A Message from Matt Hixson, Director of Schools
Welcome to Hawkins County Schools. As we head into the 2022/23 school year, we look forward to working together. This year, we will continue to focus on three overarching goals: safety, academic preparedness, and communication/customer service.
Safety: We are shifting from COVID-related safety to overall safety enhancements at all schools and district-owned properties. With that stated, please watch for any updates regarding health protocols to be posted on our website. We have installed electronic access points/entrances at all school sites. These entrances will be for staff only. All staff will be required to carry their identification at all times. All visitors will be required to enter our schools through the front, main entrances only. All interior and exterior doors will remain shut and locked during school hours, when students and staff are present. We will continue to conduct monthly drills and training around a variety of scenarios. Our principals will be briefed early this year on identification of external and internal threats common to campuses across our country. We are seeking grants to assist with further safety enhancements as we move into this school year. We continue to have great support from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department, who works with our schools in providing a School Resource Officer to every school site in our system.
All students must be safe at school. This includes the freedom from bullying and harassment. To this end, we will continue to expand our support for students and staff through a variety of activities and hands-on training this year. We have once again contracted with STARS of Nashville, and in particular, Eric Johnson and his Move-to-Stand program. We will be working with all middle schools in the continued efforts to support many social/emotional and behavioral concerns. This assists students in dealing with peer pressures, stereotypes, and overcoming fear. More importantly, Eric encourages students to become positive leaders on their sites and among their peers. We have also increased our support to students through expansive recruitment with Frontier Health. Frontier has agreed to expand its recruitment of mental health counselors and therapists throughout Hawkins County Schools. This will allow students and parents to access services we have not been able to provide consistently across all school sites.
Academic 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 will pilot a new Machine/Tool Program at Cherokee High School this fall. Plans are also underway for CTE facility and program enhancements across the system, with a new facility project at Clinch School, storage facility at CHS and ROTC shooting range and competition facility at VHS. We continue to provide support with ELA and STEAM throughout all schools. ELA academic growth occurred across the board, but at a slower rate than desired. We will continue to support these efforts behind literacy, especially at the foundational early literacy levels of kindergarten through second grade. We struggled this year in Math. When students returned from the pandemic’s first year school closures (March of 2020), they were significantly behind. This has trickled up to success rates in Algebra and Algebra II dipping over the last year. We will push hard to provide additional resources at the middle and high school levels in math as a significant effort this year.
Communication and Customer Service: We will continue to communicate clearly and consistently, using a variety of media. We will be responsive to calls, emails, requests, and questions. We will communicate school closures early, when at all possible, and will issue statements regarding events during the year. We have increased communication with our school administrative staff via a weekly newsletter from all departments. I will continue to issue the Director’s Weekly update for all system staff and board members. Central office supervisors will continue to support all sites weekly, with the expectation that we are in the schools providing assistance no less than two full days per week. All support staff, including academic coaches will be on site providing modeled lessons, curriculum and technology support, and academic resources daily.
We have work to do, challenges to overcome, and barriers to break down. However, Hawkins County teachers and staff are resilient, determined, and more prepared than ever before to succeed!
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Email : email@example.com
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Email : email@example.com
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org