ADVANCING EQUITY & OPPORTUNITY IN HAMILTON COUNTY

Chattanooga 2.0 partners are working to ensure all children and youth are equipped with the resources and supports needed to reach their full potential, cradle to career, through collaboration, measurement, and alignment of policy and practice.

Learn More Expanding Access to and Completion of Early-Postsecondary Opportunities Across the District Learn More Educational Equity Without a commitment to equity and systemic change, our systems and structures will continue to compound and perpetuate disadvantage for too many residents. Read More One Step Closer Remaining committed to holding equity at the center of our work Read More Clasped Hands Lessons Learned How COVID-19 Will Impact Our Work Moving Forward Read More

I have had the opportunity to participate in ‘Cultural Conversations’, where HCS faculty share an open discussion about our teaching methods and how they relate to the cultural backgrounds of those we teach. Ideas shared from these discussions have helped me connect with students more.

Thomas Axton

Band Director, East Lake Academy

We know that the key barriers to digital equity include income and affordability of service. But we also know there are rural areas where access is not available at any cost. This includes residents in parts of Sale Creek, Birchwood and Harrison who are outside the footprint EPB can legally serve, who did not have high speed home access well before the pandemic hit. In order to ensure every student is able to learn from home, HCS EdConnect has provided nearly 500 4G hotspots with unlimited data to families living in north Hamilton County. In our community, regardless of income or address, all students can access remote learning. That’s true digital equity.

Deb Socia

President & CEO, The Enterprise Center

The Future Ready program makes me want to come to school every day, because you never know what’s going to be planned. That’s what I like most about it. I always wanted to be an anesthesiologist or a neurosurgeon. But it was always just out of my head – I can’t do this, I’ve got to play football, I’ve got to play some type of sport. This program has really opened up my horizon. It’s given me connections and mentors.

Jamall Macon, Jr.

Sophomore, Erlanger Institute of Healthcare and Innovation, The Howard School

Part of being a community school is creating that community for kids who aren’t plugged in otherwise. We have kids who aren’t plugged into sports or theatre and don’t have anything going on at home. So we get to create a space for kids on the margins who might otherwise sit by themselves, or stare at a computer, or might be off in a corner. They get to come together and we don’t really let them sit on the margins. We pull them into the fold and make them engage.

Brody Scott

Community School Coordinator, Soddy Daisy Middle

I think I would have quit last year (my first year) if it wasn’t for the new teacher Induction program. Everything was so overwhelming, but the most helpful thing was to know that I had people to support me and a place that I could go where other new teachers would share their experiences too and we could lean on each other for support.

Grace Leffew

3rd Grade Teacher, Rivermont Elementary

One of the greatest wins for early childhood in our community is the development of the Early Matters action team. It has created a place for all those working in early childhood to come together, identify needs, and tackle big issues collaboratively. This will prove to be a powerful force in advancing early childhood education in our community in the future.

Katie Harbison

President, Chambliss Center for Children

We become licensed professionals before we go off to college. Once we turn 18, we can actually work in a healthcare facility while still being college students. It is a great opportunity.

Student

Institute of Health Careers and Medical Advancement, Hixson High School

The reality is, whether a student chooses to get a certificate, or go to a two or four-year college, or straight into the military, everything ends at a job. To be productive citizens, they need to be employed.

Dr. Bryan Johnson

Superintendent, Hamilton County Schools

It was expected that, as Black and Latinx students in a poor area, we wouldn’t make it to college and that we should search for somewhere “safe”. This felt too limiting to me; I always wanted the option to leave Tennessee and I was often told that it would be best for me to focus on staying in Tennessee because it would be less likely that I could get into or afford a school on the outside. It was the Passport Scholars program let me know that I could reach for any place when it came to my education.

Kedhejah Kelley

Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences graduate, Emory University sophomore

Because of the STEP-UP internship, I got to help my mother pay bills, put food on the table and be the one for her to rely on while she was at her lowest. Having this internship was an open door for me. I want you all to know how thankful I am and hope you continue to do all that you all do because you change lives.

STEP-UP Intern

My STEP-UP mentor has been amazing to work with so far, and he has been very encouraging of my goal to pursue constitutional law. Learning about his career and how he worked his way up to his current position at a firm has helped me realize that, as scary as it may seem, it’s completely possible to reach my goals and dreams.

Aubry Campbell

Senior, Soddy Daisy High School
Looking Back & Looking

FORWARD TOGETHER

In the 5 years since the launch of Chattanooga 2.0, the residents of Chattanooga-Hamilton County have much to be proud of in the way of big wins from cradle to career. Our 2021 Report to the Community highlights these accomplishments along with the challenges and opportunities ahead, laying out clear goals and strategies for the next decade.

We invite you to join us in moving forward together, stronger.

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