Chattanooga 2.0 Steering Committee Approves Strategic Plan

Chattanoogan.com, June 16, 2016

The Steering Committee of the Chattanooga 2.0 plan to boost local education has voted unanimously to approve the many 2.0 recommendations and objectives that will make up the strategic plan.

Officials said the vote came after 100 days of initial meetings and public input.

The next step will be implementing the strategic plan, it was stated.

Officials said, “We’d like to extend a big thank you to all who contributed to this monumental effort. We could not have gotten to where we are today without your leadership and commitment to transforming education and workforce development, so that everyone in our community has opportunities to succeed in school, work, and life.

“Developing this plan involved significant work and drew inputs from a variety of sources. Over the past 100 days, we’ve taken a close look at the realities of our data in Hamilton County and have spoken with numerous local and national experts to better understand best practices and to build a plan that is grounded in evidence of what really works.

“But, most importantly, we’ve heard from all of you. Thousands of people across Hamilton County have engaged in this process to provide input on the needs of the community and hopes for the future.

“More than 170 members of our community participated in one of the 2.0 leadership teams – the Steering Committee, Early Childhood Working Group, K-12 Working Group, Post-secondary/Workforce Development Working Group, Community Champions Group, or Interfaith Council. The Working Groups in particular met anywhere from 6-12 times over the past several months, in some cases spending a total of more than 40 hours together hashing out the details of the plan.

Chattanoga 2.0-collageMore than 1,500 HCDE educators responded to our survey and participated in 15+ focus groups with HCDE teachers, principals, and administrators

We heard from Hamilton County students through focus groups and seminars at CSAS and CSLA, and through meetings at Chatt State, TCAT, and UTC

We held more than 20 focus groups with parents at schools (including East Lake Academy and Dalewood Middle School), early learning centers, places of worship, and with the support of various community partners

Nearly 200 members of the Chamber of Commerce responded to a survey on workforce needs. In addition, we spoke with leaders of several of our largest local employers and surveyed more than 20 local agencies that support job seekers.

Over 600 community members responded to our bilingual survey on the Chatt 2.0 website, including ~300 parents and a number of advocates from the exceptional education community

More than 1,000 people attended public 2.0 community forums, including our Education + Innovation speaker series, which included the talk by Sir Ken Robinson at Howard High School last month, the 2.0 interactive Community Forum at Bessie Smith Cultural Center, and the two sessions hosted by the Hamilton County Commission in Hixson and Brainerd

We met individually on multiple occasions with our influential local leaders and policy makers who also served in key leadership roles in our committees, including Mayor Coppinger, Mayor Berke, and representatives from the HCDE Board of Education

And countless others sparked conversations through Causeway’s Gather Round meetings, in informal community sessions, and through social media

“We are thrilled to celebrate the end of this chapter, and to now launch into the hard work of translating these initial ideas into action. And over the next two months, we’ll head back out into the broader community to share a draft of the report, invite further feedback, and continue to mobilize the community to carry this movement forward. We are also taking time to make sure we have the right structure and teams in place so that we move forward as a coordinated movement, continue to test and refine our work, and ensure that we’re making progress toward our ambitious objectives.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the end of this chapter, and to now launch into the hard work of translating these initial ideas into action.”

“We’re planning a formal public release the report later this summer after the start of the school year. In the meantime, we look forward to sharing more details with you and invite your continued support and participation. We will soon be sharing more with you about some upcoming events, and as always, posting the latest news and developments on our website (chatt2.org).

“Once again, we thank you for your commitment and service over these past 100 days. We look forward  to continuing to work together to truly build a new community of opportunity for every student, adult and family here in Hamilton County.”