University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to partner with IB Future Ready Institutes
Posted on 09/27/2019
Dr. Johnson and Chancellor Angle sign the agreementThe University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s School of Education and Honors College signed on as partners today with the Future Ready Institutes of International Baccalaureate (IB) at Ooltewah High and Signal Mountain Middle/High. The IB institutes are two of 27 Future Ready Institutes available to students in Hamilton County Schools. UTC and Hamilton County Schools announced the partnership Friday, September 27, 2019, at 10 a.m. in the University Center on the campus of UTC.

“You have a very rigorous curriculum, and we have the same. We think that is a perfect fit,” said Valerie Rutledge, dean, UTC College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies in opening the partnership announcement. “We foresee in the future students visiting here on campus and sitting in on classes, working with our students on projects and UTC coming to your schools to collaborate with your faculty.”

International Baccalaureate is an advanced academic program in high schools exposing participants to a unique rigor of coursework to encourage excellence in a student’s studies and personal development. Schools must be authorized to offer the IB program and are known as IB World Schools. Signal Mountain High and Ooltewah High led the district in International Baccalaureate courses last year. Signal Mountain had 800 enrolled in an IB class for 2018-2019. Ooltewah High had a total enrollment of 320 in IB courses.
“It can be a challenge to push top tier students to reach their full potential so I am excited about the possibilities this partnership can provide,” said Angela Cass, principal, Ooltewah High School. “We are thrilled for Ooltewah students to enrich their coursework in International Baccalaureate studies with first hand rigorous and challenging learning through the work with UTC. Our students will get a glimpse into a world they have yet to experience.”

Future Ready Institutes challenge the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities. Themes include medicine, robotics, forensic science, engineering, hospitality, technology, business, marketing, and more. Teachers of all content areas including English, math, science and social studies work closely with the career theme teacher to provide classroom instruction through the lens of a career. The goal is for students to clearly understand why a lesson is important and how they will use the information in the future.

“As we look ahead, we are excited about the opportunities our students will have to gain regular access to college-level professors, college resources, and post-secondary previews,” said Dr. Shane Harwood, principal, Signal Mountain Middle/High. “At the end of the day, our collective charge is to equip our students to be successful in whatever they choose to do after graduation. UTC understands the importance of this charge, and we are so appreciative of their eagerness to work alongside us in this effort.”

Future Ready Institutes and community partnerships help the district to address three elements of the district’s strategic plan Future Ready 2023. The partnership with UTC will help to accelerate student achievement which is Action Area 1 in the plan; produce future-ready students, Action Area 2; and addresses involving the community in our schools which is Action Area 4.

“Community partners are vital to the success of Future Ready Institutes in Hamilton County Schools, and UTC is a welcome addition to the IB programs at Ooltewah and Signal Mountain,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “Future Ready Institutes are key learning opportunities in our schools today that will open doors to exciting possibilities for our graduates and our community.”

Photo: Left to Right – Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools joins UTC Chancellor Steven Angle, Ph.D. to sign the partnership agreement.