Top 10 Highlights of the 2019-2020 School Year #5 – Student Success Plans in Hamilton County Schools featured in Harvard Publication
Posted on 05/15/2020
Photo: HCS Student working in a classroomWe are reviewing the Top #10 highlights of 2019-2020 as we wind down to the end of a very unusual but successful school year. The highlight at #5 is Student Success Plans in Hamilton County Schools, featured in the fall edition of Harvard Ed Magazine.

The magazine explored work in school districts seeking to develop Success Plans for all children and featured work in Hamilton County Schools to prepare students for success after graduation. Every child is different and requires varied approaches to learning. Much like IEPs are needed for students with disabilities to ensure each child receives instruction that will fit the needs of each child, Success Plans extend that concept to all students to provide the optimum opportunity for each child to be successful. Success Plans are part of the school district's work with the Harvard Education Redesign Lab's By All Means initiative.

The three-year pilot seeks to develop student-centered, customized learning experiences for children; integrate social, emotional, and health services with a child's education; and provide easily accessible, high-quality expanded learning and enrichment experiences for all children. A technical assistance partner in the pilot is City Connects, based at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. The organization works in partnership with school districts and community agencies to develop customized support services based on the needs of the child. The effort is comprehensive with in-school and out-of-school support, coordinated with organizations in the community.

"We need a different approach to investing in and supporting children and families in our community. An approach that meets them where they are, and sets them on a path to be future-ready and prepared for success after graduation," said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. "Student Success Planning moves away from the one-size-fits-all model of education and, instead, intentionally focuses on what every child needs to prepare our graduates for a bright future."

Eight Hamilton County schools participate in the pilot using City Connects' data platform, MyConnects, to develop a model that will address factors impeding learning for students in schools. The work also connects the child's family to additional community resources that will also assist in academic success. Schools participating in the pilot include Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Dalewood Middle, Hixson Middle, Howard Connect Academy, Red Bank Elementary, Red Bank Middle, Soddy Elementary, and Woodmore Elementary. The Student Success Planning pilot is made possible by a grant from Smart City Venture Fund (SCVF). The work is also directly connected to the goals of Chattanooga 2.0 to support improving education in the community from cradle to career.

The effort supports the work of the Children's Cabinet organized by Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. The group brings together government agencies and community organizations that serve children in the community. The goal is to connect every student in the school district with what the individual child needs to thrive.

"We know that with the right support, every child in Hamilton County can thrive," said Mayor Coppinger. "Other communities across the country are using the Children's Cabinet model to align resources and coordinate supports for youth with promising results, and we are confident the Cabinet will work in our community."

A focus on the success of each child will help Hamilton County Schools continue the historic growth experienced in the past year and help the district attain goals in the Future Ready 2023 five-year action plan.

Top 10 for 2019-2020
#10 – Six new Future Ready Institutes added along with new branded community partners
# 9 – 20 schools receive a grant from Usher and Little Kids Rock
# 8 – Dr. LeAndrea Ware named Tennessee Principal of the Year, and Howard honored by Bill Gates
# 7 - Office of Innovation and Choice begins with HCS recognized as a global leader in Fab Labs
# 6 – Five schools in Hamilton County Schools earn STEM School Designation from the state
# 5 – Student Success Plans in Hamilton County Schools featured in Harvard Publication