Angel Bowman, a KCS parent for 21 years and an active member of the Lonsdale community, received a phone call several months ago inviting her to give feedback about KCS Region 5.
“I have never been asked at the region level what I thought about anything,” Bowman said. “For the region to be asking makes me feel like they want to hear from the parents.”
Located in and around downtown Knoxville, Region 5 includes many historic schools with a strong educational legacy, but many students in this region also face unique challenges and obstacles to learning.
In December, KCS began work on a plan to strategically improve the 13 schools that comprise Region 5. This plan was built using community feedback from focus groups that included students, families, teachers, principals, and community leaders from different industries to create high-achieving goals and the action steps that are necessary to meet those goals.
“I feel like the goals are high, but they are attainable with a lot of intentionality, dedication, and work,” said Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy Principal Robin Curry. “It is the work that is needed for our kids.”
The Region 5 Way established four main themes the strategic plan aims to reach: holding high academic expectations for all students, recruiting and retaining elite educators, providing career and college pathways for K-12 students, and establishing systems to meet whole-child needs for academic success.
These major themes were divided into specific goals with ambitious and achievable actions, metrics, and milestones to meet the goals in the next five years.
The initiative is being led by Region 5 Director Dr. Dexter Murphy and Supervisor Sallee Reynolds.
Murphy said it is important for the district to match the potential and talent of students in Region 5 with a compelling action plan.
“By setting ambitious, tangible goals and carefully measuring our progress toward them, the Region 5 Way will be our community’s transformative call to action,” he said.
And for the parents like Angel Bowman, it’s exciting to be part of the broader effort to bring change.
“We have some of the best and brightest minds here in our communities. We are raising and helping to develop the next generation of geniuses, so we need to have high expectations from an early age,” Bowman said.
She added: “It feels like there is this group of people that are rallying around our kiddos and our community and our school. There feels like this overwhelming excitement of ‘we’re all going to do this together.’”