At Hixson High School, you're just as likely to see students outside in a greenhouse, as you are in a traditional classroom.  The Institute for Integrative Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is one of three Future Ready Institutes giving students a head start on a potential career.  Although there have been recent additions to the programs, these courses have been offered at Hixson for several years.

Hixson hosts more institutes than any other Hamilton County school, with 244 students enrolled.  By far, the most popular choice is the Institute for Health Careers, with 118 students being trained at the school, as well as at off-campus sites.

Future business leaders have their own institute, with freshmen and sophomores learning valuable lessons about managing money.  Local businesses have been generous with their support, according to principal Lee Sims.

Coming in January is an Animal Science addition to the agriculture program, preparing students for veterinary care and grooming.  Teacher Ivette Paz says her goal is to eventually have cattle, sheep, goats and chickens on campus as part of the curriculum.

The programs at Hixson are among nineteen such institutes countywide.