KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 2022) – Walking across the graduation stage is a tremendous milestone for KCS students, but they also need to be prepared for what comes next. On May 4, Knox County Schools celebrated the district’s designation as a Ford Next Generation Learning Community, an important step in the ongoing effort to transform the high school experience for students.This initiative will create career-themed academies at district high schools, which will be known as The 865 Academies, and will allow students to:
- Enroll in postsecondary studies
- Enlist in the military
- Employment in a high-wage, high-skilled, and in-demand profession.
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.
The 865 Academy strategy
This initiative will create career-themed academies at district high schools, which will be known as The 865 Academies. This approach 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 schools to participate in The 865 Academies will begin in the Fall of 2022 with a Freshman Academy for incoming 9th graders. These students will explore future academy pathways in preparation for choosing an academy prior to their 10th-grade year. Those schools will be:
- Austin-East Magnet High
- Bearden High
- Central High
- Farragut High
- Fulton High
- Hardin Valley Academy
- Karns High
More information, including a Frequently Asked Questions document, is available at knoxschools.org/academies. Thanks to all stakeholders and participating sponsors: