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< Table of Contents

Strategic Plan: Goal IV: Enabling Student Learning
Objective I:
Focus on Operational Efficiency and Professionalism
Limited resources are an unfortunate fact of life in public education.  In light of the difficult fiscal challenges  the Knox County Schools faces and will continue to face for the foreseeable future, the district must be committed to maximizing the resources that are available and ensuring every dollar spent enables and supports student achievement.  The KCS will make hard choices and difficult financial tradeoffs, when necessary, in order to support the learning of Knox County’s young people.  The district will leverage private funding to compliment appropriated revenue, and recognizes that some of the most needed and powerful reforms do not cost a cent.

Through the new budget allocation staffing model, the KCS will provide an equitable, rational, and transparent distribution of public resources.  Transparency, alignment, and equity are keys to budgeting decisions.  Transparency means schools, stakeholders, and decision-makers will have appropriate, relevant, and understandable information about how the district prioritizes, budgets, and spends funds.  Alignment means all resources are carefully organized to drive instructional improvement and enable student success.  Equity represents a balanced and fair, but not necessarily equal, distribution of resources based on a reasonable and clear rationale. 

<                                                                   STRATEGIC INITIATIVES                                                               

Organizational Structure: Reorganize Functions for Greater Productivity and Efficiency 
The Central Office role is to provide direction and support for school administrators, teachers, and staff in their efforts to produce high level student achievement.  Clear lines of supervision, support, and accountability must be established, and expectations of central office personnel regarding school support need to be clarified.   

The Central Office structure will be defined and organized to support two purposes:

1) to provide effective customer service and support to school staff, parents, and students, and

2) to facilitate instructional excellence and student academic achievement.  All Central Office functions will be evaluated for their value added to the organization’s educational mission, and decisions will be made as to whether to continue, restructure, consolidate, or eliminate each function.
 
Restructure Human Resources to Maximize Efficiency and Provide a High Level of Professional Support
The heart of the Knox County Schools district is its people.  The human resource function will be organized and structured to provide employees with the highest level of customer service in the most efficient and user-friendly manner possible. 
Employment decisions must be based on what is best for the district’s students, clearly aligned with the instructional mission of the district, and based on open communication between the human resource and other district leaders. 

The following processes and functions will be immediately targeted for improvement, including the elimination of unnecessary paperwork, implementation of online automated processes, and the application of best human resource practices:
 
•    Coordination among human resources, benefits administration, and employee compensation
•    The system for managing substitute teachers
•    The internal transfer process
•    The job application and hiring processes, especially the turnaround time for hiring teachers
•    New employee induction and orientation
 
Finally, the human resource office will survey its customers to gather feedback on how to better serve them.  The goal must be 100% customer satisfaction based on continuous improvement. 
 
Focus on Customer Service
The Knox County Schools will strive to be responsive to the needs of all of its “customers.”  The Knox County Schools will continue to benefit from the insight and feedback of its key stakeholders, in particular students, parents, families, educators, and community members.  The Knox County Schools will examine and consider multiple avenues for all constituencies to express their concerns and provide feedback to improve the level of service provided by the school system. Technologies will be utilized in providing these avenues, as well as to communicate with school district stakeholders.  The most effective systemic solutions for gathering, organizing, and analyzing stakeholder feedback and input will be investigated.

•    Internal communication
 
The Knox County Schools will provide accurate and timely information to KCS personnel on issues affecting the district, its employees, and students.  Stakeholders will be given more insight into how and why system level decisions are made, including the federal, state, and local guidelines that the district must follow.  The KCS will continue to electronically publish the Administrative Bulletin weekly during the school year to provide employees additional

information that is primarily of interest to them.  Other information will continue to be sent electronically about job openings, benefits, programs, and activities for employees.
Listen To the Students
Too often assumptions are made concerning what students need, as opposed to asking them what they need.  Students can provide valuable feedback about the services they are receiving and what the effective practices are with regard to their classroom instruction and learning.  The KCS will find ways to solicit the feedback and ideas from a diverse cross-section of students on a regular and systematic basis.
 
Make the Transportation System Efficient, Community Friendly, and Strategically Sound
An efficient and effective pupil transportation system will transport eligible students to school safely and on-time, a pre-requisite to academic success.  The Knox County Schools will continue to closely scrutinize our transportation program to ensure maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness.  In addition, transportation policies and practices will be regularly reviewed, particularly where they intersect with student educational needs, such as in alternative education, school choice, school start times or student mobility.  

Recently, a Global Positioning System (GPS) was implemented to track the location and routes of all school buses.  This has contributed to hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings by providing accurate data about the district’s transportation system.  Automation of transportation management systems and data will also produce significant efficiencies in our pupil transportation program.  Limited resources are always a constraint, but investments in effective business practices will pay for themselves in short order.    One very high leverage improvement will be to develop a systematic means of notification to families when there is a change to a student’s bus, route, or stop.  The KCS will also strive to provide alerts to families concerning the status of buses and if there will be delays in pickup or drop off times.

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