A new way of teaching and learning is coming to Hamilton County Schools with the launch of Future Ready Institutes in system high schools beginning this fall. The small learning communities that will create a school within a school will give high school students an opportunity to combine academics with a career field that interests them. The goal of the new Future Ready Institutes in Hamilton County Schools is to ensure graduates are ready for success in their future careers, said officials.
Unum, a Chattanooga-based provider of employee benefits and income protection, is providing funding for teacher and instructor training for Future Ready Institutes district-wide. The company has committed $300,000 in funding for the program over the next three years. The training will begin in the summer and include a week-long session at Unum’s Chattanooga offices.
“The vision that all Hamilton County School students should graduate from high school prepared for post-secondary opportunities is a cause that we can rally behind at Unum,” said Miles Huff, community relations specialist at Unum. “Supporting students, teachers, and schools in the communities where we live and work is our top priority.”
“Unum has stepped-up to take care of teacher development and training,” said Blake Freeman, director of Future Ready Institutes of Hamilton County Schools. “The summer training at Unum will prepare the team of educators to use the project-based learning method and give them practical experience on the job site in the Future Ready Institute program they will be leading.”
Future Ready Institutes will challenge the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities. Teachers of all content areas including English, math, science and social studies will work closely with the career and technical education teacher to provide classroom instruction through the lens of a career. The goal is for students to understand why a lesson is important and how they will use the information in the future.
The five-day training session at Unum will engage the school teams in two days of training on the use of the project-based learning method in their classroom instruction. The school groups will also spend two days embedded into a job site in the community getting practical experience in the program they will teach to high school students. The last day will be for group planning for the first year of the Future Ready Institutes.
“Community partners like Unum are making the transition of our schools into future ready hubs of learning a possibility for our children,” stated Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The training funded by Unum will allow our teachers to get a clearer picture of business and industry needs in our community and provide a closer connection between teaching in the classroom and career requirements.”