Redistricting plans continue to evolve as Hamilton County Schools reviews community responses to plans for changes in attendance areas. The changes are required due to the addition of the new East Hamilton Middle School this fall. Hamilton County Schools has revised the attendance area maps for the East Hamilton and Ooltewah attendance areas after considering the information received during discussions with parents during community meetings and the results of the initial redistricting proposal survey.
The primary changes to the attendance areas for East Hamilton Middle, East Hamilton High, Ooltewah Middle and Ooltewah High include moving area six that includes Valley View, Holly Hills, Forest Shadow Estates and Cedar Creek and area seven that includes Oak Shadows, Lakes of Standifer and Shenandoah into the East Hamilton attendance area. When approved by the board, the new attendance areas would go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year.
The updated for the middle schools and high schools in East Hamilton and Ooltewah are available on the district website at https://www.hcde.org/about_us/2020-2021_proposed_redistricting_plans. A survey has been sent to parents in the East Hamilton and Ooltewah attendance maps areas to get additional thoughts from regarding the revisions to the attendance area maps.
Redistricting will also be required in the Harrison and Clifton Hills communities due to the new elementary school in the Harrison community, also opening in the fall. No changes have been made to the maps for the Harrison or Clifton Hills communities from the original proposals shared with the community in public meetings and through a survey sent to parents.
Until the school board approves a recommendation, no attendance lines will be finalized. A recommendation for redistricting is expected to be presented to the board for approval at their regular March meeting.
East Hamilton Middle School will be a 175,000 square foot facility in the Missionary Ridge Learning Community and is a major project in the $125 million building plan approved by the Hamilton County Board of Education in October 2017. The new elementary school in the Harrison community is also part of the plan and will also open in the fall. The Hamilton County Commission approved funding of East Hamilton Middle and other district building projects to address school facility needs in 2017. The capacity of the new school will hold 1,200 students so that the building can accommodate current students and the growth expected in the East Hamilton community. The new school will feature the latest learning technology, labs, group learning areas, and STEM labs and will also have athletic fields for football, soccer, softball, and baseball. East Hamilton Middle will be the new home to sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students in the East Hamilton area when the school opens in August. Moving the middle school grades from the current East Hamilton Middle/High facility will allow for more growth opportunities at what will become East Hamilton High School.
The new Harrison Elementary is under construction on Highway 58 across the street from the existing school on the property next to Brown Middle. The new Harrison will have 80 classrooms, age-appropriate playgrounds for the different age groups in the school, a gym, and makerspaces for children to use skills learned in STEM activities. "Makerspaces allow children to work in groups and use concepts from science, technology, engineering, and math to share ideas and unleash their creativity. Makerspaces have led to the development of products that are providing solutions to today’s problems," officials said. The completed new Harrison Elementary will provide space for up to 880 students.