Success of Hamilton County Schools Featured in National Newsletter
Posted on 10/05/2019
Hamilton County Schools featured in National Newsletter.The historic success of Hamilton County Schools in the past two years is featured in the September edition of the national newsletter for McREL International. The changing SCHOOLS newsletter highlights the district’s academic growth in moving from the #130 school district in Tennessee for student growth in 2017 to the #2 ranked school district in student growth today. The district was a Level 1 in 2017 on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, rose to Level 3 in 2018, and rocketed to straight Level 5s for academic growth as a district overall and in all individual categories for 2019. The district also had 45 schools earn Level 5, and 21 of those schools earned Level 5 across the board. Level 5 is the highest level a school district can achieve in student growth.

The article in the McREL publication documents the challenges faced by the new superintendent, Dr. Bryan Johnson, when he started work in Chattanooga in 2017. To assist in addressing the challenges to success for children and the community’s schools, Johnson brought McREL’s Balanced Leadership program with him from his former district in Clarksville-Montgomery County. McREL’s research-based leadership training creates the conditions for quality learning to occur.

Hamilton County Schools developed a five-year action plan that focused on four key areas of improvement. One area was Great Teachers and Leaders, and that was a perfect fit for the McREL Balanced Leadership program to provide leadership development for the school system. McREL came to Hamilton County and conducted training and coaching sessions with principals and central office leaders. The program worked with district leaders to find the right instructional focus and helped to manage the change process as the community transitioned to a new way of achieving success in its schools.

“We just saw unprecedented improvement happening,” said Superintendent Johnson. “To see the district turn the corner to become the fastest improving school district in the state in this short time is pretty amazing.”

The article also outlines next steps and how the district can continue the upward climb in academic success to move beyond the fastest improving to be one of the best school systems in the state.

“Superintendent Johnson and his team have really taken to heart the importance of instructional leadership, and we’re inspired by their story and their results,” said Bryan Goodwin, CEO, McREL International.

Read the full article in the McREL newsletter

McREL International headquarters is in Denver, Colorado. The company provides expert researchers, evaluators, and educators who blend analytic insights with practical school experience, helping schools and districts make real change in teaching, leading and learning.