STEM PROJECTS Eighteen Tennessee schools win a combined $60,000 in grants for STEM-related class projects and equipment. Chalkbeat

HOW I TEACH A high school government teacher reflects on transitioning from being a college professor, getting students to connect with the material and developing critical thinking skills. Chalkbeat

CHARTER SCHOOL FIGHT Memphis Lift and top union representative Keith Williams are featured on fight among black leaders over national NAACP call for moratorium on charter schools. PBS News Hour

BREAKAWAY A Chattanooga suburb considers breaking away from Hamilton County Schools to form its own school district. Chattanooga Times Free Press

APPOINTMENT After losing a county commission election, Joe Smith is appointed to school board vacancy left by his opponent. Chattanooga Times Free Press

STEM EDUCATION A private STEM school that eventually could become a charter school in Johnson City is taking applications. Johnson City Press

MOVING IN The former Circuit City property in Antioch could soon have a new charter high school as the tenant after sitting vacant for at least five years. The Tennessean

BUS CRASH Durham bus services says Hamilton County Schools did not alert the company of all the complaints against the bus driver involved in a fatal crash in Chattanooga. Chattanooga Times Free Press

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday re-emphasized the agency’s call for seat belts on school buses in the aftermath of a crash in Chattanooga that killed six students. The Associated Press

In the wake of the fatal Nov. 21 bus crash, the company operating Hamilton County’s school buses is spending several million dollars on enhanced safety measures, including smart cameras installed on all buses and a system to better track complaints against drivers. Chattanooga Times Free Press

The driver in a Chattanooga school bus wreck that killed six children declines to be interviewed by federal crash investigators on advice of his lawyer. The Associated Press

Washington County school board discusses whether or not to proactively rebid for new buses with seat belts as conversation statewide grows for requiring them. Johnson City Press

FIRE DAY All but two Sevier County schools will hold classes Friday, four days after wildfires stoked by extreme winds ripped through the area in a historic natural disaster. Knoxville News Sentinel

GOIN’ COURTIN’ A Williamson County high school gets a civics lesson via “mobile court” complete with attorneys, judges and security check. The Tennessean

BUILDING NEEDS Details emerge on $140 million plan to address capital needs for Kingsport and Bristol schools. Kingsport Times-News

RENOVATION Blount County high school renovations move forward after school board vote as members discuss pressing needs at the elementary and middle school level. The Daily Times