STAFF FILE PHOTO BY MEGHAN BROWN
As I begin my third year as superintendent of Hamilton County schools, I am still excited about all the great things happening in our district.
We are working hard as a school system to provide our students with a high quality education. Our achievement continues to spiral upward as more students graduate from high school and more are going onto college.
A hearty congratulations to our principals and teachers for their hard work this past year. Data indicates that our achievement is improving across the district with significant impact at several schools. It is our understanding that Orchard Knob and East Lake elementary schools will make adequate yearly progress and come off the state’s high-priority list for the first time in six years. This is a tremendous accomplishment for these schools and the district. Congratulations!
As with last year, I remain focused on improving student achievement in every school across the county. Our goal is for half of our students to score advanced in each area of the Tennessee Comprehensive Accountability Program in math, science, reading/language, social studies and on all three Gateway exams by 2011. Our data indicates we are making progress toward this goal.
This year, to provide more focused assistance and support to our principals and schools, we will continue with the area superintendent organization at central office, but with two area superintendents, instead of three. Each area superintendent will have two operations directors: one focused on elementary schools and the other on secondary schools to provide greater instructional focus and support.
It is one of my core goals to ensure that all children can learn in a safe, secure and quality environment. To that end, we will continue with our efforts to revamp our discipline processes and procedures and work with students, staff and community members to create a welcoming climate in each building that supports teaching and learning.
As we look forward to a positive and productive 2008-2009 school year, I would be remiss if I did not thank our countless partners. The work we do could not be done without the tireless support of the community including our local foundations, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, parents, PTA and elected officials.
In light of the recent announcement that Volkswagen is coming to Chattanooga, I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead our school system toward a mutually productive relationship. Hamilton County Schools has much to offer and will gladly step up to meet the demands and challenges of educating the children of VW employees and of working cooperatively through partnerships to provide training and skills.
I am committed to continuing our work in an open and transparent manner, while giving our staff the tools and resources they need to help all students succeed. We remain open to feedback from parents and community members about what we are doing well and working with the community on the challenges we face as we move Hamilton County Schools from good to great to exceptional.
— Jim Scales Superintendent