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Give a round of applause to this year's winner and runner up in the Kathryn C. Mitchell Spelling Bee.

The Bee was held last week and Jeremy G. of DuPont Hadley Middle School came out on top. Christine L. from Meigs Middle Magnet followed closely behind as runner-up.

2013 Spelling Bee Winners
(L-R) Tracy Hardin, President of The Links, INC. presenting our Spelling Bee winner with a $500.00 Check from Dr. and Mrs. Carver G. Wilcox, daughter and son-in-law of Dr. Kathryn C. Mitchell; Jeremy G., Spelling Bee Winner-DuPont Hadley MS; Dr. Lora Hall, MNPS; Christine L., Spelling Bee Runner up- Meigs Magnet Middle School; Toni Davis, Representing The Links, INC and the Charles Davis Foundation that donated a $250 check to the runner up

Oh, and by the way - the winning word was VENTILATE. VENTILATE. Shall I use it in a sentence?


As if graduating from high school wasn't enough of an honor, some Metro students could be on their way to graduating as Presidential Scholars!

Five high school seniors in our district have been chosen by the U.S. Department of Education as Presidential Scholar Candidates, meaning they will go through a rigorous national application process. They are among 3,000 candidates in the nation, a number that will shrink to 560 semifinalists and ultimately to 141 Presidential Scholars.

Our candidates are:

  • Claire B. from Hume-Fogg

  • Aditya G. from Hume-Fogg

  • Noel W. from Hume-Fogg

  • Melissa G. from MLK

  • Jenny Z. from MLK

They were chosen for outstanding academic achievement, particularly for scoring highly on the ACT or SAT.

We are so proud of them, and you can bet we'll be tracking their progress. Check back for updates!



We'd like to give a big, BIG thanks to Papa John's and Michael Griffin of the Tennessee Titans for a sizable donation given to Hunters Lane High School this week.

Michael came by Hunters Lane with a check for more than $8,500 to be used for healthy snacks and fresh food for students.

The money was raised through a pizza promotion done at Papa John's restaurants. Both Michael Griffin and executives from Papa John's were proud to particiapte, saying how important it is to be involved in the community and to give help young people who need it.

Thank you for the donation!

Michael Griffin with Principal Susasn Kessler and Assistant Principal Andrew Davis

Tennessee Titan Michael Griffin with Hunters Lane principal Susan Kessler & assistant principal Andrew Davis.


On behalf of Antioch High School and other high schools involved, we want to thank everyone from the Hermitage and Nashville Deloitte offices who volunteered at last week’s Antioch High School FAFSA Drive. Thanks to all of the FAFSA volunteers from Deloitte, they reached two MNPS-FAFSA milestones:

Milestone #1 - 100 plus families in one night – On Thursday night January 17, volunteers provided assistance to 106 families at Antioch. This is the result of their hard work and a three year partnership with Antioch High School. The work with Antioch has included more than 100 volunteers assisting with Job Shadow Days, the Be the First Campaign, the JA Company Program, along with many other efforts.

Families get FAFSA help at Antioch High School

Milestone #2 - More than 500 families impacted – On January 17, Deloitte provided assistance to the 500th FAFSA family! They ended the night with a three year total of 585 families served from their FAFSA Drives at McGavock High School, Antioch High School and Overton High School. This clearly puts them in a great position to reach the 600th family milestone at the Overton drive on January 24.

Families receive FAFSA help at Antioch High School

These numbers are incredible, but it is really about the individual families they have helped. Over the past three years, they have helped individual students on their pathway to college and made a meaningful and long-term impact on these students and their families. Thank you Deloitte for all you do!


ONE Nashville LogoIs it still volunteering if you can win cash? You bet it is!

OneNashville.org is enticing you to volunteer in our schools by putting cash and prizes on the line. You can enter as yourself, enter your whole school or enter your business.

It's easy.

Log on to OneNashville.org and choose volunteer opportunities in our schools. Be sure to log your hours on the website. And that's it. Really, that's it!

When you hit the minimum number of hours you will be entered into a drawing. There are three separate prizes for individual, school and business:

  • $1,000 for you

  • $1,000 for your school

  • a full page ad in The Tennessean for your business

Here's the fine print:

Criteria to win:

Individual: Anyone who logs 12 hours or more will be entered into the drawing.

Business: Employee volunteers must log an average of 2.5 hours each. For example, if a company has 10 employees who volunteer in Metro Nashville Public Schools, they would need to log at least 25 combined hours for the business to be entered into the drawing.

School: In order to keep the playing field equal for large and small schools, each school will need an average of one volunteer hour logged per student per year to be eligible for the prize. Since the time frame leading up to the drawing is three months, schools must divide the number of students by four to find out how many volunteer hours are needed to be entered into the drawing. For example, if a school has 200 students, they would need to log 50 hours to be eligible.

Get started!


Hillsboro High School is deepening its commitment to International Baccalaureate, applying for another IB certification that would give even more choices to students.

Officials at Hillsboro submitted an application to become an IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) candidate. An IB-appointed committee will visit the school this spring to assess the school’s readiness to offer this IB certificate, which launched internationally in 2010.

What is the IBCC, you ask? It's another track for students seeking an IB diploma that allows students to:

  • Develop a broad range of career-related competencies and to deepen their understanding in general areas of knowledge

  • Prepare for effective participation in an ever-changing world of work

  • Foster the attributes of the learner profile allowing students to become true lifelong learners willing to consider new perspectives

  • Engage in learning that makes a positive difference to future lives

  • Become a self-confident person ready for life in the 21st century.

Congratulations to Hillsboro IB Coach Stephanie Knight, Metro Schools IB Coach Emily Munn and Dr. Sharon Chaney, who leads the district’s advanced academics programs, on this important development.

To learn more about IB, visit the
IB district webpage. For more information on IBCC, visit the IB website.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hoops Night Out

The North Sports Report enjoyed a fabulous mid-week hoops experience at Glencliff this week as the Colts hosted the Hillwood Hilltoppers. The gym and new floor design at Glencliff are gorgeous. The floor was recently dedicated to Coach Glenn Falls, Glencliff’s longtime great basketball and volleyball coach. The North Sports Report had the honor of watching the games, played on Glenn Falls Court, sitting next to Glenn Falls. He spoke glowingly about the past and present Glencliff players with stories of outstanding defensive performances in state tournament games of the past to the college and career plans of present players. That was a treat! By the way, the hot dogs at the Glencliff concessions stand were out of this world! You should go to a game this week, catch-up with old friends, enjoy a good dog, and support our student-athletes.

Also spotted in the crowd was Hillwood Football Coach Bubba Spears cheering on the Hilltopper hoopsters.

Glenn Falls Court at Glencliff High School
Glenn Falls Court at Glencliff High School

Bowling State Tournament…Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

The State Bowling Championship Tournament starts Thursday January 24 and runs through Saturday at the Smyrna Bowling Center. The schedule and brackets are available at www.tssaa.org.

MNPS student-athletes qualifying for the boys’ state tournament (along with their season average) are:

Matt Holland, McGavock (196.06); Aaron Ruiz, Cane Ridge (244.33-the top qualifier in the state); Andre Rucker, MLK (188.0); Steven Smith, Hillsboro (180.58); Jonathon Davis, East Nashville (202.60); Louis Dunn, Hillsboro (178.22);

MNPS student-athletes qualifying for the girls’ state tournament (along with their season average) are: Kaitlin Cashion, MLK (156.0); Summer Earnest, Hume-Fogg (139.86); Reanna Evans, Hunters Lane (119.0); Eunicia Turner, East Nashville (127.29); Kelsie Holland, McGavock (125.70);

Congratulations on a great season and good luck in Smyrna this week!

Hancock-Nipper Award Winner

Congratulations to Cane Ridge Ravens’ Raymond Caruthers who earned a prestigious Hancock-Nipper Award. Presented by the Nashville Civitan Club, the Hancock-Nipper Awards are presented to football players who “displayed outstanding sportsmanship for Nashville teams that won region or state championships” according to the venerable sportswriter Harold Huggins of The Nashville City Paper.

Congratulations to Raymond and all our MNPS student-athletes.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Outstanding Sportsmanship


Art on display right now at Cheekwood came straight from the minds of Antioch and Hillsboro High School students. They worked closely with professional and well-respected artists over a period of months to create pieces for display in one of the South's premiere art museums.

Loop Project Artwork at Cheekwood

The Loop Project is a collaborative effort between Cheekwood, Antioch High School and Hillsboro High School. The program brought together eight art students from each school to work with Nashville-based artist Hans Schmitt Matzen and New York-based artist Gieves Anderson. Together they created collaborative pieces of work using a variety of media and methods.

When the students and artists met, they paired up to create collaborative pieces of art – sending the work back and forth to each other for several months, allowing each other to add to or build upon the work. The final pieces are on display at Cheekwood right now.

Loop Project Students Working Together

“It was a really great experience," said Antioch student Sarah W. "The Loop Project was interesting because we got to meet our project partners from Hillsboro High School. We would switch our artwork together so that they could do something to change or improve it, send it back and do that again. We would also communicate with each other to talk about our ideas. It was exciting in the end to see our final pieces hanging on the walls in the Great Hall at Cheekwood!”

A small reception was held at Cheekwood to celebrate the students who participated in The Loop Project and spotlight their work.

Here’s one from Tristan Higginbotham a student at Antioch High School “The Loop Project was an overall interesting experience," said Antioch student Tristan H. "It was kind of difficult to give my work to someone I had never met before, just because they may not understand why I made the choices I made and so on. Thankfully our styles didn't clash, and my partner and I were able to meet in the middle somewhat.

"It was really nerve-racking to try and meet the expectations that I imagined my partner had, but after awhile I just did my own thing and stopped being paranoid about it. I would definitely participate in this again, especially since I know more about it the whole process now. It was really awesome to have so much freedom and step away from the more technical work I had been working on. I feel really confident about the two pieces that came from this project.”

Thanks to Cheekwood’s Karen Kwarciak for the great information!


The safety of our students and staff is always our first priority. Lately, some questions have been raised about carbon monoxide in schools. The vast majority of our classrooms, including portables, are heated with units using electricity and do not have a source for carbon monoxide, greatly reducing this risk for students and staff.

Our heating units are inspected by our maintenance department annually, and our staff routinely conducts random carbon monoxide monitoring. We have had no recent reports of elevated carbon monoxide in any of our buildings. The Metro Code does not require carbon monoxide detectors for schools and Metro school buildings do not have them. Our maintenance and construction offices meet regularly and do plan to discuss whether or not the installation of carbon monoxide detectors is warranted.


Like most of the country, you probably know someone who has the flu (if you don't have it yourself). We're watching out for the flu in our schools and want you and your family to be safe from illness.

Here's some help in making that happen!


Everyday preventive actions are steps that people can take to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illness, like flu.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough into your arm.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand rub may be used.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Keep a regular routine for cleaning and disinfecting in your home. Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard practices, such as cleaning with soap and water, can help remove and kill them.

According to the CDC, the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. There is still time to get the vaccine so everyone can remain healthy even this winter!

Metro Health Department offers free flu shots at its three health centers. You can also talk to your physician about getting immunized.

Stay Home

If your child is sick, he or she should not come to school. This protects the health of your child and other children (and adults!) in the school.

How do you know when to keep your child at home? Here's our guide:

You should not send your child to school if she/he has any of the following:

  • Fever: Temperature above 100˚ F (taken by mouth) without the use of fever reducing medication.

  • Diarrhea: Any watery stools not contained in under clothes.

  • Vomiting: Throwing up.

  • Rash: Covering entire body.

When your child has these symptoms they must be kept at home a full 24 hours without symptoms before returning to school.

If your child has:

  • Strep Throat: Students must be on antibiotic therapy for at least 24 hours and not have a fever over 99.9 (under 100˚ F), without the use of fever reducing medication.

  • Communicable Disease: If your child has chickenpox, mumps, measles, rash all over their body, strep throat, or “pink eye,” they have to stay home until you have a note from a health care provider stating your child is not contagious and may return to school.

Signs your child may be getting sick and may need to stay home include: Being very tired, coughing, upset stomach, and crankiness.

Current Phone Numbers If we think your child is getting sick at school, we will call you. If you cannot be reached, someone on your emergency list will be called. Please be sure that all phone numbers are current.

En Español

Learn more on Flu.gov, the government's flu resource center.

Stay healthy!


The Princeton Prize in Race Relations

Someone in a Middle Tennessee high school is going to win $1,000. Will it be you? 

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations is given to a high school student whose efforts have had a significantly positive effect on race relations in his or her school or community.

So how do you win? It's easy. Fill out part 1 of the application and have a "supporter" (teacher, mentor, religious leader, etc.) fill out part 2. You can even apply online.

The deadline to submit is January 31, 2013, so don't hesitate. Apply now and the Princeton Prize could be yours!


In this month's Music Makes Us newsletter, read how the December performances went, learn more about the Board's resolution committing to music education and see a musical calendar of events.

Music Makes Us Newsletter


John Early Museum Magnet Middle was transformed into a museum to showcase work done in the past nine weeks.

This was an opportunity for students to share and show off work to parents, teachers and their fellow students. It was also is a wonderful chance to experience what the museum theme has to offer.

Grade Level Themes:

  • 5th Grade: The Way It Was.

  • 6th Grade: The Power Of...

  • 7th Grade: The Perspective Of...

  • 8th Grade: The Way It Was, The Way It Is, and the Way It Shall Be


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Back to the Future…The FANS Retro Classic Rocks

The North Sports Report attended the most exciting, innovative, heartwarming basketball extravaganza last weekend at the old Historic Isaac Litton Gymnasium. I hope you saw the media coverage. Four local television stations, The Tennessean, and even ESPN.com covered The FANS Retro Classic. The teams wore throwback uniforms of bygone high schools, fans wore memorabilia and legendary MNPS coaches were recognized at mid-court. Decked out in retro uniforms of old DuPont High, Litton High, Cameron High and the eye popping iconic Madison High polka dots, the teams took to the court in what I believe is the first varsity high school basketball games at the old Litton gym in over forty years. Nashville Sporting Goods helped with the throwback uniforms, and Maplewood, Hume-Fogg, Hunters Lane, Stratford, Glencliff, and McGavock hooped it old school.

Talk about history, recognizing great old-school coaches was a highlight of the event: McGavock’s first basketball coach Joe Allen; Stratford’s first football coach Ronald Webb; Stratford’s first basketball coach Charlie Anderson; Hunters Lane’s first basketball coach Carlton Collier; and Madison High’s first football coach Bill Brimm. What’s that, Coach? No sir, I didn’t say “old school.” I said “wise and experienced.”

Coaches at The FANS Retro Classic The FANS Retro Classic Hunters Lane & Glencliff
Coaching legends: McGavock's Joe Allen; Madison's Bill Brimm; Stratford and Litton's Ronald Webb (also a long time Principal at McMurray); Stratford's Charlie Anderson; and Madison and Hunters Lane's Carlton Collier. Hunters Lane in old school Madison High uniforms and Glencliff in old school Cameron High uniforms.
The FANS Retro Classic Hume-Fogg & Maplewood The FANS Retro Classic Stratford
Game action: Hume-Fogg, dressed as old Madison, vs. Maplewood, dressed as old Litton. Stratford Coach Barry Mangrum introduces legends, principal Ronald Webb and coach Charlie Anderson, for pre-game words of wisdom to the attentive Spartans.

The North Sports Report can’t wait until next year’s FANS Retro Classic!

News from the Alley… Best in Tennessee History

Check out this morning’s Tennessean and sportswriter Chip Cirillo’s piece on Cane Ridge superstar bowler Aaron Ruiz who won the state championship his freshman year, led the state with the highest per game average last year as a sophomore, and broke the state record this year with an average of 244. By the time Aaron concludes his high school career, he will be recognized as the best bowler in the history of Tennessee interscholastic bowling. The state tournament is January 24-26 in Smyrna. Good luck to all our bowlers!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Historic Performances


The McGavock Cluster Coalition helped more than 85 families during its Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Drive night yesterday.

Students and their parents received assistance filling out paper work, learning about college and university deadlines and how much federal aid students should ask for. The Donelson Hermitage Chamber volunteered for the evening as well as first –time volunteer Deloitte.

Deloitte will be hosting additional FAFSA Drives the month.

  • Antioch High School, Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5 p.m.

  • Hillsboro High School, Thursday, Jan. 17

  • Overton High School, Thursday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 P.M.

We want to give a big thanks to Deloitte, the Donelson Chamber, the McGavock Cluster Coalition and every volunteer who helped students take their first steps in reaching the next level of education!

Graduation Pledge Banner Board Rep. Anna Shepherd Helping Families
McGavock Seniors are committed to graduating! Board Representative Anna Shepherd signs families in.
Principal Robbin Wall chats with Shonta Woodbury Families Sign In for FAFSA Night
Principal Robbin Wall chats with Family Engagement Specialist Shonta Woodbury. Families sign in for FAFSA Night.


Hey, high schoolers: Want to be a teacher? If so you could win a scholarship worth up to $3,000.

The Metropolitan Nashville Education Foundation, the charitable arm of MNEA, awards three scholarships each year to outstanding high school seniors interested in pursuing a career in public education. Scholarships are awarded to graduates of MNPS in amounts of up to $3,000 ($1,500 per semester).

If you want to apply,
fill out the application, print it, date it and sign it. Applications must be returned to MNEA Headquarters by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2013.

Don't leave money on the table! Apply and win!

DOWNLOAD the Application


Music Makes Us"Within the next three years, all Kindergarten through Grade 12 students in Metro Schools will have opportunities to participate in high quality music instruction..."

In a strong move signaling to the rest of the country the Music City is a leader in arts education, the Board of Education adopted a lengthy resolution not only acknowledging the vital importance of music education, but also commmiting to expanding it.

The resolution was approved Tuesday, January 8. It recognizes the part music education plays in improved test scores, graduation rates and closing the achievement gap. But perhaps more importantly, it also recognizes the other, harder to measure impact music education can have.

...multiple research studies make clear that students who participate in a rigorous, sequential, standards-based visual and performing arts education develop the ability to innovate, communicate, and collaborate...

...such music education in schools improves test scores, increases graduation rates and helps close achievement gaps among student groups...

...research shows music enhances cognitive development in many areas, including verbal skills and social emotional learning...

...research indicates low income students with in-depth music and arts involvement earn better grades, are more likely to attend college, develop greater self esteem and are more engaged in civic affairs...

Read the full resolution

So what will Metro Schools do with all of these facts and this recognition?

Music instruction for all students in all grades.

The act wasn't merely symbolic. It was a distinct recognition of the Music Makes Us program and the work it does. Going even further than that, it was a commitment to stick with the program, expand it and support it whatever ways possible.

Music Makes Us is a collaboration between Metro Schools, the Mayor's Office, and mutliple groups in the community and the music industry. It strives to increase the quality and quantity of music education in our schools with classes that are tied to rigorous academic standards and a more modern approach to music classes.

Learn more about Music Makes Us

The arts play a vital role in academic success, and we are proud to have this renewed commitment as set of guiding principals for music education.


Hey teachers: Know a stellar colleague in his/her third year of teaching? Then tell him/her about the Teacher Leadership Institute.

The Institute gives teachers chances for career and leadership development without having to leave the classroom. It's a year-long program of classes, collaboration, retreats and more where highly motivated teachers can learn all new skills and better their classrooms, their schools and the entire district.

So if you are a teacher and know colleagues who could benefit from this oppotunity,
send them to MyMNPS and tell them to apply!


Bank of America is looking for students who want to make a difference in their community. Applications are now available for the bank's "Student Leaders" program, which promises to show how non-profits, government and business can work together to change communities and connect citizens.

The program offers an eight-week, paid internship at a local non-profit and admission to a week long Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.!

Applications are due by January 25 2012 and can be found on the Bank of America website: http://www.bankofamerica.com/neistudentleaders. Click below for the program flyer.


Want to meet students who are a lot smarter than you and I? Then meet these semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Four students from Hume-Fogg Magnet High and three from Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High won the distinction for their work done through the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt.

Zach Anderson (Hume-Fogg) completed his project with Jason Valentine, Ph. D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His project was "Reflection and Transmission Measurements at Variable Incidence Angles of a Zero Index Metamaterial." Zach was also recognized as a Siemens Semifinalist for this research.

Abhinav Goyal (Hume-Fogg) completed his project with Qi Zhang, Ph. D. in the Department of Pharmacology. His project was “Culturing of Neurons on Graphene Transistors for High Resolution Scanning of Processes.” Abhi was also recently recognized as a Siemens Semifinalist for this research.

Aditya Gudibanda (Hume-Fogg) completed his project with Jens Meiler in the Department of Chemistry. His project was “The implementation of paired descriptor functions to improve quantitative structure activity relationship models from drug discovery.”

Busra Gungor (Martin Luther King Jr.) completed her project with Hal Moses, M.D. in the Department of Cancer Biology. Her project was “Uncovering the Role of TGFβ and BMP in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Stem Cells.” Busra was also recently recognized as a Siemens Semifinalist for this research.

Melissa Guo (Martin Luther King Jr.) completed her project with Nilanjan Sarkar, Ph. D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her project was “Interfacing of Kinect Motion sensor and NAO Humanoid Robot.”

Meera Patel (Hume-Fogg) completed her project with Richard Peek, M. D. in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology. Her project was “Helicobacter pylori alters the tight junction-regulating adhesion protein BVES and promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in a nontumorigenic murine gastric epithelial cell line (MGEC).”

Jenny Zheng (Martin Luther King Jr.) completed her project with David Wasserman, Ph. D. in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Her project was “Interaction of integrin and insulin actions in the insulin resistant liver."

Each student won a $1,000 prize with a matching prize given to their schools.

Read more about the award.

Apply for the School for Science & Math at Vanderbilt


Updated January 8, 2013

As we begin the second half of our school year, the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, is still on our minds. It is difficult to comprehend what happened and we grieve the loss of the children, teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

We are committed to the safety of our children and staff and we have been working to create positive, safe schools for years. We are well ahead of many area districts. Any changes we make to our procedures now will be based on thoughtful, measured decisions that produce real improvements to school security.

We know parents are troubled by this event and may want to know more about school safeguards and security measures in our district.

The safety of our students and staff is our first priority. We are reviewing every piece of our security practices and plans and expediting security upgrades that we had previously planned. We have been in ongoing communication with local law enforcement and emergency management officials to insure our emergency management procedures are current and aligned with best practices. With our large district, we need a process to address the improvements and we are underway.

Toward that end, all principals, assistant principals and central office staff who work in schools were asked to complete a FEMA crisis management training program over the holidays as a refresher for good safety procedures. We have reviewed our safety procedures with local law enforcement and are in communication with the state. Our maintenance and security staffs are reviewing access and safety measures in every school, with help from school staff. We want to make sure procedures are consistent and in place and that safety devices are up to date. We remind visitors they must sign in and out and wear visitor IDs in district facilities.

Thank you for continuing to observe and follow all of the safety procedures currently in place.

Our middle and high schools have School Resource Officers who are sworn Metro Police Officers employed by the Metro Police Department. We believe any armed staff in our schools should be fully-trained uniformed police officers.

We are in a better position to keep our schools safe when we limit detailed discussion of our security measures to those who need to know the details. Consequently, if you have concerns about the specifics in your school, please talk to your principal, who can address your concerns or share them with our security and facilities staff as appropriate.

So that we can all help our children emotionally process this disturbing news and continue to feel safe at school and home, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has put together a number of suggestions and tips for families. The NASP website has even more, including tips translated into several languages.

From NASP:

It is important to keep in mind that an event like this is rare. Schools are one of the safest places for children and youth during the school day, and an important place for them to receive support and return to normalcy.

Communication and collaboration among schools, parents, and communities is critical to ensure that our students continue to view schools as safe, caring, and supportive environments. How adults react to this tragedy can shape the way children and youth react and their perceptions of safety.

Educators can reinforce students’ sense of safety by making classrooms predictable and welcoming, providing access to mental health supports as needed, and connecting families with other available resources after school hours.

Families are encouraged to spend time together, validate children’s feelings, ask for help as needed, and find calm and relaxing activities to do at home.

It is very important to limit children’s exposure to media coverage, particularly for young children. If children are watching the news or accessing information online, parents and caregivers should be available to talk to their children about it.

Families and educators will serve on the frontline of helping children understand and cope with this violence and loss of life. Most children and youth are resilient and will cope well with the support and caring of their families, teachers, friends, and other caring adults. However, young children may have particular difficulty understanding and describing their feelings and emotions.

Some tips to help children include:

  • Provide a developmentally appropriate, clear, and straightforward explanation of the event

  • Return to normalcy and routine to the best extent possible while maintaining flexibility

  • Let children know it’s okay to feel upset or angry

  • Be a good listener and observer

  • Provide various ways for children to express emotion, either through journaling, writing letters, talking, making a collage, or music

  • Focus on resiliency as well as the compassion of others

More Resources:


Seven Metro high school students (who like to get their hands dirty) are taking on prestigious leadership roles in Nashville's volunteer community.

Hands on Nashville has named ten high school students to it's Urban Agriculture Fellowship program and seven of them come from Metro Schools!

After a highly competitive application process last fall, ten outstanding young people were selected to serve as the inaugural class of Urban Agriculture Fellows. These inspiring students have already proven themselves to be real rock stars, having completed an intense two-day training session over the winter break. Throughout the spring, they will attend monthly workshops here at HON that will help them acquire the project development, volunteer management, public speaking, and organizational skills needed to become effective community leaders.

Students selected for this honor are:

  • Audaris Blades – Glencliff High School

  • Chloe Vaccaro – MLK Magnet High School

  • Daniel Pannock – University School of Nashville

  • Janie Liu – MLK Magnet High School

  • Lydea Adkins – Nashville School of the Arts

  • Michael Ding – MLK Magnet High School

  • Natalie Beck – Brentwood High School

  • Nick Dietrich – MLK Magnet High School

  • Rachel West – Brentwood High School

  • Sara Shaghaghi – MLK Magnet High School

READ MORE about these students and the Hands on Nashville Urban Agriculture Program.


Let's give a hearty congratulations to Dr. Kecia Ray, recently featured online as a "global hero in education."

Kecia is in charge of Learning Technology for Metro Schools, which means she helps teachers, schools, and the district integrate technology into curriculum and the classroom. Of course she does so much more than that, like designing and launching MNPS Virtual School.

For Dr. Kecia Ray, creating a classroom for today’s students means a complete re-imagination of what the classroom can and should look like. And technology is just one component. “My work is focused on increasing the use of technology in classrooms, both formal and informal,” she says. “I have worked with museums to redesign environments into more engaging learning spaces for informal learning, and I’ve worked with higher education and K12 to rethink teaching and learning.”

Currently, Dr. Ray works in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools as the Executive Director of Learning Technology. “A focus of our department is to design blended learning environments in our schools,” she adds. Two years ago, Ray and her team designed the state’s first diploma-granting high school, and they are currently planning to redesign classrooms and instruction to incorporate blended learning models and project-based learning into K-12 classrooms.

