Ford NGL Master Planning Sessions Conclude, Steering Committee Will Bring Next Steps

November 20, 2023

Between October 2021 and January 2022, Knox Ed convened over 300 stakeholders around the work of reimagining the high school experience in Knox County. Stakeholders collectively represented over 60 area business, industry, and non-profit partners, as well as 7 post-secondary institutions and more than 100 KCS administrators, counselors, teachers, parents, and students. Over the course of 3 all-day planning sessions, consultants from Ford Next Generation Learning guided stakeholders through the process of developing a “Portrait of a Graduate” for Knox County Schools and creating a comprehensive “master plan” to implement academically rigorous, workforce- aligned small learning academies in pilot high schools across the district.

During the planning sessions, participating stakeholders were divided into 16 “tactical teams,” which were each tasked with developing an implementation plan for one aspect of this work. Teams worked on everything from developing work -based learning opportunities for students, to organizing data and reporting structures, to identifying a structure for shared ownership and accountability between Knox County Schools and the broader community, to designing a robust family engagement and communication plan. These plans were officially finalized and submitted on February 4th and are currently being compiled into a single, overarching “Master Plan.” Moving forward, the Master Plan will act as a roadmap for schools to follow as they adopt and implement the career academies model.

Seven high schools have officially volunteered to begin this work in August 2022, those schools include: Austin-East Magnet High School, Bearden High School, Central High School, Farragut High School, Fulton High School, Hardin Valley Academy, and Karns High School.

In the coming months, Knox Ed will be working to support Knox County Schools to finalize its Master Plan and convene a Steering Committee. This Committee will consist of district and community leaders who will guide this work through the implementation phase and beyond. As these critical phases of work are completed, we look forward to announcing a “Designation Day,” in which the Knox County community will be officially designated a Ford Next Generation Learning community, signaling our commitment to equitably and effectively equipping our young people for a future of success.