Joey Hassell, Superintendent
Haywood County Schools
How can so many students be graduating from high school unprepared to meet their goals for college and careers? Three years ago, TNTP* set out to answer that question. TNTP partnered with five diverse school systems, rural and urban, district and charter, to listen to students’ views on their educational experiences and observe how those experiences played out, in real time, in their classrooms. Above all, TNTP wanted to understand students’ aspirations for themselves, what kind of lives they wanted to lead, and how school was preparing them to live those lives or letting them down.
Here’s what TNTP found:
- Students have big, clear plans.
- Most students do what they’re asked in school – but are still not ready to succeed after school.
- Students spend most of their time in school without access to four key resources: grade-level appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement, and teachers who hold high expectations.
- Students of color, those from low-income families, English language learners, and students to mild to moderate disabilities have even less access to these resources than their peers.
- Greater access to the four resources can and does improve student achievement – particularly for students who start the school year behind.
TNTP’s research also makes clear that gaps in students’ school experiences and outcomes are not inevitable. We could make different choices – choices that could make a real difference in the short term, without an infusion of new funding, as well as those that will lay the groundwork for deeper structural change. These are the kinds of choices that could make the difference between students realizing their dreams or leaving them unfulfilled.
Haywood County Schools has strategically moved to make commitments to ensure that our students are prepared for post-secondary and beyond. HCS has moved to address 3 of 5 recommendations from TNTP’s research in grades 3-12 with our ELA and math curriculum:
- Make greater access to grade-appropriate assignments an urgent priority for all students, no matter what their race, income level, or current performance level.
- Give ALL students, especially those who are behind grade-level, access to instruction that asks them to think and engage deeply with challenging material.
- Ensure educators enact high expectations for student success by seeing firsthand that students are capable of succeeding with more rigorous material.
For an interactive experience and additional resources, visit www.opportunitymyth.tntp.org.
*TNTP was founded as The New Teacher Project in 1997 by teachers who believe students deserve great teaching. Now TNTP stands for so much more than new teachers. The organization partners with public education to help it achieve goals for students. The approach is rigorous academics, talented people, and supportive environments. TNTP supports its partners with advice, data, design and execution.
Core Values, Mission, and Vision
• an environment of high expectations where all decisions are student-centered.
• passionate, caring, and focused employees who model leadership from where they serve.
• effective partnerships with family and community.
• a respectful, safe, and supportive learning environment.
• an environment where all students, staff, and school board members continuously learn and grow.
• honesty, integrity, and accountability for all.
The mission of Haywood County Schools, in partnership with families and community, is to ensure an engaging, respectful, and safe environment where all students are empowered with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue post-secondary opportunities.
The vision of Haywood County Schools is that all students, under the guidance of a passionate and qualified staff, will be equipped with the academic and social skills needed to be successful and productive citizens.
Strategic Planning Priorities
Academic Achievement and Growth
1. Increase literacy achievement and TVAAS growth across all grades.
2. Increase numeracy achievement and TVAAS growth across all grades.
3. Increase STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) opportunities and outcomes in all grades.
4. Increase post-secondary readiness.
1. Improve leadership and social skills.
2. Provide academic intervention and enrichment opportunities for all.
3. Increase the number of students participating in extra-curricular opportunities.
Quality of Personnel
1. Recruit, hire, and retain passionate and quality employees.
2. Provide quality, professional training to increase employee productivity.
Family and Community Engagement
1. Increase community awareness of educational accomplishments, concerns, and priorities.
2. Increase opportunities for positive family and community engagement at each school.
Budget and Operations
1. Review and refine district policy and procedures.
2. Maximize and align resources in all departments.
1. Complete comprehensive assessments of existing infrastructure.
2. Define capital outlay priorities and develop long and short term plans for addressing those priorities