Students learning at their computers.

For students who meet one or more of the following application requirements, Hamilton County Schools offers the opportunity to apply for a hardship transfer which will be available May 1, 2021. The application window for consideration for the 2021-2022 school year is May 1st-May 31st. Please print the application, complete and attach all supporting documentation to the application. You may choose to mail the completed application to The Office of Equity at Hamilton County Schools or submit via lockbox located outside 3074 Hickory Valley Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421. The lockbox will be accessible Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm. After submission, applications will be reviewed by a committee and letters will be mailed out following their decision to approve or deny the hardship transfer. If approved, transportation WILL NOT be provided by Hamilton County Schools and the student must remain enrolled in the requested school for the entire school year.


  • Medical -  The student’s physician, psychiatrist or physiologist should provide written documentation noting specific medical reasons (physical and/or psychological) why a student cannot attend the school to which he/she is zoned to attend.
  • Legal/Unforeseen Family Circumstances - The student is subject to a court order/unexpected event that would prevent student from attending the school to which he/she is zoned to attend:  
    • A state of misfortunes unique to the student’s life; adverse or compiling.
    • Supporting documentation should be attached and current within the last 30-60 days.
    • If approved, the transfer will be granted to the school closest to the student’s zoned school that has capacity to accommodate such a request.
  • Parent/Guardian is Full-Time HCDE Employee - Full-time Hamilton County School employees (custodial parents or legal guardians with whom the child resides) may request their child attend the school in which they work or the school within closest proximity of their work location.  
    • Full-time employees may be allowed to take their child to the school or feeder school of current work assignment.
    • Verification of full-time employment and location is required.
    • Out-of-state/out-of-county employees may be required to pay discounted tuition and any specialized services at a reduced price.
    • The student must be in good behavior and attendance standing at their home zone school to be considered for a hardship transfer.
    • If the work location of the employee changes, a new application must be submitted.
  • Current Hardships
    • Current students with an approved hardship for the 2020-2021 school year shall be grandfathered in through the highest grade of the current school if the student is in good behavior and attendance standing.
    • Current students with an approved hardship for the 2020-2021 school year are required to apply for hardship if moving to a different school (ex. moving from elementary to middle or middle to high) during the 2021-2022 school year other than zoned school.

Applications and documentation must be submitted to the Office of Equity, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 no later than May 31, 2021 via USPS or drop box.

For additional information, please contact:
Office of Equity