KCS feedback session: Whispers, not shouts

Sandra ClarkPowell

Powell and nearby residents must be happy with Knox County Schools. Almost no one showed up at Powell Middle School on Monday (Jan. 22) to discuss the district’s three-year strategic plan.

As board member Jennifer Owen told six young women in her break-out group: “You’re the boss. Tell us what you think.”

It was a shock for the kids, who had been asked to serve as guides for the meeting. But they rose to the occasion.

“We like the new schedule this year,” said one. “People are nice to each other; I haven’t seen any bullying,” said another. “We are heard,” said a third.

Then to the fun part: What needs to improve?

“More variety in school lunches,” said one.

“Better funding for classes like band, so we don’t have to fund-raise so much,” said another.

“More or bigger lockers,” said another. Apparently, PMS kids share lockers, making it hard to store a backpack.

“More time during school for related arts. I can’t have recess if I’m in band.”

“I want to take my social studies book home. Not every family has Internet access.”

“More choices in what books to read (said a kid who had been assigned a book she already had read). … More variety to choose what we learn.”

Adults met in another room. A spokesperson reported their priority as “More flexibility for teachers to teach. … Meet children where they are.”

Superintendent Bob Thomas reiterated his personal goals: enhancing student achievement, creating a positive culture and eliminating disparities.

Four meetings remain. For a schedule or to comment online click here.


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