What We Are Doing

  • Knox County Schools' strategic plan is a five year plan that focuses on four major areas: The Student, Effective Educators, Engaged Parents & Community, and Infrastructure.There are areas in this strategic plan that are very specific in nature, elements that are more general, and some components that will require additional research and analysis. We have clearly established goals and initiatives that will be regularly measured using a variety of methods and metrics.

    Programs in Knox County Schools 
    Starting with the Strategic Plan as a blueprint, Knox County Schools has developed and is developing programs for teachers, community, and resource management to focus on creating excellence in education for all students.


    Race to the Top National Site
    Tennessee First to the Top
    Knox Scope of Work

    Tennessee and Delaware were winners of phase one in the Race to the Top competitive education grant program.

    The Race to the Top grant program is designed to reward states that are leading the way in comprehensive, coherent, statewide education reform across four key areas:
    The Center for Educational Leadership, a collaborative venture between the Knox County Schools and the University of Tennessee, has established a Leadership Academy that will prepare talented candidates to become outstanding new school principals through a full-time, intensive 18-month fellowship program.
    (Teacher Advancement Program)

    There are simply not enough talented teachers to ensure the high-quality education that every child in America needs and deserves. Without substantial change, our nation will not be able to achieve sustained and meaningful improvement in student performance.

    In the 1990s, education in America was leaving too many of our children behind. Education reform pioneer and Milken Family Foundation Chairman Lowell Milken, along with others at the Milken Family Foundation (MFF) — already noted for its national teacher awards — brought together the best available research to develop a comprehensive, systemic school reform model to address the challenges facing K-12 education. They created TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, a bold new strategy to attract, retain, develop and motivate talented people to the teaching profession. Because of its broad-based support, results, and high demand, TAP is now operated by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), a public charity.
    Formative Assessment Knox County Schools is developing a series of tests given throughout the year to determine what skills students have mastered and what skills need additional instruction. These formative assessments guide teacher planning.
    Project GRAD
    Project GRAD Knoxville | National Project GRAD
    EMIS: Education Management Information System In December 2009, the Knoxville Chamber, Knox County Schools, and Follett Software Company launched the Education Management Information System with an event at the Gresham Middle School.  EMIS includes a data warehouse that brings together student and system data from multiple sources. It will enable Knox County teachers and administrators to make data-supported and well-informed decisions about the future direction of the school system and each individual student.
    Arts 360 The Tennessee Arts Commission was recently awarded over $1 million from the U.S. Department of Education through an Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination grant. Funds will be used for Arts360°, a whole-school instructional model that makes arts-based and arts integrated learning a focal point of the curriculum.  Arts360° will focus on one district, Knox County Schools, which was selected due to Mooreland Heights Elementary’s success with implementing Value Plus. Knox County Superintendent Dr. James McIntyre says the district is delighted to have additional resources to build upon Mooreland Height’s accomplishments.
    Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy The Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy is an alternative school at the Knoxville Center Mall similar to a number of other centers at other Simon properties across the nation. The school serves students who, for a variety of reasons, may have become “off track” to graduate from a traditional high school.
    Great Schools Partnership The mission of the Great Schools Partnership is to serve as a "think tank", catalyst, incubator and start-up funder for making Knox County Schools globally competitive. GSP is involved in such programs as Pre-K, TAP, AVID, and New Teacher Mentoring and Induction.
    Partners in Education The Partners in Education program is designed to create a close, working relationship between a community organization and a school or specific program within the Knox County School System. The purpose of this program is to enrich and expand the educational opportunities of Knox County students, while fostering a deeper understanding of the school system within the community.
    Family Engagement Family and Community Engagement is a major emphasis of the KCS Strategic Plan. Visit the Family and Community Engagement Department website for information and links. Communication between school and home, parent and teacher, is very important to us. You may use Parent Portal to follow your child's progress on a daily basis, or use Parent Link to keep informed of school and district announcements via telephone, web, or email.
    New Teacher Mentoring and Induction Tennessee loses nearly half of its teachers during the first five years of service. Locally, some schools have an attrition rate higher than 55%. The New Teacher Mentoring and Induction program has greatly reduced this attrition rate and continues to help new teachers become high quality, successful teachers.