Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, center, listens as Cleveland High School students Michael Adriaanse, left, and Trae Allan Parker, explain the operations of the engineering lab at the school on Tuesday morning. Also listening, from left, are Chief Academic Officer for Cleveland City Schools Jeff Elliott, Cleveland Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer, Governor Lee, state representative Mark Hall, and Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally. Bill lee toured the school to see the work teachers and students are doing to prepare students for career, college, and life readiness. While at the school, Lee spend time with teachers and student ambassadors in fields such as health science and engineering.

Five Hamilton County Schools, Cleveland High named Tennessee STEM Schools

Five Hamilton County Schools are among 22 schools statewide awarded the Tennessee STEM School Designation for 2020, according to a recent announcement by the Tennessee Department of Education.

Red Bank Elementary, Harrison Elementary, Red Bank High, Hixson Middle and Normal Park Park Museum Magnet have each earned the state designation for their work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The selection of five schools in Hamilton County is the most from one district in the state for 2020. The five schools join STEM School Chattanooga and Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, which each earned the designation in 2018.

Cleveland High School of Cleveland City Schools in neighboring Bradley County, as well as Waterville Elementary School in Bradley County, also were among the 22 schools selected this year.

The Tennessee Department of Education and the STEM Leadership Council worked together to develop the designation as a way to identify and recognize schools for their commitment to teaching STEM or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and for their work to prepare students for college and career success, according to a news release.

"The selection of five schools by the state is a reflection of the commitment by our district and schools to provide learning opportunities that will ensure that our students are Future Ready," said Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, in a statement. "The Hamilton County Board of Education's five-year plan Future Ready 2023 addresses the need to provide Future Ready Students in Action Area 2, and the designation of these five schools demonstrates our progress in this vital area."

Locally, the Public Education Foundation (PEF) worked with the district and schools through the application process. Each school committed at least two teacher leaders to participate in the STEM Fellows program through PEF. The year-long fellowship helps teachers grow as instructional experts, teacher leaders and community connectors, according to the release.

"The Tennessee STEM School Designation provides not only recognition but also a road map for schools to successfully implement a STEM or STEAM education plan at the local level. Schools that receive the Tennessee STEM School Designation serve as models from which other schools may visit and learn. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible," according to the release.


Families can apply for Hamilton County Schools' pre-K programs May 13

Parents hoping to register their children for pre-K and/or kindergarten this fall in Hamilton County Schools can do so on May 13.

Registration was initially pushed back due to school closings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents can apply for pre-K for the 2020-21 school year from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, May 13, at their interested local school that hosts pre-K classes. Hamilton County Schools operates 42 pre-K classrooms in 25 different locations, which includes schools and community-based sites across the county. All programs are designed to serve "at-risk" children. Eligible children must be four years old on or before August 15, 2020, and live in an elementary school zone in Hamilton County.

Applications for East Brainerd can be dropped off at East Hamilton Middle/High School. The applications will be accepted in a drive-thru format and parents will not be required to leave their cars. Families are encouraged to pick up an application from their local school, the district's central office or the district's website ahead of time. Unfortunately, parents and students will not be able to visit the schools ahead of registration this year.

Required paperwork and documents for the application due on May 13 include: copies of child's original birth certificate, child's Social Security card, current immunization records, current physical record, two proofs of residency and proof of income.

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Hamilton County kindergarten registration available online

Kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year will be available online beginning Monday, May 18, through Friday, May 22. On-site registration day at elementary schools with kindergarten classes is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20. More information about the on-site day and kindergarten registration will be provided later this month. Registration for all other students new to the district in grades 1 through 12 will begin online on June 1, 2020.

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