Nashville's first public school, Hume High School, opened in 1855 at the corner of Eighth Avenue (Spruce Street) and Broad. In 1875, the second public school, Fogg High School, was started on the same property facing Broad Street. The schools were combined into a new facility on the same site in 1912 and became known as Hume-Fogg High School. In 1919 Hume-Fogg became the first school in Tennessee to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Until 1940, the curriculum followed the classic format which included requirements in Latin, English, advanced mathematics and science. In 1953, the curriculum was changed to include technical and vocational subjects.
The advent of the first secondary magnet school to serve Nashville's academically talented students was another milestone for Hume-Fogg. As part of a desegregation court order, the school was designed to attract a voluntary cross-section of academically able students from all racial, ethnic, and economic groups in Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County. It began with grades 9 and 10, added one grade per year through the 1985-86 school year and graduated the first class in 1986.
The Hume-Fogg community, which draws its population from the entire Metropolitan area, is committed to meeting academic needs and to providing opportunities for personal development. Shared expectations foster a love of learning and nurture growth. The program provides high academic standards through challenging course work. Cornerstones of this philosophy, based on the assumption that graduates will pursue post-secondary education, are creative thinking, abstract reasoning, cooperative learning, and self-discipline. The program encourages the development of integrity, decision-making skills, and in-depth pursuit of interests. This approach encompasses a commitment to maximizing individual potential, including emotional and physical well being, through hard work and personal responsibility while promoting sensitivity to natural, social and cultural environments.
The 848 students attending Hume-Fogg were selected county-wide from students with total reading and mathematics stanine scores each averaging 7 or above and an academic grade point average of at least 85 (B) with no failing grades. Sixty-six percent of students who apply as eighth graders are admitted to the school. Hume-Fogg students come from diverse cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. Students represent 39 of 45 zip code areas in the Metropolitan area. Hume-Fogg has 44 faculty members; of these, 39 hold an advanced degree.