Knox County teachers are back to work next week, but thousands are in the classroom early learning about the state's new "Common Core" standards.
Tennessee joins 45 other states in adopting the new standards.
"Charting the Corese" is the largest professional development program in Knox County Schools' history. More than 4,000 teachers are learning the standards this week.
"Its really remarkable to me that our teachers are that committed to our children that they're willing to take their own time in the summer to come to a high quality professional development opportunity," said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent.
The state is phasing in Common Core. Kindergarten, first and second grades already us the standards. Math implementation starts this coming school year, English and Language Arts follows in 2013.
The approach focuses more on process, rather than results.
"It's a smaller number of standards, a smaller number of content areas to be covered, but they go much more in depth," McIntyre said.
"It's the emphasis that you must be able to read and talk about what you've read and understand it in order to apply skills," said Dr. Vicki Gibson, and education consultant presenting at this week's program.
The changes are welcomed by many in the schools.
"Its a lot of what we used to do and have kind of gotten away from," said Gary Critselous, Principal at Powell Middle School.
"Working with Common Core brings our kids to the literacy and to the ability to be prepared to go out into the real world when they're a high school graduate," said Kim Egan, an 8th grade math teacher at Gresham Middle School.
While mountains of information covered with thousands of teachers in a few days can be daunting, educators say they are up to the challenge.
"Its an overwhelming about of information, but it is the move that we need to make to make our kids successful as they become adults in our world," Egan said.
"Charting the Corese" runs through the end of the week.