The article also includes an in depth interview with Kecia where she talks about her dreams for educational technology in Metro Schools and the world.

Read the full article.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hoopin’ Old School…aka…The New Old Fashioned Way

What are you doing Friday January 4 and Saturday January 5? The North Sports Report will join The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools, high school basketball fans, alumni, celebrities, and (hopefully) you at The FANS Retro Classic high school basketball extravaganza at the historic and freshly renovated Isaac Litton High Gymnasium. The high school teams will be wearing throwback uniforms to honor bygone high schools. That’s right! The high school teams of today will don the uniforms of schools that no longer exist as high schools. Don’t worry…no short shorts or belts or silky pants…just a little something to recognize and appreciate history.

The teams playing the games include: Hume-Fogg; Maplewood; McGavock; Stratford; Glencliff; and Hunters Lane. They will be wearing game uniforms to honor Madison High; Litton High; DuPont High; and Cameron High. So far, the thought of replicating Madison high’s polka dot design has generated the most attention with a photo and story (written by DuPont High alumnus and sportswriter extraordinaire Mike Organ) in Sunday’s Tennessean and inquiries from ESPN.com. Say what? That’s right, I said polka dots and I said national attention from ESPN.com.

Historic Isaac Litton Gymnasium

Historic Isaac Litton Gymnasium

Bottom line – if high school student-athletes are willing to wear polka dots to honor historic schools, we should be there to support them! Tickets will be available at the door and admission is $6 each night. Proceeds go to The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools for the benefit of athletic programs in Nashville’s public schools.


  • Friday January 4: First game tips at 5:00pm

  • Maplewood girls vs. Hume-Fogg girls

  • Maplewood boys vs. Hume-Fogg boys

  • Saturday January 5: First game tips at 5:00pm

  • Stratford boys vs. McGavock boys

  • Glencliff boys vs. Hunters Lane boys

So, I’ll ask again. What are you doing Friday January 4 and Saturday January 5? That’s what I thought. I’ll see you there.

The FANS Retro Classic Banner

Be a fan. Go watch some basketball.

Honors and Awards


Hume-Fogg’s Sarah Morris was named 1st Team All-State by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.

The Tennessean named McGavock’s Hanna Gundinge to the All-Midstate Team.


Two-time State Champion, MLK’s Sam Klockenkemper was named 1st Team All-Midstate by the Tennessean.

Cane Ridge’s sophomore sensation Bailee Dean also earned a spot on the Tennessean’s 1st Team All-Midstate.


The Tennessean’s All-Midstate Football Team included several MNPS student-athletes:

  • Maplewood’s Damario Lewis (1st Team), Ronald Wilbert, and Cortez Adams;

  • Hillsboro’s Joseph Occhipinti;

  • Antioch’s Moses Cornelius;

  • Cane Ridge’s Jeremy Greer and Jeremy Bolden; and

  • Whites Creek’s Michael Cain.

Congratulations to all our MNPS student-athletes.

Alumni Alert

2012 McGavock graduate Caleb Azubike helped lead the Vanderbilt defensive effort in a New Year’s Eve triumph at the Music City Bowl. Caleb had three tackles and recovered a fumble in a dominant Commodore victory.


In 2013…Resolve to be a fan of a high school and middle school near you. Support the student-athletes, attend the games, encourage the students and coaches…In short, and it bears repeating, BE A FAN!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Fans


Retro Classic bannerLooking back to help the future: Six high school basketball teams are taking part in The FANS Retro Classic this weekend that benefits The FANS, Inc., a foundation raising money for Metro Schools athletic programs.

So what makes these games so special? Teams will be wearing old school uniforms to honor high school teams of the past!

Hume-Fogg and Hunters Lane will wear Madison High polka dots, Maplewood and Stratford will wear uniforms to honor Isaac Litton High, McGavock will honor DuPont High, and Glencliff will honor Cameron High.

Will the uniforms look exactly like you remember them? Of course not, but that's not really the point, is it?

The point is that schools of today are willing to honor the past, and together we can build a bright future. Here are the details:

Friday, January 4, 5:00 p.m.

Hume-Fogg vs. Maplewood (Girls)

Hume-Fogg vs. Maplewood (Boys)

Saturday, January 5

McGavock vs. Stratford (Boys)

Hunters Lane vs. Glencliff (Boys)

Historic Location

The historic Isaac Litton High School Gym.


Tickets are $6 each night and are available at the door. This event might sell out, so get there early.


Please park at Litton Middle School, 4601 Hedgewood Drive (turn on Richmond from Gallatin Road).


Proceeds from The FANS Retro Classic go to The Foundation for Athletics in Nashville Schools, Inc. for the benefit of athletic programs in Nashville's public schools.

If you are unable to attend but want to help, you may donate online at
www.thefansinc.com or send a check The FANS, 1215 Gallatin Pike, S., Madison, TN 37115.


The chorus program at Oliver Middle School is in the running for a $15,000 music grant courtesy of Rack Room Shoes! From Dec. 28 - Jan. 13, 2013, vote for Oliver’s video here at Rack Room Shoes website and click on the Gift of Music icon. The top four vote recipients will win $15,000 to support the music program. So log on and vote for Oliver!


Nashvillians of the Year Cover Photo

Cover courtesy of The Nashville Scene and photographer Michael W. Bunch

What a way to end 2012.

Two teachers in Metro Schools have been named
Nashvillians of the Year by the Nashville Scene. Adam Taylor of Overton High School and Christina McDonald of Nashville Prep Charter School represent the teachers who "give Nashville's schoolchildren, no matter what their background, a fighting chance to reach their brightest future."

 In a lengthy and detailed article, reporter Steven Hale lays out the bare - and sometimes forgotten - fact in our city's current debate over education: whether charter school or district school, great teachers are at the center of great education.

It's a great piece, and I strongly recommend you take a few moments to read the full article so you can see how teachers like Christina and Adam can bring the focus of the education discussion back where it belongs.

The Scene would like to refocus the discussion of public education not on differences and squabbles, but on the enormous asset that charter and public schools have in common: the teachers who are the most active, direct agents of hope Nashville's children will face outside the home. As our 2012 Nashvillians of the Year, the Scene honors two such instructors: one from a charter school, Christina McDonald at Nashville Prep, and one from a traditional Metro district school, Adam Taylor at Overton High.

They are hardly alone. Space does not permit us to list the many outstanding district and charter teachers who slug it out in Nashville's trenches throughout the school year, fighting the shared enemies of poverty, hunger, troubled home lives, behavioral problems, language barriers, bad outside influences and limited resources. But McDonald and Taylor are sterling examples of what can be accomplished by creative thinking, supportive administrators, and sheer determination. To look inside their classrooms is to see small miracles happen every day — and to see a brighter future for Nashville schoolchildren of all races and backgrounds than statistics sometimes let us hope.

Read the full article here.


Given the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last week, many are looking for ways to hold their families a little more safely. A new service offered in partnership with Metro Government gives you that opportunity - and it can help the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Smart 911 offers a service that gives emergency responders and 9-1-1 operators important details about you and your home, such as floor plans, medical needs, pets, and more. Metro Government recently subscribed to this program and works with it in 9-1-1 situations. 

For every account registered between now and the end of the year, Smart911 will donate $1 to the Sandy Hook Support Fund. It is 100% free for you to sign up and maintain an account.

If you're interested in signing up,
learn more about Smart911 first.

Support sandy Hook at Smart911.com


From Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee:

Oliver Middle School students spent all day Monday learning about capital resources, imports and exports, the importance of budgeting, and the characteristics of entrepreneurs. They studied foreign currency, created business plans, set personal budgets and crafted résumés. Students learned all of this not from their teachers, but from businesspeople.

More than 60 employees from 23 area companies took over the school on December 17th, leading interactive programming on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship through a JA in a Day event hosted by Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee.

“JA in a day at Oliver Middle School is a wonderful day for our students. Students get to play math games and make advertisements for products, which helps develop critical thinking skills and stimulates their creativity. Students also get to know a variety of community professionals who are interested in furthering students’ educations in unique and thoughtful ways. Thank you, Junior Achievement,” said Linda Latter, Counselor at Oliver Middle.

Sue Kessler teachers students for JA in a Day

Dr. Susan Kessler (center), JA Associate Board Member and Executive Principal at Hunter’s Lane High School, and Andrew Davis (right), Assistant Principal at Hunter’s Lane High School, volunteer at Oliver Middle School.

Junior Achievement provides hands-on programming that connects what students are learning in the classroom to the real-world. Offered to students in Kindergarten through high school, JA programs combine discussions and group activities into lessons that help students understand the important role education plays in a successful future.

JA in a Day combines all six lessons of JA’s middle school programming into one day, instead of spreading the lessons out over several weeks. Having dedicated volunteers take over the entire school ensured all 860 students in the Metro Nashville school received the lessons at the same time on the same day.

JA of Middle Tennessee President Trent Klingensmith said, “Being able to reach every student in four grades with JA’s message of financial responsibility and workplace skills is incredible. As an organization, Junior Achievement is grateful to the volunteers who helped inspire hundreds of students at Oliver Middle to take the steps today that will lead to success in life and the workplace down the road.”

Several volunteers participating in Oliver’s JA in a Day were JA Board Members. Associate Board Member Jaclyn Carney of Radsource had a great experience. She said, “my teaching partner and I spent the day with a great group of 23 eighth graders...this day was so rewarding as it allowed me the opportunity to engage with the next generation and challenge them to start thinking about what it means to own their own economic success. The lessons and activities provided to us by JA were visibly impactful as they empowered these students to open their minds, think about their future, and begin the important journey of self-discovery. From evaluating their own skills, values, and interests in thinking about future career options, to balancing a budget, to understanding the difference between credit and cash, the value of education, and many things in between, I feel as though each student walked away from this JA in a Day experience with an increased level of self knowledge and the important foundation from which to build upon their own economic success. I am confident that because of JA in a Day, each of these 23 students were exposed to priceless lessons that challenged them to think outside the walls of their eighth grade classroom and dream big!”

The teachers and students at Oliver Middle School are no strangers to JA volunteer experiences. This marked the fourth year in a row the school has opened its doors to host a whole-school JA in a Day event for its middle schoolers.

Junior Achievement hosts other JA in a Day programs throughout Middle Tennessee. Companies and schools interested in participating should contact JA Director of Programs Andy Schenck at 615.627.1186 or andys@janash.com.


Twitter. Some people use it for news, some for business and personal promotion, and some for social engagement. To Overton High School students, it is an engine that has given them the opportunity to connect, share ideas, and ask questions with peers around the world, particularly in the field of science. Thanks to that international connectivity, Overton student Lilly Q. is a guest blogger this week on a popular science education blog, Promega Connections. Click here to read why Lilly says social media has changed the way she and her classmates are learning and how they are tapping into some of the brightest minds on the planet.


UPDATE! Marcus and Joey will finally make their national debut! Thursday, Dec. 20, a special segment highlighting their time working with Brad Paisley will air during the CMA Country Christmas Special on ABC.

Live television, folks! CMA Week (a.k.a “Country Music’s Biggest Night™”) cast a national spotlight on two Metro high school students – even if they didn’t end up playing with Brad Paisley during the broadcast.

Marcus Wanner, a student at Nashville School of the Arts, and Joey Santoro, a student at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, were hand-selected to perform with Brad during the The 46th Annual CMA Awards on Thursday. The performance was meant to draw attention to Keep the Music Playing, a program that has donated more than $6.1 million to support music education on behalf of the hundreds of Country Music artists that perform at CMA Music Festival for free.

But the hectic world of live television forced the performance to be cut from the show, though they still had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rehearse with Brad and appear with him on Good Morning America.

Isaac Litton Middle School, home of the Marching 100, was also to be featured, though that video segment was cut from the broadcast, as well. Teachers Allison Winstein and William McMillan - along with more than twenty students - participated in a video shoot promoting the Keep the Music Playing partnership with MNPS.

Litton was selected to participate for its long and rich history of excellence in music. Litton is now redeveloping its music program as part of its overall school improvement program and in partnership with Music Makes Us, a city-school partnership that aims to reinvigorate music education in Nashville.

“The support and generosity of our Nashville community is remarkable,” said Laurie Schell, director of Music Makes Us. “We are so grateful to the Country Music Association's Keep the Music Playing program for ensuring our students have access to quality musical instruments. Having a good instrument is the first step toward becoming a music-lover for life."

About Keep the Music Playing

Keep the Music Playing is an initiative of the CMA Foundation, which exists to provide financial support to worthwhile causes that are important to the Country Music Association and the Country Music community. The CMA Foundation places special emphasis on serving the needs of CMA's core constituents and nonprofit organizations with initiatives that preserve the legacy of the format, music education, and respond to such other needs that may be identified in the future by the CMA.

Since 2006, KTMP has contributed more than $6.1 million to Metro Nashville Public Schools. The funds have been used to build music labs, provide sound and lighting equipment for school auditoriums, and purchase more than 4,000 instruments for the schools.

About Music Makes Us

Music Makes Us promotes, supports and advances student engagement and achievement through robust, high quality music education with both a traditional music curriculum as well as a contemporary curriculum track that uses new technologies and reflects a diverse musical landscape. A public/private partnership among Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, and music industry and community leaders in Nashville, Music Makes Us is committed to becoming a worldwide leader in music education, bringing the resources of the Nashville music community together to enable participation and foster student success for all of its 81,000 students.

Building on a model partnership and the generosity of the Country Music Association’s Keep The Music Playing program, Music Makes Us seeks to establish groundbreaking new contemporary curriculum pathways as well as create a strong alignment with the instructional goals of MNPS, enhance existing chorus, band and orchestra programs, facilitate strong partnerships among the business and nonprofit music communities, develop a facilities master plan, and improve the support infrastructure for teachers, students and community partners.


Overton alumni keep on giving! The Class of 1975 recently donated nearly $5,000, $4,834.75 to be exact, to their alma mater. The money is earmarked for the school’s library and media center.

Pictured below are (L - R ) Connie Brown Kimbro, Amy Price Garrison, Lynn Stanfield Wilbanks, Cindy Hayden Dickens, Betty Price, JOHS Media Specialists: Gwin Hines and Misti Jenkins, Executive Principal: Dr. Shuler Pelham.

Overton Donation 2012 - class of 75 donates nearly $5000 to support media center and library


iLeaders are charged with dramatically improving the performance of and changing the culture at the district's iZone schools.

They met as a group last Friday (December 14) with Executive Director of Innovation Alan Coverstone to share ideas, best practices, and lessons learned at their schools.

They focused on the three big goals:

  • Moving students (figuratively, not physically)

  • Moving teachers (again, figuratively)

  • Sustainable school redesign

Discussions included smarter time management and allocation; clear team priorities and roles; expanding capacity to meet the big three goals; and prioritizing highly effective actions and abandoning ineffective ones.

After the iLeaders discussed in small groups, they shared their discoveries with each other.

With a relentless focus on moving students and teachers forward, these teams shared honestly about how to help everyone participate more effectively in the big goal of dramatically improving student achievement and the opportunities for college and career readiness built on that foundation. Autonomy and innovation are allowing a sharp leadership focused on proving what is possible when all the people, programs, money, and time are focused on success for all students, and this session offered a great opportunity to adapt and improve at this crucial mid-year break.

But despite spending half a work day away from their schools, Alan and his team promised: "We want you to leave with the ways to recover the time you spend here today. You will stop doing things that take time away from high productivity outcomes and start including more people in activities that will enable them to contribute more to the bottom line with less time commitment by the people in this room."


Cheryl D. MayesCheryl Mayes, chair of Metro Nashville Board of Education, will take her passion for education and service statewide. Mayes was recently named an At-Large member of the Tennessee School Board Association. She will serve throughout 2013. Congrats!


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

I Saw the Light

Friday was one of those days…the horrific tragedy in Connecticut …unspeakable terror…dominated the news, monopolized our thought, exponentially multiplied our fears, and left each of us searching for elusive answers. Social media constantly reiterated the questions – Where did we go so wrong? Why would someone inflict such horror? What in his background would make him act in such a way? How can such evil exist? Why?


With that backdrop, I planned to attend a high school basketball game as I do every Friday evening. This week, I was heading to Green Hills for the Hillsboro Burros’ showdown with the Hunters Lane Warriors. It would be my first chance to see Burros star Jamonte Davis, a 6-7 (or 6-8 depending on which recruiting service you subscribe to) forward whose complete game, including mastery of the lost art of the mid-range jump shot, has catapulted him to national recognition as a college prospect. I knew he would be tested by Hunters Lane’s scrappy, tenacious zone defense.

My daughter, home from college, accompanied me to the game, an unexpected and particularly heartwarming treat considering the events of the day. She warned that she might not pay too much attention to the game because she concentrates on and enjoys the spectacle that surrounds the actual game. True enough…and I responded that I try to notice things other people overlook and provide a different perspective through the North Sports Report. Sitting together, we watched the game in our own ways, occasionally sharing our unique commentary.

During a break in the action, late in the game, the Hillsboro cheerleaders tossed souvenirs into the crowd. You know the routine…cheerleaders throwing little basketballs and rubber bracelets all along the sideline, and every fan standing, hoping to catch a keepsake. Just like every fan at a baseball game wants to catch a foul ball, everyone in the gym wants to catch some cheerleader-thrown gift. Did I stand and wave, encouraging a toss toward me? Of course I did. Did any souvenirs land within my reach? Of course not. So, we sat back down as action resumed on the court.

Then it happened.

A Hillsboro student, sitting three people down from me, leaned over and tapped my arm. As I turned, she handed me a rubber Hillsboro souvenir bracelet the cheerleaders had thrown into the crowd. What? I had never met the young lady, and she didn’t know me from the man in the moon. What makes a high school student give a gift to a stranger? Why so nice to me? How can such grace and beauty exist? Who gets the credit…her parents? …a teacher? Where did we go so right?

I have no answers, but the cynical veil of despair was lifted. A bright light… I swear I saw a bright light…shone down on that child like a spotlight. Or, was it shining up, emanating from her kind heart? Looking around the gym, I saw light shining on everyone. I could actually see the beauty and grace in every spectator, shining through like a beacon of hope to the world. Was her light of kindness contagious, or were my eyes simply opened to the light of kindness that shines from all those around me?

I still have no answers, and that light doesn’t change the past or hide the horrors of tragedy. It does, however, expose the hope for healing and for the future.

As the New Year approaches, may we open our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us; and more importantly, shine our own light of grace, beauty and kindness in whatever small way we can.

Oh, and Go to a Game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Hope for the Future


Linda Edwards, kindergarten teacher at Julia Green Elementary, is this week’s News 2 Educator of the Week! Edwards has been teaching within MNPS for nearly 40 years. Aside from regular classroom duties, she mentors kindergarten teachers and works daily to make sure they feel like they are part of the teaching team. Edwards also takes it upon herself to make sure the kindergartners feel welcome and secure as they begin their educational journeys!

Help us congratulate Mrs. Edwards, and watch her tonight on News 2 at 10! The segment will re-air Friday, Dec. 14 during the 6am newscast.


With his first semester in Nashville almost under his belt, Wright Middle and Glencliff High Mariachi instructor Alan Lambert is leading the students in their inaugural holiday concert and fundraiser. From 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 13, the Nashville community is invited to join the young Mariachi performers and special guests Sheyla Paz Hicks and Los Delgados! Check out the flyer for more details.  

Mariachi Concert Flyer 2012


Congratulations to our two Optional School Application iPad winners!

Amber Trice and CoCo Thomas both visited their fair share of schools during the application period to see first-hand what schools had to offer to their students. They also took the time to enter our contest, open to all parents who visited schools for the Optional Schools Application.

Their contest entries came from Maplewood High School and Meigs Middle Magnet School, where they filled out our short survey, which was also an entry form.

Thank you for playing, and we hope the iPads come in handy!

Amber Trice iPad Winner
Amber Trice
CoCo Thomas iPad Winner
CoCo Thomas


Marla McKenna, author of popular baseball-themed children’s book “Mom’s Big Catch,” made a few quick stops at several Metro Schools this week, including Crieve Hall Elementary, which is pictured. McKenna, an advocate for youth literacy, wants children to reach for their dreams.

But the famous author wasn’t the only surprise guest of the day. Helping bring her book to life, Nashville Sounds mascot Ozzie also got in on the fun! Ozzie, who has spent the past decade cheering on the minor league baseball team, is a big fan of reading. He and the sounds regularly serve more than 75,000 children in the middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky region through the Nashville Sounds Reading Club.

Marla McKenna author of Mom’s Big Catch


The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt is now recruiting 8th graders to apply for the class of 2017!

The SSMV is a four-year high school program on the Vanderbilt campus that students attend one day per week. Students are immersed in a university culture with access to a world of discovery and exploration through cutting-edge scientific research. Students are expected to attend the entire four-year program, including summer requirements. This program is free and available only to MNPS students.

The SSMV application will be available to students on January 7, 2013. Please visit our website to learn more - http://theschool.vanderbilt.edu/prospects/.


Haywood Elementary is focused on families! Check out the article and photos sent in by Carolyn Price, 1st grade teacher at Haywood:

Haywood Elementary students and their families enjoyed a school wide potluck dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The initiative was to bring families together with school faculty to embrace diversity, and fellowship together. Students and parents were encouraged to wear ethnic clothing and bring a dish from their country. Nearly 250 students and families attended the event which was divided into two separate dinners for different grade levels.

Principal Melanie Schiff thanked students and their families for attending over the morning announcements Wednesday morning. Haywood is planning to have another potluck after the first of the year to encourage fellowship within the school community.

Haywood Potluck 2012

Haywood Potluck 2012 2     Haywood Potluck 2012 3


Metro Board Representative Elissa Kim at Head 2012Metro Board Representative Elissa Kim is proving her support for students and staff in the district. Kim recently spoke at Head Middle Magnet School's Pastries With Parents. A staunch advocate for quality public education, Kim shared her history with parents as well as her excitement of helping take Teach for America nationwide.

Kim is also conducting a “listening tour” through which she will assess the needs of parents, students, and educators in District 5. After her presentation, parents had the opportunity to ask questions and share insight. 


P.U.R.P.L.E. Girls Goodlettsville MiddleThey call themselves the P.U.R.P.L.E. Girl’s, but their community may be more inclined to call them good citizens and servants. 

Fifteen Goodlettsville Middle ladies, grades six through eight, are part of a special mentoring group (P.U.R.P.L.E.: Pursuing Uniqueness, Responsibility, Purpose, Leadership, & Education) that aims to serve the community. Thanksgiving weekend, the girls volunteered at The Women’s and Children’s Shelter and served dinner to more than 200 homeless women and children. The project proved to be a powerful, and fun, experience!


The holidays came a little early for the students and staff at Old Center Elementary this year when Zagg, a mobile device accessories company, zealously handed over 56 brand new iPads, covers for all, three digital cameras, and new earbuds for every child and teacher!

Principal Dr. Betsy Potts has big plans for the iPads. She says the teachers will use them for professional development and to enhance classroom learning. The students will get to test educational software and programs, as well as get a little practice working with technology.

ZAGG, which stands for Zealous About Great Gadgets, is based in Utah. Earlier this year, the company decided they wanted to do a bit to give back, particularly to schools. They launched an online promotion in which consumers could enter to win a free home computer and $25,000 in technology for their favorite school. Marveya Gooch, proud parent of two Old Center students, logged on and entered…38 times! And it’s a good thing she did. Gooch was selected out of nearly a million entries!

Old Center ES wins tech grant


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hume Award Luncheon

Overton’s Brandon Orr joined a long list of distinguished Hume Award winners, the most prestigious scholar-athlete award given to high school football players, at the 69th Annual Hume Award Luncheon hosted by The Economic Club of Nashville at Bridgestone Arena. Other finalists at the luncheon were Antioch’s Christian Molina, East Nashville’s Michael Collins, Hillsboro’s Joseph Occhipinti, and McGavock’s Tracey Bowler. The ceremony at the luncheon includes a brief statement by the head football coach of each finalist, describing the leadership and scholastic achievements as well as the football accomplishments of these fine young men. It is always a highlight of the year for the North Sports Report. 


 The Hume Award

The Hume Award

Other Hume Award Nominees this year included:

  • Noble Wolugbums – Cane Ridge

  • Anton Arnold – Hillwood

  • Justin Lang – Hunters Lane

  • Wayne Williams – Maplewood

  • Jeremy Ward – Pearl-Cohn

  • Erick Davidson – Whites Creek

Congratulations to all our scholar-athletes.

Hume Award History…Cool Stuff for the Old Timers

The Hume Award was first presented during World War II, in the 1944-45 school year. Nashville City School Board Chair William Hume and School Superintendent W.A. Bass established the award for football players in Nashville’s public schools to recognize “sportsmanship, scholarship, and football ability.” A trophy with the names of each recipient travels to the school of the winner each year.

Although it is the 69th annual award, there have been 72 Hume Award recipients (two winners were named in 1987-88, 1994-95, and 1995-96). 13 Hume Award winners attended Overton, including this year’s recipient; six attended Hunters Lane; five attended Maplewood, including two of the last four; five attended East; five attended Hillwood; three attended Antioch, Glencliff and Stratford respectively; two attended McGavock, Pearl-Cohn, and Hillsboro respectively; and Whites Creek’s one Hume Award winner was the great Jamie Graham in 2006-07. 22 of the Hume Award recipients attended schools that no longer serve as high schools, including Cohn, West, Howard, North, Madison, Litton, and Goodlettsville.

Names you might recognize from the list of Hume Award winners include Eddie and Billy Lawrence from West (1944-45 and 1946-47); Odell Binkley from North (1950-51); Cohn great Thomas E. Wells (1956-57); Maplewood’s E.J. Junior (1976-77); Hunters Lane’s Reginald Grimes (1994-95) who played quarterback at Hunters Lane and starred as a defensive tackle at Alabama; Maurice Fitzgerald of Pearl-Cohn (1996-97); Brenard Wilson II of Hunters Lane (2004-05); and James R. Stone of Maplewood (2009-10). The list is long and impressive.

Alumni Alert – Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

The North Sports Report attended the Tennessee Titans game at LP Field Sunday versus the league leading Houston Texans. In looking for a silver lining during the game, I found myself repeating “He is a Glencliff graduate” every time Houston linebacker Tim Dobbins made a good play. The former Glencliff Colt made so many great plays, including an interception and fumble recovery, those sitting near me grew exceedingly weary of my Glencliff Colt pride. Although the home team had a disappointing day, one linebacker from Glencliff put on a rousing homecoming performance.

Don’t Miss the Hoops

Nothing compares to the sweet sounds of a high school gym on game night. The ball bouncing on the hardwood, the buzz of the crowd, the cheerleaders, the joyful conversations of students and fans sitting nearby … it is magical. The thrilling games at Maplewood last Friday even exceeded the North Sports Report’s expectations. The girls’ game included an overtime session after Maplewood scored at the final horn to tie the game.

