District 11 schools are as unique as they are diverse, but it is something truly special when they all come together to form a single district of representation. We are fortunate to have 11 zoned magnet and traditional public schools in D11. It has been my greatest honor to meet teachers, students, parents, and families from each of the 11 public schools over the last several months.
Each school is an example of possibility; each school's community has its shining light. When all of the schools come together as a whole district, they not only reflect the best of our District 11 community but the best of Hamilton County.
Battle Academy’s motto includes the line “diversity makes us stronger,” a clear example of its own learning community’s strength, which also applies to our entire District 11. The zone magnet model, which includes nearby neighborhoods and lottery participants who have caregivers who work downtown, has helped create a school population that is truly diverse in every way. Battle stands out as a great example of what can be accomplished when public and private stakeholders come together to intentionally plan a community school from the very beginning of a visionary revitalization program. With the growth that District 11 is experiencing, we need more of this forethought and investment from all parties to ensure that once housing development is complete, families who move in have a school to send their kids to that welcomes them freely.
Calvin Donaldson reflects a learning community where educators are dedicated to student growth and curiosity, an environment that prioritizes grace, respect, and understanding. Alton Park families for generations have been proud graduates of Calvin Donaldson. Each community in District 11 wants its schools to be the best environment that can be provided for its students, and Calvin Donaldson is no different. Community members across generations express commitment to the success of Calvin Donaldson.
Clifton Hills Elementary, where every student brings something to the table. When meeting students, parents, educators, and staff from Clifton Hills, the same word comes to mind, COMMITMENT; Commitment to each other, student success, and to the community it serves. Although Clifton Hills serves a student population with concentrated poverty and a high percentage of English Language Learners, they have achieved the highest level of growth in meeting academic metrics and earned the top rating of Level 5 school from the state, resulting in being removed from the state’s “priority list” of under-performing schools.
East Lake Academy offers many opportunities through related arts, community partnerships, and elevating students to achieve through collaboration and exploration. The first thing you hear about when walking into East Lake Academy is BETTER TOGETHER. It’s their motto that they live up to every day. Teachers, students, caregivers, and staff are dedicated to giving back to the community that gives so much to them.
East Lake Elementary is the heart of their community. New leadership and a new vision for East Lake promises to serve the community well. East Lake has already seen growth in just one year under Principal Farrow. Creative problem solving and commitment to the community by all staff members and educators have helped address some of their students’ challenges to attendance by establishing a laundry closet that is open to parents to wash uniforms. From the principal to the crossing guard, the educators and staff at East Lake Elementary are dedicated to supporting and caring for their students and ensuring their success both inside and outside of the classroom.
East Side Elementary, where everyone, both students and teachers, loves to come to school. East Side has been recognized for some of the highest attendance rates in the county. I had the pleasure of meeting many students attending East Side, and one thing is for sure: They love the creative school environment, collaborating, and being a part of the East Side Community. Their students have the “all in it to learn it” attitude because they have dedicated, committed educators “in it” with them. The supportive environment that the dedicated educators and administrators create at East Side can be felt at every turn with every smiling face. This community school is a gem in District 11 treasured by the neighborhood.
Howard Connect Academy - Newer to the HCS scene, Howard Connect Academy gives middle schoolers interested in STEM a school of choice. Howard Connect is joyful and intentional about building academic success through curiosity and collaboration. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some incredible, confident students from Howard Connect Academy. The project-based STEM model engages students in hands-on learning, allowing them to pursue their special interests toward a chosen path of study.
Lookout Mountain School - Small but mighty, Lookout Mountain School completes our close community of Lookout Mountain. LMS is a model of how much a school and its students benefit from the investment of municipal partners, parents, and the broader community. Rooted in history but soaring into the future, LMS prepares K-5 students for their best futures. Small community schools are proven as the best environments to serve students not just in the past but today and in the future. LMS is thriving as a choice school and a beacon of excellence in Hamilton County.
Lookout Valley Elementary School - The perfect example of powerful partnerships can be found at LVES. Their students' success is achieved through educator, caregiver, student, and community partnerships. The Lookout Valley Elementary School PTA is a shining example of how true stakeholder engagement is powerful in community-based schools. The recent addition of the Forest Kindergarten program brought with it renewed community engagement around this exciting alternative learning environment.
Lookout Valley Middle High School - Another great choice school whose dedicated teachers and staff have worked to improve TVAAS scores with great success and is celebrated throughout the community. What the TVAAS scores don’t measure, yet are present at Lookout Valley MHS, is the heart and compassion that serves our students and the community. Lookout Valley MHS is an exemplar of tradition and legacy in this close-knit community. The community pride and passionate advocacy for the Lookout Valley Schools are evident on every doorstep. The Future Ready Institutes at LVMHS, such as the partnership with Novonix battery maker, exemplifies what we can accomplish when stakeholders come together to plan for our community’s future through innovation.
The Howard School is a bedrock institution of the Chattanooga community. Established as the first public school in Chattanooga and one of the oldest public schools for African Americans in the United States, its roots are deep, and its influence on the history of Chattanooga is undeniable. This special school continues to be a source of pride for the Alton Park community, with the strongest alumni association in Hamilton County. The Future Ready Institutes at The Howard School, including partnerships with Erlanger and Rock City, provide our young students with practical skills and career opportunities right here at home upon graduation.
Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence is served by its own Governing Board.