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  Mission Statement  

Our Vision: “Illuminating Dreams of Passion, Acceptance, Creativity and Excellence.”

Our Mission: With the arts as a vehicle to reinforce learning and foster creativity, the Center for Creative Arts, in partnership with parents and community, will develop the academics and artistic abilities of our students.

Center for Creative Arts offers students, grades 6-12, an opportunity to explore their gifts and talents. Arts programs in Communications, Music, Dance, Theatre and Visual Arts, plus a well rounded Academics Program, direct students in a progressive pathway to a bright future.

To receive the greatest benefit from the Center for Creative Arts, students must be willing to take risks, to make commitments, and to give their best every day in order to profit from this educational opportunity.

This school is not an ordinary school. It is quite different from the average school in many respects, especially in the atmosphere. Students feel comfortable and confident that they are being taught what will be necessary for success artistically and academically. Excellence in every area is our goal at the Center for Creative Arts.

  About The School  

Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts

Image for Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts

Founded in 1998, the Center for Creative Arts is a unique, dedicated fine arts magnet school promoting academic and artistic excellence for students grades six through twelve. CCA is a magnet school in the Hamilton County School System and serves approximately 600 students. The college preparatory academic emphasis of the school is enhanced by a commitment to the arts as a vehicle to reinforce learning and foster creativity.

Accredited by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, CCA has also been recognized as a Kennedy Center National School of Distinction, as a Magnet Schools of America School of Distinction, and as a STAR School by the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools.

Uniquely Center For Creative Arts

  • Students have performed with National Touring Company productions of Porgy and Bess and Barry Manilow; and in Sydney, Australia and Hamm, Germany.
  • Center for Creative Arts is host to many professional performances including The Big Apple Circus, Les Miserables and Riverdance.
  • Guest artists have included a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Grammy Award winner, composers and performers.
  • The school has been awarded the International NETWORK of Performing and Visual Arts New and Emerging School Award and is a NETWORK Star School.


More than 65 student events are presented annually: art exhibits, literary galas, plays, vocal music concerts, musical theatre, orchestra, band, choir, piano, dance ensemble, and guitar concert performances. The curriculum includes rigorous academic coursework for middle and high school students, including many honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and dual enrollment courses in high school.

CCA has developed artistic and fundraising partnerships with community organizations such as: Chattanooga Ballet, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Ballet Tennessee, Association for Visual Arts, Arts Build, Southern Lit Alliance, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, WSMC FM 90.5, Junior League of Chattanooga, Unum, Target, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, Public Education Foundation, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.

In recent years, CCA has gained both regional and national attention for the quality of its programs, as shown by the honors and recognition listed below.

Magnet Schools of America (representing 1,800 magnet schools):

National Certified Magnet School - 2017 - 2021 (currently the only school in TN with this designation!)

National Magnet School of Distinction, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016

National Magnet School of Excellence, 2012, 2013, 2017

Outstanding Secondary Magnet School in the U.S., 2013 (only 1 awarded each year)

Arts Schools Network (representing 1,500 arts schools):

Exemplary School 2015 – 2019

Outstanding Arts Integration, 2013

Outstanding Arts School Leader, 2013: Debbie Smith, Principal (only 1 awarded each year)

Outstanding Arts School Alumnus, 2011 (only 1 awarded each year)

Outstanding Arts School, 2010 (1 of 5) Outstanding Community Partnership, 2010

Tennessee Department of Education:

Reward School, 2012 and 2013 (recognizing the top 5% of schools in the state for student academic progress)

Other Noteworthy Distinctions:

ACT scores consistently above the state average.

Ranked #7 in the US News & World Report list of Best High Schools in TN for 2017.

100% Graduation Rate