Blog Post

Education

Dear Knox County School’s Families 12 

Dear Knox County Schools’ Families,

Thanksgiving is a truly special time for the Knox County Schools. We are thankful for the privilege of helping prepare children for college and career and grateful for engaged families who support their students at home. The holiday gives us all an opportunity to be thankful for the feast upon our table of education.

As these early compatriots contributed their portions to a bountiful table, so, too, have the people of Knox County shared their assets by contributing feedback, suggestions and insights for educational excellence in our community.

I grew up near Plymouth, Massachusetts, the site of America’s first Thanksgiving. There, people came together with a unifying purpose and heartfelt thanks. Sharing what they had to offer, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians established a model of partnership, hard work and generosity for Americans to follow, one that we continue today.

As these early compatriots contributed their portions to a bountiful table, so, too, have the people of Knox County shared their assets by contributing feedback, suggestions and insights for educational excellence in our community.

Throughout the month of October, we opened our strategic planning process to the community to seek input and comments on the state of education and how we should proceed in the next five years. At community forum meetings, called Insight Sessions, hundreds of people attended from all areas of Knox County, some with school-age children and some without, but all with a desire to enrich education in our community. We gathered a cornucopia of ideas and viewpoints from this engaged community, and for that, I’m thankful.

Every idea offered during the Insight Sessions was harvested, and in November, we’ll share what we learned during two “Knox Schools 2020” feedback sessions. I encourage you to attend one of the sessions:

Nov. 14, Gresham Middle School, 6-8 p.m. (500 Gresham Road)

Nov. 21, Bearden High School, 6-8 p.m. (8352 Kingston Pike)

Identical information will be presented at both meetings, and child care and light refreshments will be provided.

Even if you were not able to attend an Insight Session in October, you will benefit from attending a Knox Schools 2020 feedback session in November. Our next five-year strategic plan begins in 2015 and extends the vision for our schools right up to the 2019-2020 school year. Our goal is to produce another bountiful harvest of success in our classrooms for the futures of our students, and the seeds of ideas sewn during our Insight Sessions will influence the direction of education in the Knox County Schools.

If you have not had the chance to share your vision, please e-mail your input to knoxschools2020@knoxschools.org by November 7. Additionally, to follow the progress of the strategic planning process, “follow” on Twitter at @knoxschools2020, and stay updated by visiting knoxschools2020.org.

In the Knox County Schools, we have much for which to be thankful. Excellent teachers, strong school leaders, committed staff, caring parents and families, great students, a dedicated Board of Education and an engaged, supportive community are among the many reasons we are fortunate.

I welcome the opportunity, then, during this season of thanks to express my gratitude for just a small portion of the positive aspects of and influences upon the Knox County Schools.

During that first Thanksgiving, people contributed what they had and joined together with heartfelt thanks for the common good of all. It’s in that spirit that I express my thanks to the Knox County Schools families, students and our community for your desire to continue to support our very ambitious goal of Excellence for All Children. I wish you and your family a thanks-filled holiday.

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