New Knox County Schools Superintendent Announces Plans for School System
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — New Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk announced some of his plans for the school system on Tuesday. Dr. Rysewyk, who previously worked for the school system as an assistant superintendent, officially assumed his new role on Saturday.
Dr. Rysewyk has said in the past that he plans to put students first in the classroom. Specifically, he announced four of his main priorities for the future:
- Excellence in foundational skills, especially early literacy and middle school math;
- Provide excellent educators in every school;
- Empowerment and career preparation;
- Success for every student.
WVLT News spoke with Dr. Rysewyk, who said he wants to help prepare students for more than just crossing the stage at graduation.
“We really have to look at where we play in the community. Our role in the community is really to prepare students for their life after high school and expose them to their careers, not only making sure they cross the stage and graduate, but when they do, they’re prepared,” he said.
Dr. Rysewyk also announced details of the county’s school system going forward, including his plan to realign central office and foster community connections for Knox County Schools.
“Knox County is blessed with incredible educators and talented students,” Dr. Rysewyk said. “By establishing a clear vision of our goals and strategies, I believe our community can work together to achieve great things.”
Dr. Rysewyk also said he was looking to build relationships with potential partners.
“I think that’s one thing we want to do – see where can we partner, who in the community already has children at that age and how do we continue to build connections and strengthen those relationships,” he said. -he declares.
Dr. Rysewyk’s plan will include creating five regional teams with members focused on elementary and secondary schools, the new superintendent said. Each team will also include members with specific goals. As part of the realignment plan, school district officials said they also plan to create five assistant superintendent positions aimed at:
- The Assistant Superintendent of Academics will include oversight of Learning and Literacy, Academic Supports, College and Career Readiness, and Regions 1-4;
- The Deputy Superintendent of Business and Talent will oversee HR and the CFO;
- The Assistant Superintendent of Student Success will oversee functions such as English Language Learning, Health Services, School Culture, Special Education, and Region 5;
- The Assistant Superintendent of Operations will oversee functions such as security, transportation, and maintenance; and
- The Deputy Superintendent of Strategy will oversee communications; Research, Evaluation and Evaluation (REA); and ESSER programming.
The deputy superintendent’s regions will be based on geography and feeding patterns, KCS officials said.
“As one of the largest districts in Tennessee, a one-size-fits-all approach will not provide the level of responsiveness our school communities deserve,” Dr. Rysewyk said. “I believe the regional teams will help us foster community engagement and ownership in the educational process, and shift the educational focus from the central office to the individual schools, where the most important work takes place.”
WVLT News contacted KCS officials, who said more information about the new positions would be released in the near future.
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