Carving regions: Free advice to KCS

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

It seems KCS Superintendent Jon Rysewyk is going to divide Knox County Schools into five regions, each with a director and a supervisor (pulling up to 10 people from the ranks of principal and creating upheaval at many schools). I expect an announcement, rather than transparency and community input. So, let’s start the discussion here. How would YOU divvy up Knox County Schools?


Here’s a stab, based on geography, 16 high schools plus feeders:

  • Region 1: Halls, Powell, Central
  • Region 2: Karns, Hardin Valley, Farragut
  • Region 3: Bearden, West, L&N STEM
  • Region 4: South-Doyle, Carter, Gibbs, Career Magnet
  • Region 5: Austin-East, Fulton, Kelley Volunteer

Note: Three magnet high schools have no feeders: Career Magnet, L&N STEM and Kelley Volunteer; two are hybrids, with zoned and voluntary enrollment: Austin-East and Fulton.

Another model could include the five magnets in a single region:

  • Region 1: Halls, Gibbs, Central
  • Region 2: Powell, Karns, Hardin Valley
  • Region 3: Bearden, West, Farragut
  • Region 4: South-Doyle, Carter
  • Region 5: Austin-East, Fulton, Kelley Volunteer, L&N STEM, Career Magnet

A third model could be based on student population: (Note: Here’s the high school enrollment (from KCS Covid dashboard) – 17,365; therefore, each region should be close to 3,473 students.)

  • Region 1: Farragut 2014 + West 1474 = 3,488
  • Region 2: Hardin Valley 1971 + Carter 732 + A-E 658 +Kelley Volunteer 63 = 3,424
  • Region 3: Bearden 1942 + Karns 1289 + Career Magnet 242 = 3,473
  • Region 4: Central 1242 + Powell 1219 + Gibbs 1015 = 3,476
  • Region 5: Halls 1155 + South-Doyle 945 + Fulton 837 + L&N STEM 567 = 3,504

In the “why not?” category, a model based on mascots:

  • Region 1 – Carnivores: A-E Roadrunners, Powell Panthers, Central Bobcats
  • Region 2 – High Fliers: Fulton Falcons, Gibbs Eagles, Hardin Valley Hawks
  • Region 3 – Tough Guys: Halls Red Devils, Farragut Admirals, Carter Hornets
  • Region 4 – Furry critters with teeth: Karns Beavers, Bearden Bulldogs, L&N Gryphons
  • Region 5 – Schools that need new mascots: South-Doyle Cherokees, West Rebels

It’s your turn. Does KCS need regions? If so, how should the regions be set? How should regional priorities be set? What is the process for parental/community input? Does any of this matter? Because if it does not matter, why are we doing it?

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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