How Knox County Aligns Enrichment for Postsecondary Readiness

By Jerre Maynor, Director of Student Readiness

Ensuring that students get the academic support they need when they need it is the intent of the state’s Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) framework. The RTIframework began official implementation for high schools beginning in the 2016–17 school year. As we approach the conclusion of the first year of full implementation, it’s a great time to highlight early wins and what educators are learning along the way. In this four part series, we spotlight promising practices found in Tennessee high schools.

RTIis for all students, not just students who struggle academically. When considering how the RTIframework can support the success of all students, enrichment is a key component of any program. Enrichment refers to opportunities for students to deepen or extend their learning through more rigorous content, activities, or learning goals. Offering additional credit-bearing courses, additional preparation for early postsecondary exams (such as Advanced Placement), or work-based learning are all examples of enrichment activities. Karns High School in Knox County Schools is using RTI2 to offer enrichment opportunities that support student success in high school and postsecondary preparation.

Karns fully implemented the RTIframework in the 2015–16 school year by adding a 45–minute, yearlong period after their second block. They call this class period “Lodge” (their mascot is the Beavers) and during this time students are scheduled into intervention, remediation, or enrichment according to their needs. For students in enrichment, Lodge presents opportunities for additional electives—like Jazz Band and Introduction to Law—as well as early postsecondary opportunities like AP Human Geography and AP Art History. Prior to implementing RTI2, there were many elective courses the school wished to offer but didn’t have room in the schedule. With RTIin place, students have more course opportunities than ever before.

The addition of “Lodge” has had immediate benefits for Karns students. In the 2015–16 school year, Karns offered 15 additional classes (including two AP courses) along with remediation and intervention courses. The graduation rate at Karns improved from 92.5 percent to 96.2 percent in 2016. The composite TVAAS for Karns improved from a three in 2015 to a five for 2016. You can learn more about RTIat Karns through these videos highlighting effective differentiation and intervention.

For more information about RTI2 at Karns High School, you can contact Laicee Hatfield at