School District, Trenton County Schools, Bradford County Schools, Milan Special School District  
    • June 22nd: Tipton County Schools, Lauderdale County Schools, Haywood County Schools 
  • June 28th- July 1st: Middle Tennessee    
    • June 28th: Trousdale County Schools, Jackson County Schools, Overton County Schools, Pickett County Schools, White County Schools, Warren County Schools 
    • June 29th: Decatur County Schools, Perry County Schools, Maury County Schools, Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Tennessee School for the Blind 
    • June 30th: Cheatham County Schools, Dickson County Schools, Sumner County Schools, Wilson County Schools 
    • July 1st: Murfreesboro City Schools, Rutherford County Schools, Clarksville Montgomery County Schools 

 *Any future changes in the above schedule will be indicated in weekly media advisories shared during the bus tour duration. 


District leadership commented on the essential work taking place across the state this summer.

“I am grateful for the support of Governor Lee, the General Assembly, and the Tennessee Department of Education regarding our summer camp experience that is now underway in Cleveland,” said Dr. Russell Dyer, Director of Schools, Cleveland City Schools. “Our teachers, support staff, and students are engaged in fun and meaningful learning experiences that will make a real difference in each of their lives. Our aim is to accelerate the learning for our summer camp participants so that all students are ready for grade-level work when we return for the 2020-2021 school year. I’ve observed firsthand the fun learning experiences our teachers are creating and I’m confident our students will make significant gains by their attendance this summer!”

“The White County Board of Education is proud to welcome Commissioner Penny Schwinn as she visits our Summer Bridge program,” said Kurt Dronebarger, Director of Schools, White County Schools. “We are so pleased to be able to offer this summer school programming to our students and families and we give thanks to Governor Lee, the Tennessee General Assembly, and the TN Department of Education for making the funding available. We believe that this extra month of school will be pivotal in recouping learning loss due to the pandemic and accelerating learning opportunities as we approach the next school year.”

“Our Tipton County school administrators are excited to have the upcoming opportunity to engage with Commissioner Schwinn during her summer bus tour,” said Dr. John Combs, Director of Schools, Tipton County Schools. “It has been a unique and challenging year to say the least, so we appreciate Commissioner Schwinn taking the time to stop by Tipton County to share the Tennessee Department of Education’s vision for Tennessee schools and see firsthand the great work happening in our district.”

As a part of this statewide tour, legislators, state board members, partners, and members of the media will be invited to ride on the bus or attend an event and join the department in celebrating and supporting our students this summer.

Follow the stops along the bus tour on social media at #AcceleratingTN2021. If you see the bus, take a photo or video, post to social media and tag the department, and include #AcceleratingTN2021. 


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