Dr. Bryan Johnson speaks at the partnership announcement
The BlueCross Technology Academy at Red Bank High school will add another major community business to the list of participants in the community helping to prepare high school graduates for success after graduation. Hamilton County Schools and BlueCross announced the partnership on Tuesday, March 5, at the Chattanooga offices of BlueCross BlueShield. Students in the Red Bank High program, Hamilton County Schools administrators, community leaders, and BlueCross BlueShield representatives gathered for the announcement.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation will provide $250,000 in support of the Future Ready Institute program at Red Bank. The BlueCross technology team will also collaborate with school instructors in tailoring the curriculum in the program to provide high school students with the skills necessary for success after graduation. BlueCross will also share business expertise and experience with the students in the program.
The BlueCross Technology Academy at Red Bank High will combine engaging classroom learning with professional mentors from BlueCross to prepare graduates for technology careers. The BlueCross sponsored Future Ready Institute will officially begin with the start of the 2019 school year in the fall. The program will combine 40 incoming freshmen with the current class that will be sophomores. The program will continue to add classes over the next two years until a full four-year curriculum for students. Like all Future Ready Institutes, the BlueCross Technology Academy will be open to all students in Hamilton County Schools. Applications for the program will be open until March 15.
“We started Future Ready Institutes at the beginning of this school year so that our students would have every opportunity possible for future success and we knew that we could not do it alone,” said Dr.
Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “Through partnerships with community leaders like BlueCross, Future Ready Institutes are expanding opportunities for our graduates and their families for success after graduation.”
BlueCross representatives opened the facility for the students to tour. The current students in the program at Red Bank were able to see the technology used in the operation of BlueCross and talk with the employees that make the technology work for the people served by the company.
“I think it is great that we will have the opportunity for an internship at BlueCross BlueShield now that they are part of our institute,” said Skyy Hill, a student at Red Bank High School. “This is a big opportunity for our school and our Future Ready Institute.”
“I am just excited to see what happens here at BlueCross and what people do on a day-to-day basis,” added Josiah Tillett, another student in the Red Bank program. “I think this is going to be a big help and provide new opportunities for us.”
“I am excited about the mentorship possibilities with the new partnership,” said Lily Akins, a student at Red Bank. “We will get exposed to technology used in the real world.”
Future Ready Institutes challenge the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities. Themes include medicine, robotics, forensic science, engineering, hospitality, technology, business, marketing and more. Teachers of all content areas including English, math, science and social studies 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.
“We know how important public education is to the health of our community and we’re excited to continue supporting innovative programs for students,” said Scott Neal Wilson, director of community relations and health foundation for BlueCross. “The BlueCross Technology Academy will help develop talent right here in our hometown, improving the lives of students and supporting the whole community.”
Red Bank students and staff join with BlueCross representatives in front of the sign for the new BlueCross Technology Academy.