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KCS Announces 865 Academies Expansion

865 Academy AnnouncementKnox County Schools is proud to announce that every traditional high school in the district has launched The 865 Academies, a transformative initiative aimed at enhancing the high school experience for all students. 

The district, today, unveiled a number of exciting academy options for rising 10th graders at Carter and South-Doyle, in addition to announcing academies for Gibbs, Halls, Powell, and West, where rising 8th graders will be welcomed into Freshman Academies next fall.

Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This is a milestone moment for Knox County Schools. The 865 Academies, once just an idea, have been meticulously developed over the last three years. Now, each of our 14 high schools proudly operate a Freshman Academy and all students will have access to career-themed academies by 2025.”

In August, Austin-East, Bearden, Central, Farragut, Fulton, Hardin Valley, Karns, and L&N STEM sophomores started classes in career-themed academies as rising 9th graders at these schools and at Carter and South-Doyle entered Freshman Academies.

Lauding The 865 Academies initiative as groundbreaking for the community, Assistant Superintendent of Academics Keith Wilson said, “Knox County Schools is fundamentally changing the way it approaches the high school experience and these academies serve as the cornerstone of the district’s plan to fully prepare every KCS student for college, career, or enlistment after graduation.”

“It is crucial that students understand there are numerous ways to achieve success when they leave high school,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “Strategically aligning the interests of students and the needs of the workforce to create these academies ensures Knox County Schools can equip all students with the knowledge and experience to confidently make informed decisions about their individual futures.”

Highlighting the economic benefits of the 865 Academies, Knoxville Chamber President and CEO Mike Odom said, “Within these academies, students are building important foundational knowledge and developing practical skills that directly support the needs of growing industries. With community support, graduating students will be both well-educated and highly relevant to the evolving needs of the local economy.”

Emphasizing the impact schools can have on the workforce, Knox Education Foundation CEO Mike Taylor said, “Strong schools and a qualified workforce are the lifeblood of a community. Onboarding six more schools and their 21 academies increases the need for additional business and industry partners to become involved.”

Polly Johnson, Director of Education & Workforce Development for the Boys & Girls Club, echoed Taylor’s sentiments saying, “We have a unique opportunity to collaborate with schools to foster a supportive network for students that extends beyond the classroom. Emphasizing personalized learning and career exploration ensures that students exceed academically and develop essential life skills that contribute to their overall well-being.”

Students and Principals Pose with their Academy Posters

Current academy offerings across the district include:

  • Austin-East
    • Academy of Entrepreneurship and Professional Services
    • Academy of Health Science and STEM

  • Bearden
    • Academy of Business, Leadership, and Communication
    • Academy Health Science and Human Services
    • Academy of STEM and the Arts

  • Carter
    • Academy of Communication and Health
    • Academy of Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Central
    • Academy of Automotive Services and Technology
    • Academy of Business and Design
    • Academy of Health and Life Science

  • Farragut
    • Academy of Business
    • Academy of Engineering and Technology
    • Academy of Health Science and Human Services

  • Fulton
    • Academy of Communication
    • Academy of Health and Human Services 
    • Academy of Public Service

  • Hardin Valley
    • Academy of Business and Law
    • Academy of Health Science
    • Academy of Liberal Arts, Communication, and Design
    • Academy of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math

  • Karns
    • Academy of Business and Entrepreneurship
    • Academy of Creative and Technical Innovation
    • Academy of Health Science and Human Services

  • L&N STEM
    • School of Advanced Inquiry
    • School of Computational Science and Cybersecurity
    • School of Design Thinking
    • School of Physics, Mechanics, and Engineering

  • South-Doyle
    • Academy of Business and Health Science
    • Academy of Engineering and Fabrication

The following will be operational next fall:

  • Gibbs
    • Academy of Health, Business, and Professional Services
    • Academy of Technology, Engineering, and Design
  • Halls
    • Academy of Engineering, Technology, and Transportation
    • Academy of Life Science
    • Academy of Skilled Entrepreneurs

  • Powell
    • Academy of Commerce and Transportation
    • Academy of Digital Creation and Design
    • Academy of Health Science and Human Services

  • West
    • Academy of Creative and Technical Innovation
    • Academy of Global Commerce and Communication
    • Academy of Health Science and Human Services

For more information about The 865 Academies, visit