By Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of Knox County Schools
The Knox County Schools continues to prepare for a successful 2014-15 school year, and we are excited by the direction we are establishing through our proposed five-year strategic plan, entitled Deepening Our Work: Excellence for Every Child.
As the title implies, this plan would define the next half-decade to be focused on building on our educational successes by providing high quality, personalized learning experiences for our students to prepare them for a successful future in an increasingly complex world.
Proposed goals that would lead us through the next five years include:
GOAL 1: Focus on Every Student
We want our kids to be academically successful, college and career ready, economically competitive and personally fulfilled. To do this, we must personalize rigorous learning for every student.
GOAL 2: Invest in Our People
We recognize that our students can only achieve at their highest levels when our staff members are also excelling. We will continuously support, develop and grow our greatest asset: Our teachers, leaders and staff.
GOAL 3: Partner with Our Stakeholders
We will be more successful for kids when we fully leverage the talents, resources and support of our parents, partners, employees and community.
Our future, then, will revolve around a Culture of Excellence: We aspire to be an entire school system defined by excellence. We envision every adult working hard for children, continuously improving and striving for excellence
The strategic plan is the culmination of nearly a year of intensive public engagement and discussion. I offer my thanks to the literally thousands of parents, teachers, students, principals, employees, Knox County Board of Education members, business leaders, community members and other stakeholders who provided their ideas, perspectives and input to help shape this draft strategic plan. This dialogue has been enormously productive and has led to a five-year organizational blueprint that truly reflects the educational interests, priorities and aspirations of our community. It is a better road map for our future because it is truly our community’s plan.
Because of the importance of this strategic plan for our school system and community, I’ve asked the Board of Education to review and potentially approve it at two consecutive School Board meetings: first in July, and again in August. Any significant questions or concerns will be addressed between the two meetings, and at the August 6 Board of Education meeting we will seek the School Board’s final approval of the plan.
In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the strategic plan. You can view the proposed plan and watch a brief video that more fully explains each goal by visiting the Knox County Schools new website, knoxschools.org. Also, feel free to call our office at 865-594-1800 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have comments or questions about the plan.
This five-year blueprint is incredibly important for all of us, and I am excited about the future direction of the Knox County Schools that is represented in the plan. I look forward to the important work ahead and to our continued partnership as we strive to achieve this ambitious vision of Excellence for Every Child.
And don’t forget: Teachers return to school on August 4th , and the official start of classes in the Knox County Schools is August 11th , which is a half-day for students. I eagerly await the return of our teaching professionals and students as we journey on toward excellence.
Dr. Jim McIntyre
Superintendent, Knox County Schools