Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts, Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences, and Lookout Valley High School lead the way among Hamilton County high schools with a 100% graduation rate during the 2018-19 school year. The Howard School is listed at the low end of the scale with a 63.1 percent graduation rate, falling sharply from 71.1% last year.  Brainerd High also declined sharply, falling from 81.2% last year to 69.3% this year.  Here is the complete list:

  • Center for Creative Arts 100%
  • Chatt. School for Arts & Sciences 100%
  • Lookout Valley High 100%
  • Collegiate High (Chatt. State) 98.2%
  • STEM School 96.7%
  • Chatt. Girls Leadership 96.4%
  • Signal Mountain High 95.3%
  • East Hamilton High 94.1%
  • Sale Creek High 93.2%
  • Ivy Academy  91.3%
  • Soddy-Daisy 91.1%
  • Sequoyah High 90.6%
  • Tyner Academy 89.9%
  • East Ridge High 88.8%
  • Ooltewah High 87.9%
  • Soddy Daisy High 87.4%
  • Hamilton Co. High 85.9%
  • Hixson High 85.8%
  • Red Bank High 85.7%
  • Central High 83.2%
  • Brainerd High 69.3%
  • Howard High 63.1%

Hamilton County schools issued a press release touting the higher scores, which included substantial increases for Lookout Valley (92.9% to 100%), Soddy Daisy High (87.4% to 91.1%), and Sequoyah (86.7% to 90.6%).

The release did not mention Brainerd, Howard, and Central, each of which declined from last year's scores, or Hamilton County High, Hixson High or Red Bank High, each of which increased, although falling short of the 90 percent mark.

Here is the release from Hamilton County schools:

Hamilton County Schools is moving closer to the district graduation goal in the Future Ready 2023 action plan.  The district graduation rate for 2018-2019 was 86.75 which was up slightly from 86.6 last year.  In the district action plan, the target for 2023 is a 90 percent graduation rate.  

“Earning a diploma is the first step toward economic self-sufficiency, said Dr. Bryan Johnson, Hamilton County Schools Superintendent. “Especially if the diploma represents a high-value set of skills that will prepare a graduate for success after high school.”

Three high schools in Hamilton County Schools recorded a perfect graduation rate of 100 percent.  Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Upper, and Lookout Valley Middle/High were the schools with a 100 percent graduation rate for 2018-2019.

The Promise of graduation from Hamilton County Schools is about fundamentally rethinking the school experience to expose all students to high expectations to develop and pursue their passions for learning and life goals.  Whether a graduate's dream is to move into a high-paying, skill-based career just out of high school, a technical credential, a two or four-year college degree, or a professional degree, each will have the opportunity to prepare themselves to succeed.  The key to rethinking the school experience is that students will have a clearer picture of their life after high school and be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to make their dreams a reality. 

College and career advisor were added in the district to provide a full-time person at each high school this year to keep the district graduation rate moving upward.  The district also added a lead college and career advisor to oversee the work and provide high school teens the resources to reach graduation prepared for success.

“Future Ready 2023 has numbers as goals, but success is much more than numbers. Success means opening doors to the future for new graduates of Hamilton County Schools,” Dr. Johnson, added. “Seniors exiting high school prepared for the opportunities available in college, career technical education, or in their chosen career means a brighter tomorrow for themselves, their families, and our community as a whole.”

Future Ready Institutes added additional learning options for students this year with 28 institutes now available in 13 high schools. Future Ready Institutes found immediate success with one-third of last year’s freshman class enrolled in the programs first year and the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga awarding the program their Community Impact Award.   

Providing early post-secondary options for high school students is also a key component to improve the high school experience in Hamilton County Schools.  Last year saw tremendous increases in early college option courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) taken by students, and more students earning an industry certification. During the 2018-2019 school year, 916 more students enrolled in one of the advanced academic courses. During 2017-2018, 1,951 students enrolled in an early college course. For the 2018-2019 school year, that number increased to 2,867 students getting an early start on college. Many of those students are taking more than one course, so the total number of courses taken is even higher. High school students took over 5,000 early post-secondary option classes across the district during the 2018-2019 school year.

The number of students earning an industry certification more than tripled last school year with 224 earned by high school students. Industry certifications allow graduates to leave high school prepared with a job skill in the career field of their choice. The focus on “Future Ready Students” will help increase the number of graduates earning early post-secondary credits and keep the district’s graduation rate on the rise.


Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that the graduation rate for the 2018-19 school calendar year was 89.7 percent.  Not only is that more than half a percentage point higher than the previous year, but it’s the highest graduation rate on record for Tennessee.  That translates into an increase of 183 graduates statewide. 

Schwinn says, “While this is certainly something to celebrate, I know we can do even better!  Ultimately, I would like to see all 130 districts that serve high school students have a 90 percent graduation or better.  That’s something my team will be very focused on over the next four years, along with making sure those students have a career or college path in mind the day they walk across the stage to get that diploma.”  

Tennessee has set high expectations for both students and educators, and students have made significant gains as a result. As part of this work, the state transitioned to a more rigorous calculation for graduation rates in 2011, and even under the new criteria, rates have continued to rise.

For the 2018-19 school year, the most notable gains and overall achievements in the state are:

  • 67 districts improved their graduation rates from 2018 to 2019, with four of those districts improving by five percentage points or more. Districts with significant gains included Tennessee School for the Deaf (29 percentage points), Lewis County (10 percentage points), Hancock County (7 points), and Trousdale County (6 points).
  • 49 districts— more than a third statewide— have graduation rates at or above 95 percent, which is an increase from last year.
  • Four districts had a graduation rate of 100 percent, including Huntingdon Special School District, South Carroll, Bradford, and Oneida.
  • 32 schools had graduation rates of 100 percent.

For more data, go to this page, and click "Graduation Cohort Data."