The 865 Academies: Paving the way for Karns students


Aisha Earp

Bright doors lead the way into the freshmen academy

Aisha Earp, Reporter

Knox county schools teamed up with  Ford Next Generation Learning to create a program with future focused courses for students across Knox county to better prepare them for things that they are actually interested in, this process was funded by  Knox Education Foundation. This allows students to work with professionals in their field of interest, participate in work based learning and receive opportunities. The first schools participating in this journey began this fall with the Freshman academy for incoming 9th graders to choose future academy pathways.

Assistant Administrator of Karns High School Rachel Evans is working to bring these future focusing courses to Karns high school and when asked what courses should students be look out, for she says “We wrote three 29 page proposals, about what we would like them to be…but we are looking to add potentially vet science, pre-law, computer science programing, and sports management.” 

New teachers are also put into question, but first, Evans says that they will have to look at what their current staff situation is and at teachers they can repurpose if they decide to retire but follows up with  “We aren’t getting rid of new staff in order to make a new one. We love our staff; we think they’re great. We don’t want them to go anywhere.” 

All students will be able to take these courses, but registration will look a little different depending on what grade level you’re in so that student will better understand what’s happening freshman through senior year. Students will see the plan progression instead of just picking random classes each year.

One of the biggest complaints Evans says she hears is “I don’t see the value in school” from students and parents. This and the fact that they are making sure Karns keeps their graduation rate is the reason that Karns even began to look into the 865 Academies program. Student engagement and student motivation right now is down, students don’t want to come to school because they’re doing something different after school so the goal is to really highlight opportunities for students that not only want to go to college but students that also want to get a job right after school. Hopefully, in the coming year students will recognize their desired career pathways through the 865 Academies program.