The boys’ game was a thrill a second slam fest to the very end. East Nashville jumped out to an early lead scoring 22 points in the first four minutes. Let’s put that in perspective… they were on pace to score 176 points. It was high-flying, slam dunking, jump shot swishing, fast paced hoops. How did Maplewood respond? They turned up the defense, scrapped and scraped and took the lead going into the fourth quarter. With 1.2 seconds remaining and the game on the line, Maplewood would inbound the ball near mid-court trailing by 2. Somehow, the Panthers managed to get off a three-point shot before the horn, and it headed straight for the goal as if in slow motion. If it goes in, Maplewood wins…if not, East Nashville wins. The shot hit the rim, rattled, rolled, bounced, spun, and …. The game ended.

So, did it go in or not? Who won the game? Let me just say… “You should have been there!” GO TO A GAME! You will love it!

After the game, exhausted from the excitement, the North Sports Report paused by the new waterfall/fountain in front of Maplewood High, constructed with the help of Maplewood students, to relax and unwind. Beautiful!

 Maplewood Fountain

A nice place to relax after intense Maplewood basketball games.

Hoops This Week – Friday December 7

Here is your chance to see a game near you:

  • Antioch Bears host Hillwood Hilltoppers;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens travel to Overton Bobcats;

  • Whites Creek Cobras welcome Maplewood Panthers;

  • Stratford Spartans visit MLK Royals;

  • Glencliff Colts host Hunters Lane Warriors;

  • East Nashville Eagles play at home against CPA;

  • Hume-Fogg Blue Knights host Ezell Harding; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to Lipscomb

The MNPS home games are at: Antioch; Overton; Whites Creek; MLK; Glencliff; East Nashville; and Hume-Fogg (played at NSA).

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Prestigious Scholar-Athletes


Metro Nashville Public Schools is making progress, but it’s not enough. Our student performance outcomes are still too low. That was the underlying theme of a press conference held Dec. 4 to showcase the first year’s work of U.K.-based Tribal Group, an educational review and consulting company. To push the district’s transformation to the next level, MNPS will implement significant changes in 2013, all with student achievement as the focal point.

What we’ve learned during year one of our partnership with Tribal:

  • Our students are not performing as they should be; one out of three elementary and middle school students perform math at grade level while two out of five read at grade level.

  • Lessons are not engaging; only 22% of lessons observed were deemed effective.

  • School leaders want more autonomy; four of five principals desire greater autonomy.

With that knowledge, Dr. Register says we must work aggressively to instigate change and to inspire greater success in our students.  Under his direction and in partnership with Tribal Group, the district will expand its use of network lead principals, create a strong network of sharing of best practices among 39 schools, and develop personalized learning plans for 27,000 students in under-performing schools. The district will also see a restructuring at the Central Office with decentralization of personnel, elimination of jobs, and the reconfiguration of reporting relationships.

To learn more about Tribal’s findings and what’s in store for 2013, check out the video below.


Cameron Middle School leaders are making great strides in building parental involvement. Earlier this month, school leaders hosted a math and literacy night in conjunction with Lipscomb University that drew more than 100 people. Families were able to visit 24 interactive booths created by Lipscomb University College of Education graduate students. All of the activities were inspired by the book Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix which Cameron students are currently reading as part of the school-wide genre study of dystopian-themed science fiction. The activities allowed the book to come to life for students and their families and demonstrated activities that can be done at home to make reading and math more fun. 


You’re invited!


Winter Festival of the Creative Arts

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

904 26th Avenue, North, Nashville 37208

December 4, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

The Winter Festival of the Creative Arts will feature performances from students in band, chorus, and dance classes, as well as a gallery of artwork from the school’s Digital Design classes. Students are working every aspect of this event, including the marketing and promotion. Read the student-written press release for the Festival.

This is the culminating event of an interdisciplinary project-based learning unit focused on examining how the Pearl-Cohn community demonstrates individualism and aesthetic appreciation through the creative arts. Pearl-Cohn is currently serving as a district project-based learning demonstration school for its excellence in creating and implementing interdisciplinary units of study that revolve around a specific, hands-on learning project.


We want to give a big shout out to Lakeview Elementary Design Center and W.H. Oliver Middle School, both of which were awarded Music Makes Us education grants from the Nashville Singers. Check out the news release below.

Lakeview Design Center & Oliver Middle School Receive Music Education Grants from The Nashville Singers, Inc.

Nashville, TN - Lakeview Design Center and W.H. Oliver Middle School were each announced as recipients of a $500.00 Music Makes a Difference music education grant from Nashville Singers in May of this year. The formal presentation took place at the Nashville Singers annual Season of Harmony concert on November 17 at Hillsboro High School. 

Since being founded in November of 2008, the philanthropic mission of Nashville Singers has been to enrich lives through support of music education in our schools and the community. To support this mission, the chorus funds several programs, including a free singing lessons program entitled Acappella Academy, music education grants, middle and high school master classes, and the Educator of the Future college scholarship created for students pursuing a music education degree.

Upon hearing the announcement, Carol Crittenden, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) remarked, "The Nashville Singers have not only been an incredible financial support for grant recipients in Metro Schools, but the members have also given of their time and talents to support our music students. This is the type of commitment and partnership we greatly value."

Jay Steele, Associate Superintendent for MNPS High Schools added, "A rich curriculum that includes the arts is very important for all students in Nashville and MNPS is very fortunate to have such supportive partners like the Nashville Singers."

Kim Marie Folsom of Lakeview Design Center stated, "I am so thankful for the Nashville Singers, who provide help for students in need, through music education. They realize that music teaches math, language, history, reading and science in a fun environment. I am so grateful for their support."

Franklin J. Willis of Oliver Middle School added, "The Oliver Middle School community advocates in the importance of music education in students' lives. Receiving this award not only serves as monetary gain to fund the new chorus program, but motivation to meet the challenge of engaging students in finding their own voice through music. It is truly an honor to be a recipient of the Nashville Singer's Music Makes a Difference Grant. I look forward to future collaborations with Nashville Singers and the Oliver Middle School Chorus."  

Other dignitaries on hand for the presentation and concert included Laurie Schell, Director of the Music Makes Us education project, Margaret Campbelle-Holman, Executive Director of Choral Arts Link, and Peter Bird, President and CEO of the Frist Foundation.

About Nashville Singers

In their first four years, this volunteer group has grown from four to 15 singers, learned 42 songs, released their first CD, racked up 50 performances for 32 organizations in seven counties across Tennessee, and produced a successful concert series which attracted attendees from 36 cities in eight states across the USA. Their concert audiences have ranged in size from a few hundred to 4000 people. Their diverse repertoire spans many genres. Their philanthropic mission is to enrich lives through support of music education in our schools and the community. This support comes in the form of music education grants, college scholarships, master classes in area schools, and an annual free singing lessons program called Acappella Academy. Nashville Singers has awarded $2500 in music education grants and scholarships in the last two years. The Nashville Singers, Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information about Nashville Singers, visit them online at www.nashvillesingers.org.


It’s great for learning and even relaxing! Students in the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood High School just finished installing a waterfall with the help of the Nashville Zoo and MNPS Maintenance. Their plans are to use the waterfall for reference and research as they work through related topics in their chemistry, physics, math and engineering classes, in addition to the beautification is gives the campus!

The project began in September when the class sat down with Terry Wakefield, designer of the water features at the Nashville Zoo, and started drawing plans for the water feature. Once the design was complete, the MNPS Maintenance Department trained the students in the installation of the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter System to insure the electrical safety of the waterfall.

The water starts flowing Friday, Dec. 7, at 9 a.m., in a special ribbon cutting ceremony.

 the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood High School Waterfall 2012 the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood High School Waterfall 2012 2 


They were dressed to the nines in the Academy of Nashville blazers, eagerly waiting at the door to greet their distinguished guests, and unbelievably well versed in sharing what it is they do at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. “They” were the dozen or so of student ambassadors for Pearl-Cohn who served as tour guides during a special VIP tour organized by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to the Academy tours, guests heard a detailed message from Associate Superintendent of High Schools Jay Steele about the goals for Nashville High Schools. They also heard some exciting new programs from Principal Sonia Stewart including a Grammy grant, a partnership with a nationally syndicated television station and a new student-run record label affiliated with Warner Music Nashville. Tons of great photos below. Check them out!


The Academies of Nashville are all about connecting students to college and career, and Antioch TTCU Career Conference 2012that’s just what the Tennessee Credit Union of Academy of Business and Finance at Antioch High did earlier this week!

Seniors in The Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance were invited to a college and career conference, hosted by The Tennessee Credit Union, Deloitte, Junior Achievement and Trevecca Nazarene University. These four organizations have lent tremendous support to the academy since its inception in 2010. They regularly offer support via teacher externships, student internships, job shadowing, speakers in the classroom, and assistance with class projects that mirror real-life working situations.  

The conference, held at Trevecca, gave students an opportunity to attend four sessions on business-related topics. They also toured Trevecca’s campus and heard from keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Burch, associate professor of management at Trevecca. 


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hume Award – Spotlight on Scholar-Athletes

The Hume Award, one of the oldest and most prestigious awards any student-athlete can receive, will be awarded next week to a scholar-athlete/football player “on the basis of scholarship, sportsmanship, individual performance and value to the team.” The Hume Award, named for local civic leader, attorney and Chair of the Nashville City Board of Education William Hume, was first awarded in 1944 to Eddie Lawrence of West High School. Last year’s winner was Maplewood Panther Dustin Binkley.

This year’s five Hume Award finalists are: Christian Molina, Antioch; Michael Collins, East Nashville; Joseph Occhipinti, Hillsboro; Tracey Bowler, McGavock; and Brandon Orr, Overton. Congratulations to all our scholar-athletes.

Hume Award Trivia

Which High School Principal’s stellar athletic and academic career made him a Hume Award finalist? Answer: Overton’s Dr. Andrew Shuler Pelham.

All-Star Game Features MNPS Gridders

The Toyota East/West All-Star Football game will be played Saturday December 8 at 1:00pm on the campus of Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Rosters for this game may be updated to add players, but my last check of the roster shows that the West team includes DeAnthony Patrick and DeQuan Mays of McGavock; and Michael Cain of Whites Creek. The game will be televised across the state on local PBS stations.

Grapple with This – Pre-season Recognition

The Tennessean’s high school wrestling preview highlighted Glencliff Colts wrestler Garang Madut as one of the mid-state’s “Wrestlers to Watch” this season. Good luck to all our wrestlers who will go to the mat for their schools this season!

Hoop Dreams

High school basketball games are scheduled several nights every week, and you should check the paper each week for a game near you. The North Sports Report will keep you abreast of the games scheduled on Fridays.

Basketball Games November 30, 2012

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the week has the high flying East Nashville Eagles visiting the mighty Maplewood Panthers. Tip-off at 6:30.

In other action:

  • Whites Creek Cobras travel to nearby rival Hunters Lane Warriors;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Mt. Juliet;

  • McGavock Raiders welcome visiting Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • MLK Royals travel down the road to Pearl-Cohn Firebirds;

  • Overton Bobcats host Brentwood;

  • Hume-Fogg Blue Knights visit CPA; and

  • Stratford Spartans hit the home hardwood against Lipscomb.

The MNPS home games this Friday are: at Maplewood; at Hunters Lane; at Hillwood; at Hillsboro; at McGavock; at Pearl-Cohn; at Overton; and at Stratford. Oh, and Antioch Bears play at home on Thursday night November 29. There is a game near you – go support the schools and students this week!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Incomparable Flair of School Spirit


Kevin Huffman, Tennessee commissioner of education, weighs in on the news saying, “We are excited to have a Tennessee district among the finalists for the Race to the Top-District grant. Metro Nashville is a strong contender to win this national award, and we wish them luck in the last stages of the competition.”

This just in! Metro Schools is one of 61 finalists in the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top District Competition. With $400 million in potential funding, this is a BIG deal! Grant recipients are expected to be announced by the end of 2012. Check out the USDE news release:


Two of Metro’s finest are taking their lessons learned on the road! Frankie Harris, 6th grade literacy and social studies teacher at Rose Park Middle Magnet, and Kathleen Turnmire, English teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School, are two of Tennessee’s newly named Reward School Ambassadors. They will spend the next year traveling the midstate region, sharing best practices with neighboring schools and working to boost student achievement across the board.

Harris and Turnmire both earned top scores on Tennessee’s new evaluation system and were subsequently nominated by their schools -- both Reward Schools which means they are among the top 10 percent of Tennessee schools in terms of student performance. They are two of just 15 teachers across the state selected for this prestigious post.   

In addition to the year-long paid position as Reward School Ambassadors, Harris and Turnmire will also receive a $20,000 grant to further their educational programming.

When asked about her new role, Turnmire commented, "As an ambassador, I will be able to combine the teaching skills I have honed at MLK with the leadership skills I developed through Metro's TLI. I am thankful to have the opportunity to collaborate with educators across the state who are passionate about helping students meet their academic potential. Metro has given me a rich set of educational tools, and I am proud to share these skills with my fellow teachers in Middle Tennessee. Additionally, I am thankful for the support and guidance of my colleagues and administrators at MLK over the past five years; I would not be in this position without them!


It’s called the Office of Innovation for a reason! Here are a few great examples of the work happening in our Innovation Zone schools:

Hattie Cotton is entering the Magnet Schools of America Schools of Excellence contest. The Hogan Lovells Award was established in 2006 to recognize new and emerging magnet programs.

Congratulations to the Promethium grant winners from Napier: Emily Parsely, 2nd grade; Camellia Wells, Kindergarten; and Mary Jane Hollingsworth, 4thgrade.

Cameron received a $500 grant from the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), and a $1,000 grant from TWRA for their new Archery program.

Katie Kendall, science teacher at John Early Museum Magnet Middle School, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the TSTA 5-8 Science Educator of the Year award. This prestigious award seeks to recognize outstanding science teachers from across the state. Katie was recognized formally at an awards luncheon held at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Murfreesboro Friday, Nov. 2, 2012.

Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science (VSVS) applauds John Early faculty and students for a great semester and looks forward to continuing and growing partnership!

Buena Vista students participated in Recycle to Win. Photos are here.

John Early students took their Egyptian studies unit to a new level … they mummified chickens…Just in time for the holidays!

Stratford STEM Magnet High and Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High carried the torch with successful Academy showcases during the National Career Academy Coalition conference held in Nashville in early November. Pearl-Cohn also hosted a group from the National Alliance of Black School Educators during their annual conference, also in Nashville.


Thinking about a career change? Nashville Teaching Fellows may be just what you need. The program recruits professionals of various backgrounds and industries who are looking for a second career, as well as recent college graduates. Nashville Teaching Fellows trains accepted individuals and places them in classrooms throughout Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Visit www.nashvilleteachingfellows.org for more to details.


Head Runners for Mayor's 5K

Head Middle Magnet School participated in the Mayor’s 5K on Sunday, Nov. 19. Andrea Hawkins, 8th grade science and physical science teacher, organized the event. School faculty and several families ran or walked. Congrats to Joshua Rice, 6th grade math teacher, and Sarah Diehl, 7th grade math teacher, for finishing with the fastest times at 29 minutes and 32 minutes respectively.


A special thanks to Caroline Price for writing and submitting the following:

Math is easy, math is fun! This was the central focus at Haywood Elementary’s Annual Haywood Elementary Annual Family Math NightFamily Math Night. The school-wide initiative was held on Thursday, Nov. 15. Teachers and administrators worked together to develop family friendly math activities for the school’s pre-kindergarten through 4th grade students.

“We have math night to get parents into our buildings to show them different strategies and games that they can use at home to help their children build math skills that they are using in their grade level this year,” said Assistant Principal Carl Febles.

Haywood teachers have been working hard to raise math test scores and help promote high student achievement. This was a central focus for Family Math Night. “Math night can help parents learn what we are doing at school so they can help their children at home. A lot of times parents don’t know what to do to help their children, this (math night) gives them the resources and knowledge they can use at home,” said Febles. Nearly 175 students attended the Haywood event.


Two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s a pretty fair assumption that turkeys are on JEMMMS Mummy 2012
the minds of many. But at John Early Museum Magnet Middle School, a different type of fowl has students preoccupied.

As part of a unit on Egyptian culture, the students are studying mummies. Nothing really new there, but what IS new is that students are actually mummifying chickens. Check out the photos below of the project-based lesson in action!

John Early Museum Magnet Middle School gives students a chance to learn rigorous academics in the setting of a museum. The school teaches and implements museum methods including inquiry, critical thinking, projects, interpretation and hands-on analysis of objects. It relies on the integration of the arts across the curriculum to further engage students, and it enlists the help of curators and educators from more than 30 museums, historic sites and organizations in the midstate.


Nashville Big Picture High School student capstone helps othersCharity D., a student at Nashville Big Picture High School, is inching closer to her diploma by reaching out to the Nashville community! As part of her senior capstone project, Charity hosted a special event benefiting March of Dimes at Baptist Hospital. She spent the day passing out information about premature births, to 133 guests; raised money for the NICU Fund at Baptist; and handed out stuffed animals to raise donations for the March of Dimes.


This morning, more than 80 area business professionals, guests from nonprofits and the Principal for a Day program 2012faith community, government officials, and higher education professionals took the reigns at a Metro Public School. The guests were part of the annual Principal for a Day program sponsored by PENCIL Foundation. 

“Being a school principal is one of the toughest jobs,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “After a morning at school, I hope our community members have a new appreciation for the complexities of the job--and also for the joy that comes from helping bright young people achieve.”


The National Alliance for Black School Educators (NASBE) annual conference is in Nashville this weekend (the conference kicked off Nov. 14 and wraps up the 18th), and NABSE tour of PearlCohnseveral Metro Schools are getting involved! 

Wednesday, Nov. 14, conference guests toured several schools including the construction site of the new Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet studio (pictured left). The studio is a collaboration of the Recording Academy’s Producers and Engineers Wing, Steven Durr Designs, Music Makes Us and MNPS. The state-of-the-art studio is expected to open in February/March 2013.

Thursday, Nov. 15, Chandler J., an 8th grader at Head Middle Magnet, had the privilege of introducing Roland S. Martin, CNN news Chandler J Head student at NABSE 2012analyst, who served as the Keynote Speaker. Pictured right.

Later that day, hundreds of high school students from across the district participated in a Youth Symposium where they came together with educators and civic leaders to discuss ways to create a stronger emphasis on good writing.

The following day, Maplewood High School’s Junior ROTC Unit TN-933 performed Color Guard detail for the Opening Plenary again featuring Martin, the keynote speaker of the conference. This performance came the same week the students helped celebrate Veteran’s Day with a performance at The River Church and participation in the Downtown Nashville Veteran’s Day parade.

Maplewood High School’s Junior ROTC at NABSE 2012


Metro Schools and the Tennessee Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Parent Leadership Conferencewant parents to get involved with their child’s school. Parents, teachers, administrators and others in the community are invited to attend a Parent Leadership Conference, which will be held Friday, Nov. 30. Guests speakers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Metro Schools, and PTA will host workshops and panel discussions that focus on teacher training, family engagement, community involvement and more!

The conference will be held Friday, Nov. 30, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., at Martin Professional Development Center, 2400 Fairfax Ave. To register, contact Robin Trollinger at 615.259.8569.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Middle School Athletics

Middle school sports provide great after-school opportunities for students. It keeps them busy; teaches them discipline, sacrifice, teamwork, and structure; and promotes school spirit.

Congratulations to the Middle School City Champions for the fall sports:

  • Volleyball – JT Moore Middle

  • Girls’ Soccer – Meigs Middle

  • Football – Smithson-Craighead Middle

Congratulations to all our middle school student-athletes!

Middle School Pep Rally … Putting the Pep in the Rally

Last week’s pep rally at Head Middle School featured TSU’s marching band. The Aristocrat of Bands made its annual visit to Head and added its incomparable flair to the school’s pep rally extravaganza. The band at TSU is a great community partner and a source of pride for all Nashville.

News from the TSSAA…Award Winning Administrators

The TSSAA awarded Athletic Director of the Year for the Middle Tennessee Region to Chip Sullivan of Hunters Lane and the Principal of the Year to Hillwood’s Dr. Steve Chauncy. Congratulations!

News from the TSSAA…District Realignment

The TSSAA changes the districts every four years and have announced the proposed changes to the Districts for 2013-2017. The biggest news is that Hillsboro will join District 12AAA.

District 12AAA will feature:

  • Antioch Bears

  • Cane Ridge Ravens

  • Glencliff Colts

  • Hillsboro Burros

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers

  • Hunters Lane Warriors

  • McGavock Raiders

  • Overton Bobcats

In the football playoffs, Glencliff, Hillsboro and Hillwood will compete in the 5A classification while the other District 12AAA teams will compete in 6A.

District 10AA will feature:

  • East Nashville Eagles

  • Hume-Fogg Blue Knights

  • Lipscomb

  • Maplewood Panthers

  • MLK Royals

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds

  • Stratford Spartans

  • Whites Creek Cobras

In the football playoffs, East and Stratford will compete for the 3A championship; while Maplewood, Pearl-Cohn, and Whites Creek will compete for the 4A championship.

The realignment will be approved within the next week or so, and the new districts begin play in the fall of 2013.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Incomparable Flair of School Spirit


Technology is in our homes, at the grocery stores, doctor’s offices, athletic events, and - most importantly - waiting for our children in college and their future careers. For that reason, it's crucial that educational institutions teach students in a way that is relevant and trains them to use the tools that are ever-present in our daily lives.

When the 
National Alliance for Black School Educators (NABSE) and Promethean, a global education company, offered to donate more than $150,000 worth of classroom technology and professional development services our employees were ecstatic, and rightfully so. Those tools and that training will help our teachers work with students and begin to close the digital divide that exists between families with technology in their homes and those without.

At Napier Enhanced Option Elementary on Wednesday, the two organizations announced the donation that will help the 15 schools receiving technology and support.  Schools will receive touch-screen interactive whiteboards, hand held student response devices, and educational software. Teachers will be trained on how to best use these new tools to increase student engagement and better lead interactive lessons.

But this donation is much more than a one-time act of generosity. It is part of an annual program by NABSE and Promethean to close the achievement gap by modernizing classrooms and boosting parental engagement. Our schools were selected to receive this donation since Nashville is serving as the host city for the 40th NABSE Annual Conference (Nov. 14 - 18). Thousands of educators are spending the weekend in Music City tackling issues surrounding urban education, higher education, and exploring the role of diversity in public schools.

At the same time, but across town, Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register, Mayor Karl Dean, State Representative Brenda Gilmore, John Gauder from
Comcast, and Patricia Stokes from the Urban League spent the morning at a Digital Literacy Rally encouraging families to explore Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. The program provides affordable Internet services for low-income families and is meant to aid students and parents in academics, job searches, much more.

Bring the Internet home for just $9.95 a month.

While slightly more than half of our students have access to the Internet at home (56% at last count) and 14,500 families are eligible for this discounted service, only 800 families enrolled in the program during its first year. Hoping to boost participation, Comcast is promoting the program to the community and is funding the Urban League’s Project Ready Digital Academy with a $15,000 grant. The Academy will teach skills in digital literacy, computer programming and college readiness to under-served youth.

To say the support and commitment of these businesses and community partners is worthy of a big pat on the back is an understatement. These donations, programs and partnerships are setting the stage for us to close the digital divide in Nashville and to give every family access to technology and training. They are helping us give our students and families the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century. Now we need your help in
spreading the word and making sure every family knows about the opportunities and takes advantage of them.


He’s arguably one of Tennessee’s most famous artists, and now the students at Old Red Grooms Exhibit at Old CenterCenter Elementary are paying homage to the legendary Red Grooms. A new exhibit features the young artists’ interpretations of Grooms’ work and life. The students also created a life-size installation where visitors can have their photograph taken with Elvis and Grooms. The display is a tribute to pictoramas, which catapulted Grooms to international status. Other displays showcase Grooms’ techniques of printmaking, relief and paper sculptures of Nashville and historical landmarks, such as Groom’s Alma Mater, Hillsboro High School! To wrap up the project, students took a field trip to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens to see an exhibit of Grooms’ work.


We’re halfway into the Optional School Application period. Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High and Stratford STEM Magnet High leaders are eager for you to see the challenging and engaging programs that are happening in their schools!

Thursday, Nov. 15, both schools will open their doors to the community with student showcases, classroom tours, and more. The Stratford program runs from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.; the Pearl-Cohn program runs from 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Specific to Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, families will see a dynamic student performance; tour PCTV, the school television studio; watch project-based learning demonstrations; and be able to meet with image consultants!

Meanwhile, families interested in science, technology, engineering and math programs at Stratford STEM Magnet High will be able to tour the schools’ two Academies, The Academy of Science and Engineering and The Academy of National Safety and Securities Technology. Families will also get the first look the school’s state-of-the-art Biotechnology and Computer Gaming/Simulation Laboratory; the event will serve as the grand opening for this new learning laboratory.

Optional School enrollment is now available online. The deadline to apply is 5:30 p.m., Nov. 30 if you want to be included in the random selection process that will be held in early January.


Nashville parents are invited to the 2012 Parent Multicultural Leadership Conference, sponsored by MNPS and STEP (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents) TN.

Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., parents and caregivers will

  • learn strategies to increase involvement and leadership in the child's education,

  • explore ways to strengthen the child's educational plan,

  • understand ways address the child's communication and behavior needs, and

  • discover what community connections and resources are available.

There will be free childcare and activities for children, free breakfast and lunch, information in multiple languages, and an information far. Register at www.tnstep.org or call 1(800)280-7838.


Thursday, Nov. 15 is National Parent Involvement Day. Consider this our invite to get involved in your child’s school day! Here are a few ideas:

  • Make special arrangements to drop off and pick your child up from school;

  • Have lunch with your child;

  • Volunteer to help in your child’s class for an hour during the day; or

  • Email your child’s teacher and ask how your child is doing.

Whether or not you are able to visit your child’s school this Thursday, you can commit to taking an active role in his or her education -- help with homework, ask what he or she did each day, communicate with the teacher. One thing is for sure:  Being an actively involved parent will have a huge impact on your child’s education.


How far should technology reach in the classroom? What tech do students need to be using to prepare them for the 21st century? Can you have too much in every day lessons?

We've come a long way from Apple IIe computers and word processing. But we can't continue to plan for the future without hearing from the ones who matter most: students, parents, and teachers.

We want you to help us plan for how technology moves forward in education. What tools should we be using? In what ways? How often? These are the questions you can help us answer. Your input will help shape long term technology goals in Nashville and the rest of the country.

Please take a few moments to complete the Speak Up survey from Project Tomorrow.


Educators and city leaders from cities across the U.S., England, China, Guam and Stratford NCAC Tour 2012American Samoa are in Music City to learn about career academies and explore the Academies of Nashville during the 2012 National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Conference. During the three-day conference, guests will learn everything from what academies are to effective strategies to build and maintain strong academy business partners. The morning of Nov. 9, guests were able to tour one of nine Metro high schools that have fully implemented the academy model:  Antioch, Cane Ridge, Glencliff, Hillsboro, Hillwood, McGavock, Overton, Pearl-Cohn, and Stratford (pictured right). Students and staff showcased the Academies, offered interactive presentations that illustrated the academy model of teaching and learning, and answered questions of the programs.

