• High School Transformation

    865 PresserWalking across the graduation stage is a tremendous milestone for KCS students, but we also want them to be prepared for what comes next:

    • Enrolling in postsecondary studies;
    • Enlisting in service to their country; or
    • Finding Employment in a high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand profession, with an Entrepreneurial mindset.

    KCS worked with Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) to foster a community conversation about college and career preparedness and equipping students for life after graduation. This process was convened and funded by Knox Education Foundation.

    What’s the strategy?

    By creating career-themed academies at district high schools, the 865 Academies initiative will allow students to:

    • Participate in authentic, work-based learning;
    • Receive opportunities for job shadows and other career exploration activities;
    • Work closely with professionals in their field of interest; and
    • Create stronger connections between classroom knowledge and workplace success.

    The first cohort of 865 Academies schools launched Freshman Academy for incoming 9th-graders in the Fall of 2022. The first cohort of schools includes:

    The second cohort –
    Carter and South-Doyle – launched Freshman Academy in the Fall of 2023.

    The final cohort – Gibbs, Halls, Powell, and West – will launch Freshman Academy in the Fall of 2024.


    Partner With Us

    Is your business or organization interested in being a partner of The 865 Academies? We have a great team to guide you through the process, and partnership opportunities include:

    • Serving as a guest speaker in a Freshman Seminar class;
    • Hosting a sophomore industry experience; or
    • Hosting an externship for high school teachers.

    » Fill out our interest form » Sign-up for our newsletter



    More information about this initiative is available in our Frequently Asked Questions.

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