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Registration at Chattanooga Preparatory School continues through Dec. 15

Chattanooga Prep will welcome its first class of 60 sixth grade boys in fall of 2018.

Registration for Chattanooga Preparatory School, the brand new all male charter school runs until December 15.

The school's principal Tim Gerrish gave us a tour of the work being done on two buildings on the old Tennessee Temple campus that will house the new school. It's right next door to Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy.

"Being that we are a charter school in the Hamilton County school district anyone in Hamilton County can come to our school." Gerrish said the staff is recruiting students, "who are at schools that are under performing academically, and so we are hoping to give an opportunity for those boys to come to a school where we can get them on track close the achievement gap and begin to look at the issue of education equity in Hamilton County."

In August the school will welcome its first class of 60 sixth graders. Chattanooga Prep will add a grade of students each year, and will graduate its first class in 2025.

The school's founders are Ted Alling from The Lamp Post Group and his wife Kelly.

Alling says his experience mentoring is what sparked the idea for the school. He also told us about part of his vision.

"Every Friday the boys are going to hear at twenty-five minute message from somebody really special about defying the odds," Alling said. "We just think some boy is going to hear something in the eighth grade that's gonna pierce their heart and will change the trajectory of their life."

Alling said he visited CGLA and was so impressed he wanted to create something similar for young boys.

Dr. Elaine Swafford, the executive director for CGLA, is now also the Executive director for Chattanooga Prep.

"At CGLA when I arrived seventy-two to seventy-five percent of the sixth graders came in one to three grade levels behind in reading," Dr. Swafford said. "I suspect we're gonna find that with these sixth grade boys."

She and her team were able to turn things around at CGLA and she expects the same thing will happen at Chattanooga Prep.

"We've got to figure out a way to increase reading levels, to increase hope. It's needed because we need to make sure that these young men understand that there's really hope out there and there's things that they're going to do that they don't even dream of," Dr. Swafford said.

Right now the people behind this new school are dreaming of the leaders they will create here for years to come.

"We're really wanting to create a school where we're creating college graduates and we're building leaders of men," Gerrish said.

Registration started two weeks ago and will go until December 15th.

If they get more than sixty applications there will be a lottery.

If you have a son who is in the fifth grade in Hamilton County and you want to fill out an application for Chattanooga Prep you can learn more at ChattanoogaPrep.com.

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