Also during the conference:

McGavock and Hillwood high schools will be recognized with National Standards of Practice Career Academy Award of Distinction for receiving model status during their respective reviews.

Paula Barkley, academy coach at McGavock High School, will receive the Exemplary Academy Educator Award.    

CMT will be recognized for its outstanding contribution to The CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communications at McGavock. CMT will receive the Henk Koning Exemplary Partnership Award.


Paragon Mills Options Event 2012Paragon Mills opened its doors to 4th grade families in the schools first My Child, My Choice event. Parents learned about school choices, the application process and online registration. Representatives from the area’s zoned school Wright Middle, as well as MNPS’ charter and magnet schools were on hand to talk with families.

The goal of the evening was to overcome barriers such as the lack of understanding of the process, language, and illiteracy that can limit a child’s educational opportunities. According to Paragon Mills ESEA Family Coordinator, not only did they achieve their goal, but they also experienced a genuine collaboration from the community with more than 45 volunteers consisting of teachers, Lipscomb University students, Glencliff High School students, MNPS employees, and volunteers from faith-based organizations! 

To learn more about MNPS optional schools and the Optional School Application process, click here.



First Lady Crissy Haslam recently hosted a large group of Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary 3rd graders at the Tennessee Residence. Approximately 70 boys and girls participated in a Read20 Family Book Club event.

Click here to check out the photos First Lady Haslam shared!


Two Gra-Mar Middle School students recently saw their first bylines. The students wrote editorials that were printed in a special election issue of the Tennessean Sunday, Nov. 4. The students had been studying the Electoral College vs. Popular Vote. They participated in mock elections with real voting machines and heard from several locally elected officials.

Meahwhile, Murrell School held a Mock Election Monday, Nov. 5. The students had been discussing the democratic process, what it means to vote, why voting is important, looking at a voting machine, and encouraging their parents to vote. Each student had the opportunity to vote by paper ballot.


The men and women of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors (GNAR) took a walkCroft GNAR Tour 2012 on the wild side at Croft Middle! The group joined Mayor Karl Dean, Director of Schools Jesse Register and parents for a special tour through the district’s global- and environmental-awareness themed middle school.

Croft principal Juana Granberry welcomed guests including Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Board of Education member Will Pinkston, Councilman Chris Harmon, GNAR CEO Don Klein and GNAR President Kendra Cooke. Principal Granberry shared news about the school’s significant growth on TVAAS, Tennessee’s system to measure gains in student achievement. There is a highly-qualified certified teacher in every Croft classroom.

Croft Middle School is a design center school with a theme of global environmental awareness. GNAR members who toured the school with students enjoyed the decorated hallways that reflect the school’s global outlook. Guests learned about the school’s unique partnership with the Nashville Zoo, which provides 16 interactions with the school every year, including field trips. The Zoo donated animals from each continent that live at the school in habitats maintained by 8th graders trained as junior zookeepers.


Lady Liberty has landed ... at McMurray Middle School! The statue came to life to teach students a brief lesson in history and help them find their place in our country's future. The 30-minute theatrical lesson was part of the Next Great Americans Tour sponsored by the Liberty Learning Foundation.

Lady Liberty McMurray 2012


The award-winning Band program at Oliver Middle School recently performed at a Veteran’s Celebration Nov. 5.  Not only did they entertain the crowd with music, the students also shared artwork and essays they wrote about freedom and patriotism, as well as hand-written thank you notes to veterans. 

The bands’ musical tributes were powerful and moving and included a student-created slideshow that accompanied all of the musical selections. The concert concluded with a tribute to all of the branches of the armed forces followed by an encore of “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Although still relatively young, the Oliver Middle School band has received numerous accolades including recognition as a National Commended Winner and State Winner in the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors Project in 2009 and 2010. The band consistently receives Superior ratings at MTSBOA adjudications and are seven-time recipients of the Tennessee Bandmasters Association Sweekstakes Award.  

Oliver Band celebrates veterans


100 Chefs, 100 Schools was a huge hit with the young culinary students at Glengarry Elementary, and for good reason! The kindergartners in Shauna Russell’s class learned how to make fruit nachos. (And yes, they also ate them!). The class was selected to participate in the initiative that aimed to pair 100 chefs with 100 schools to promote healthy eating.

That wasn’t the class’s first encounter with a healthy lesson; early this fall they recorded a special song and dance that was named first runner-up in the Coordinated School Health program’s Classroom Challenge. The video competition was designed to promote healthy lifestyles.

100 Chefs 100 Schools Glengarry

Meanwhile, Head Middle Magnet welcomed chef Michael New as part of the “100 Chefs 100 Schools” program. Chef New showed students how to prepare healthier snacks and provided samples of his yummy treats.

Check out the photos we received from other schools that also participated in 100 Chefs, 100 Schools:


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Cross-Country Excellence

MLK’s Sam Klockenkemper’s second consecutive state championship capped a great Cross-Country season for MNPS runners. That’s right, Klockenkemper reigns as state champion two years in a row. The MLK boys’ team finished second in the state and Hume-Fogg’s boys’ team finished fourth in the state.

Cane Ridge Sophomore Bailee Dean finished runner-up in the state in her first year of competition. Future is bright for that runnin’ Raven.

A Lesson from History …aka…Annual End of Season Waxing

In sports with a playoff system, most teams end their season with a disappointing loss. That’s just the nature of the beast. About this time every year, the North Sports Report contemplates the end of the season that comes so quickly in the playoffs. Although consoling disappointment with historical quotes might not be recommended therapy, the lesson from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” quote applies to all of us no matter our venture, and bears repeating again this year.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Congratulations and all due credit to our students, coaches, teachers, staff, parents and administrators who strive valiantly, dare greatly, and know the great enthusiasms and great devotions of a worthy cause.

Alumni Alert – James Stone

The North Sports Report visited Neyland Stadium in Knoxville this week and witnessed an outstanding offensive line performance, anchored by 2010 Maplewood graduate James Stone, the starting center for the Tennessee Vols. Every offensive play begins in the hands of the former Panther. Outstanding!

Football Playoffs – Second Round: November 9, 2012

MNPS has three football teams in the second round and all playing nearby this Friday night. In the Class 4A playoffs, the Maplewood Panthers travel north to face White House. In the Class 5A playoffs, the Hillsboro Burros head to Sumner County to square off with Beech. And, the Overton Bobcats travel just down the road to Brentwood High in the Class 6A playoffs.

This is a great week to show your support and go to a game.

Hoops Time!

The 22nd Annual Metro Basketball Jamboree – or as the North Sports Report calls it, Hoops-apallooza – tips off the basketball season this week.

On Thursday November 8 at Antioch – Glencliff Colts play East Nashville Eagles starting at 5:00pm; McGavock Raiders play Pearl-Cohn Firebirds at 6:30pm; and host Antioch Bears play CPA at 8:00pm.

On November 9 at Hillwood – Hillsboro Burros play Whites Creek Cobras starting at 5:00pm; Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights play Harpeth Hall at 6:30pm; Hume-Fogg Blue Knights play Nashville Christian at 7:15pm; and host Hillwood Hilltoppers play MLK Royals starting at 8:00pm.

On November 10 at Maplewood – Stratford Spartans play Cane Ridge Ravens starting at 5:00pm; Hunters Lane Warriors play Lipscomb starting at 6:30pm; and host Maplewood Panthers play Overton Bobcats starting at 8:00pm.

This is your chance to get the first glimpse of the MNPS Super-Hoopsters! Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Knowing the Triumph of High Achievement


The Academy of Public Service students at Whites Creek High and the Law Academy students at Cane Ridge High got a lesson from the top this week! The students had the privilege of hearing from Judge Alberto Gonzales, the former highest ranking law enforcement official in the U.S.

Judge Gonzales, the 80th Attorney General of the United States and the first Hispanic U.S. Attorney General, now practices law at Waller in Nashville. He also teaches and holds the position of Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law at the Belmont University College of Law. He spoke to the students about law and public service and possible careers in those fields.

Judge Gonzalez Whites Creek and Cane Ridge 2012

Dr. Jesse Register, Judge Alberto Gonzales, former Attorney General of the U.S., Dr. James Bailey III, Executive Principal of Whites Creek High School, Dr. Michelle Wilcox, Lead Principal, and Bill Warren, education consultant


Photo courtesy of Rick Malkin



Nashville youth have a new outlet to share their voices, and a chance to help the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The center invites all interested students to submit an entry - in the form of an essay, poem, spoke-word/rap lyrics, or work of art. The deadline is Monday, Dec. 10. Contestants will compete for cash prizes and the chance to showcase their work as part of the university-wide celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.


Mayor Karl Dean made a pit stop at Old Center Elementary Nov. 1 to read to kindergarten students in recognition of National Family Literacy Day. The Mayor read the book “What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot.” All kindergarten students also received a copy of the book.

While there, the Mayor also shared some exciting news about Limitless Libraries. So far this year, the online program has circulated nearly 25,000 items! According to the Mayor’s Office, this is a nearly 4,000 percent increase since 2010-11, when Limitless Libraries first launched. The program has grown from offering services to 54 schools during the 2011-12 school year to 128 schools this year.


A call to artists is being issued for an Antioch High School art exhibition being Academies of Antioch logodeveloped as a project of Academies initiative of the Metro Nashville Public Schools.   The exhibition, entitled Frist Antioch Community Exhibition (F.A.C.E), invites artists of all ages, in all genres, from all areas of the city, to explore the theme IDENTITY from personal visual perspectives.  The exhibition will open at Antioch High School Jan. 31, 2013.


More students graduated from Metro Nashville Public Schools in 2012, according to state figures released today in the 2012 Report Card. The district’s graduation rate rose by 2.2 percentage points, up from 76.2 to 78.4 percent of students graduating in four years.

“Our goal is for every child who enrolls in our schools to earn a high school diploma,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “We are working hard across all grade levels to help students realize that goal and I am pleased to see continual improvement in our graduation rate.

“Achievement scores are up and our value-added scores compare well to state averages. We saw some improvement in our letter grades and expect more in the future.”

The percentage does not include students who require more than four years and a summer to graduate. Many students, including some English Learners and students with disabilities, need more time to complete the graduation requirements.

“As a community, we claim every graduate as a success even if students need a little more time than the state’s calculation allows,” said Register.

Metro Schools has focused on programs that allow students to learn in more personalized schools designed to fit their interests and educational needs.

Increases in the graduation rate are the result of many factors, including the success of the Academies of Nashville in zoned schools, the addition of magnet schools and specialized schools such as MNPS Virtual High School, Nashville Big Picture, Middle College High, the Academies at Old Cockrill, Hickory Hollow and Opry Mills, and the district’s data review, school improvement and support programs. Metro Schools’ employees at the middle school and elementary school levels are working to identify and address early indicators that students are at risk for dropping out.

The 2012 Report Card includes district data on the event dropout rate. The report shows an increase to 8.8 percent from the 2.3 percent reported in 2011. The state is using a new calculation to determine this rate. The district has asked the state for a list of students to cross-check against district records to develop an apples-to-apples, year-to-year comparison.

“Erin O’Hara and the data quality team at the Tennessee Department of Education have been very helpful,” added Register.

The Report Card for Metro Schools includes achievement and accountability data originally released in July. The district showed growth in achievement among all subgroups of students last year, placing the district in intermediate status - the second highest accountability category.

Under this new accountability framework, the top-performing districts are “Exemplary” while the bottom performing districts are in two “In Need of Improvement” categories; the remaining districts are in an intermediate category. Tennessee’s new accountability system replaces No Child Left Behind’s Annual Yearly Progress measures. Rather than expecting all districts to meet the same benchmarks year after year, the new system acknowledges that districts are starting from different places and rewards those that show the most growth. Under the new system, approximately 43% of districts were categorized as “In Need of Improvement” or “In Need of Subgroup Improvement.”

“These results show thousands more Metro Nashville students are performing at higher levels,” Register said. “Tennessee standards are among the highest in the country and this new accountability system is real and is holding districts to standards that are difficult, but attainable.

“The growth we have seen this year is the result of hard work, changes to instructional practice, professional development for principals and teachers, and meeting our students’ diverse needs. We want to accelerate that growth at all levels and close achievement gaps.”


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Who Says Nobody’s Perfect? News from the Alley

Cane Ridge Super-Bowler Aaron Ruiz had the state’s highest per game average last season, and he added to his accomplishments this week with a perfect 300 game. What? Are you kidding me? Seriously…strike after strike after strike after…well, you get the idea. We have a legend of the alley at Cane Ridge. Roll on, Ravens!

Cross-Country: Region Champs…Taking on the State

The North Sports Report was eavesdropping on a conversation at a football game recently and overheard several coaches and administrators describing a young cross country star from Cane Ridge High School: “She finishes her race, goes to visit with her family and friends, gets out a snack, sits down, and then the second place runner comes into view.” Exaggeration? Nope! Unbelievable? Believe it! Cane Ridge Sophomore Bailee Dean won the Region Championship by over 53 seconds. I would say the competition was eating dust, but she was so far in front, the dust settled before second place could dine on it.

In Boys’ individual competition, MLK’s Sam Klockenkemper (the defending state champion) won the Region championship.

The State Championship Meet is Saturday November 4 at the Percy Warner Park Steeplechase course here in Nashville. MLK’s Boys and Girls teams and Hume-Fogg’s Boys and Girls teams qualified for the state. Glencliff’s Dag Bahiru and Hillsboro’s Gabriela Herrera also qualified for the state meet.

Good luck to all the runners!

Football Friday Night…It’s Playoff Time

The regular season ended for the North Sports Report in grand style. While at Cane Ridge for the rivalry game with Antioch, I visited dignitaries like school board chair Cheryl Mayes, benefited from the hospitality of Principal Wall, and rocked to the halftime show provided by the greatest college marching band on the planet, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands! Oh, and it was a great football game too.

TSU Band at Cane Ridge Game
TSU’s Aristocrat of bands prepares to take the field at Cane Ridge High School

This week begins the Road to Cookeville. I40 East? No, the TSSAA State Football Playoffs, and MNPS has six teams looking to advance.

Have you seen Antioch stars Raekwon Hosey, Moses Cornelius, and Tyler Bumbalough, or Hillsboro tailback Robert Kelley and kicker/punter Joseph Occhipinti? The first round of the playoffs is your chance as the Antioch Bears host the Hillsboro Burros in the only playoff game with two MNPS teams facing each other.

In other playoff action:

  • Maplewood Panthers host Crockett County;

  • District Champion Cane Ridge Ravens host Riverdale;

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Dickson County; and

  • Overton Bobcats travel to Arlington.

The MNPS home playoff games are at Antioch; at Maplewood; and at Cane Ridge. Support a team this week!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Perfection


Hey art teachers! The Nossi College of Art has something for you.

Help them design a new tote bag and you could win $500 in art supplies for your classroom.

Full details:

Nossi College of Art believes an arts education is important for all high school students. Because of this, Nossi is hosting Art Makes Cent$, a contest open to all Middle Tennessee art teachers! Win and you will receive a Nossi College of Art goody bag plus a $500 gift card to Plaza Art Materials to help buy art supplies for your classroom.

  • During the 2012/2013 school year, admissions rep Gerald Graves will be contacting Middle Tennessee high school art teachers to participate in Art Makes Cent$.

  • Art teachers should design their Nossi recycled bag, take a picture of the finished design and send the picture to Libby Funke, LFunke@nossi.edu, before March 15, 2013.

  • Photos will be posted to Facebook on March 25, 2013. The contest will run for 2 weeks. Fans from Nossi College of Art’s Facebook page will be asked to vote on their favorite design. The teacher with the most ‘likes’ will receive a $500 gift card to Plaza Art Materials. Use this money to buy art supplies for your classroom!

Want to make sure you receive a Nossi recycled bag? Contact Gerald to schedule a visit with your classroom!

615/514.2787 or GGraves@nossi.edu


Gateway Donation from Schneider Electric

Gateway Elementary School students and staff are feeling the love from Schneider Electric Company. Chad Lloyd, a representative of the company, made a special trip to the school Oct. 30 to hand deliver a check for $2,750! Students gave Lloyd a set of personally drawn "thank you" owls. Check out the photos.



The Tennessee Department of Education wants to know what you think about the climate of schools in Tennessee. Parents and students are invited to participate here; the survey will close Dec. 21.



The 32nd Annual Christmas Craft Fair at McGavock High School will be on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sponsored by the McGavock Orchestra Parents Association, the fair features hand-made and quality goods from more than 80 crafters, musical performances by McGavock Area Strings students, a Silent Auction, and free admission. The fair is all indoors and handicapped-accessible. There will be a food booth sponsored by the McGavock HS Cheerleaders!  For more information, see www.mcgavockorchestra.com  or  www.mcgavockcraftfair.org .


Engineering students in Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of Science and Engineering participated in the Engineers Day competitions on Thursday, Oct. 25.  The group of 10 teams took a special field trip to Knoxville and held their own in the state competition that consisted of more than 100 teams. Of the 10 Stratford teams, two placed in the top 10!

Congratulations to:
8th Place – Joshua H., Micah H.

10th Place – Austin F., Benton M., Blake S., Ohaige W.

21st Place – Christian M., Andre J., Casey S.

25th Place – Tristen F., Jonathan S., Karalyn C., Hallie C.

45th Place – Melanie H., Michael I., Quang N., Joseph U.

Also during the Engineers Day competions, Stratford aspiring engineers Logan A. and Dustin P. received honorable mentions for their performance in the Balsa Wood Bridge Competition. The contestants were asked to construct two bridges that could hold the greatest amount of sand.  Logan’s bridge was able to hold a mass of 11.2 kilograms before failing while Dustin’s bridge held 25 kilograms before failure.


There’s no better time than now to start planning for the future, and Hillsboro High leaders want their students to do just that! The school is hosting a college fair Thursday, Nov. 1. Representatives from the United States Army, Art Institute of Nashville, Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, Cumberland University, International Academy of Design & Technology, ITT Tech, Lipscomb University, Marine Corps, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, United States Navy, Nossi College of Art, Oasis College Connection, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, Tennessee Tech University, TN Technology Center at Nashville, Trevecca Nazarene, Tusculum College, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Volunteer State Community College, Watkins College of Art & Design, and Western Kentucky University will help students explore their post-secondary options and plan their next steps.


The Wright/Glencliff Mariachi classes made their debut performance during a special field trip to Cheekwood Saturday, Oct. 27. According to leader Alan Lambert, “Not only were the students enthusiastic, but they did a great job performing for the first time in front of their friends and family on the steps of Glencliff High School!” Lambert said after the performance, the group visited Cheekwood Gardens for the Dia de los Muertos event. There students interacted with local mariachis, decorated sugar skulls, and took in the sights, sounds and smells of the beautiful gardens and special exhibits. “For most students and parents, this was their first time at Cheekwood, but it won’t be their last,” said Lambert.

Mariachi debut performance 2012


For two weeks in late October and early November, several Metro Schools opened their doors to about 20 Chinese principals and education leaders from the Guangdong Province in South China. The delegation was the eighth cohort of participants for the Education Leadership Learning Exchange (ELLE), a collaborative partnership between Vanderbilt University, South China Normal University, and Metro Nashville Public Schools. 

Click 'Read More' to see photos from their visit.


Spencer TaylorDuring a phone call just after being hired, Spencer Taylor had to cut off his new boss.

“I’m sorry to cut this short, but I have to go. Our schools are serving tilapia today, and I don’t want it to be overcooked.”

This isn’t your average school lunch chief.

The newly named Director of Nutrition Services was still working at Birmingham City Schools at the time, and had a job to do: serve healthy fish to school kids – and make it taste good.

Now that he’s in Nashville, Taylor is ready to feed tens of thousands of students at more than 140 schools. He certainly has the credentials. He is a registered and licensed dietician who has worked everywhere from restaurants to medical facilities to the U.S. Army Reserves.

“I’m an active person with a strong interest in health and wellness,” he says. “I want to serve our students tasty meals with high nutritional value.”

So what does he like? What kind of food person is he? Here are five facts about Spencer Taylor:

  1. Favorite Foods: Crisp apples, peanut butter, and dark chocolate

  2. Favorite Food to Cook: Whole wheat pancakes for my children

  3. Favorite TV Chef/Food Show: Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri

  4. Foods You Want to See on Metro Schools Menus: Fresh green salads daily and more seafood

  5. Hardest Part of Cooking 12 Million Meals a Year: Consistency from school to school, varied customer tastes, and finding the best recipes


Rose Park Math and Science Magnet Middle School won the highly coveted SCORE Prize, a statewide award that recognizes dramatic improvement in student achievement. Rose Park won in the middle school division.

Click to read the official news release issued by SCORE.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Mascots are Super Cool …or…What’s in a Name?

The North Sports Report has always secretly wanted to be a team mascot. (Oops, not a secret anymore). Anyway, I really enjoyed the antics of the Overton Bobcat Friday night. Decked out in his Breast Cancer Awareness pink shirt, the Bobcat was the ultimate embodiment of school spirit. After several inquiries, I discovered the Bobcat does not yet have an official name, and Principal Pelham is considering assigning that question to Overton students during basketball season. When presented with my two suggested names (Johhny O’Cat; or Robert), Principal Pelham displayed the patience and understanding of a hall of fame school administrator, and replied: “I think we’ll let the students decide.” Wise decision Dr. Pelham.

Overton Bobcat

Freshman Football Championship

Congratulations to the Pearl-Cohn Freshman football team who prevailed in a hard fought championship game against the runner-up Antioch Bears. I have a feeling the next few years will see many North Sports Reports about these two teams. Congratulations to all our freshmen who participated in fall sports!

Football Friday…Regular Season Finale October 26, 2012

It does not get any bigger than this week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week. The biggest game of the year, bar none, will be played in southeast Davidson County when the Antioch Bears take the short jaunt down the road to face the home-standing Cane Ridge Ravens for the District 12AAA championship. Let’s check the Big Game Checklist for confirmation… Rivalry…check; schools are nearby neighbors…check; Playoff position on the line…check; championship on the line…check; two hungry teams…check. Don’t miss this one!

In other action:

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Hillwood Hilltoppers with both teams having a shot at the playoffs;

  • East Nashville Eagles host Whites Creek Cobras;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel to Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros play at home against Centennial;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host CPA; and

  • Stratford Spartans travel to Lipscomb.

Overton Bobcats and Maplewood Panthers have completed the regular season and hope to play in the playoffs next week.

The MNPS home games are at Cane Ridge; at Hillwood; at East Nashville (played at TPS); at Glencliff; at Hillsboro; and at Pearl-Cohn. Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Ultimate Embodiment of School Spirit


Planning a trip to your child’s school for the Nov. 6 Parent Teacher Conference Day? Learn a few tips from long-time educators that will help you get the most our of your meeting.   


McKissack Middle School and Paragon Mills Elementary are this year’s big winners in the Healthy Classroom Challenge sponsored by the Office of Coordinated School Health and United Way during Child Health Week. The goal of the challenge was to demonstrate in a two-minute video how teachers and students incorporate physical activity into their daily classroom routine. Angela Lyles and Barbara Laifer and their classes got creative with a Family Fued-style competition at McKissack and a Feelin’ Good Dance Party at Paragon Mills. 

For their winning projects, each teacher was awarded an iPod Nano and $100 gift certificate.  The students were awarded a healthy snack celebration along with a United Way t-shirt, lunch bag, water bottle and football. Congratulations to all of the participants!


Nicholas W. represented Hillwood H.S. Culinary Arts at the annual SFT Awareness Chili Cookoff that took place on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Crieve Hall Church of Christ.  Nick took 1st place in the spicy category. Congratulations Nick!

Hillwood Chili Cookoff Winner



A group of 25 principals from China observed classes and toured the John Early campus Wednesday morning. They were part of an exchange that had hosted several Nashville administrators. John Early served as one of four schools that the group visited over the course of the day. After sitting in on lessons on creative writing, the Underground Railroad, and algebra the administrators met with a panel of parents and museum partners for a Q & A session. The museum theme and process were of particular interest to the delegation who observed examples of learning and student-created exhibits.

Chinese Principals pose with John Early Faculty


Metro Schools has received a $750,000 grant to support social and emotional learning (SEL) for students. The grant announcement comes just months after MNPS was selected to participate in the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Collaborating Districts Initiative, a three-year collaboration of eight school districts that aims to support the social and emotional growth of students.


The Exceptional Education Family Advisory Council in conjunction with the MNPS Department of Exceptional Education will be holding meetings to inform the community of the move towards inclusive education in MNPS. Families are invited to attend any of the following meetings:

  • October 29 – Antioch Community Center, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

  • November 1 – West Precinct Police Station, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

  • November 5 – MNEA building, 12:30 - 2 p.m.

  • November 13 – Carter Lawrence Elementary School, 6:30 - 8 p.m.


Oliver Middle School’s chorus recently performed at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center for the Regions Free Day of Music, an event created to showcase talent in the Nashville community. Oliver was the only middle school group selected to perform!

According to choral teacher Franklin Willis, “our students have risen to a new level of artistry. I am extremely proud of the quality performances the students had yesterday. Each concert we continue to display great vocal technique, expressive singing, stage presence, and focused energy on the stage. With each performance, the students are taking ownership/pride in their accomplishments, thus making them true musicians in their own right.”

Oliver Middle School at Regions Free Day of Music 2012


Roughly 5,000 MNPS freshmen took a break from the books to attend the fourth annual Career Exploration Fair. The event, sponsored by Shoneys, showcased hundreds of careers in the business and non-profit sectors as well as higher education opportunities. Students were responsible for visiting multiple booth and interviewing representatives. They also had a chance to get their hands on actual projects and interactive learning displays


Gra-Mar Middle School is opening its doors to all for a special Pancake Breakfast! Saturday, Oct. 27, from 8 - 10 a.m., you are invited to join students and staff in the school cafeteria for a stack of pancakes paired with sausage or bacon. Cost is $5. Proceeds will benefit the Gra-mar cheerleaders.


The inaugural 1st Choice Festival was a big hit, and the proof is in the pictures! Metro Police Officers onsite estimated between 5,000 and 6,000 guests were in attendance!

Learn more about your school options and how to apply.

A big thank you to all of the schools, district leaders, and community members who made the night possible. We also appreciate the support of our event sponsors who made the night possible: Anchor Trailways & Tours, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Comcast, Coca-Cola Consolidated Bottling Company, Gaylord Entertainment, Ingram Industries, Kroger, Metro Water Services, Nashville Electric Service, RG Anderson, The Memorial Foundation, The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Tractor Supply Company, Vanderbilt University and WSMV-TV.


The students and staff at Chadwell Elementary School are back home! After spending the past year and a half in a different location while the building was renovated, the school officially cut the ribbon on the new and improved facility. Mayor Karl Dean, Congressman Jim Cooper, Chancellor Perkins, Dr. Register, Councilwoman Karen Bennett, Board Representative Jill Speering and a number of other key community leaders were present to celebrate the reopening.

