Great things are happening in Hamilton County Schools!
Students and teachers are demonstrating excellence even as the curriculum continues to become more rigorous. But we still have work to do.
With most students continuing to improve in terms of academic achievement as measured by the TCAP and Gateway/End of Course exams, we continue to keep our goals set on having more students scoring proficient and advanced on these standardized tests. When students score at this level, we know they have been given the tools they need to successfully compete with their counterparts around the country and around the world.
In 2009, Tennessee implemented new standards, which increased the rigor of instruction in all classrooms. This raised the bar in terms of academic achievement for all studentsin the state. Spring 2010 was the first year students were tested on the new state standards. Hamilton County students performed moderately well, but still have room for improvement. We continue to actively work towards preparing our students to be successful in the Global Marketplace.
Elementary Schools: On the move
In our elementary schools, 48.4% of students are reading at or above grade level. Literacy remains a primary focus in all schools with students on the road to success. Hamilton County is committed to ensuring that all students can read on grade level by the third grade, a key indiciator of future academic and social success. The district is focused on improved literacy for all students with a literacy block dedicated to reading and writing each day along with quality assessments that test a student’s knowledge throughout the year in all core subjects.
Approximately 37.7% of students are proficient or advanced in mathematics. The system continues to explore all avenues to help students master both computation and fluency in becoming critical thinkers in the application of mathematics.
Reform efforts at the elementary level continue through the successful Benwood Initiative and a variety of other instructional programs including Model Classrooms, guided reading, Fast Math and ongoing professional development for quality instruction and to improve teacher quality.
Middle Schools: Engaged in Reform
Hamilton County Schools is in the fourth year of comprehensive middle school reforms, blending successful lessons from the elementary and high school reform efforts. This effort, known as Middle Schools for a New Society, has produced moderate gains at the middle schools. These reform efforts continue to focus on the quality of literacy and math instruction in all classrooms with individual plans for each school designed to help each campus achieve success. These efforts include gender specific classes, flexibility in scheduling, math coaches, literacy coaches, a greater offering of performing arts electives and an increased use of technology in the classroom.
High Schools: Graduating More Kids
With the transformation of high schools in the since 2001 through reform efforts, Hamilton County Schools is seeing better scores on English, Algebra and Biology Gateway exams along with more graduates and fewer dropouts.
In 2010, Hamilton County had a 80% graduation rate and a 13% dropout rate. We continue to increase the number of diplomas awarded each year and promote more and more students from 9th to 10th grade, both of which are indicators of higher graduation rates in the future. The one-year event drop-out rate, a key indicator for future graduates, was at an all-time low of 1.8% in 2010.
Career Academies are also flourishing in Hamilton County high schools, allowing students to become engaged in their education with relevant experiences and curriculum. The District continues to partner with local businesses to offer students real-life experiences through the Academy system.
These reform efforts have raised the bar for everyone and Hamilton County students have shown they are up to the task, boasting higher achievement each year.
Investing in our Future
The value of a Hamilton County education has become well known across the community.
Hamilton County Schools boasts a large number of gradutes who go onto a top college each year. Hamilton County graduates are currently attending colleges around the country and moving into successful careers and industry. We continue to raise the bar to enable our students to score higher on standardized and national tests. To do this, we need everyone engaged in education: parents, teachers, principals, community members, business people and elected officials.
The District enjoys broad support from the community. The district's $311 million FY 2011 budget is funded through the following means:
State funds: $126.1M (40.4%)
Local Property taxes: $124.6M (39.95%)
Local Sales taxes: $539.M (17.3%)
Other funds (includes licenses, charges for services and other sources): $6.2M (2%)
And while this investment in our schools is critical to success, being vested in education does not necessarily mean dollars. Community members can invest in students through their time, efforts and support of their neighborhood school.
When a community invests in public education, everyone benefits. We are educating the future leaders of our community, country and world in our classrooms today. The quality of life we enjoy tomorrow will depend on the job we do in our schools today.
Come partner with us and help shape the future of Hamilton County.