Two magnet schools in Hamilton County Schools were awarded Magnet School Merit Awards from Magnet Schools of America. Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts (CCA) received the top recognition as 2020 Magnet School of Excellence and Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts (CSLA) has been named a 2020 Magnet School of Distinction, the second highest award of recognition. Each school was the only one from Tennessee recognized in their respective categories.
The Magnet School of Merit Awards recognizes member magnet schools and programs that demonstrate an exemplary commitment to academic standards, curriculum innovation, desegregation/diversity efforts, specialized teaching staff, and parent and community involvement. CCA and CSLA will be presented with their awards during a national conference in April.
Founded in 1998, CCA delivers a rigorous academic program with a fine arts magnet theme to over 600 public school students in grades 6-12. Fine arts coursework is tailored to the student’s chosen major, and those include acting, technical theatre, communications, dance, instrumental music, musical theatre, vocal music, or visual arts. Expectations for the performance of students in the artistic and academic programs are equally high, with every high school English, math, science, and social studies course classified as Honors, Advanced Placement, or Dual Enrollment.
“This recognition is reflective of our committed staff and families that recognize and appreciate the role arts education plays in the lives of school community,” said Debbie Smith, Principal of CCA. “We are proud and honored to be able to share the importance of the arts with our emerging artists.”
CSLA opened its doors in 1991, and serves a diverse group of K-8 students with varying backgrounds of race, culture, and socio-economic status. Students participate in learning-rich field studies throughout the year and tie their experiences into the curriculum and Tennessee state standards. Every child benefits from a robust curriculum including foreign language, music, P.E., technology, and art. Middle school students are also offered the option to take choir, guitar, strings, or band. CSLA will be adding 9th grade to its grade bands in the 2021-2022 school year and is accepting lottery applications for 9th grade through March 15.
“This award recognizes us among the top magnet schools in the nation and celebrates the work of our teachers, students and parents,” said Krystal Scarbrough, Principal at CSLA. “Once again, I am proud to be among this great community of learners.”