Also on hand to help with the celebration were the Showstoppers out of Maplewood High School. The young jazz band played several hits during a post-ceremony reception.

Faculty, staff and students will enjoy a new entrance and lobby area, additions to the library and art room, and a cafeteria expansion. The school also received four additional kindergarten classrooms, new cabinets, white boards and task boards. The entire building now has an energy efficient heating and cooling system along with energy efficient lighting. Chadwell Elementary is currently seeking LEED certification for its school. If the school receives certification, Chadwell Elementary will be the fourth elementary LEED certified school in MNPS.

Click 'READ MORE' for photos.


West End Middle School’s Giant Yard Sale Is October 27th! 

Proceeds from this huge sale will support West End International Baccalaureate World School and its wonderful arts, science, music and athletics programs.

Anyone can donate items to the sale - new or gently used furniture, household items, clothing, Halloween costumes, shoes, books, toys, bikes, athletic equipment, electronics.  All items must be clean and in good working order.  Drop off dates will be Sat. and Sun. October 20 and 21 from 9:00 to noon each day; Thurs., Oct. 24 from 8-10 am; 4-6 pm and Friday, Oct. 25 from 8 am to 7 pm.

Sale hours on Saturday, October 27 will be 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. Cash, checks or credit cards will be accepted.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and at Brick Church Middle School students showed their support by wearing pink and white and forming a human ribbon. Many of the students and faculty have friends or family members who have been affected by cancer, and the school wanted to show the community that they have not forgotten their struggle.  

More than 150 students and faculty members participated in the human ribbon. According to Principal Chirelle Jefferson, “this is a wonderful testament to teamwork, cooperation, and working towards a single goal.”

Brick Church Middle School Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Here's a fun way to end the week:  Christopher Blackmon, Jr. isn't afraid to show his love for his Metro School!

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Four MNPS seniors who are enrolled in the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt are gaining national recognition. The students are semifinalists in the national Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology.

Congratulations to:

Zachary A., of Hume-Fogg. Zachary completed the project “Reflection and Transmission Measurements at Variable Incidence Angles of a Zero” under the supervision of mentor Jason Valentine, Ph. D. (Mechanical Engineering).

Abhinav G., of Hume-Fogg. Abhinav completed the project “Culturing of Neurons on Graphene Transistors for High Resolution Scanning of Processes” under the supervision of mentor Qi Zhang, Ph. D. (Pharmacology).

Jacob S., of Hume-Fogg. Jacob completed the project “Examining sequences that stimulate telomere addition following DNA double-strand breaks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae” under the supervision of mentor Katherine Friedman, Ph. D. (Biological Sciences).

Busra G., of Martin Luther King, Jr. Busra completed the project “Uncovering the Role of TGFβ and BMP in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Stem Cells” under the supervision of mentor Hal Moses, M. D. (Cancer Biology).

Siemens named 322 semifinalists representing 32 states and an international school in South Korea. Tennessee has 10 semifinalists.


Glencliff High School is hosting a Fall Festival for the entire community. The festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Families will be able to participate in a Ford driving challenge, as well as enjoy food trucks, an art sale, basketball, free books, and more. The event is free!

Glencliff Community Fall Festival 


Stratford High School is hosting a Community Health Fair for all in the East Nashville community. Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. - noon, families will have access to free health screenings, healthy cooking demonstrations, and much more. The event is free!

Stratford Health Fair 2012


Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and the Maplewood High School football team are leading the Maplewood community in a neighborhood walk, Monday, Oct. 22, at 2:30 p.m., immediately after school dismisses. The walk will begin at the flagpole in front of the school. This event is in celebration of the Mayor's WALK 100 miles challenge. Nashvillians who walk 100 miles by the end of 2012 will receive a free congratulatory t-shirt.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

It’s the Time of the Season for…Playoffs and Championships

Pressure packed games with the end of the season hanging in the balance… in a flash your season and high school career could be …done. All the years of hard work and sacrifice culminate in this moment when student-athletes compete with it all on the line. It’s playoff time.

Championship Game: Freshman Football – the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds visit the Antioch Bears with the Ninth Grade City Championship on the line today at 4:00pm.

Championship Game: Girls Soccer – Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights play CPA for the District 9AA Championship tonight at 6:00pm.

Championship Game: Girls Soccer – Antioch Lady Bears and the McGavock Lady Raiders play tonight for the District 12AAA Championship.

Sectionals: Volleyball – Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights have reached the Sweet Sixteen in the state and visit Page tonight at 7:00pm with the chance to qualify for the State Championship tournament.

Shout Out on National TV from an NFL Star

Two weeks in a row, Glencliff graduate Tim Dobbins played on national television – Monday Night Football on ESPN one week and Sunday night on NBC the next week. On Sunday, each member of the starting defense introduced himself, and the starting linebacker for the Houston Texans said: “Tim Dobbins…Linebacker… Glencliff High School” Whoop Whoop for the Glencliff Colts!

TSSAA Reclassification

The TSSAA examines enrollment every four years and realigns its member schools into six classifications for football and three classifications for the other sports. The TSSAA announced this week the new classifications for every school in the state and will align the various districts next week. It is possible that MNPS schools will change districts, and that rivalries will be disturbed or created by the realignment. Frankly, the North Sports Report does not expect much change, but will examine the districts after the TSSAA makes the final decisions. Stay tuned…

Football Friday: October 19, 2012

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week pits two teams on a roll after notching impressive victories last week – the East Nashville Eagles travel to Nick Coutras Stadium to face the Overton Bobcats.

In other action:

  • Both teams are playing for playoff position when the Hillwood Hilltoppers visit Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • Hillsboro Burros travel east of the river to Buster Boguskie Field to play the red hot Stratford Spartans;

  • Maplewood Panthers travel over Monteagle (a beautiful drive this time of year) to Chattanooga to play Boyd-Buchanan;

  • Antioch Bears host Columbia; and

  • McGavock Raiders host Goodpasture.

Glencliff Colts, Hunters Lane Warriors, Pearl-Cohn Firebirds, and Whites Creek Cobras will rest up during their bye week and prepare for next week’s regular season finale.

The MNPS home games are at Overton; at Cane Ridge; at Stratford; at Antioch; and at McGavock.

All games start at 7:00pm except Maplewood’s game which starts at 6:30pm central time (7:30pm local Chattanooga time).

Enjoy a game this week!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Competing When It’s All on the Line


Fahrner Crystal StarWhether it’s blowing a bullhorn or helping secure internships, Elaine Fahrner sends daily reminders to her students that she will do whatever it takes to help them graduate. Since the Academy at Old Cockrill first opened in 2009, Fahrner has recruited hundreds of students to her school and given them the knowledge and skills they need to graduate and succeed. Oct. 16, in recognition of her efforts, Fahrner received the Crystal Star Award at the National Dropout Prevention Center national conference.


"Every student who walks through our doors has potential and deserves a chance,” said Fahrner. “That's what our Academies do. We give them another chance to learn, and we give them a chance to succeed."


The Crystal Star Award identifies and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the mission of the National Dropout Prevention Network (NDPN). Individuals and programs are recognized for outstanding work each year.


In addition to receiving the national honor, Fahrner was also a key presenter at the conference. She, along with colleagues Carmon Brown and Billy Fellman, shared best practices and strategies with other educators from around the nation. Their presentation focused on the successes of The Academy at Hickory Hollow, Old Cockrill and Opry Mills - Fellman is principal at Hickory Hollow, Brown at Opry Mills. The three schools have collectively graduated more than 1,000 students since they opened in 2009.


Hickman Breakfast in Classroom 2012No cafeteria lines in the morning at Hickman Elementary; the students are having their first meal in the classroom! The school was the first in the district to implement Breakfast in the Classroom, a new-age approach to making sure students start their day off with a healthy, fulfilling meal. Each class gets a special cooler (donated by SUDIA and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture) on wheels that a student totes to the classroom. Students serve themselves as they enter the classroom, then enjoy breakfast with their friends.

According to Principal Dr. Critchlow, the teachers were nervous at first. They worried
students would be messy and their classrooms would smell. Turns out,Hickman Breakfast in Classroom 2012 2 the opposite is true. Students are attentive and responsible, and the teachers now actually lobby in support of the program!

On the Monday after fall break, students shared their beloved program with special guests including TN Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson, MNPS Nutrition Services Director Spencer Taylor, MNPS Chief Operating Officer Fred Carr, several local dairy farmers, and former Tennessee Titan Blaine Bishop. The group toured the school, heard from teachers, and watched as students enjoyed their Monday morning Breakfast in the Classroom!


First Choice Festival - October 18 at 4:30pm at McGavock High School

 The inaugural 1st Choice Festival is this Thursday, Oct. 18, at McGavock High School! Join us to explore our school options, meet representatives from more than 120 schools, and learn about the new optional school application process. Presentations will be held throughout the evening in the CTE Room, Auditorium, and Classroom 160.

Download the event flyer in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Kurdish Bandini.

See a list of all participating schools

Here is the list of presentations:

4:30     Application Process, auditorium

4:30     Pre-Kindergarten, Room 160

5:00     A word from the top (Dr. Register, Mayor Dean), auditorium

5:30     Proceso de applicar (espanol), CTE Room

5:30     Advanced Academics: AP, IB, AICE, Room 160

5:30     Building a Strong Foundation for Learning, auditorium

6:00     Paideia Schools: Rigorous Liberal Arts, Room 160

6:00     Success in Middle School: our approach and priorities, auditorium

6:00     Finding Your Fit: Thematic Magnet Schools, CTE Room

6:30     The Academies of Nashville, Room 160

6:30     Everything you need to know about IEPS in 30 minutes, CTE Room

6:30     The Key to Academic Success: Involved parents!, auditorium

6:50     Application Process, auditorium

Parking is available at McGavock. Additional parking will be available at The Donelson Fellowship, Two Rivers Middle School, and Opry Mills near Bass Pro Shops. An AnchorTrailways shuttle will run a loop to each site.


Kirkpatrick Enhanced Option Elementary School is ending fall break on a very high note - the school won the NFL Play 60 DonorsChoose.org Showdown! Pre-K teacher Katie Elam applied for the showdown. She will now receive $1,000 with which she will purchase books, puzzles, posters and stickers that can be used to teach lessons about citizenship and character. Check out the release issued by the Tennessee Titans.


From rockets blasts at Bailey STEM Magnet Middle to hands-on learning at the Farmer's Market for Buena Vista Enhanced Option students, Metro School's first intersession was a success! Students throughout the county volunteered throughout the community, took ACT prep courses, participated in poetry sessions and even learned how to shoot and edit videos with the help of NPT!

Enjoy the pictures -- we'll see you back in school Monday morning!


Robert Churchwell Literacy Night 2012

Families at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet joined together for a fun night of reading.
Literacy Night at Robert Churchwell gives parents an opportunity to share their love of reading with their children, as well as explore new ways to include daily reading activities with children.

Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet caters to the budding storyteller. The museum theme allows students to uncover interesting and unique stories and find creative, meaningful ways to share them. The school benefits from strong community partnerships with Adventure Science Center, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and the Tennessee State Museum.


MNPS students are invited to the Oasis Center’s College Access Explosion, an event designed to show students and their families the opportunities they have after high school. Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., students and their parents are invited to drop by the Oasis Center and visit with college representatives, enjoy good food, prizes, and hear from guest panelists.

This will be a fun, educational family event. It is free to the entire Nashville community; elementary, middle and high school students are welcome to attend.


Maplewood High School is hosting a Latino Festival, Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event will be held on Maplewood’s football field. Guests will enjoy multi-cultural dancing, cuisine, arts, crafts, music, bouncy houses, face painting, informational booths, door prizes, and more. The festival will support the Maplewood Young Latino Leaders Program as well as offer the community a chance to learn about the Latino culture. Admission is $3.00 for adults; children are free. 


Eakin elementary students had a real life visit from their online music hero! Known to his audiences as Quaver, Graham Hepburn dropped in to music teacher Rita Black's class to demonstrate in real life what the students are learning through his online music program. The best part? Channel 4's Terry Bulger caught it all on camera! Check out Quaver with Mrs. Black's class in Bulger's Beat.


Students and staff at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School HumeFogg sign - the sign in front of the building with historical information about the schoolwill become part of history next week as they celebrate the school's 100th birthday. Friday, Oct. 19, from 6 - 8 p.m., the school community will gather for a special birthday celebration that includes cake, punch, school tours, a display of historical archives and a special presentation at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Hume-Fogg is Nashville's first public school. It originally opened as Hume School n 1855 under the direction of Alfred Hume. In its early years, the school served students grades K-12. In 1874, the upper grades were moved to Fogg School, which sat on an adjoining lot. In 1912, the schools were replaced by Hume-Fogg, as it remains today.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Monday Night Boogie

Are you ready for some….hey, that’s Glencliff graduate Tim Dobbins playing linebacker for the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football! After an all-state career at Glencliff, Tim was an all Big 12 performer for the Iowa State Cyclones, was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and is in his seventh season in the NFL playing linebacker for the undefeated Texans. He had four tackles Monday night and will start this week against the Green Bay Packers. Tim and his Houston teammates visit LP Field to face the Titans on December 2.

Over the River and Through the Woods…Cross-Country

The cross country season culminates in the state championship meet at the Steeplechase course here in Nashville on November 3. MNPS will have several runners and teams vying for state championships that day. Starting times for MNPS runners are 1:00pm for AAA Girls; 1:45 for AAA Boys; 2:30 for AA Girls and 3:15 for AA Boys. Dig deep…finish strong…cross country!

Football Friday…October 12, 2012

Last Friday, The North Sports Report took a date to the Pearl-Cohn vs. Whites Creek football game, and I am here to tell you that high school football is an ideal date night. What? You don’t believe me? Well, let’s check the “great date” rubric. Entertainment …check. Music performed by talented musicians …check. Reasonably priced…check. Nachos, grilled hamburgers etc… check. Sitting close to your spouse on a cool autumn evening…check. The North Sports Report is a hopeless romantic…hopeless indeed.

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week is at Glencliff as the Colts welcome alumni to homecoming and face the visiting McGavock Raiders.

In other action:

  • Overton Bobcats travel to Antioch Bears for an old time rivalry game with district title implications;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Brentwood;

  • East Nashville Eagles travel to Hunters Lane Warriors for Hunters Lane’s Senior Night;

  • Stratford Spartans host Maplewood Panthers;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to Lipscomb; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras celebrate Senior Night as they host CPA.

Hillwood Hilltoppers and Cane Ridge Ravens do not play this week.

The MNPS home games are at Glencliff; at Antioch; at Hillsboro; at Hunters Lane; at Stratford; and at Whites Creek. Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Digging Deep and Finishing Strong


Kirkpatrick Enhanced Option Elementary needs your help! Katie Elam's blended preschool class is in the running for the NFL PLAY 60 DonorsChoose.org Showdown. The class will be matched up against a school around Pittsburg, the Titans Week Six Thursday Night Football opponent.

Click here for a video of Elam and her adorable class.


Rosebank Elementary School teacher Melanie Childs received a big surprise this week, all in effort to "make her day better". Reps from AdoptAClassroom.org and OfficeMax surprised the second grade teacher with $1,000 as a part of the “A Day Made Better” initiative.

This is a one-day event that awards more than 1,000 teachers across the country with more than $1,000 in school supplies, and brings attention to the issue of teacher-funded classrooms.


Have on old bicycle that runs great but is taking up coveted space in your garage? Or maybe one your kids have outgrown? Hands on Nashville and the Oasis Center have teamed up and want to take them off your hands with ReCYCLE for Kids, a new project that aims to redistribute pre-loved kids’ bikes (20” wheels and smaller). Bikes will be collected, refurbished, and given to economically disadvantaged youth who benefit from the services of the Oasis Center. See flyer for more details.


Rose Park Magnet Middle School is up for quite an honor; the school is one of three middle schools in Tennessee in the running for the second annual SCORE Prize. Winners will be announced Monday, Oct. 8, at the Ryman Auditorium. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m.

The award recognizes one school at each tier, as well as one school district that have shown dramatic improvements in student achievement. If selected, Rose Park will receive $10,000.


From Tennessee’s First Lady Crissy Haslam to News 2 Meteorologist Justin Bruce, Metro elementary school students had some very special guest readers to help celebrate Jump Start’s Read for the Record Day! Thursday, Oct. 4, students throughout Metro joined millions across the nation in reading Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis.

At Neely’s Bend Elementary, the school’s literacy coach Patti Taylor dressed in full character to read to her students. Inglewood students enjoyed a special reading by First Lady Haslam. Justin Bruce read at Napier Enhanced Option, and MNPS Chief Operating Officer Fred Carr shared the story with students at Eakin.


Haynes Donation 2012 - the Alliance for Women and Media and Ford Motor Company presented a donation to Haynes MiddleYoung ladies at Haynes Middle Health/Medical Design Center have a little added incentive to investigate media-related jobs! At an assembly featuring News Channel 5 Anchor Vicki Yates, the school was presented with a special monetary donation from the Alliance for Women and Media and the Ford Motor Company. The Alliance and Ford have partnered to encourage young women to explore careers in media.


Alice Sanford, Latin teacher at Hume-Fogg Magnet, is next week’s News 2 Teacher of the Week! She will be featured during News 2 at 10, Thursday, Oct. 11, and again during the 6am news Friday, Oct. 12.

, Domina Sanford!

(We hope we got that right!)


Students at Croft Middle School stepped back in time to celebrate Harvest Days at the Croft Ladies at Harvest DaysNashville Zoo. This marked the 10th year the school has participated in the celebration that takes visitors back in time.

The actors and singers who entertained the large crowd of visitors at the Croft House included Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Tea Party Girls, The Boys from Bull Run, The Croft Sisters, and many more. Student Anne D. celebrated women’s right to vote with a special song about the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.


Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School English teacher Christopher Dowlen is at the top of his class! Dowlen was recently awarded the Don Jenkins Award for Excellence in the Teaching of English/Language Arts. Up to three teachers from Tennessee are awarded this prestigious honor each year.


It was raining eggs at Head Middle Magnet this week. Students participated in the annual Egg Drop led by 7th grade science teacher Dwayne Hardin. The goal was to build a device that would protect the egg as they were dropped from the top of the gym roof. All students participated and were given a science grade for their projects.

Contraptions of toothpicks, peanut butter, Styrofoam and marshmallows were among the most creative.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Hillsboro Hoopster Commits to Big Blue Tigers

Talk about a bright college future…Hillsboro’s Jamontae Davis has committed to continue his studies and play his college basketball locally at Tennessee State. Looking forward to watching his senior season with the Burros, and then next year, you can check out his show at the Gentry Center.

Alumni Alert – Maplewood Graduate Earns OVC Special Honors

According to the Tennessee Tech website, Tennessee Tech Freshman and 2012 Maplewood graduate Ladarius Vanlier was named Ohio Valley Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after a tremendous performance against Murray State. Ladarius “had 291 all-purpose yards, the fourth-most in school history…returned an OVC-record 11 kickoffs (just one off the NCAA record) for 237 yards (13 yards shy of the OVC record) including a 94-yard touchdown in the second quarter. It marked the sixth-longest return in school history and the ninth-longest kickoff return in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) so far this season. Vanlier also returned one punt for 30 yards and caught four passes for a total of 24 yards.”

Football Time

Last week’s Pearl-Cohn vs. Maplewood game reminded me to always stay to the end. The last two minutes of that game defies description and ended with a game-tying field goal attempt falling just short. Maplewood Principal Ron Woodard and the Panther staff were great hosts as always; the two marching bands electrified the crowd with a battle of the bands halftime show that kept everyone rocking; and the ending of the game …well, “defies description” is the only way to describe it. An awesome night at Maplewood!

Football Thursday October 4, 2012

This week is one of my favorites as we double the fun with games on Thursday and Friday. The North Sports Report has two…count them two…games of the week.

For Thursday’s Game of the Week the North Sports Report will head to McGavock to see the Overton Bobcats visit the McGavock Raiders in a big District 12AAA showdown.

In other action on Thursday:

  • Stratford Spartans travel to East Nashville Eagles in the Pride of the Eastside Throwdown;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Glencliff Colts; and

  • Maplewood Panthers travel to CPA.

MNPS home games on Thursday are at McGavock; at Hillwood; and at East Nashville (played on the TPS campus). Go to a game Thursday night!

Football Friday October 5, 2012

Need more? Of course, you do. The North Sports Reports Friday Night Game of the Week sees the Whites Creek Cobras face the home-standing Pearl-Cohn Firebirds.

In other action on Friday:

  • Antioch Bears take their balanced and powerful running attack to face the Hunters Lane Warriors;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Brentwood; and

  • Cane Ridge Ravens travel to Centennial.

MNPS home games on Friday night are at Pearl-Cohn; at Hunters Lane; and at Hillsboro. Go to a game near you!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Bright College Futures


Efforts to close the achievement gap at four Metro schools will soon get a financial boost from the Tennessee Department of Education. Amqui, Carter-Lawrence Magnet and Ruby Major elementary schools, as well as Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School will receive anywhere from $100,000 - $300,000 to support efforts to improve student learning across the board.


Much to the delight of hundreds of 7th and 8th graders, Tennessee Titans tight end #89 Jared Cook made a surprise appearance at Madison Middle School today! The pro athlete made the trip on behalf of the NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign, sponsored by SUDIA and the American Heart Association. Cook talked about the importance of studying hard, persevering, eating healthy, and getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

The special visit came right in time to celebrate Child Health Week. This year marks the 84th anniversary of Child Health Day, originally started by President Calvin Coolidge. Check out the video. 


Wednesday, Oct. 3, thousands of students, their parents, teachers and school staffs will hit the pavement and walk to school! It's Walk to School Day, an event designed to raise awareness of healthy living, particularly the importance of physical activity for kids, improved air quality, and safer routes for walking and biking. Fifty six Metro Schools will join thousands of educators, students and community members from across the country in this national movement. Cole Elementary will serve as the lead Metro school and will host a special event including MNPS administrators and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.


McGavock High School students in the CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communications will be making their television debut next week! The students recently produced a PSA promoting Metro Schools’ 1st Choice Festival, which will be running on Comcast Cable. If that isn’t cool enough, they will also appear in a special segment on More at Midday, Oct. 4, on Channel 4 News, who is the media sponsor of the 1st Choice Festival. Morning anchor Ian Reitz will be at the festival.

Earlier this week, WSMV sent a producer/photojournalist out to catch up with the students and see why families should make plans to attend the 1st Choice Festival. What students didn’t know was they would actually get to shadow the producer -- help run the camera, set up lights, and make sure audio checked out. Check out some behind the scenes footage from the shoot below as well as the PSA produced by McGavock. 


In a countdown to the 2012 Presidential Race, Gra-Mar Middle School students are learning by doing! The students will participate in a special voting assembly Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m. State Representative Brenda Gilmore and State Senator Joe Haynes will serve as guest speakers. Students will participate in debates and mock electoral voting and winners will be selected for President and Mock Electoral Vote.


Earlier this month, a group of male singers from Overton High School participated in Lipscomb University's Men's Choir Festival. The festival featured Cantus, a famous group of male singers from Minneapolis, along with 250 High School students from 18 different high schools across the state of Tennessee.

Dr. Gary P. Wilson from Lipscomb University led the festival and rehearsed the combined student festival choir with the young men during the day. In the afternoon, the professional men's choir Cantus provided a master class  clinic for local high school men's choirs. In the evening, the festival choir presented a concert prior to the performance by Cantus then joined with the men of Cantus for a grand finale number.

Lipscomb University's Men's Choir Festival


Tuesday, Sept. 25, the chorus departments of W.H. Oliver Middle School, I.T. Creswell Magnet Middle School, and K.I.P.P. Academy took learning outside of the classroom! The student vocal groups participated in Middle School Mass Choir Festival, held at Christ Church. The young vocalists spent the day working with guest conductors and put on a public performance that evening. More than 900 students from public and private schools across middle Tennessee attended.

Creswell Oliver Choir Festival


Five MNPS students have been named semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program! Congratulations to MLK student Mustapha W., and Hume-Fogg students Rukayat A., Jeremy C., Dayja T., and Teaira W. These students are among roughly 1,600 seniors across the country who scored in the highest percentile for the region. They will now compete for more than 800 Achievement Scholarship Awards worth more than $2.5 million. Good luck!


Cane Ridge High School is earning national recognition for its excellence in construction education and research. The school's Academy of Architecture and Engineering was just recognized as an accredited institution by NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research). This accreditation is good for three years.

Cane Ridge teacher Harold Cunningham and Thomas Reed, Associated General Contractors (ACE) of TN, Middle TN Branch, led the charge on making this accreditation possible. ACE is an Academy partner and has devoted a tremendous amount of time and resources to Cane Ridge.

NCCER offers numerous certifications for construction related trades that are sought and recognized nationally.  These are almost always achieved by people entering these fields following high school and/or college. Cane Ridge uses the NCCER curriculum in its construction related classes. With this accreditation, the school can now offer certifications to its Academy students while they are still in high school.


Bryson A., a student at Rose Park Math and Science Magnet, is one of five semifinalists in the SCORE Students Rise to the Challenge competition. Bryson wrote an essay on innovation in the classroom (view it here). Find SCORE on Facebook and vote for Bryson before Tuesday, Oct. 2, and he could be the one of three finalists. If selected, Bryson will go into the final interview round. The three finalists will attend the SCORE Prize event Monday, Oct. 8, at the Ryman Auditorium. Let's make sure Bryson gets a front row seat .... go vote! 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a message for families:  Your child's school cafeteria is a great source of nutritious meals! Check out the letter issued today.

Dear Parent, Guardian:

Your child’s school day just got healthier! School lunches now include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain-rich foods; only fat-free or low-fat milk; “right-size” meals with portions designed for a child’s age; and less saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.  The changes in school meals, the first in 15 years, are based on the latest nutritional guidelines.

Here are some important facts about the new school meals:

  • The new school lunch provides 1/3 of the average daily calorie needs for kids by age.

  • Some highly active students, like athletes, may need more calories. Some schools may offer second helpings of fruits and vegetables.  A second carton of milk may also be an option. Schools can also operate after-school snack and supper programs.  Students and/or sports teams can also bring food from home.

  • In practice, many students are being served the same amounts of protein as before under the new standards.

Your child can learn good habits for life by making healthy food choices and getting proper exercise now. This year is a transition year as schools implement these new standards and work together with parents, to ensure that every child, in every community across America, has access to healthy and nutritious meals.  Encourage them to try new foods and eat the healthy food offered.  Reinforce healthy eating by offering similar new foods at home.

Keep updated on the changes at www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Bowling Season: Set ‘Em Up…Knock ‘Em Down

The time has come for MNPS student-athletes to hang out in the alley…bowling alley that is. Bowling is an exciting combination of an individual and team sport. Did you know that the bowler with last year’s highest per game average in the state resumes his state title hopes for the Cane Ridge Ravens. That’s right, Aaron Ruiz, the best high school bowler in Tennessee, and all other MNPS bowlers are heading down the lane toward a successful bowling season.

