Chattanooga Preparatory School Invites 300 Men To Welcome Inaugural Class

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

In 2016 local couple, Ted and Kelly Alling, decided to make a lasting impact on Chattanooga by extending diverse academic opportunities to the underserved young men of the city’s urban core. The idea came to them after they toured Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and thought how incredible it would be if boys and their families had a similar school.

The couple put their plan into motion by convening a visionary group of educational leaders and innovators in April 2016 and one year later the Hamilton County Board of Education approved Chattanooga Preparatory School (Chattanooga Prep).

Dr. Elaine Swafford is the chief executive officer overseeing both CGLA and Chattanooga Prep and Tim Gerrish will become Chattanooga Prep’s founding principal.

Inspired by other schools around the country, the Chattanooga 300 will be hosted on the first day of school to motivate students and get them excited for the year ahead. The goal of the event is to get 300 men from the community in Highland Park on Aug. 2, cheering as the young men walk in for their first day. While similar events have been hosted, the Chattanooga 300 is unique to this community.

The idea came to Chatoris Jones, Chattanooga Prep’s dean of Faculty and Students, while working one day. “Most schools invite 100 men to welcome their students on the first day, but we want to go big and make it 300,” said Mr. Jones. “It will be incredibly powerful to have 300 men representing various professions greeting the boys on the first day of school.”

The event is free and all men are encouraged to grab a friend and attend.

Chattanooga Prep has been designed to remove specific barriers that negatively impact young  men from the urban core, said officials. The school will offer a comprehensive, college preparatory curriculum centered around themes of innovation and leadership development. These themes will be woven through daily coursework in literacy and communication, science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics, and social/cultural studies. Additionally, the school will take a Project Based Learning approach to education to foster deeper learning competencies required for success in college and careers, said officials. 

Chattanooga Prep is in the heart of Highland Park and is the only all-boys public-school option in the community. The school will welcome its first class of 60 sixth graders on Aug. 2 and will grow to serve 350 at-risk students in grades 6- 12 over the next seven years. 

The charter’s founders, faculty, and staff have been driven by the mission to engage young men in a rigorous yet supportive learning environment and determined to build an expansive community of supporters. Officials said the group has seen quite a bit of success in their attempt, from gifts and fundraising support to more than 60 community members signing up to mentor incoming students. Now, just weeks away from welcoming its first class, Chattanooga Prep is hoping to engage its current and, potentially, new supporters in a different way with the Chattanooga 300. 

For information on how to join Chattanooga Prep’s community of supporters please contact the
Development Office at 468-4105. 



Dayton City School Named Level 5 School For 2nd Consecutive Year

Dayton City School has been named a Level 5 School District by the Tennessee Department of Education, state officials announced on Thursday. Dayton City School has been awarded a score of 5, the highest score possible on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS), which measures student growth year over year. The TVAAS measures the impact schools and teachers have ... (click for more)

CSCC’s Burnette Named 2018 Coca Cola Leaders Of Promise Scholar

America Burnett, a student at Cleveland State Community College, is one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members named a 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.  The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are also ... (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, a former Hamilton County jailer, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front porch who said he was "butt naked" and said ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Harold Austin Was Hamilton County's Crown Jewel

My dear friend, longtime public servant, Mr. Harold Austin, will be greatly missed. He was with the state of Tennessee and Hamilton County for many years. Doyle Ray Marler * * * Harold Austin was Hamilton County’s crown jewel.   He was beloved by generations in municipal and state government. He knew so many involved in local, state, and federal roadway ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Many Math-Tragic Replies

The reaction to my Sunday story, “90% Can’t Do Math,” was fast and furious yesterday. A surprising number of the replies were from teachers, confirming the fact that only nine percent of the pupils in our Hamilton County Public Schools are getting the education that every taxpayer know will actually shape the lives these students will live. Because my stories are shared on the ... (click for more)