A Description of the School, Community and the Municipality in Which it is Located
Incorporated in 1854, Cookeville is located 79 miles east of Nashville and 101 miles west of Knoxville. Known locally as the “Hub of the Upper Cumberlands,” Putnam County encompasses some 408 square miles while Cookeville’s land area is 20.4 square miles. Cookeville (population 30,435) is the county seat of Putnam County and is one of four cities located within the county. The other municipalities are Algood (population 3,495), Baxter (population 1,365), and Monterey (population 2,850). Total population for Putnam County is about 72,321.
Cookeville itself is a regional center for employment, education, retail, heath care, recreational, and cultural activities. The Cookeville Putnam Chamber of Commerce recruits industries, which complement existing business and industry. Some of the major businesses/employers include Tennessee Technological University, Averitt Express and Cummings Filtration, and more recently, the addition of Oreck manufacturing.
Cookeville and Putnam County have a consolidated school system. The Putnam County Board of Education operates eighteen schools with an approximate enrollment of 10,137 average daily membership as of the most recent report card information. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits all three high schools with Cookeville High serving as a vocational education center for all Putnam County Schools. Only one private school is in operation in Cookeville – Heavenly Host Lutheran School which schools approximately 104 children in kindergarten through grade 8.
Cookeville High School, a comprehensive educational facility serving nearly 2,200 students in grades 9-12, opened its doors at its current facility in the fall of 1996. The overall academic program at Cookeville High School is based on a traditional six-period school day and includes courses in college preparatory, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, technical education, elective areas, and dual credit.
Having a wide variety of educational course offerings allows all students to complete state-mandated core graduation requirements for the university, technical, or dual path high school diploma. Additionally since 2005-2006, junior and senior students who elect to do so may participate in the IB diploma program and possibly earn an internationally recognized International Baccalaureate diploma. Since the 2000-2001school year, senior students may choose to enroll in a Dual Credit English course taught in cooperation with Tennessee Technological University for which students may earn English 12 and English 1010 credit in the first school semester. Those students who continue with the class second semester may receive elective English credit and credit for English 1020 at the university level. Besides offerings in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes, honors courses offered at Cookeville High School include English 9, 10, 11, and 12; World Literature, Spanish III, and IV, French III and IV, Algebra II, Geometry, Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World History, Humanities, U.S. History, and U.S. Government/Economics.
Cookeville High’s student population has numerous opportunities to participate in sporting activities if they so desire. CHS offers the following sports to its students: football, basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, cross country, track, lacrosse, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Several of these teams have earned state or regional honors over the past years. Many students have been singled out for district, regional, and state honors.
Computer technology is used in all facets of administrative and classroom programming at Cookeville High School. The Power School web-based management program is used to schedule classes for all grade levels. It additionally allows classroom teachers to record daily attendance and student grades in their own classrooms. This program is also used to generate student progress reports at the 4 ½ week and 13 ½ week mark of each semester and report cards at the end of each 9 week period.
Cookeville High School is equipped with computer labs on all floors in the school, allowing for student hands-on access in writing, science, math, drafting, business, journalism, foreign language, music, and other courses as well. The foreign language department utilizes a listening lab to assist students in becoming proficient in speaking a foreign language.
Cookeville High School has safe school status and has one full-time safety resource officers on campus. Additionally, all school doors (except the front entrance) are closed and locked after the morning bell as a safety measure for students and staff. CHS operates approximately twelve cameras which run 24/7 and it practices monthly fire, severe weather, and/or lock down drills to prepare in the event of an emergency. Recently, several administrators, teachers, and even a student participated in a Safety and Security Conference as a method to improve safety measures taken at CHS.
Students who attend Cookeville High School and other Putnam County Schools attend school for 180 days per year. The schedule follows a balanced calendar of nine weeks of school followed by two weeks of break with a longer summer break of approximately six weeks. During the school day, students attend school seven hours per day.
The Cookeville High School student population consists of 89.8% White, 2.8% African-American , 5.5% Hispanic, .4% Native American/Alaskan and 1.6% Asian (2009). The current graduation rate is about 93% and the attendance rate is currently 94.9%. 85% of Graduating seniors go on to post-secondary programs.
The current administrative team and faculty consist of about 125. None of the faculty teaches without appropriate credentials; no student is enrolled in a class that does not have a teacher certified to teach that particular course. Many of our teachers either hold master’s degrees, specialist degrees or doctoral degrees. Many others on staff plan to continue their educations.
Cookeville High School is fortunate to have a wonderfully active Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO). Parents volunteer hundreds of hours monthly facilitating tasks during the school day. Parents find opportunities to volunteer in the front office, the attendance office, the counseling center, as well as in many other areas. Not only do PTSO volunteers assist in daily school tasks, they also provide monetary assistance in numerous ways to improve Cookeville High School. The PTSO also participates in providing deserving recognition for students and faculty for jobs well done.
Cookeville High School offers students a wide variety of club organization and community service. For example, Interact, a service club affiliated with Rotary, tirelessly works to bring food to the needy during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday months. The Leo Club, associated with the local Lions club collects gently used glasses from students and faculty to give to those less fortunate. These clubs that focus on service create a valuable link to the community in which we live. Some other clubs at Cookeville High School include Speak, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Tennessee Tomorrow, Beta, Chess, Environmental/Hiking, Forensics, Future Teachers of America, Habitat for Humanity, JROTC, Science Fiction, and many more. Additionally, Skills-USA-VICA offers students opportunities to participate in the following areas: automotive, cosmetology, carpentry, electronics, FCCLA, FFA, HOSA, culinary arts and drafting.
Parent demographics for Cookeville High School include the following based upon responses supplied from a recent parent survey distributed: Grade level of students whose parents completed and returned surveys – 4% ninth grade, 48% tenth grade, 27% eleventh grade, and 21% twelfth grade. Of those who responded, 28% were single, divorced or widowed, 65% were married or remarried, and 7% were separated. Additionally, the income level for those who responded is 18% below $25,000.00; 23% between $25,000.00 and $50,000.00; 24% between $50,000.00 and $75,000.00; 19% between $75,000.00 and $100,000.00; and 16% over $100,000.00. While 75% of those who responded were white, 11% were black or African-American, 8% were Asian, 3% were Hispanic or Latino, 2% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and 1% was Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. 59% of those who responded have college courses and beyond, 38% had a high school education, and 3% completed middle or junior high school.
The community has provided Cookeville High School with several major adopters including Cookeville Communications, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Neura Transport, First National Bank of the Tennessee, McDonald’s, One Hour Martinizing, Shea Chiropractic, and Tennessee Heart and Flow Serve. Several community organizations have joined with school groups: Kiwanis sponsors the CHS Academic Team; Rotary sponsors Interact; Lions sponsors the Leo club; Volunteer Medical Group sponsors the cross country team, and Premier Imaging sponsors the CHS newspaper the Charger. Some other businesses that provide in many ways include Averitt Express, O’Charley’s restaurant, and the local newspaper, the Herald-Citizen.