Alumni Alert – Volunteer to Save the Day

How about Hillsboro graduate Eric Gordon’s performance Saturday for the Tennessee Volunteers? Eric helped lead the Vols to victory at Neyland Stadium with four tackles and a crucial interception.

Soccer Season Version of Magnet Madness

The North Sports Report attended the girls’ soccer match between the Lady Blue Knights of Hume-Fogg and the Lady Royals of MLK this week. While the action on the field was exciting, the North Sports Report was most impressed with the true school spirit of the fans. The students, body-painted in school colors, brought the stands to life as they banged a drum, encouraged both teams, and all cheered the effort at the end. MNPS students are FANtastic!

Football Friday September 28, 2012

The North Sports Report enjoyed the breezy homecoming night at Antioch last week. It was a beautiful night for football.

Antioch High School Football Team
The Antioch Bears take the field.
Antioch High School Concession Stand
The Wizard of AHS - The Antioch High School concession stand brings the refreshment.

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week is the match-up we have all anticipated as the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds visit the Maplewood Panthers in the game each team hopes will catapult it toward a district title. It promises to be one of the best match-ups of the year! I’ll see you there.

In other action:

  • Glencliff Colts host Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • East Nashville Eagles travel to CPA;

  • Hillsboro Burros travel to Independence;

  • Overton Bobcats welcome Hillwood Hilltoppers;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors cross the river to face McGavock Raiders; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Lipscomb.

Antioch Bears and Stratford Spartans do not play this week.

The MNPS home games are at Maplewood; at Glencliff; at Overton; at McGavock; and at Whites Creek. The students would love to see you at a game this week!

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the the True School Spirit of the Fans


Country Music Hall of Fame LogoThere are so many opportunities for students and families during the fall intersession - both in schools and out in the community. But not all of them offer a FREE glimpse at country music's greatest treasures! 

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is offering free tickets to all MNPS students from October 8 until October 13, with discounted chaperone admission of $12 for the adults (up to two) bringing them in!

More from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:

See all that the museum has to offer, including the limited-run exhibitions: The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country and Patsy Cline: Crazy for Loving You. Take this opportunity to see the summer blockbuster exhibit Taylor Swift: Speak Now, Treasures from the World Tour, before it comes down November 4!

  • Special Intersession admission for a self-guided tour!

    • MNPS students FREE with accompanying adults $12 (up to 2 per student)


    • Pick up a free INTERSESSION ADVENTURE Activity Pack created especially for MNPS students! Activities include:

      • Museum “Artifact Safari” scavenger hunt

      • Taylor Swift: Speak Now, Treasures from the World Tour interactive guide

      • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum souvenirs

      • Take-home puzzles, games, wall poster, and more!

Tickets and Activity Pack are available at the museum box office throughout the week.

Taylor Swift Speak Now Exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame



Tinnel wins ChoppedBring out the Sharpies, Maxwell Elementary has a star on its staff! Cafeteria Manager Cynthia Tinnel proved her incredible skills in the kitchen on the hit reality show "Chopped." Tinnel out-cooked three other school cafeteria managers, taking home $10,000. She also gave the nation a small taste of what it's like to cook for hundreds of students each day. 

Way to go, Cynthia!


IB World SchoolIf you've wondered what all the fuss is about with International Baccalaureate, you'll get answers and then some next Tuesday at Hillsboro High School.

Hillsboro is hosting an IB Information Night for everyone in Nashville to learn more about this presigious, internationally recognized academic program. There will be displays of student projects, sessions about the Middle Years and Diploma IB Programmes, and an in-depth panel discussion about how colleges view an IB diploma.

Come see why Hillsboro cluster schools are the best option for your child. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5:30 p.m. - 7:35 p.m.

Hillboro High School


Like a shopping mall for higher education...

200 colleges and universities will pack the LP Field club level this Thursday, September 27, for College Night 2012! You can speak with representatives from schools, learn about applications, and even find out about financial aid.

It's never too early to start thinking about college, so students and families of all ages are welcome. It's completely FREE to attend and FREE to park!

SEE the list of participating colleges & universities.

Click here to download the College Night 2012 flyer.


Mayor HON 2012More than 2,000 volunteers got their hands dirty this past Saturday as part of the city's single largest day of service. For the 21st annual Hands On Nashville Day, 58 schools benefited from more than 8,000 hours of free labor in the form of landscaping, painting, and cleaning projects. New this year, HON added rain gardens to the list of services. By the end of the day, in partnership with Cumberland River Compact, rain gardens were built at 20 schools to help manage storm water and create a learning opportunity for the students.  


Haywood HON 2012At Haywood Elementary (pictured to the right, photograph by Caroline Price), nearly 100 volunteers spent the day pulling weeds, planting vegetables in the school's garden, painting walls, and more. According to Principal Melanie Schiff, "We are fortunate to have so many staff members who were willing give their time and guide the volunteers as they accomplished so many tasks in such a short period of time."

In a press release issued by HON, CEO Brian Williams said, "Whether volunteers spent their morning building rain gardens, painting cafeterias or beautifying school grounds, their efforts help build a strong community. We continue to be inspired by our neighbors’ willingness to lend time, talents and treasure to serve with Hands On Nashville during this annual event and throughout the year.”


According to Independent Sector research, the time volunteers donated made an estimated $174,320 economic impact, saving Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools significant resources. This is the 11th year Hands On Nashville has partnered with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.


Metro Human Relations Commission Summit

What are you doing for intersession? How would you like to learn real leadership skills alongside Nashville's top leaders?

The Metro Human Relations Commission is hosting a Student Human Relations Summit Tuesday, October 9, for high school students. The summit is designed to teach skills for communication, interaction, and personal leadership by exploring issues and opportunities in human rights and human relations.

The day opens with a meet and greet with Mayor Karl Dean and several members of the Metro Council, and moves on to a great speaker, workshops, and even a youth poetry performance.

If you're interested in taking part, speak with your principal or fill out the application.


Our students' voices will be heard loud and clear... on TV, in movie theaters, in the newspaper, wrapped around city buses and more.

They'll tell the whole city how the Academies of Nashville have impacted them and share their success stories. The ads are designed to encourage students and families to explore their high school options and find the right path for them.

It's an amazing outreach effort, fully paid for and produced by the Ford Motor Company Fund and other amazing Academy partners:

  • The James Stephen Turner Family Foundation

  • The Memorial Foundation

  • Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

  • HCA

  • IBM

  • Bridgestone Firestone

  • Belmont University

  • CMT

  • Caterpillar Financial Services

  • Trevecca Nazarene University

  • The Southwestern Company

  • Rogers Group, Inc.

  • ESA

  • ACE Mentor Program of Greater Nashville, Inc.

  • Hiscall, Inc.

  • LP Corp.

  • Permanent General

We want to give a HUGE thanks to these partners for their generous donations of time and money. Because of them, we'll see these ads all over town!


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

It’s the People that You Meet

The best part about attending MNPS sporting events … great people! Hoping for some wisdom to rub off, the North Sports Report visited with three of MNPS’s great all-time leaders Friday night. Coach Jerry Pigue, the first football coach in the history of Hunters Lane High School (even the field is named “Jerry Pigue Field”); Coach Carlton Collier, the first basketball coach in the history of Hunters Lane; and Colonel Barry Sprouse, longtime Hunters Lane Army ROTC teacher, all attended Friday night’s game at Hunters Lane. In my brief conversations with each, I couldn’t help but appreciate their years of service and the influence each of these great men had on me over the years. Their collective impact on the lives of MNPS students and the city of Nashville is immeasurable. Go to a game…you’ll love it!

Middle School Venue – Isaac Litton Middle

How about a Middle School game? You can’t beat the atmosphere at Isaac Litton Middle School when the Donelson Middle Jets visited the Litton Middle Lions. The newly renovated middle school building in the background combined with the historic feel of the football field and old gym creates a remarkable ambience. And, the scoreboard looks great. By the way, both Donelson and Litton have top-notch cheerleading squads.

Litton Football Score Board

Alumni Alert – Recent Grads…Off to a Great Start

Did you see 2012 McGavock graduate and Vanderbilt freshman Caleb Azubike block a punt in Vandy’s win Saturday? The North Sports Report shouted: “Hey, I know him!”

How about 2012 Maplewood graduate and Tennessee Tech speedster Ladarius Vanlier returning kicks against the number four team in the country? That’s cool!

Football Friday September 21, 2012

Where will the North Sports Report be this week? My guess is… headed southeast to the home of the Antioch Bears as they try to corral the Glencliff Colts. I’ll see you there!

In other action:

  • Cane Ridge Ravens visit McGavock Raiders in the ever popular Wall Bowl! Cane Ridge Principal Michel Wall looks to avenge McGavock’s late game (some would say miraculous) victory in last season’s Wall Bowl that has kept McGavock Principal Robbin Wall bragging throughout the year. Bragging rights take on a whole new meaning when the Principals of each school are married to each other. I want to say it’s just a game, but I know better.

  • East Nashville Eagles will be among the maple trees to face Maplewood Panthers;

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Hillsboro Burros;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers welcome visiting Station Camp;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors head over to face Overton Bobcats;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds take the short trip to MBA; and

  • Stratford Spartans travel to Lawrence County.

The MNPS home games are at Antioch; at McGavock; at Maplewood; at Whites Creek; at Overton; and at Hillwood.

Go to a game!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Wisdom of Great Leaders


Cane Ridge High School and PENCIL Foundation have teamed up to pilot a new College and Career Mentoring program. Freshmen students are paired with mentors who share college and career guidance. The goal is to help students stay on track to graduate and being making plans for what happens after they receive their high school diplomas. Read more here.


Friday, Sept. 21, McGavock High School and Cane Ridge football teams will battle it out in the 2012 Wall Ball - an intense rivalry given the respective principals are husband and wife! McGavock Principal Robin Wall will root for his Raiders while Cane Ridge Principal Michel Wall pulls for her Ravens.


The Nashville Public Library Foundation invites all Davidson County High School students (ages 13-18) to submit a very short story in honor of the 2012 Nashville Public Library Literary Award recipient, Margaret Atwood.

About the contest

Students are asked to write an original and creative story of no less than 5 and no more than 10 sentences inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale or this photo:

The Handmaid's Tale

Three finalists and the winner will be honored at the Literary Award Public Reading on October 27. One winner will receive the grand prize of a Kindle and $50 Amazon gift card. Finalist stories will be published on the Nashville Public Library Foundation website.

 View complete rules and entry guidelines.

Entries will be accepted

September 20 – October 4, 2012

Entries may be submitted online



Mail one printed copy of submission to:

Nashville Public Library Foundation

Essay Contest

615 Church Street

Nashville, TN 37219

Handwritten entries will not be considered. Finalists will be notified beforehand. Winners will be announced at the NPLF Literary Award Public Reading on Saturday, October 27. Contact Stephanie.Koehler@nplf.org with questions.


You may have heard about and executive order from President Obama that will stop deportations of young people under certain conditions.


This executive order means many people will need to access school documents demonstrating they have graduated from high school or are currently enrolled.

  • If you plan to apply for President Obama’s immigration Deferred Action program, please remember that as of now there is no established deadline to apply.

  • We are working hard and have brought in additional staff (3 full-time employees, plus 5 temps and others cycling in from other departments) to handle student record requests.

  • We have also brought in additional equipment to help review the micro film and print transcripts.

  • Even with these additional resources, please understand each request takes 30 to 90 minutes to process. Therefore, please allow 10 business days before each request is completed. With the unprecedented volume we are not able to respond to requests any faster.

  • Records from students who were in school within 3 years should go to their most recent school of record.

  • Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we are working very hard to fill all record requests within 10 business days.


Statement on Tennessee Department of Education’s Decision to Cut Funding to

Metro Nashville Public Schools

Funding supports district’s 81,000 children


September 18, 2012


This morning, the district first heard from the State Department of Education about its decision to cut the Metro Schools Basic Education Program allocation by almost $3.4 million in October. We are very disappointed.


BEP is a funding formula and not a spending plan, so there are no funds earmarked for "administrative costs."  The BEP formula for non-classroom expenses includes utilities, student transportation, maintenance and other things that directly affect our 81,000 students and 5,000 classrooms. None of these items are in any way linked to charter school approval processes.


We do not yet have a plan on how we will respond to this disruptive mid-year cut. Our priority will always be to give the best education to our students with the resources we have. Budget amendments require action by the Metro Nashville Board of Education.


Metro Nashville has earned national recognition for its rigorous process to review charter school applications and its process is considered a national model. The Board of Education had genuine concerns about the Great Hearts application and how the district manages diversity. The Board approved four other applications this cycle and the number of charter schools in the district has increased from four in 2009, when the process was adopted, to 14 this year.  Six more are approved to open by 2013, for a total of 20.


We believe children will benefit when the State Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and the local Board of Education and school district work together. In Metro Nashville, we are committed to improving student achievement and to collaborating with the State, quality charter school operators and the people of Nashville for our children.



Congratulations to the outstanding Croft Orchestra and director Anna Maria Miller on being selected to perform at the 2013 Tennessee Music Educators Association State Conference in Chattanooga. Many superior ensembles applied, and Croft was chosen to perform at the April 2013 conference.


SCORE is looking for inspirational school stories and wants to hear from Tennessee students! Students in grades 4 - 12 are invited to participate in a one-to-two page essay contest and share their inspirational experience from the classroom. Check out the details below.


Parents, students, teachers, school partners, and the Metro Nashville Election Commission jumped into a whirlwind of excitement at the John Early Museum Magnet Middle School Open House. It served as a celebration of the start of a new school year and a formal introduction of the school’s new administration - Mrs. Rise’ Pope, JEMMS Open House 2012principal, and Mrs. Tanya Whittaker-Coleman, assistant principal. The night also served as the grand opening of the JEMMMS  Museum Room which currently embodies the theme “It’s All Greek To Me.” If that’s not enough, school leaders also used the night to kick off the school’s voter registration drive! School staff is working closely with Janet King and the Cumberland View Homes to register new voters.

Open House was highlighted with several school partners including PNA, Castles, ASET, TennCare and Girls Inc. All were strategically positioned to share information, answer questions and meet parents. Cumberland View also provided transportation for parents to the Open House. 

John Early’s Open House was a united effort to bring teachers, parents, partners, and the community together to build an atmosphere of excellence at John Early Museum Magnet Middle School. And from the sounds of things, it did just that!


Cindy Tinnel, cafeteria manager at Henry Maxwell Elementary School, was selected to be on the Food Network show Chopped! Mark your calendars or set your recorders to help cheer Tinnel on during Class Acts, Too when it airs on the Food Network Tuesday, Sept. 25. Click here to watch a preview of her episode.


The Tennessee Titans and Whites Creek Air Force JROTC teamed up on Opening Day, Sunday, Sept 9, to produce a lot of fun and excitement for young Titans’ fans. Eighteen cadets from the unit participated in the Titans pre-game activity called Kids Zone that offers a number of football related physical challenges. The Titans organization relies primarily on volunteers to setup, tear down and supervise these activities.

According to Major Williamson, Senior Instructor, “It was a great service project, plus the cadets got to see the game afterwards. It was a win-win situation for us.”

JROTC is part of the School of Public Service and conducts many service projects during the school year. Cadet leaders for this activity were: Cadets Simone Williams, Dakota Fralick and Kiah Lee.

Whtes Creek JROTC Titans Game - cadets volunteered at Kids Zone before 2012 season opener


If you have a child in the McGavock Cluster, mark you calendars for Tuesday, Sept. 18! You are invited to a special community day. Details below! 


Three MNPS high school students have been named the winners of this year’s Conexion Americas Hispanic Heritage Essage contest. Congratulations to first place winner Nerieda Z. of Glencliff, as well as honorable mentions winners Jacob M. also of Glencliff and Edith A. of Overton.

The theme of the essay was My Hispanic Roots, My America Dream. To read excerpts from their winning essays, click here.


Science Carnival at Head MS

Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science held a science carnival after school at Head Middle Magnet Friday, Sept. 7. Students enjoyed making their own ice cream, exploring optical illusions, and discovering the identity of “mystery” substances to name a few activities. A special thank you to Vanderbilt for sponsoring this interactive event!


In August, 16 Oliver Middle School musicians were featured singing and playing with Carrie Underwood on the CBS special Teachers Rock. The TV special paid a musical tribute to America's teachers and serves as a fundraiser for the "Teach for America" program. Dierks Bentley, Josh Underwood with Croft - a group of Croft students perform with Carrie UnderwoodGroban and pop group Fun. were among the other artists seen on Teachers Rock. Teachers Rock also featured personal recollections from Dave Grohl, Usher and Maroon 5's Adam Levine and James Valentine. Some well-known actors also appeared on the program, including Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Garner, Jack Black, Morgan Freeman and Matthew Morrison.

The students from Oliver were selected from a wide pool of musically gifted children. They ranged in ages from 10-12 and represented the wonderfully diverse culture of Oliver Middle School. Susan Waters and Katie Harrah, Band Directors, Franklin Willis, Choir Director and Delores McCreery, Drama Teacher all collaborated to select the 16 students to sing and play along with Underwood. 

The performance was pre-taped on Opry Stage A for the Friday night broadcast. The students worked with Underwood's musical director for about two hours on the back up vocals, percussion parts and clapping responsibilities. During lunch the students, teachers and parents were treated to a catered lunch and were able to mingle with the production crew. After lunch, Underwood's band came on set and the rehearsal continued. Late in the afternoon, Underwood joined the group on stage and performed the song "Nobody Ever Told You" four times with the students. Afterwards the students posed for photos with Carrie Underwood and each received an autographed photo. That’s what we call a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!


McMurray Middle School's eighth grade students are getting "Money Smart!" The school has been chosen to participate in FDIC's Money Smart for Young Adults. Megan Polk, FDIC Supervisory Examiner, is teaching the class along with two of McMurray's teachers, Anne Marie Desruisseau and Beth Haggard.  This program is based on the award-winning Money Smart adult financial education curriculum that assists graduates with money management practices and financial confidence.  It is also aligned with educational standards for all 50 states.

The students at McMurray will learn the basics of handling their money and finances, including how to create positive relationships with financial institutions. This will equip them in their formative years with the basics of financial education and can give them the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to manage their finances once they enter the real world.

Money Smart for Young Adults consists of eight instructor-led modules. The materials also include an optional computer-based scenario that allows students to complete realistic exercises based on each module.


PU logoFrom middle school expectations to youth safety, parents can learn ways to help their children succeed in school this Saturday at the first Parent University of 2012-13! While parents are is sessions, students will be offered tutoring services. Doors open at 9 a.m., with the first session starting at 9:30. A continental breakfast will be served. Click here for more.


Tennessee Titan Sen'Derrick Marks made a surprise appearance at DuPont Tyler Middle School this week for the team's first official Titans Tuesday! The defensive tackle talked to the students about the importance of getting an education and setting goals.

 Marks at DuPont Tyler - Tennessee Titan defensive tackle surprises students at DuPont Tyler Marks at DuPont Tyler - Tennessee Titan defensive tackle surprises students at DuPont Tyler 


Middle School Sports – Fantastic

The North Sports Report attended a middle school football game last week.  The discipline, team structure, positive peer and adult relationships, school spirit, and parental support make middle school athletics a top-notch after-school program.  The crowd of students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members all join together to cheer for their school and boost their student-athletes.  Priceless!

Alumni Alert – Center of Attention

Maplewood graduate James Stone will be the national center of attention when ESPN College GameDay broadcasts from Knoxville this Saturday.  James is the starting center for the Tennessee Vols and will anchor the offensive line in the national game of the week.  Don’t forget Hillsboro graduate and Tennessee defensive back Eric Gordon and Pearl-Cohn alumnus Antonio Richardson.  Look for MNPS graduates in the spotlight on Saturday.

Football Friday

Wow! Last week’s game at Hillsboro was tremendous!  First of all, MNPS football games provide the most entertaining public address announcers in America.  Every first down was announced as a “Smoothie King First Down.  Smoooooth!” and every hard tackle was followed by an exclamatory “Dang Dude!”  Entertaining… to say the least.

The large, enthusiastic crowd witnessed another great game of the week.  Hillsboro’s Robert Kelley scored four touchdowns, and Hillsboro kicker Joseph Occhipinti is as advertised.  The North Sports Report could not believe its eyes when Occhipinti, kicking off from the 40 yard line, put the ball over the cross bar and through the uprights.  He kicked the ball over 70 yards – an almost unimaginable super-human feat.  Unbelievable?…yes. But I saw it with my own eyes.  Dang Dude!

Game of the Week: September 14, 2012

The North Sports Report is heading to Homecoming at Hunters Lane as the Hunters Lane Warriors welcome the Hillwood Hilltoppers.  The lights will shine bright on Jerry Pigue Stadium as the Warriors hope to stem the momentum of the surging Hilltoppers. 

Other action this week includes big district games and intraMNPS rivalries:

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Antioch Bears;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Overton Bobcats;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds head to the TPS campus (also the site for Nashville School of the Arts) to face the home-standing East Nashville Eagles;

  • Whites Creek Cobras welcome Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros travel to Franklin;

  • Maplewood Panthers play at Lipscomb; and

  • Stratford Spartans host CPA;

The MNPS home games are at Hunter Lane; at Antioch; at Cane Ridge; at East Nashville (TPS campus); at Whites Creek; and at Stratford.

This is the perfect week to go to a game near you!  Enjoy the beauty of MNPS athletics.

MNPS: The First Choice for Discipline, School Spirit, and Parental Support

Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Bulldogs…Ready to take the field Haynes Middle Design Center’s sideline during its game with Bailey STEM Magnet Middle
Middle School Football action…Fantastic!


Sixteen Metro Nashville high school students have been named 2013 National Merit Semifinalists. These students are among 16,000 others nationwide who will now vie for one of roughly 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.

Congratulations to the following students:

Hillsboro High

Melenka R.

Hume-Fogg Magnet High

Claire B.

Daniel C.

Raktima D.

Abhinav G.

Aditya G

Cameron H.

Joseph H.

Zoe M.

Kelsey M.

Jackson M.

Joseph S.

Noel W.

Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High

Lauren B.

Melissa G.

Jenny Z.


They are the first to grace the halls of Cane Ridge Elementary School, and today students were on hand to help dedicate the beautiful new facility. The school, which currently serves about 750 students, is the district's 3rd LEED certified elementary school. In addition to it's environmentally friendly construction, the atmosphere will encourage creative thinking and help the school live up to its theme of outstanding, wonderful learners and staff!


School lunches are getting healthier, and the National PTA, Kids’ Safe, and Healthful Foods Project are teaming up to share this year’s improvements with families through Virtual Back to School Night. The best part, you can listen live from your own home! Check out the release below:

Join National PTA and the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project for

Virtual Back to School Night: The School Day Just Got Healthier!

School lunches will have a whole new look this year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) updated nutrition standards for school meals.  As parents, it can be difficult to navigate what these changes mean. Join National PTA President Betsy Landers, White House Chef Sam Kass, the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, and USDA for a live discussion about the exciting new meals coming to school cafeterias!

When:  Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 7PM EST

Where: Tune in live right here from wherever you are!


  • Sam Kass, White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives

  • Betsy Landers, National PTA President

  • Jessica Donze Black, Director, Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts

  • Audrey Rowe, Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service, USDA


Congratulations to Cheryl D. Mayes, the Metro Nashville Board of Education representative for District 6, on her election as 2012-13 Board Chair. Anna Shepherd, District 4 representative, was elected Vice Chair.  Both were unanimous.

 Cheryl D. Mayes

 Anna Shepherd

 Cheryl D. Mayes, Chair, District 6

 Anna Shepherd, Vice Chair, District 4



I.T. Creswell Magnet Middle School student Ally G. is sharing her voice to help launch Expect More Achieve More, a new statewide coalition aimed at creating awareness of higher academic standards in Tennessee. Specifically, the coalition will work to promote the state's adoption of Common Core Standards


Brick Church Middle School students may be several years away from graduating, but they are learning it's never too soon to start exploring careers! The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students participated in a career fair Aug. 20 and had a chance to speak with a variety of professionals including: a retired NFL player, Metro Nashville Police Department Bomb Squad, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Metro Nashville Fire Department, Walmart, Fifth Third Bank, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Metro Storm Water, Federal Probations Office, Metro Nashville Juvenile Courts, Ware Barbershop and Styles Barber College. Styles also offered free haircuts to the students!

Brick Church Career Day 2012


Limitless Library Slogan Winner - Rose Park student SundusIf you haven't checked out Nashville's Limitless Library lately, you should! The site now boasts the system's catchy, new slogan "The future is in your hands, make it limitless," penned by Rose Park student Sundus C. Sundus is an avid Limitless Libraries user.

Limitless Libraries is a partnership between Nashville Public Libraries and MNPS, launched in 2009 under the direction of Mayor Karl Dean. Thousands of students in all Metro Schools use the system daily to access online literature, DVDs, CDs, and more.


September is shaping up to be a "big" month at Nashville Big Picture High School! Here's a snapshot of what's happening:

Friday, Sept. 7 - Southern Word Poetry Slam from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 8 - Victoria G., senior, will hold a LIFE Walk at Centennial Park. This event is her Senior Capstone project and aims to raise awareness and celebrate premature birth survivors. The walk will be held from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. It will start at the pavilion across from McDonald's.

Friday, Sept. 14 - Nashville Big Picture will host a student-organized Blood Drive with Red Cross from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sept. 24 - Oct. 3 - Students will present what they've learned during the first quarter during Student Exhibitions.


Need to wiggle? Kirkpatrick Enhanced Option Elementary is opening its doors to faculty, families and East Nashville community members who love to move! To help build healthy bodies and minds, the school recently started the Cougar Fitness Crew. Every Thursday, now through Nov. 1, the Cougar Fitness Club will host a variety of classes - everything from Zumba to West African Dance, Line Dancing and Yoga.


Students active in the community have a chance to be recognized nationally for their efforts in the annual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards contest. Students in grades 5-12 who have volunteered in the past 12 months are encouraged to apply. Full details below.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Middle School Sports – Game Time

Middle School Fall Sports start this week. The North Sports Report Middle School game of the week is Haynes Middle Design Center at Bailey STEM Magnet Middle football game. Middle school student-athletes today = MNPS high school stars of the future. I’ll see you there.

Volleyball – These Girls Got Hops…or The Sky’s the Limit

The North Sports Report was amazed at the astonishing skill and leaping ability of the volleyball student-athletes as I cheered on the Overton and Cane Ridge volleyball teams. When you go to a volleyball game, be sure you arrive early enough to see the warm-ups. Amazing! The precision and teamwork of the digs and sets along with the grace and power of the high-flying monster spikes underscore the tremendous athletic ability of MNPS student-athletes. Volleyball – Can you dig it?

