UPDATE: Hamilton County Schools is gearing up for the launch of Future Ready Institutes this fall.

Wednesday, the school system announced that it had received a $75,000 grant from the Perkins Reserve Consolidated Grant for the institutes.

This week, teachers are training at Unum to prepare for the fall launch. 

“Teachers are participating in intensive professional development at Unum this week to retool how they teach core academic subjects through the field of study aligned with their respective institute,” Blake Freeman, director of Future Ready Institutes of Hamilton County Schools, said. “The training funded and hosted by Unum will focus on the use of project-based learning in the classroom that will encourage students to solve real-world problems.”

The five-day training includes two days of training on the use of project-based learning in classroom instruction, two days working on job sites throughout the community and a day of group planning for the first year of the institutes.

It is essential that graduates of Hamilton County Schools are future-ready and prepared to succeed in college or a career,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The re-imagining of the middle school experience and Future Ready Institutes will personalize student learning by providing a rich academic experience and the flexibility for young learners to identify the interests they are passionate about in their life.” 

For more information about Future Ready Institutes, visit the Hamilton County Department of Education's website.

PREVIOUS STORY: Two additional schools and four new career-focused programs have been announced as additions to Hamilton County Schools' Future Ready Institutes program.

Monday, Hamilton County Schools announced Central High School and Lookout Valley High School have joined the list of schools that will have an institute next school year.

The other two new career-focused programs will be hosted at Ooltewah High School and Hixson High School. Both of those schools are already hosting additional programs.

The list of new programs and the schools to host them include:

Central High School

  • Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics

Lookout Valley High School

  •  Institute of Digital Media Production

Hixson High School

  • Institute for Future Business Leaders and Owners

Ooltewah High School

  • Institute of Architecture and Engineering Design

“Future Ready Institutes are dynamic by design and will continue to evolve and grow as we move forward,” said Blake Freeman, director of Future Ready Institutes for Hamilton County Schools. “The application process continues for upcoming ninth-grade students in our high schools, and we are pleased to add these options for our incoming freshmen.”

PREVIOUS STORY:  Here are excerpts from a news release from Hamilton County Schools on the Future Ready Institutes, set to begin in fall 2018:

The new “schools within a school” will have a career theme and connect lessons learned in the classroom with skills needed to be successful after graduation. 

Future Ready Institutes will challenge the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities.  Themes will include medicine, robotics, forensic science, engineering, hospitality, technology and more.  Teachers of all content areas including English, math, science and social studies will work closely with the career theme teacher to provide classroom instruction through the lens of a career.  The goal is for students to clearly understand why a lesson is important and how they will use the information in the future. Chattanooga 2.0 is playing a key role in the program.

 The list of new programs and the schools to host them included:

Brainerd High School

  • The Institute of First Responders and Forensic Science
  • The Institute of Aviation

East Hamilton High School

  • The TIE Institute: Tinker, Innovate, Engineer
  • The CLIMB Institute: The Canes Leadership Institute of Marketing and Business

East Ridge High School

  • The Institute of Building and Design

Hixson High School

  • The Institute for Integrative Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources and Technology
  • The Institute for Health Careers and Medical Advancement

The Howard School

  • Erlanger Institute for Healthcare and Innovation
  • The Institute of Hospitality and Tourism

Ooltewah High School

  • The Institute of International Baccalaureate Studies

Red Bank High School

  • The Institute of Computer Sciences and Engineering

Sequoyah High School

  • The Institute of Industrial Manufacturing
  • The Institute of Digital Arts, Design, and Production

Tyner High School

  • The Institute of Technology and Security
  • The Institute of Teaching and Learning

Signal Mountain High School  

  • The Institute of International Baccalaureate Studies

Soddy-Daisy High School

  • The Institute of Tech Start-Ups and Web Design

Dual enrollment opportunities will also be a vital part of Future Ready Institutes.  “It is vital that graduates of Hamilton County Schools are post-secondary ready and prepared to succeed in college or a career,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The Future Ready Institutes, through partnerships with community leaders are the dawning of a new day filled with opportunity and possibilities for our graduates and their families.”

Future Ready Institutes will begin with current eighth-graders who will be a freshman in the fall.  Schools will begin accepting applications for the Institutes April 2 with the deadline for applying on May 4, 2018.  Applicants accepted to an institute will be notified between May 16 and May 22, 2018.  The Institutes will add another class for the following three years to fill out a full four-year program.

A district-wide information night for current eighth-graders and their families will be held on Tuesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. at Unum located at 500 Walnut Street, Chattanooga.  Parking will be available at the intersection of 5th Street and Walnut Street.  Individual information nights are also planned for each Future Ready Institute.

PREVIOUS STORY: Hamilton County Schools announced Wednesday that JP Morgan Chase will be providing a grant to support Future Ready Institutes. 

The $50,000 grant from JP Morgan Chase will help fund a portion of the salary of for the new director of the program.

"The funding and hiring of a director took the concept off the drawing board and put plans into action," Tim Hensley of Hamilton County Schools said.

Blake Freeman, the former principal of Normal Park Museum Magnet School, will lead the Future Ready Institutes.

"Freeman was a natural selection as he introduced Project Based Learning as the central focus of instruction while a principal in the system," Hensley continued. "Project Based Learning is a process of teaching that engages students academically by investigating questions, problems, or challenges to complete learning projects.  The instruction method will be a key to classroom instruction in the Future Ready Institutes."

Market Executive Hamp Johnston of JP Morgan Chase said they are excited about the future of the Scenic City:

“JP Morgan Chase is excited about Chattanooga’s future, and we’re committed to the success of the region we call home. This grant gives us the opportunity to support Hamilton County’s public school system, the Chamber workforce development efforts and the overall Chattanooga 2.0 movement.”

JP Morgan Chase's grant has helped Freeman work to build community partnerships and a solid foundation for the program to be successful.

Other Future Ready Institute community partners include Erlanger Institute of Healthcare and Unum.

The Future Ready Institutes planned for the fall and their locations will be announced Thursday.

Channel 3 will keep you updated.

PREVIOUS STORY: Hamilton County Schools will launch Future Ready Institutes in the fall that will give students the opportunity to learn about various career fields.

The institutes will be in high schools around the district. 

According to Tim Hensley of Hamilton County Schools, "the small learning communities that will create a school within a school will give high school students an opportunity to combine academics with a career field that interests them."

Monday, Hamilton County Schools announced that UNUM will provide the funding needed to train teachers and instructors for the institutes.

“The vision that all Hamilton County School students should graduate from high school prepared for post-secondary opportunities is a cause that we can rally behind at Unum,” Miles Huff, community relations specialist at Unum, said. “Supporting students, teachers, and schools in the communities where we live and work is our top priority.”  

The district explained that UNUM has committed $300,000 in funding for the program over the next three years.

Educators will begin training, which will include a week-long session at Unum's Chattanooga offices, this summer.

“Unum has stepped-up to take care of teacher development and training,” Blake Freeman, director of Future Ready Institutes of Hamilton County Schools said. “The summer training at Unum will prepare the team of educators to use the project-based learning method and give them practical experience on the job site in the Future Ready Institute program they will be leading.”  

Hamilton County Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson released the following statement: 

“Community partners like Unum are making the transition of our schools into future ready hubs of learning a possibility for our children. The training funded by Unum will allow our teachers to get a clearer picture of business and industry needs in our community and provide a closer connection between teaching in the classroom and career requirements.”

Hamilton County Schools will announce the Future Ready Institutes planned for the fall and their locations later this week.