#1 – Seeing friends and renewing the learning journey
Posted on 08/06/2019
Students in the VWeLab at Ooltewah Middle SchoolWe are counting down the top seven reasons to be excited about the first day of school on Wednesday, August 7. Yes, tomorrow is the first day of school!

Reason #1: Seeing friends and renewing the learning journey

Summer break is over, and it is time to head back to school tomorrow to see friends and renew the learning journey to prepare children for success in life after high school. The back to school season is a time of excitement with new learning opportunities for children and possibilities for tomorrow. Just as children get excited about a new school year, administrators and teachers are enthusiastic about plans that will mean improved schools for children.

Providing direction for Hamilton County Schools is the five-year action plan Future Ready 2023. The plan is the district road map for improving student academic performance and preparing our children for future success. For Hamilton County and Chattanooga to thrive, high school graduates must be prepared to succeed in college or career after graduation day. Prepared for success is being future-ready, and the focus for the Hamilton County Schools is on graduates prepared for success in life. Preparation for success does not begin in high school for our students. The mission to make sure children are future-ready begins the first day a child walks into a Hamilton County classroom. The total plan from the district level to the classroom will provide the direction to make Hamilton County Schools the fastest improving school district in Tennessee.

The Hamilton County Board of Education has set bold goals for our schools, and we have worked with the community to set a direction for success for our children,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “I invite you to explore the plan and find the part you can play in its success to help ensure our children are prepared for a bright future ahead.”

Action Areas in Future Ready 2023
• Accelerating student achievement
• Preparing students to ensure they are future-ready
• Providing great teachers, leaders, and personnel for our schools
• Engaging the community to form a better understanding of the desires of the citizens of Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the future of the community’s children; and
• Maintaining effective and efficient school and district operations

Focus Five targets by 2023
• At least half of all third-grade children will be on track or mastered the TNReady English language arts assessment. The ability to read on grade level in elementary school is vital to academic success for a child.
• The percentage of students on track in Algebra I will double across all grades. Problem-solving skills taught in Algebra are essential to success in a growing number of career fields.
• Seventy-five percent of graduates will complete at least one advanced course or industry certification. Completion of advanced courses or certifications increase the post-secondary completion rates of graduates.
• The average ACT composite score will be 21. The ACT is an important indicator for post-secondary success, as well as HOPE scholarship opportunities.
• Ninety percent of students who entered high school in the 2019 cohort in Hamilton County Schools will graduate. Graduation is the pinnacle of success for students, so it is essential that the district focus on getting more students successfully to the finish line. The goal, working with other Focus Five targets, will not simply graduate more students but give the graduates skills necessary to be successful in life.

The first day of school is important for students of all ages- whether it be the first day of kindergarten or the first day of senior year. Attendance on the first day sets the tone for the rest of the school year. Hamilton County Schools wants every student to be #FirstDayReady!

Reasons to be excited about the first day of school on Wednesday, August 7
#7 – New Buses and Bus Service from First Student
#6 – The Back to School Bash (tomorrow 10 to 2) at First Tennessee Pavilion and Finley Stadium
#5 – Opening of expanded Snow Hill Elementary, Howard Connect Academy and new school construction
#4 – One-to-one in high schools – a laptop for every student
#3 – New Future Ready Institutes
#2 - Looking to build on scholarships and early college options
#1 – Seeing Friends and renewing the learning journey