Alumni Alert

The North Sports Report bumped into Madison High fullback Greg Morgan Friday night. Greg serves as a TSSAA official and was the referee for the Hillwood vs. Antioch game last Friday. Greg famously scored a touchdown in Madison High’s 1979 Tobacco Bowl victory over Cumberland County. By famously, I mean… the North Sports Report vaguely remembers hearing about it.

Football Friday Night…Last Week’s Game

The North Sports Report is on a roll when it comes to picking the game of the week. Hillwood High School’s stadium, the fans, cheerleaders and band provided a great atmosphere to watch football, and the game went right down to the wire – another barn-burner for the game of the week. Antioch Bears quarterback Raekwon Hosey had a spectacular performance with 209 yards rushing including touchdown runs of 63, 58 and 15 yards plus a touchdown pass of 33 yards. Here’s an understatement…high school football is great family entertainment.

Hillwood High School football pregame - the National Anthem at Sunset
A beautiful pre-game National Anthem at Hillwood High School.

Friday Night’s Game of the Week – September 7, 2012

This week’s Game of the Week has the North Sports Report heading to Green Hills to witness the East Nashville Eagles visit the Hillsboro Burros in this week’s only game pitting two MNPS teams. It promises to be a tough battle to the very end.

In other action:

  • Antioch Bears travel to Centennial;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens head to Ravenwood;

  • Glencliff Colts welcome Lebanon;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers host Father Ryan;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel south to Brentwood;

  • Maplewood Panthers go to Riverdale;

  • McGavock Raiders are at home against Franklin;

  • Overton Bobcats take a short trek over to Lipscomb;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to BGA;

  • Stratford Spartans play at Brentwood Academy; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras host Davidson Academy.

The MNPS home games are at Hillsboro; at Glencliff; at Hillwood; at McGavock; and at Whites Creek. Games start at 7:00pm. Enjoy a game near you!

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for High-Flying Monster Spikes


Hats off to MNPS Director of Maintenance and Facilities Thomas Hatfield and his team of dedicated employees. The team has earned a bit of love from Hands on Nashville for their endless efforts to maintain the 180 buildings and 14 million square feet found within Metro Schools!

Click here to read why Hands on Nashville selected the MNPS Maintenance & Facilities team for partner spotlight.

And if you haven't done so yet, mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 22. It's the annual Hands on Nashville Day and dozens of Metro schools are in need of volunteers. Click here to learn how you can help.


Middle school students are getting a little extra support this year, and it comes in the form of a new grading philosophy. The district adopted a new grading policy that is encourages grading for learning. But what exactly does that mean? 

The key changes are:

  • Grades reflect subject comprehension.

  • Grades are not just based on traditional tests – teachers are expected to use multiple forms of assessment such as projects, presentations, portfolios, etc. Of course, tests are still given, but students are now able to demonstrate comprehension through various assessment methods.

  • No more zeros! Students who do not turn in homework will be given additional opportunities to complete the assignment and show mastery. 

  • Extra credit is no longer given.

Want to see the new grading at work in DuPont Hadley Middle? Check out this story by News Channel 5 reporter Aundrea Cline-Thomas.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Superstar is an Understatement

Lorenzo Butler, mild mannered McKissack Middle School seventh grader, transformed into a true life superhero at the Little League World Series last week. If you missed his game-ending double play (tag ‘em out, throw ‘em out) or his diving stop and throw from his back for the out, or his record breaking three three-run homers in the U.S. Championship game, or his towering home run in the World Series Championship…wait – if you missed all that, you need to come out from under your rock and notice that an international baseball sensation is among us.

Lorenzo was even trending on Twitter. Do you know what that means? Me neither… but apparently, he is one of the most popular athletes in America. It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s our own McKissack Middle School student-athlete Lorenzo Butler! Seriously, his play last week might be the most clutch performance of any athlete, in any sport, at any level this year.

Big Foot Sighting… Kickin’ Like a Burro

The Nashville City Paper, in a piece by famed sports writer Harold Huggins, noticed Hillsboro’s place kicker and punter Joseph Occhipinti:
Joseph Occhipinti had another excellent night. Occhipinti kicked a 29-yard field goal, went 2-of-2 on extra points, had 48 and 45-yard punts. All five of his kickoffs went for touchbacks… So far this season, he is 10-of-10 on kickoffs for touchbacks and in the season opener… two of his five kicks went completely out of the end zone.
Now, that’s called having a leg up on the competition.


Girls Soccer season is in full swing. The North Sports Report stopped by the fields at MetroCenter this week to catch the East Nashville vs. Hume-Fogg game. The teamwork, precision and athleticism of high school soccer is fantastic. Go see a game soon!

Friday Night Football Action

The North Sports Report enjoyed the festive atmosphere at Buster Boguskie Field on the campus of Stratford High School last week. A great crowd grooved with two terrific marching bands and witnessed a tense, nail-biting, two point margin game that wasn’t decided until a last second field goal sailed just wide of the left upright. Congratulations to Whites Creek Cobras and Stratford Spartans on a great game.

Buster Boguskie Field 
Home of the Stratford Spartans

Football Friday – August 31

This week’s North Sports Report Game of the Week sees the Antioch Bears travel across town to visit the Hillwood Hilltoppers in an early-season District 12 match-up.

In other action:

  • Cane Ridge Ravens battle at Hunters Lane Warriors’ Jerry Pigue Stadium;

  • East Nashville Eagles host Lipscomb;

  • Nick Coutras Stadium will host the home-standing Overton Bobcats vs. Glencliff Colts;

  • Hillsboro Burros host Ravenwood;

  • Whites Creek Cobras visit Maplewood Panthers; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds welcome Stratford Spartans.

The MNPS home games are at Hillwood; at Hunters Lane; at East Nashville (played at TPS campus); at Overton; at Hillsboro; at Maplewood; and at Pearl-Cohn. There is certainly a game near you. Enjoy the beauty of Friday night high school football – it’s a great family night out, and the students would love to see you there.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for World Class Clutch Performances


"I do solemnly affirm that I will support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and that I will perform with fidelity the duties of the office to which I have been elected and which I am about to assume."

That's the oath of office to be taken by newly elected and re-elected members of the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education.

Tuesday, Aug. 28 is the swearing in for four new Board members and one returning member. The official oath administered by Judge Betty Adams Green at 5:00 p.m. in the Board Room.

To be sworn in are: 

  • Sharon Gentry – District 1

  • Jill Speering – District 3

  • Elissa Kim – District 5

  • Will Pinkston – District 7

  • Amy Frogge – District 9


YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee

Want to join your child in the classroom? No, we don't mean sitting next to him in math class, we mean sitting in a classroom of your own, working for your GED! 

The YWCA offers free GED prep classes at five campuses all around Nashville, six days a week, at times that can meet anyone's schedule.

The YWCA's teachers offer specialized assistance in math, writing, and test taking skills. They meet in the mornings, afternoons, evenings, and Saturdays.

Start your brighter future today! Call 269-9922 to register for free classes.


Nashville has new reason to celebrate! The Tennessee Department of Education released its inaugural list of Reward Schools and 14 of the state’s top performing schools are right here in Davidson County:  

  • Bellshire Elementary

  • Hattie Cotton Elementary

  • Dupont Elementary

  • Glendale Spanish Immersion

  • Head Middle

  • Hume-Fogg Magnet High

  • Lockeland Elementary

  • Martin Luther King Jr Magnet

  • McGavockElementary

  • Meigs Middle Magnet

  • Nashville School of the Arts

  • New Vision Academy

  • Percy Priest Elementary

  • Rose Park Math & Science Middle Magnet


“This is a great accomplishment for our schools,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register, “and we are so proud of them. The innovative teaching, the dedication, and the true sense of community that we are seeing throughout Metro Schools is exciting. We still have work to do, but we are on the right path.”


This first announcement of Reward Schools includes 166 schools across the state. Five percent of schools on the list were recognized for success rate in 3-8 math, 3-8 reading/language arts, 3-8 science, Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology I, and graduation rate. The other five percent of schools made the list based on high TVAAS scores (value-added).


Governor Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman celebrated the Reward Schools with a live-streamed announcement earlier today. Schools across thestate were invited to join the stream and hear words of congratulations from the Governor, First Lady Crissy Haslam and Commissioner Huffman.


Tennessee unveiled its new accountability system in early 2012 under a U. S. Department of Education waiver from the No Child Left Behind guidelines.  The new system emphasizes increases in student achievement among all student groups as well as closing any achievement gaps in student groups. Metro Schools earned intermediate status for the district as a whole, meeting seven of nine benchmarks and showing increases in student achievement. 


John Early Museum Magnet Middle School

It's more than just a name. John Early Museum Magnet Middle School is actually transforming into a museum - and you can come gawk at the exhibits!

The first exhibit, called It’s All Greek to Me, looks at the legacies and influences of the Ancient Greek culture in America and in Nashville.

Sections of the exhibit include:

  • a voter registration booth

  • 1/18 scale model of The Parthenon

  • an interactive politcal cartoon exhibit

  • examples of Greek architecture in Nashville

  • Kids Korner with fun activities

  • Community Corner with information and resources.

Students, their families, and members of the Nashville community are invited to go through the exhibit on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 am to 12 pm. Please call 291-6369 ext. 104 to schedule a tour.


Lorenzo Butler Allstar - a photo of Lorenzo Butler playing in 2012 Little League World Series

His name made it’s way from Goodlettsville clear through Davidson County and even became a trending topic in the Twittersphere. If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s McKissack Middle School student Lorenzo Butler who played in the Little League World Series this past weekend. The 12-year-old standout had a great weekend hitting a total of four homeruns with 10 RBIs.

"It feels really good and it was really great," Butler said simply about his hitting exploits. He said his three homers Saturday were the longest he had hit all season.

Mark North, former Board member and writer of the North Sports Report, with the full story:

Lorenzo Butler, defensive standout in Wednesday's game against Texas when he ended the game with a thrilling double play, turned slugger Saturday in a record breaking performance. His three 3-run home runs and 9 RBI's are Little League World Series records and helped lead his team to the U.S. World Series Championship. They play Japan on Sunday afternoon.

Young Mr. Butler is a seventh grader at McKissack Middle School, and his mother attended Stratford. He is trending on twitter and is named in a headline in the Sports Illustrated online article.

It is probably the greatest hitting performance in the history of the Little League World Series.

Lorenzo will be at Hartman Park on Wednesday, August 29, at 6 p.m., to sign autographs.



Did you know... by 2018 there will be more than a million available jobs in STEM careers, but only a fraction that many qualified college graduates to fill them?

Did you know... for the last 10 years, the number of STEM jobs has grown three times as fast as non-STEM jobs?

Did you know... Metro Schools and its partners put students on a direct path to STEM colleges and careers?

Stratford STEM Magnet High School

The Adventure Science Center and other partners from Stratford’s Academy of Science & Engineering are bringing students closer to those careers and the degrees needed to meet them at Stratford’s Engineering Day. The event, made possible with a grant from the Community Foundation, will feature STEM professionals from firms such as Universal Robotics, Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon and Nissan presenting engineering-based, hands-on activities such as bridge building and water purification. The goal driving the event is to inspire students and ignite their curiosity in STEM fields.

Stratford STEM Magnet High School Engineering Day

Thursday, September 20, 2012

8:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. at Stratford

Stratford High, Hattie Cotton Elementary, and Bailey Middle make up the only K-12 STEM program in Tennessee. This continuum uses all the resources of our state’s world-renowned STEM assets and infuses them directly into the classroom. Students enjoy engaging and challenging learning experiences that will connect them to their world. Stratford students learn to investigate, explore, problem solve, create, and invent among top STEM professionals.


Constitution Day is Sept. 17 and to celebrate the Baker Center is having a Constitution Day Essay Contest!

Attention all students – 9th grade to seniors in college! In an essay of no more than 500 words, respond to the following quote:

“I’m ready to wager my life’s meaning that what America will be remembered for in the centuries to come is the staggering achievement of taking different people from all over the world and building a great civilization.”

-- Sen. Howard H. Baker, Jr.

Baker, H. (1980) No Margin for Error. New York, NY: New York Times Book Co.
Your written response may take any form you choose: agree, disagree, provide an example(s), propose an alternative viewpoint, expand upon this thought, or relate this in some way to our celebration of the Constitution.

To submit an essay, email your (.doc or .docx) file to:


Deadline for submission is September 10th, 2012, by 11:59 p.m.

Winners will be chosen in two categories (high school and college) and announced September 17, 2012.

1st Prize: $250

2nd Prize: $150

For more information on Senator Baker or the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, please visit: http://bakercenter.utk.edu

Rules for Essay Contest Participants

  1. A cover page should be submitted with the essay which includes: author name, high school or college, grade/year in school, home address, daytime phone number and email address. Do not include your name within the body of the essay.

  2. Essays must be the original work of student whose name accompanies the submission.

  3. The contest is open to 9th – 12th graders in high school and freshman – seniors in college.

  4. Limit one submission per person

  5. Essays should be submitted online, preferably in doc or docx format and be 500 words or less

  6. Essays received after the stated deadline will be not be considered for an award

  7. Submission of essay constitutes author’s permission for publication on Baker Center/University of Tennessee websites or in other written materials.

  8. Essays will be judged anonymously and the judges will be chosen by Baker Center staff and advisors. The decision of those judges is final. Employees of the Baker Center are not eligible.


Madison Kiwanis Clothing donation 2012 - a photo

The old saying "a little goes a long way" is ringing true for students at Gateway Elementary. Earlier this week, the Madison Kiwanis Club dropped off a load of brand new clothes for students at the school. Their generous donation just happened to come the day after a student's home was destroyed by fire.

Thanks, Madison Kiwanis!


Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Open House a- a photo of Principal Christian Sawyer with students

Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School held their inaugural Parent & Scholar Open House last night, Aug. 23. Dr. Christian Sawyer, principal pictured below with students, presented the new school vision to a huge crowd of parents. Families were able to capture the STEM culture of Bailey STEM through a demonstration by the full-time scientist Dr. McKissic, introduction of the teachers by the Bulldog cheerleaders, and a beautifully sung version of the mission statement performed by the Diversity Choir.


Students at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School have an incredible new Heath & Fitness facility at their disposal. Thanks to Dane Burks & Company Fitness and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, the school now has a brand new, state-of-the-art fitness facility for students and staff. The center includes elliptical trainers, a full weight gym, treadmills, and more. The project began as a simple need noticed by Lifetime Wellness teacher, Dr. Tina Bozeman, NBCT, but culminated with a true community partnership.

 MLK Health & Fitness Center 2012 photos MLK Health & Fitness Center 2012 photos 


Love exploring new cuisines? You have two chances to do just that and show your support for two beloved Nashville middle schools!


The Academies of Nashville have named, and trained, the newest class of student Ambassadors. Dozens of high school students from the districts 12 zoned high schools attended a special Customer Care and Ambassador Training program at Martin Professional Development Center. The students will now serve as a voice for their Academy and their high school at various events throughout the community, and they will give guided school tours.


 AofN Ambassadors 2012 - pictures of a training session for the new class of Academies of Nashville Ambassadors  AofN Ambassadors 2012 - pictures of a training session for the new class of Academies of Nashville Ambassadors



GCA Services Group, and local company Landscape Services, Inc. (LSI), are making the grade in terms of providing custodial and groundskeeping services to Metro Nashville Public Schools. External auditors found outsourcing these services saved the district at least $6.5 million in 2011, and the services earned a grade of “A” or “B” in 94% of principal surveys.

“GCA has proven to be a great partner to our school system,” said Director of Schools Jesse Register. “Not only have they saved us a significant amount of money that is funneled into the classroom, but GCA staffers are quick to answer any calls or requests for service. We have really been pleased with the partnership and level of service provided.”

Experis Risk Advisory Services conducted the performance audit under the supervision of the Metropolitan Nashville Office of Internal Audit. In the audit, inspectors asked two key questions:

  • Were the expected financial benefits of outsourcing custodial and groundskeeping services at MNPS realized?

  • Were service level expectations for outsourcing custodial and groundskeeping services at MNPS realized?

The answer to each was “Yes.” During the 2011 fiscal year, GCA saved MNPS at least $6.5 million compared to what was budgeted for custodians and groundskeepers. The $22.6 million annual contract with GCA represented 3.6 percent of the fiscal year 2011 budget. The audit projected the district could save a minimum of $32.6 million over the five-year life of the contract, which ends in 2015.

When asked to score GCA’s service quality on six measures of contract performance, 75% of MNPS principals awarded GCA a grade of “A” for outstanding service, while 19% gave a grade of “B” on a scale of “A” to “F”. A grade of “A” and “B” was awarded 94 percent of the time.

Click here to view full audit findings.



The composite ACT score for Metro Schools rose to 18.4 in 2012 from 18.1 in 2011, slightly outpacing statewide gains as the average composite score for Tennessee schools rose to 19.7 in 2012 from 19.5 in 2011.

“We are working toward a minimum composite ACT score of 21 for the district,” said Jay Steele associate superintendent for high schools. A composite score of at least 21 qualifies students for Tennessee’s HOPE scholarship.

“High school scores in reading, math and writing are up and now ACT is up. We have a district-wide ACT prep plan and I expect even greater gains this year,” added Steele. “We are heading in the right direction.”

The district conducted three pilot projects to assess ways to supports students taking the state-mandated ACT. Hillwood High School’s model was selected as the district’s approach for 2012. It includes professional development for teachers, increasing instructional rigor consistent with the Common Core Standards, providing counseling for students and setting high expectations, and measuring and evaluating progress.


Have weekend plans? You do now.

The Academy at Hickory Hollow is hosting a benefit concert this Sunday night at the Crossings Event Center. Come listen to the music of the Laura Vida Band and bring a donation of $10 (or more!) to give to the school. 

The Academy at Hickory Hollow is one of three of our Academy schools, along with Old Cockrill and Opry Mills, where students aged 17-21 can earn their final few credits needed for a high school diploma. In the last three years, Academy schools have graduated more than 1,000 students!

Principal Billy Fellman and a few of his faculty will be there to meet you and answer any questions you might have about the Academy.

Come out and support a great school!

The Academy at Hickory Hollow Benefit Concert


Dr. Nicole Cobb, director of school counseling, to share regional input with national organization

This school year Metro Nashville Public Schools will have an insider’s perspective of the College Board, the organization known for its work with Advanced Placement programs and SAT/National Merit Scholars. The national organization has appointed its new crop of College Board Counselor Ambassadors, and MNPS Director of School Counseling Dr. Nicole Cobb was on the very selective list.

“Serving as an Ambassador for College Board will serve Metro Schools as we continue to promote our advanced academic programs and offerings, particularly the National Merit Scholar Program,” said Cobb. “It is really a great honor to be named, but more importantly, it will give us great insight into what’s working in other districts and allow us to share concerns or difficulties directly with the team at College Board.”

Cobb was selected out of a pool of nominees based on herstrong leadership skills, her proven ability to communicate, excellent presentation skills, a firm belief that all students should be college and career ready, the high expectations she holds for all students, and her ability to share personal growth stories with others during her time as a school counselor.

As a College Board Counselor Ambassador, Cobb will serve as a resource to the national organization, sharing feedback on issues felt in the south. She will represent the College Board at various local, regional or national events, and she will support local College Fairs, including the MNPS College Fair that will be held Sept. 27, at LP Field. Cobb will also be trained to lead NOSCA (National Office for School Counselor Advocacy) professional development workshops to MNPS school counselors.

Cobb begins her stint as Ambassador immediately following a training session in October.

About College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.


Mark North

Mark North, Sports Fan & President of

The Fans, Inc.

Well-Deserved Publicity on the Way to State Championships

Did you catch The Tennessean’s High School Sports primer this week? The North Sports Report noticed the daily’s shout out to defending Cross Country State Champion Sam Klockenkemper from MLK as a “Top Runner” who is looking to repeat. Also, Hume- Fogg’s Boys team is mentioned as a state contender, and MLK’s and Hume-Fogg’s Girls teams are state contenders. Put it on your calendar…November 3 at the Steeplechase course…MNPS bringing home the Cross Country championships!

Can you dig it? Hume-Fogg’s Volleyball team is also a state contender according to The Tennessean.

MNPS has several other teams in all fall sports that are flying under the radar toward state championships. Stay tuned as the season progresses.

North Sports Report Game of the Week August 24, 2012

The North Sports Report will head to Buster Boguskie Stadium, the home of the Stratford Spartans to witness the clash of the Spartans and the Whites Creek Cobras. This early season showdown of legendary programs will set the tone of the season for both teams. I will see you there.

Other games this week:

  • Antioch Bears head north to face Station Camp;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens look to keep the momentum as they travel to Father Ryan;

  • East Nashville Eagles soar to JPII;

  • Glencliff Colts hit the road to Westmoreland;

  • Hillsboro Burros take their undefeated record to FRA;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to Nashville Christian;

  • Hunter Lane Warriors host Oakland;

  • Maplewood Panthers travel to Brentwood Academy;

  • McGavock Raiders head east to face Mt. Juliet;

  • Overton Bobcats’ home opener includes a visit from Centennial; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds go to Rutherford County to play Blackman.

The MNPS home games are at Stratford; at Hunters Lane; and at Overton. Go to a game this week. The incomparable excitement of Friday Night Football is ageless and timeless. Enjoy a family night out at your local school.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Incomparable Excitement of High School Sports


The Maplewood Family Resource Center needs your help! The center collects gently used standard school attire for students in the Maplewood Cluster and is running low.

The most needed items are gently used or new slacks, collared shirts, and belts for boys and girls - all sizes. The center will be taking donations throughout the school year. Clothing can be dropped off at the FRC, located in V-100 at Maplewood High School. If you are dropping off SSA please call ext. 1100 or (615) 609-5170 so someone can arrange to take your items. 


Antioch High School to begin International Baccalaureate Feasibility Study

Talk no more! Antioch High School leaders are diving into the IBO World pool, hoping to become Metro Nashville PublicSchools’ third International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Led by new Principal Adrienne Battle-Koger, the school is set to begin a feasibility study this fall.

According to Dr. Battle-Koger, “The Antioch community has long shown interest in IB. Since the Academies have taken off with such success, the leadership team at Antioch is now ready to make the IB dream areality. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but well worth it in the years to come.”

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme offers high school juniors and seniors an internationally recognized education that is highly regarded by the world’s top colleges and universities, with some offering college credits to students with strong scores in IB courses. Antioch High School will host an information session for families this fall.

IB authorization takes roughly three years, start to finish. Schools must first conduct a feasibility study, which generally takes six months to a year andincludes identification of resources and show of support by key stakeholders. After completion of the feasibility study, Antioch will submit an application forcandidacy. During this time they will train teachers, visit other IB schools and study the program curriculum. The final phase will include submitting an application for authorization, which will include submitting syllabi, more teacher training, and observations by IBO evaluators.

“Our goal is to provide every student with the opportunity to experience a rigorous national or international college preparatory curriculum to complement our nationally recognized academies,” said Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools. “When Antioch is authorized, we will have IB Diploma Programmes on the north, west and south sides of the city. We are also expanding our Advanced Placement Scholars program and will soon announce plans for our first Cambridge AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) Diploma program.”

MNPS currently offers the Diploma Programme at Hillsboro High School and HuntersLane High School. The IB Middle Years Programme is offered at Bellevue Middle, Goodlettsville Middle, Neely’s Bend Middle, West End Middle, J.T. Moore Middle, Hunters Lane 9th/10th, and Hillsboro 9th/10th. Julia Green and Eakin elementary schools offer the IB Primary Years Programme.

For more information about the International Baccalaureate Programme, visit www.ibo.org.


Mariachi offered at Wright Middle, Glencliff High as part of the Music Makes Us education program

Music education in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is becoming even richer this year with the launch of a mariachi program at Wright Middle and Glencliff High Schools as part of the Music Makes Us music education project. Alan Lambert, an experienced mariachi educator, is the mariachi program director.

"Mariachi music is what gives Mexico and its people its identity. It is vibrant and passionate like no other music in the world. The young and old love it just the same and feel so proud to be able to express themselves in this great country that gives them the opportunity to learn the music in the schools," said Grammy-winning mariachi artist Jose Hernandez. "I have seen it change lives and look forward to seeing this genre blossom in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools under the leadership of Alan Lambert who is well-known for developing quality mariachi programs in Texas."

Lambert brings his passion for music and education to Metro Schools from the Grand Prairie (Texas) Independent School District where he was the director of the district’s mariachi program for grades 6-12. Under his leadership, the district’s mariachi program expanded from two to 11 campuses and his students performed at venues ranging from school auditoriums and nursing homes to the Texas State Fair and Cowboy Stadium.

“I am excited about the mariachi program in Metro Schools. Our mariachi students will make wonderful music, but I expect much more than that. I have high standards for their academic success and community service,” Lambert said. “I want students to earn top honors at music competitions and to continue their educations after high school graduation.” 

Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project is a public/private partnership among Metro Schools, Mayor Karl Dean,The Recording Academy and music industry leaders in Nashville. The initiative is moving Metro Schools beyond a traditional performance-based music curriculum to an expanded curriculum that includes diverse music genres. The vision is for music instruction that is sequential, high quality and relevant to the learning interests and needs of pre-K-12 students.

“Music Makes Us is very fortunate indeed to have a music educator the caliber of Alan Lambert offering a mariachi program at Glencliff and Wright,” said Nancy Shapiro, senior vice president with The Recording Academy. “It is the first of many new classes that will make music education in Music City the best in the nation. We welcome Mr. Lambert and thank him for sharing mariachi with our students. It will be an enriching and life-changing experience for them.”

An El Paso native, Lambert started and led the first All-Region Mariachi program in North Texas sanctioned by the Texas Music Education Association. His students’ musical excellence was noted in performances at the Mexican consulate and the Latino Cultural Center.

Lambert served as a volunteer, board member and eventually a teacher for the non-profit Creative Planet School of the Arts in California before joining the faculty at Wilson High School in East Los Angeles as a special education teacher. Previously, he had a career in marketing, fundraising and operations in the United States and Germany working with AT&T and the New York and Brooklyn Philharmonics.

Lambert received a bachelor’s degree in music from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in music from New Mexico State University. He holds a music education certificate from California State University and an educational leadership and principal certificate from the University of Texas.

The Metro Schools mariachi program was introduced in May with concert performances from Jose Hernandez and from the Veterans Juvenil de America Mariachi. Mariachi is a term used to describe a group of strolling musicians performing a style of Mexican music, a member of such a band and their music.

Wright Middle School is a zoned middle school at 180 McCall Street off Nolensville Road. Nearby Glencliff High School is also a zoned school at 160 Antioch Pike.

Music Makes Us is under the overall direction of Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools. The staff also includes Laurie Schell, director; Dr. Nola Jones, music coordinator; and long-time Metro Schools educator Carol Crittenden.


Explore your school options for the 2013-14 school year at the inaugural First Choice Festival. Families will be able to visit with representatives from the districts 153 schools, explore programs offered in our district, and learn how to apply.

