KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — New Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk has shared his vision for the future of Knox County Schools, including splitting the district into five groups of schools overseen by regional teams as well as the creation of five assistant superintendent positions.
Monday afternoon, Rysewyk announced a “realignment” is underway in the Knox County School District. Changes include five new assistant superintendent positions as well as five groups of schools monitored by their own regional director and regional supervisor.
When it comes to how the district plans to fill and pay these new hires, Rysewyk said the district’s current financial structure remains unchanged. He did note there have been “reductions” in positions to off-set new positions.
When it comes to who will be hired, Rysewyk told WATE both internal and external candidates will be considered.
Knox County School Regions/Teams
In addition to the five new assistant superintendent positions, Rysewyk plans to divide Knox County Schools into five regional districts. According to Rysewyk, the split will allow individual schools and their communities to voice their independent needs and receive individualized solutions.
“All of our communities have different feelings and thoughts about different kinds of things,” Rysewyk said. “We won’t change our four priorities, we expect that in all of them, but it could be the order of those priorities shuffle in a community.”
Although it remains unclear which schools will be in which district, Rysewyk did say they will be decided based on their feeder patterns and geographical proximity.
In addition to the new regions, Knox County Schools will also create five teams that will serve their designated regions. Each team will include a regional director and regional supervisor.
“One of those leaders will have elementary experience and the other will have secondary experience, and each team will also include leaders with expertise in various content areas,” Monday’s press release explained.
Assistant Superintendent Positions
According Rysewyk, the decision to create several assistant superintendent positions came out of the desire to reorganize the district’s operations in order to create a more efficient workflow.
“The district wasn’t broken,” Rysewyk told WATE. “This was really about realigning the district. This was really more about taking a good district and trying to improve it and make it even greater.”
Assistant Superintendent of Academics
Will include oversight of Learning and Literacy, Academic Supports, College and Career Readiness and Regions 1 through 4.
“Is a lot like the role that I’m vacating to move into the superintendent seat,” Rysewyk said. “You think about the core subject areas, you think about college and career readiness. You think about literacy. All of those things fold into that.”
Assistant Superintendent of Operations
Will oversee functions including Security, Transportation and Maintenance.
“Pretty to easy to understand,” Rysewyk said. “You talk about transportation, nutrition, security, the IT department. Facilities, maintenance.
Assistant Superintendent of Business and Talent
Will oversee human relations and the Chief Financial Officer.
“That’s really our human resource department and our finance department with budgeting all fitting under that,” Rysewyk explained.
Assistant Superintendent of Student Success
Will oversee functions including English Language Learning, Health Services, School Culture, Special Education and Region 5.
“Kind of going back to that fourth priority, success for every student,” Rysewyk explained. “When you think about our English language learners, when you think about our 504s, when you think about students that have special education through IDEA, health services, school culture. Those are really departments that we have that address obstacles to students learning. If that’s going to be one of our priorities then we want to make that we have someone who’s heading that up and orchestrating all those departments.”
Assistant Superintendent of Strategy
Will oversee Communications; Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA); and ESSER programming.
“Strategic communication, how are we transparent, how are we clear with what we’re doing and the directions we’re going. Also will be over our research evaluation and assessment department. One of our most innovative things we have right now is the ESSER dollars that we have the $114 million so the senior advisor for ESSER will be under that as well.”