A Message from Matt Hixson, Director of Schools
Greetings Hawkins County parents and community,
As we head into the 2020/21 school year, we have been and continue to be presented with unprecedented obstacles and challenges. If this past spring is any indication of Hawkins County’s staff and student resilience, we will not only overcome these obstacles, but will find ways to exceed expectations and learn from these challenges. This year, we will continue to focus on three overarching goals: safety, student preparedness, and transparency.
Safety. In light of the pandemic that closed us down last March and continues to shape how we go about instructing our students and operating our schools, safety continues to be a priority. We will walk the line between operating safe environments for our staff and students and providing ongoing resources within our instructional programs. Please see our HCS 2020/21 Opening and Operational plan on our website for more information regarding our operational phases in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Student Preparedness. We continue to build upon opportunities to ensure student success beyond high school. We are increasing and enhancing opportunities for our students within Career Technical Education (CTE), dual enrollment, military, trade school, and college/university enrollment. We have developed additional opportunities for students interested in internships and training opportunities inside and outside Hawkins County. These opportunities allow students who are interested in gaining critical on-the-job training opportunities, the chance to do so alongside industry leaders. We have built capacity within our Hawkins County Virtual Academy (HVCA) to accommodate flexible schedules, allowing several to attend training and internship opportunities during the school day. We are also applying for a Grow Your Own teacher training initiative grant through the State of Tennessee Department of Education, allowing us to use grant funds to help students and staff interested in attending college to become teachers, the chance to do so, largely free of cost. As educators, we will continue to challenge ourselves instructionally, making sure we are preparing students for success in their futures, whatever path they choose.
Transparency. We will continue to communicate clearly and consistently. We will be transparent with our budget, our instructional programs, and our achievement. We will issue statements and press releases through our web site, social media, direct parent contact, and local media. We will be accessible to suggestions, concerns, and feedback. Please look for opportunities to get involved and be a voice for your student and community.
I look forward to another year of student success within Hawkins County. Whether it is attending the first football game on artificial turf at VHS, the cross-town rivalry games, academic awards and competitions, ROTC programs with sharp-dressed cadets performing in unison, CTE excellence, hearing the bands play once again to full stadiums of fans, or simply walking classrooms and seeing the excellent instruction coming from our teachers, I look forward to getting back to “normal.” Please watch for updates within this site. Our students, our teachers, and our programs will be highlighted throughout the year as they outperform expectations and demonstrate that Hawkins County is ready for any challenge!
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