The future of education was unveiled Thursday as education, business, industry, and political leaders came together at The Howard School to share details about Future Ready Institutes coming to Hamilton County Schools this fall. The new “schools within a school” will have a career theme and connect lessons learned in the classroom with skills needed to be successful after graduation. The event held at 10 a.m. Thursday morning included some of the areas top business executives and the mayors of Hamilton County and Chattanooga.
Future Ready Institutes will challenge the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities. Themes will include medicine, robotics, forensic science, engineering, hospitality, technology and more. Teachers of all content areas including English, math, science and social studies will work closely with the career theme teacher to provide classroom instruction through the lens of a career. The goal is for students to clearly understand why a lesson is important and how they will use the information in the future.
Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, shared the details of the first list of Future Ready Institutes with more to come before the end of school. The list of new programs and the schools to host them included:
Brainerd High School
- The Institute of First Responders and Forensic Science
- The Institute of Aviation
East Hamilton High School
- The TIE Institute: Tinker, Innovate, Engineer
- The CLIMB Institute: The Canes Leadership Institute of Marketing and Business
East Ridge High School
- The Institute of Building and Design
Hixson High School
- The Institute for Integrative Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources and Technology
- The Institute for Health Careers and Medical Advancement
The Howard School
- Erlanger Institute for Healthcare and Innovation
- The Institute of Hospitality and Tourism
Ooltewah High School
- The Institute of International Baccalaureate Studies
Red Bank High School
- The Institute of Computer Sciences and Engineering
Sequoyah High School
- The Institute of Industrial Manufacturing
- The Institute of Digital Arts, Design, and Production
Tyner High School
- The Institute of Technology and Security
- The Institute of Teaching and Learning
Signal Mountain High School
- The Institute of International Baccalaureate Studies
Soddy Daisy High School
- The Institute of Tech Start-Ups and Web Design
Speakers at the event included Jan Keys, Erlanger senior vice president; Miles Huff, Unum community relations specialist; and Hamp Johnston, marketing executive for JP Morgan Chase. These companies in the Tennessee Valley have sign-on as partners in the launching of Future Ready Schools in Hamilton County. The goal of the programs will be to connect with businesses associated with the theme of the individual programs to provide expertise and learning opportunities for students in the programs.
Dual enrollment opportunities will also be a vital part of Future Ready Institutes. Dr. Rebecca Ashford, president of Chattanooga State Community College and Dr. Steven Angle, chancellor of UTC were on hand to show their support and talk about the importance of partnering with Hamilton County Schools in this new program for students.
“It is vital that graduates of Hamilton County Schools are post-secondary ready and prepared to succeed in college or a career,” said Dr. Johnson. “The Future Ready Institutes, through partnerships with community leaders are the dawning of a new day filled with opportunity and possibilities for our graduates and their families.”
Future Ready Institutes will begin with current eighth-graders who will be a freshman in the fall. Schools will begin accepting applications for the Institutes April 2 with the deadline for applying on May 4. Applicants accepted to an institute will be notified between May 16-22. The Institutes will add another class for the following three years to fill out a full four-year program.
A district-wide information night for current eighth-graders and their families will be held on Tuesday, April 17, at 6 p.m. at Unum, 500 Walnut St. Parking will be available at the intersection of 5th Street and Walnut Street. Individual information nights are also planned for each Future Ready Institute school site. Information on those events and more about Future Ready Institutes is available at www.hcde.org/futureready.
“Collaboration is thriving across Hamilton County with industry leaders and educators coming together to ensure we are preparing our students for success after high school,” said Dr. Jared Bigham, director of Chattanooga 2.0. “It is exciting to see our community drive a bold, innovative model within high schools and set an example for the rest of our state and country in pathways leading to two-year and four-year degrees, as well as industry credentials, that have a market value in our region.
“These Institutes will help fill a critical gap in supporting our community’s workforce development by helping more students graduate high school with a defined skillset in a particular sector and market-ready credentials, should they choose to go to work after graduation.
"The business partnerships are a critical piece within the Future Ready Institutes, offering much more than just financial support. Each Institute partner will collaborate with students, offering guest speakers, mentors, field trips, job shadowing opportunities, internships, and opportunities for teachers to participate in externships. In return for their investment of time and resources, Hamilton County Schools will create a stable talent pipeline into the workforce.
JPMorgan & Chase Co. announced their support for Hamilton County Department of Education with a $50,000 grant to the Future Ready Institutes.
“JPMorgan Chase is excited about Hamilton County’s future, and we’re committed to the success of the region we call home,” said Hamp Johnston, market executive for JPMorgan Chase in East Tennessee. “This grant gives us the opportunity to support Hamilton County’s public school system, the Chamber’s workforce development efforts, and the overall Chattanooga 2.0 movement.”