Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles and our school district family would like to welcome all students and their families to the 2014-2015 school year.
Below is a video message and written transcript from Superintendent Sprinkles:
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year. My name is Kelly Sprinkles, Superintendent of the Knox County School System. I am very excited about the upcoming school year and the many opportunities that will be provided for our students. School and district staff have worked diligently throughout the summer in preparation for what I anticipate to be the best school year yet.
First let me begin by focusing on our district vision, Inspiring leaders and changing futures…one child at a time. We know that the future of our community and nation rests with the next generation of leaders. It is our commitment that all students leave our system with the leadership skills necessary to have a positive impact on their home, community and beyond. Among those skills necessary for the 21st century are the ability to think creatively, communicate effectively and to be able to work collaboratively to solve complex problems. This goal must be accomplished by providing individualized instruction, enrichment and intervention opportunities that will ensure that no students fall between the cracks.
In order to achieve this vision, Knox County Schools has identified three critical areas, attendance, communication and classroom instruction. These three areas or “Big Rocks”, will be areas of focus for school and district leadership in addition to providing support in other areas.
Staff and student attendance play a very important role in achieving our district goals. Our state funding formula is tied to student attendance. As student attendance increases so does funding, which will allow the district to provide additional resources to help increase student achievement. More importantly, lost instructional time due to absenteeism cannot be replaced. Statistics support that a direct correlation exists between attendance and student achievement. Students who never or seldom miss simply perform better academically. Teacher attendance also plays a significant role in student achievement. We have many highly qualified substitute teachers in our district but the regular classroom teacher provides a level of continuity that cannot be replicated by substitutes.
Effective two way communication also plays a significant role in our district. Our goal this year and beyond will to create a communication plan that will involve opportunities for two way communication with all stakeholders. Open house, newsletters and other traditional communication tools will be expanded to include a web presence utilizing social media, advisory groups including students, teachers and parent committees, stakeholder surveys and other forms of communication that will keep all stakeholders informed and involved in the success of our school district.
Finally, classroom instruction is literally where the rubber meets the road. The goal of the Knox County Schools will be to provide highly effective research based instruction in every classroom on a daily basis. This year Knox County Schools will implement the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. This system will include components that include student growth, student voice, teacher self reflection. With TPGES, Professional Learning communities, and effective coaching we will ensure high quality instruction in all classrooms.
Again, on behalf of the Knox County Board of Education, welcome to the 2014-15 school year.