High School Reform
Secondary education is provided to nearly 12,000 students at 17 schools. Approximately 65% of Hamilton County high schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Three high schools have been recognized as National Schools of Excellence. The District offers dual enrollment, virtual courses and an Adult High School for credit recovery. Students meet graduation requirements for a Single Path Curriculum designed to prepare all students to attend a 2 or 4-year college or effectively enter the workforce.
A comprehensive high school reform effort began in 2001, funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the Public Education Foundation. This effort produced the current nationally renowned academy system, which engages students in their learning by infusing real-word experiences through a rigorous and relevant curriculum.
Carnegie Corporation invested in Hamilton County again in 2007 with a $1 million grant focused on improving math instruction at the high school level and increasing Gateway Algebra scores. This work paid off in 2009 with most high schools jumping several points in the percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced in Algebra.
In 2009, the district shifted its high school reform effort to focus on increasing the number of students moving onto post secondary education. The College Access initiative is alive at each school with a part-time college advisor helping students navigate the confusing path of going on to college. In 2009, roughly 72% of all graduates enrolled in a two or four year college, beating the national average of 69%. The retention rate also topped the national average, with 85% of Hamilton County grads staying in college after their freshman year.
The Public Education Foundation heads up the district's college access initiative. We invite you to view the College Access component of the PEF website.