Hamilton County Schools Are Future Ready

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

When Chattanooga 2.0 was launched, we faced a steep challenge to ensure every child in Hamilton County would have a high-quality education and real opportunity for college and career. Our 2016 report outlined 10 priority areas with metrics to track progress over the coming years, with two bold goals: double the number of post-secondary degrees or credentials completed by Hamilton County graduates each year and double the percentage of adults in Hamilton County with a college degree or technical training certificate by 2025.  

Three years later, we have made great progress, but there is still much work to be done. 

Looking to where we started and where we still have to go, there is great hope and promise in the progress we have made in K-12 education with two years of Superintendent Johnson’s leadership. For the first time in five years, graduation rates are on the rise. New schools are under construction, promising innovations are taking place, and 25 of our schools received the highest marks for growth, which is significant progress toward Hamilton County’s goal of becoming the fastest improving school district in the state.

Listening. During community conversations with each of Hamilton County’s learning communities, Superintendent Johnson heard directly from students, parents, and teachers and turned their feedback into an action plan called Future Ready 2023! With five areas of action, including accelerating student achievement, cultivating an engaged community, preparing students for college and career, and recruiting, developing, and retaining great teachers and leaders in our schools.

Measuring. Future Ready 2023! sets measurable goals to track the progress of our schools and our students each year. Detailed baseline and target metrics provide an overall view of how effective new administration policies, resources, and classroom-level guidance are. As an example, 39.9 percent of our third-graders are now reading on grade-level. Superintendent Johnson has set measurable goals for 50 percent of third-graders to read on grade-level by 2023. As Jenny Hill, District 6 school board member, said in the May 9 budget discussion, we all want that number to be 100 percent, and we can get there if we continue to double down on our support and work to fulfill our promise to all Hamilton County students.  

Rolling up our sleeves. The work has already begun. Superintendent Johnson continues to restructure the Central Office to maximize efficiency and provide our schools with effective leadership. Future Ready Institutes are bringing industry into our schools like never before to prepare our future workforce. Camp K has grown in enrollment and is set for a second year of preparing rising Kindergartners and their families for success in the classroom. New policies and resources are improving opportunities for our special education students. The list goes on.

This new leadership in Hamilton County Schools has become a critical piece to bringing the progress we first envisioned in the Chattanooga 2.0 report to fruition. And the work is only getting started. It’s our responsibility - as parents, as businesses, as community members - to work alongside Superintendent Johnson so that our students succeed and ultimately Hamilton County succeeds. 

Thank you to Superintendent Johnson, his administration, and all the teachers, staff and volunteers who work each day to improve our schools, provide every child in Hamilton County with the opportunity for success, and make Chattanooga the smartest community in the South.

Molly Blankenship, Interim Chattanooga 2.0 Executive Director, and Vice President, Talent Initiatives, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce


Roy Exum: Memorial Day, 2020

Roy Exum: The Christians' Fault

Some Wonderful Things


There is an old Indian proverb that is perhaps my favorite when word reaches me than a man or a woman in uniform perished in combat. On this day where we honor those who died while defending ... (click for more)

A Harvard Law professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, has clamored for the spotlight in recent weeks seeking to ban homeschooling. She claims there is little oversight for what homeschooled children ... (click for more)

The word 'wonderful' has a variety of meanings, including amazing, astounding, and beneficial. That word came to mind this week. On Thursday a wonderful thing was all over the news -- ... (click for more)



Opinion

Roy Exum: Memorial Day, 2020

There is an old Indian proverb that is perhaps my favorite when word reaches me than a man or a woman in uniform perished in combat. On this day where we honor those who died while defending our country’s freedom, I am always reminded, “Good men must die, but death cannot take their names.” Any one who has ever stood post, knows well of the huge risks, the God-wretched intangibles ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Christians' Fault

A Harvard Law professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, has clamored for the spotlight in recent weeks seeking to ban homeschooling. She claims there is little oversight for what homeschooled children are learning, that in many places the uneducated adults are not qualified to teach their children, and that with child abuse on the rise, the fact there are no “mandated reporters,” such as ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Adds Another 54 Coronavirus Cases; Tennessee Has 2 More Deaths

Hamilton County has added another 54 coronavirus cases, moving the total to 694, the local Health Department reported on Memorial Day. The county remains at 14 deaths. There have been seven confirmed cases at the Waddington North America Novolex plant on Quintus Loop in the Jersey Pike area. The plant, which had already planned to close for the Memorial Day weekend, conducted ... (click for more)

Summer Meal Locations At Schools To Open Tuesday

Summer meal pickup sites available at Hamilton County Schools will start food service on Tuesday. These sites will be open on Tuesdays and Friday each week from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Each Tuesday, families will be able to pick up three meals for each person at the sites. On Friday, families will receive four meals for each person in the family. The sites will continue to follow CDC ... (click for more)

Sports

Fulmer Issues Statement On SEC Decision To Allow Return To Activity By Student-Athletes

Tennessee Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer provided the following response to the SEC decision to allow student-athletes to return to campuses: Southeastern Conference leadership on Friday voted to allow voluntary, in-person athletics activities on league campuses starting Monday, June 8. Each SEC institution will make localized decisions regarding when and how student-athletes ... (click for more)

Dan Fleser: Tennessee In Lock Step With New SEC Athletic Guidelines

KNOXVILLE – The Southeastern Conference will make its first move back toward the playing fields when it allows the resumption of voluntary in-person athletic activities on June 8 on campuses. Tennessee will be lockstep with this first step, which was approved via vote of the schools on Friday. “We’ll continue to follow the guidance from medical experts and health officials ... (click for more)