Smith Says School Officials Struggling To Keep Up With VW-Inspired Growth

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hamilton County School Supt. Rick Smith, in his annual "State of the Schools" speech, said school officials are struggling to keep up with rampant growth in the eastern part of the county brought on largely by the huge new Volkswagen plant.

He said the county welcomes the plant, "but it has brought some challenges."

He said he got a recent report from the Regional Planning Agency showing up to 600 approved residential lots in the vicinity of the Enterprise South Industrial Park. "That makes me a little nervous," he said.

Mr. Smith said new elementary schools for Ooltewah and East Brainerd will open near capacity, but he said it was determined not to build them with more than 1,100 students.

He said a rezoning plan to help avert East Hamilton School from topping 2,100 students has worked. He said this year the 9-12 was up by one student and the midddle school was down 122 students.

Mr. Smith said, "Hopefully, we will see even more relief next year. But that's not to say it is going to hold very long."

He told PTA members that the schools are required to keep up with increasingly strict achievement standards. He said the county schools will be required to do better by three percent on achievement this year "and we can reach that goal." But he said it will be more challenging to improve scores by 6.25 percent for minority, ESOL and students with disabilities.

He said a Data Dashboard program is giving teachers better access to student data. He said a student can switch from one school to another "and the teacher can have his records the next day. It used to take weeks."

Mr. Smith said the new STEM school is important, but he said he won't back off support for the magnet schools.

He said he does not favor school voucher programs. 

Man, 56, Stabbed At The Corner Of North Market, Frazier Avenue

A 56-year-old man was stabbed at the corner of North Market Street and Frazier Avenue on Wednesday night. Chattanooga Police were advised of the altercation at 7 p.m. Police located a single victim, Danny Henderson, suffering from a stab wound to the abdomen.  T he victim was transported to a local hospital where he received treatment for his injuries. ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BARRERA, JAVIER ZAVALA  2715 WOODSIDE STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ASSAULT --- BROWNFIELD, STEVEN DERRICK  185 AZALEA AVE DAYTON, 37321  Age at Arrest: 32 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY UNDER ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)

Joseph Goetz Outruns Alan Outlaw For Turkey Trot Title

It wasn’t as cold as it’s been in years past, but the temperature and overall conditions for the 2015 running of the Turkey Trot 8K at the Sports Barn East were almost perfect. Another record crowd showed up for what has become a popular Thanksgiving Day tradition.   And has always been the case, there were a lot of people out there smiling and happy, demonstrating their ... (click for more)

Jones Thankful For Resiliency, Resolve Of 2015 Vols

The day before families gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, Tennessee football coach   spoke about what he and the Vols are thankful for. "It's a time to reflect and we have so much to be thankful and grateful for in really the resiliency and resolve that this football team has shown, the growing of this football team and the growing of this football program," ... (click for more)