UnifiEd launches second phase of bus tour seeking community input on schools

UnifiEd launches second phase of bus tour seeking community input on schools

January 11th, 2018 by Meghan Mangrum in Breaking News

Visitors enter the Passage bus at a stop for UnifiEd's Action Plan for Educational Excellence at the Highland Park Commons on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The project committee for APEX plans to travel Hamilton County in a transformed school bus to seek public opinion about ways to solve inequities in the public school system.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

BUS TOUR SCHEDULE

Thursday, Jan. 11
1:30-4:30 p.m. – STEM School (4325 Amnicola Hwy.)

Sunday, Jan. 14
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Mt. Canaan Baptist Church (4801 TN-58)

Tuesday, Jan. 16
10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Red Bank High School (640 Morrison Springs Rd.)
4:00-8:00 p.m. – The Commons (2000 Union Ave.)

Wednesday, Jan. 17
10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Hixson High School (5705 Middle Valley Rd.)
5:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Northgate Mall (271 Northgate Mall Dr.)

Thursday, Jan. 18
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Northgate Mall (271 Northgate Mall Dr.)
4:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Shepherd Recreation Center (2124 Shepherd Rd.)

Friday, Jan. 19
5:00-9:00 p.m. – Brainerd High School (1020 N Moore Rd.)

Saturday, Janu 20
11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Chattanooga Women's March (Coolidge Park)
5:00-8:30 p.m. – Hamilton Place Mall (2100 Hamilton Place Blvd.)

UnifiEd launches the second phase of its bus tour with a visit to the STEM School from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m today.

The local education nonprofit organization launched the first phase of its bus tour, which is the latest stage in its Action Plan for Educational Excellence project, in December. More than 650 people visited the repurposed bus and voted on their top priorities for Hamilton County public schools during the tour.

While taking a break for the holidays, a "virtual bus tour" has been available online. It will remain online until January 12. 

The APEX project is an attempt to craft community-driven policies. A 27-member steering committee was named last fall to lead the project. 

Between August and November, UnifiEd collected more than 2,600 surveys that asked community members to identify inequities in local schools and provide possible solutions to them.

From those surveys, which were entered into a qualitative analysis software program, UnifiEd's team of researchers identified 25 themes, which they are presenting to the community via the bus tour.

On the bus, each visitor has been given tokens and been asked to cast seven votes for the statements on the list they identify with the most.

This data will be used to craft a community-written policy platform that can be presented to the community, Hamilton County Schools and elected officials.

This phase of the bus tour will run through January 21 with stops at recreation centers, shopping malls, churches, community events and high schools. The full schedule of stops can be found on UnifiEd's website

Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.