The First Choice Festival will be held Thursday, Oct. 18, 4:30 - 7:30 p.m., at McGavock High School. The event is sponsored by WSMV-Channel 4 News, NES, The Memorial Foundation, Vanderbilt University, Comcast, Metro Water Services, Ingram, Tractor Supply Company, Gaylord Entertainment, Kroger, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, AT&T, and RGAnderson.

Click here for more.

1stChoicePicture - a graphic promoting the 2012 First Choice Festival


It's never too early to start planning for future school years, and Metro Schools wants to help you do just that. The 2013-14 School Calendar has been approved by the Board of Education. Find it and other important events and dates on the district's calendar pages, here.

 2013-14 District Calendar Thumb

2013-14 District Calendar


The 2012-13 Nashville Prevention Partnership series is looking for on-air talent, and MNPS high school students are invited to audition. Production is set to begin in late August.

According to Nashville Prevention Partnership, those interested should be able to spend at least four hours in production every week, including some weekends. Experience with video concepts and editing is preferred but not required.

Nashville Prevention Partnership is a coalition that brings individuals and organizations together to reduce substance abuse in Nashville. The organization hopes to create awareness of the issues related to youth addiction and use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. They have created several public service announcements, video projects and developed the Rep Your Voice website (www.repyourvoice.com).

In this audition, Nashville Prevention Partnership is looking to find:

1) Teens who are not afraid to be in front of the camera and conduct interviews (with peers and adults)

2) Teens who would like to learn how to work on a production set

3) Teens who can read from a script or teleprompter

4) Teens who are not using alcohol or drugs

***You will be responsible for transportation to and from the Youth Opportunity Center located on 1704 Charlotte Ave.

If you are interested, auditions are by appointment only. To schedule an audition or receive more information, contact Angela Gonzales, at aallen@npponline.org or 615-983-6823.
The deadline for auditions is August 31st


Looking for something fun, and free, to do tonight? It's Nashville School of the Arts Night at Shakespeare in the Park. Load up the family, picnic baskets, blankets, and/or lawn chairs and enjoy the high school theatre department's performances. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., at the Centennial Park Bandshell. 


Students and staff at Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary are getting into character this school year! Tuesday, August 14 Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary’s staff dressed up as book characters to kick off the first nine-week theme of “Friends Far and Near”.  At the end of the nine weeks each classroom will have completed a class book that will be displayed at the East Nashville Public Library. The books will be used to teach the community about various literary styles. 

Hattie Cotton Reading Theme 2012 - class project will be displayed at library for community to see


Attention shoppers: Opry Mills will offer more than just great shopping this year; it will also help hundreds of students earn their high school diplomas. Forced to close after the devastating May 2010 flood, the Academy at Opry Mills, supported by the Simon Youth Foundation, is back in business and eager to help its new class of students get on track and graduate.

“The impact we have felt in the three short years that we have offered these non-traditional programs has been tremendous,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Since 2009, we have watched 1,040 students graduate from our Academies -- located at Hickory Hollow, Old Cockrill and Opry Mills. These young men and women were at high-risk of dropping out but instead got back on track and earned high school diplomas.”

Led by new principal Carmon Brown, who previously served as an assistant principal at Hillsboro High School, the school will cater to each student’s unique needs and circumstances. In a statement issued earlier in the summer, Associate Superintendent of High Schools Jay Steele commended Brown’s 20 years of experience in high schools and said he will be a “strong leader for the Academy at Opry Mills who understands how the Academy can help students overcome obstacles and earn a high school diploma.”

The new, state-of-the-art facility features an open concept with identifiable learning centers that can be easily adapted to accommodate different instructional practices, projects and learning opportunities. The innovative space will promote collaborative and learning opportunities for the students. It also features a new exterior entrance that will make the school much easier to locate and access from the parking lot.

“For the students at the Academy, the traditional classroom setting did not work,” said SYF President and CEO J. Michael Durnil, Ph.D. “Our Academy will create a non-traditional environment that will ignite hope in students, giving them the confidence to be successful and earn their high school diploma.”

The Academy at Opry Mills is one of three Metro Schools supported by SYF. The second is The Academy at Hickory Hollow, which opened to serve the students displaced by the closure of the school at Opry Mills after the historic flood in May 2010. The third is The Academy at Old Cockrill, which opened in 2009 and this year will begin receiving scholarship support from SYF. Between the three academies, SYF and MNPS will annually serve hundreds of at-risk Nashville youth.

About the Academies

These academies are for students who wish to pursue a high school diploma in a non-traditional high school setting. For admission, students must be 17-21 years of age and need eight or fewer credits in the content areas. Studies are highly individualized to each student’s needs and personal circumstances.

About SYF

Simon Youth Foundation, established in 1998, operates 23 academies in 13 U.S. states that give at-risk students the same education they would receive in a traditional classroom while offering the flexibility that their individual circumstances require. Recipient of the Crystal Star Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention from the National Dropout Prevention Center, the foundation has helped more than 8,000 students earn their high school diploma and provided more than $10.7 million in college scholarships to 3,500 students in 42 states. The Education Commission of the United States has recognized the Foundation with its Corporate Award for sustained and substantial investment in improving public education.


To find out exactly what you need to do to request deferred action, visit the Conexión Américas website.

You may have heard about and executive order from President Obama that will stop deportations of young people under certain conditions.

This executive order means many people will need to access school documents demonstrating they have graduated from high school or are currently enrolled.

How to Request Student & Graduate Records

If the student is currently enrolled or graduated within the last three years (in 2010, 2011 and 2012), the records are at the Metro Nashville high school from which the student graduated.

If the student graduated prior to 2010, the records must be retrieved. The student must complete a Records Request Form found at this link:
http://www.mnps.org/Page58540.aspx. The fee for this request is $3.

Who is eligible for deferred action under this new directive?

Pursuant to the Secretary’s June 15, 2012, memorandum, in order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must:

  1. Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;

  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;

  3. Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;

  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

  5. Not be above the age of 30.

Individuals must also complete a background check and, for those individuals who make a request to USCIS and are not subject to a final order of removal, must be 15 years old or older.

More information from the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Alumni Alert – USA Olympic Basketball Coach

Did you know that Hillsboro High School graduate Marynell Meadors is an assistant coach for the 2012 US Olympic Women’s Basketball Team? That’s right, the gold medal winning US team – perhaps the best women’s basketball team ever assembled – benefited from the leadership of an MNPS legend. Coach Meadors is also the General Manager and Head Coach of the Atlanta Storm of the WNBA. Burro Bob is beside himself with pride. Congratulations to Olympic Champion Coach Meadors!

Sparkle Cats – Unique Student-Athletes Help Fans Get with the Program

No need for the North Sports Report to search far for inspiration, it met me at the gate, selling programs for the game. As I entered Nick Coutras Stadium at Overton High School Saturday night, I was greeted by The Sparkle Cats selling the game program with the roster of all four teams playing in that night’s jamboree. The Sparkle Cats is a pep squad of special needs students who train and perform with the Overton Cheerleaders. Principal Shuler Pelham and Cheerleading sponsor Donna Merchant explained that the Sparkle Cats go to cheerleading camp, perform at pep rallies, and help the cheerleaders with selected cheers at the games.

Every now and then, we need a reminder of the beauty and grace of public education and the true meaning of school spirit. Also, sometimes we need a game program with the teams’ rosters. The Sparkle Cats was just what the North Sports Report needed.

History…Isaac Litton High School

Isaac Litton High School closed forty years ago, but its history of athletic excellence is deep and rich. From Bonnie Sloan, the first deaf player in the NFL, to Bobby Hillman, a major league catcher who caught two no-hitters in his career, to the famous Marching 100+ marching band that performed in the 1964 Tournament of Roses Parade, to John Gordy, Detroit Lions great – the feats of Litton students are legendary. Litton alumnus and war hero Kenneth Duke played college football at SMU, left SMU to join the Navy, and was killed in Korea. The bridge on Briley Parkway over the Cumberland River near Litton is named in his honor. Friends and alumni gathered last week to dedicate the renovated gymnasium and alumni area. If you have any interest in the history of Nashville, Nashville schools, or high school athletics, you must visit the Litton alumni room.

Litton High Band Uniform & Tournament of Roses Pictures
The Isaac Litton Alumni room (The Lion’s Den) includes memorabilia from the marching band’s appearance at The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California in 1964.
Litton High Football Jersey - #33 Kenneth Duke
Reflecting on the past: The Litton football jersey of war hero Kenneth Duke hangs in the Lion’s Den at the newly renovated Litton Gymnasium.

Football Starts this Friday…They call it Week Zero

The jamborees packed all thirteen MNPS football teams into three nights at three locations. The North Sports Report enjoyed the hospitality, excitement and great football at Maplewood, Cane Ridge, and Overton last week.

The regular season starts this Friday, August 17 at 7:00pm:

  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel to the neighboring Maplewood Panthers in what they call the Dickerson Road Bowl;

  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Pearl-Cohn Firebirds;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to face Hillsboro Burros to see which of the Hills is king of the mountain;

  • Antioch Bears host LaVergne;

  • Glencliff Colts welcome Sycamore;

  • McGavock Raiders travel to Tullahoma;

  • Overton Bobcats head down the road to take on Father Ryan;

  • Stratford Spartans head to Sumner County to challenge JPII; and

  • Whites Creek Cobras drive up I 24 to Clarksville to face Rossview

The MNPS home games are: at Maplewood; at Cane Ridge; at Hillsboro; at Antioch; and at Glencliff. It is a great time to start a Friday night tradition. Take your family to a game! It is a great family night, for the great families of Nashville.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for the Beauty and Grace of Public Education



Academy at Hickory Hollow Night Out


The Academy at Hickory Hollow participated in District 32 Fun Night Out Against Crime, Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The event was held at Victor Chatman Studios in Crossings Center, located in Antioch. Teacher Syreeta Blakely, along with former students Simone Ross and Clint Ekwuazi, greeted visitors and informed them about the great things going on at the academy.

To learn more about the Academy at Hickory Hollow, visit the school's website.


American Idol Ticket Winner

Congratulations to Jose G., seventh grader at Neely’s Bend Middle School, for winning the American Idol vs. Vaccinations contest. Jose along with three additional guest will enjoy and evening of singing at the American Idol Live! contest, Sunday, Aug. 12, at Bridgestone Arena.


Chaney Mosley brings diverse background to academies

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools has chosen Dr. Chaney Mosley as director of the Academies of Nashville, the college and career prep program in the district’s 12 zoned high schools. Mosley will succeed Starr Herrman, who retired this year.

The Academies of Nashville provide students with small learning communities, each centered on an academic theme, while providing students all the credits required for college admission. Since the Academies launched, the district’s graduation rate, student engagement and school climate have improved. Seven Academies have earned national accreditation, including five that earned the highest designation as “model” academies. Hillwood High School is Nashville’s first high school to receive the model designation for all its academies.

Mosley has more than 10 years of education expertise under his belt. He began his educational career as an agricultural teacher for schools in Tennessee and Georgia, including Hendersonville, Cascade and Temple High Schools. He transitioned into higher education and worked as a graduate teaching assistant at Virginia Tech University. In 2011, Mosley joined the Tennessee Department of Education where he served as a career and technical education consultant for a year before assuming his current position.

During his time as a teacher and a graduate assistant, Mosley served in the United States Army Reserves 4203 USAH (United States Army Hospital) and served two tours of duty in Iraq. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Mosley has both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middle Tennessee State University. He earned the specialist in education distinction from the University of West Georgia and a doctorate in education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


It almost looks like a college student center or an employee lounge at Google.

Thanks to a generous donation from John Ingram, Hillwood High School cut the ribbon on its brand new library yesterday! Look at all the city officials who came out to see it. It's easy to see why they're so excited. Just look at it!

All photos by Gary Layda, Metro Government Photographer -


Apollo Middle School received a helping hand from more than 40 volunteers from Nashville Tools For Schools. Nashville Tools for Schools and community members were on hand to build and install desks for the school’s auditorium.

Nashville Tools For Schools (“NTFS”), in partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools and members of our community, exists to provide the best possible learning environment for our young people and to demonstrate the community’s dedication to our educational system. We want to give each and every student in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools the best education possible. Nashville Tools For Schools is committed to small maintenance and construction projects within our public schools, projects such as building desks or installing shelving, projects which empower our schools children and protect our schools resources.

Much more information is available on the
Nashville Tools for Schools website.


Are you a vaccinated MNPS 7th grader? You could win tickets to American Idol Live!

American Idol Live! tickets to be given to one vaccinated Metro Schools 7th grader

Diphtheria is a serious illness. Whooping Cough (Pertussis) claims young lives every year. Exposure to tetanus is common and can be debilitating, even fatal. Chicken Pox (varicella) hospitalizes hundreds of children annually. Tennessee law requires every 7th grader in the state to get fresh vaccines to protect against these health hazards before entering school.

These are all good reasons to be vaccinated and here’s one more: a vaccinated Metro Nashville Public Schools 7th grader will win four tickets to the American Idol Live! Tour at Bridgestone Arena Sunday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.

DOWNLOAD our flyer for the full details - then share it with your friends!


Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han, Hollie Cavanagh, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips and Skylar Laine will appear in concert in the AMERICAN IDOL LIVE! Tour 2012.

The tickets will be given to a randomly selected 7th grade student with up-to-date vaccinations on a Tennessee Immunization Certificate or to a student who has a religious or medical exemption per Tennessee law. Seventh grade students are required to have a Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis booster (Tdap), and a second dose of the Varicella vaccine (or physician confirmation of history of Varicella). Tennessee Child Care and School Immunization requirements are on the TDH website at:

Families should submit students’ vaccination records to their schools by Thursday, Aug. 9, so their 7th graders will be eligible to win the concert tickets—and to attend classes without interruption. The winner will be notified on Friday.

Despite numerous efforts to inform families of the now 3-year-old requirement, Metro Schools’ preliminary counts indicate as many as 3,000 7th grade students started the year without the two additional vaccinations. Metro Health Department officials recommend parents take their children to their family's doctor or pediatrician for a well child exam along with the immunizations. The Health Department offers immunizations to anyone seeking the shots but wants to reach those without insurance, those who do not have a physician, and any child who has difficulty getting in to see a healthcare provider to get a required vaccine.

Immunizations are offered from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday through Friday at all three Metro Health Centers: East Health Center, 1015 East Trinity Lane; Woodbine Health Center, 224 Oriel Ave.; and Lentz Health Center, 311 23rd Ave. North. Parents are reminded to bring their child's immunization record with them to make sure shots are up to date.

For more information about children's immunizations, please call the Health Department at 340-5667, Monday – Friday. Information is also available online


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

London Calling… Glencliff Grad Goes Global

Only one American will referee Women’s basketball during the Olympic Games in London. Glencliff graduate Felicia Grinter is in London as one of the world’s elite basketball referees. That is too cool!

Olympian Alumni Alert

Speaking of world class performances, 2009 Pearl-Cohn graduate Michael Murray is headed to London to compete in the 2012 Paralympics, representing the United States of America! The crowd will be chanting U-S-A as he walks into the stadium for the opening ceremonies and as he takes the track to compete with the world’s best (correction: as one of the world’s best) in the 1500 meters. Below is an email forwarded to The North Sports Report. Every time I read this email, I get chills!

Michael Murray, 2009 Pearl-Cohn graduate and the son of two metro school employees (Kathryn Murray-Mays-teacher at the Academy @ Hickory Hollow and Michael Mays-maintenance dept-painter) is headed to London!!!

Michael Murray has made history by becoming the first American runner, with an intellectual disability, to go to the Olympics!!! Michael is a member the USA Paralympics team and will be running the 1500m in London in September. This is the first time, in over a decade, the Olympic committee has allowed T-20 athletes to compete.

Michael competed at the trials in Indianapolis in early July. He was selected to be a member of the 2012 Paralympics team to compete in London!!!!! Currently he is in San Diego (Chula Vista) training at the Olympic training facility. Michael will return home August 10th and leaves for London August 17th. He will actually compete September 3rd(10:31am) and 4th(7:19pm) all London times. London times are 6 hours ahead of us. His race can be viewed on http://www.paralympic.org/MediaCentre.

Note: Michael is on several websites. Athletes Without Limits (www.athleteswithoutlimits.org) ,Running Journal:(http://Running.Net), USA Paralympics (http://www2.teamusa.org/Athletes/MU/Michael-Murray.aspx), Nashville Illusions Track Club (http://nashvilleillusionstrack.com/runners.html)
Congratulations to Michael and his parents, and good luck in London! U-S-A…U-S-A!

Historic Visit... Cohn

The North Sports Report is visiting alumni rooms in the never ending quest to know more about the history of our schools. Recently, Cohn High School great Farrell Owens gave a tour of the Cohn Alumni area at the Cohn School. Did you know that Cohn was named for Corinne L. Cohn, the “only lady on the school board” at the time? She brought the idea of junior high schools and a three tier grade configuration that remained in place in Nashville’s schools for many years. Did you know Cohn’s football field, Sykes Field, was located where Cockrill Elementary school is now, and the Cohn Marching Band would parade several blocks to the games on Friday nights? By the way, Sykes Field was probably misspelled since it was named after Jonas H. Sikes, Cohn’s first principal.

Cohn's Hume Award Winners
Honoring Cohn's Hume Award Winners
Sykes Field Plaque
“It was on this turf, nourished by their blood, sweat and tears, that boys learned lifetime values of hard work, discipline, and teamwork. They were molded into young men who represented themselves and their school in frequent victory and rare defeat with honor and pride”

The more you learn…the more you know!

Jam Jam Jamboree, a.k.a. Footballapalloosa

The MNPS Football Jamborees start August 9 and will feature all 13 MNPS high school football teams. Go support your favorite team.
August 9, 2012 7:00pm at Maplewood

Maplewood Panthers vs. Hillwood Hilltoppers

Pearl-Cohn Firebirds vs. Hunters Lane Warriors

August 10, 2012 6:00pm at Cane Ridge

Cane Ridge Ravens vs. DCA

McGavock Raiders vs. Stratford Spartans

Whites Creek Cobras vs. Antioch Bears

August 11, 2012 7:00pm at Overton

Overton Bobcats vs. Hillsboro Burros

East Nashville Eagles vs. Glencliff Colts

Still deciding which team to follow this season? Go all three nights and pick your favorite.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for lifetime values of hard work, discipline, and teamwork


Adam & Noah Simmons, Morgan HydeThree Hillsboro High School students have returned to school after the summer of a lifetime!

Adam Simmons, Noah Simmons, and Morgan Hyde just landed back in the States, having spent two weeks in China. They went over as part of the Confucius Institute Summer Bridge Program.

The Confucius Classroom at Hillsboro High gives students experience with Chinese language and culture, taught by teachers recruited from China. In fact, Hillsboro has two brand new Chinese teachers this year, including one shared with JT Moore Middle School!

These three East-West scholars met with representatives of the Confucius Institute Friday afternoon to talk about their experiences in China. 


Adam and Noah recently transferred to Hillsboro from a local private school because they were seeking a "better education" in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Morgan is in the Academy of International Business. All three of them have said they want to go back to China and spend more time learning Chinese.


The Hillwood High School faculty and Academy business partners celebrated as one big happy familiy this week, recognizing the schools’ successful Academies and the national honors they've won.

Hillwood High was recognized as a "Triple Crown" school for having three Academies awarded ‘model’ program status, the highest level, by the National Career Academy Council. Academy coach Emily Hughes received a stating ovation for her hard work and dedication to help mold and shape each academy.

The Academy of Art, Design and Communications, the Academy of Business and Hospitality and the Academy of Health Sciences were all recognized as model programs. Each model academy will received a $1000 check, listing on the national website, and a banner to display in the school.

Congratulations, Hillwood!

Hillwood Triple Crown Celebration
The Hillwood family celebrates together.
Emily Hughes receives her award
Academy Coach Emily Hughes receives her award... and a standing ovation.


Nutrition Services - Healthy meals at every school, every day. Twenty Metro Nashville Public Schools have received USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge Awards (HUSSC). The Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

“This is a great recognition of all the work we have been doing in the schools and with the community to offer students appealing, healthy meals,” said Fred Carr, Metro Schools’ Chief Operating Officer, who oversees the district’s Nutrition Services Department.

The schools and awards are:

  • Amqui Elementary School (Bronze)

  • Bellshire Elementary School (Bronze)

  • Caldwell Enhanced Option (Bronze)

  • Croft Middle School (Bronze)

  • Cumberland Elementary School (Bronze)

  • East Middle School (Bronze)

  • Glengarry Elementary School (Bronze)

  • Glenn Enhanced Option (Bronze)

  • Hattie Cotton Elementary School (Bronze)

  • Haynes Middle School (Bronze)

  • Head Middle Magnet (Bronze)

  • Hickman Elementary School (Bronze)

  • J.T. Moore Middle School (Bronze)

  • Jones Paideia Magnet (Bronze)

  • LEAD Academy Upper (Bronze)

  • Lockeland Elementary (Bronze)

  • Neely’s Bend Elementary School (Bronze)

  • Oliver Middle School (Bronze)

  • Robert E. Lillard Design Center (Bronze)

  • Shayne Elementary School (Bronze)

  • Thomas Edison Elementary School (Bronze)

  • Warner Enhanced Option (Bronze)

Metro Schools’ Nutrition Services department has made significant changes to incorporate healthier food choices for all students and is part of Alignment Nashville’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Committee working to not only provide nutritious food options, but also to provide appealing choices to students. To date:

  • The district continues to explore ways to reduce processed food items. Metro Schools has been ahead of the curve in providing healthy food choices as the budget allows.

  • Several school cafés offer salad bars; all offer a vegetarian choice daily.

  • Metro Schools’ nutrition staff works with local farmers to increase the amount of locally grown fruits and vegetables.

This year, school lunches will meet additional standards requiring:

  • Age-appropriate calorie limits

  • Larger servings of vegetables and fruits

  • A wider variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes

  • Fat-free or 1% milk (flavored milk must be fat-free)

  • More whole grains

  • Less sodium

In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the Healthier US School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. At that time, monetary awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction. To date, HUSSC awards have been given to 3,717 schools in 48 states. The Bronze award includes $500 for each school’s meal program.


Join Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Simon Youth Foundation and Opry Mills at a reception for the Simon Youth Academy at Opry Mills.

The Academy is a non-traditional high school that serves at-risk students, and its return after the floods in 2010 will once again provide hope to students in need.

The Academy at Opry Mills Reception


What a day! The first day of school in 2012-13 was a whirlwind for parents, educators, and everyone in or near a Metro school.

We had new schools opening (Cane Ridge Elementary, The Cohn School, The Academy at Opry Mills), others in new locations, and thousands of students coming to our schools for the first time.

At the end of the day (or half-day, if you like), things moved pretty smoothly, with one teacher even describing it as "the smoothest, most positive I can recall."

We went all over the city taking photos at several schools. Parents also sent in pictures of their children heading to school. They're all collected below in a Flickr slideshow.

Elsewhere online, parents, teachers, and the community were all a-buzz about the first day, sharing their experiences with us as the morning went on. We've collected them all together in a Storify story that includes several more pictures. Read the story here.

Thanks to everyone who made Day One such a success. The start of school is always a big day, and thanks to our wonderful families and community for helping out!


School starts Wednesday, August 1, and several of our schools are helping families prepare by holding open houses, orientations, meet & greets, and other events.

Below is a listing of some of these events in no particular order. If we're missing some,
send us an email to let us know. We'll add it!

  • JFK Middle Ice Cream Social - Sunday, July 29, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

  • Hume-Fogg Freshman Orientation - Monday July 23 through Wednesday, July 25, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. with a half-day on Thursday, July 26

  • Hillsboro "Burro Beginnings" Freshman Orientation - Thursday, July 26 at 8:00 a.m.

  • Overton Freshman Orientation - Monday, July 30 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

  • Meet & Greet for Cane Ridge Elementary Principal Donna Wilburn - Monday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m., Cane Ridge High School

  • Meet & Greet for Antioch High School Principal Adrienne Battle-Koger - Tuesday, July 24 at 5:00 p.m.

  • Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet Freshman Firebird Orientation - Monday, July 30 at 6:00 p.m.

    • Pearl-Cohn Academies of Entertainment Management and Communication orientation - Tuesday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m.

  • West End IB World Middle School Parent & Student Orientation Nights

    • 5th & 6th Grades - Wednesday, July 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

    • 7th & 8th Grades - Thursday, July 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

    • School-wide Open House - Wednesday, August 1, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

  • Bellevue Middle School Orientation - Tuesday, July 24, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Church of Christ on Jackson Street

    • 5th Grade Orientation - Sunday, July 29, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Bellevue Middle School

    • Schedule Pick-up - Wednesday, July 25 & Thursday, July 26 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00p.m. at Bellevue Middle School

      • Mt. View Elementary Preview Night - July 31, 6:00-7:00 p.m. (Teacher assignments may be announced this night.)

      • Eakin Elementary School Kindergarten Popsicle Party - Monday, July 30, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

      • John Early Museum Magnet Middle New Student Orientation - Tuesday, July 31, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

        • Buses to run 2012-13 times and stops for transportation to John Early orientation

      • Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary Family Orientation

        • K-2 - Monday, July 30, 9:00 a.m. OR 5:30 p.m.

        • 3-4 - Tuesday, July 31, 9:00 a.m. OR 5:30 p.m.

        • Call 419-0509 by July 27 if you need transportation

      • Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Parent & Scholar Welcome Night - Thursday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m.

      • Granbery Elementary

        • Kindergarten Parent Meeting - Monday, July 30 at 6:00 p.m.

        • Open House for Grades 1 & 2 - Thursday, August 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Parents Only

        • Open House for Grades 3 & 4 - Thursday, August 2, 6:45-7:45 p.m. - Parents Only

      • Hillwood High School Freshman Orientation - July 30, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

      • Jere Baxter Middle School Open House - Tuesday, July 31, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

      • Buena Vista Enhanced Option Elementary School Parent Orientation - Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m.

      • Croft Middle Design Center Orientation and Open House - Tuesday, July 31 at 5:00 p.m.

      • Gra-Mar Middle School Student Orientation & Relationship Building - Thursday, August 2, 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

      • Sylvan Park Elementary Welcome to Kindergarten Party - Tuesday, July 31 at 5:30 p.m.

      • The Cohn School Open House - Thursday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m.


      District meets seven of nine benchmarks; student achievement grows

      Metro Nashville Public Schools showed growth in achievement among all subgroups of students last year, placing the district in intermediate status - the second highest accountability category. The State Department of Education earlier today released district-level status for all Tennessee districts, including for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

      Under this new accountability framework, the top-performing districts are “Exemplary” while the bottom performing districts are in two “In Need of Improvement” categories; the remaining districts are in an intermediate category. Tennessee’s new accountability system replaces No Child Left Behind’s Annual Yearly Progress measures. Rather than expecting all districts to meet the same benchmarks year after year, the new system acknowledges that districts are starting from different places and rewards those that show the most growth. Under the new system, approximately 43% of districts were categorized as “In Need of Improvement” or “In Need of Subgroup Improvement.”

      “These results show that thousands more of our students are performing at a higher level,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Tennessee standards are among the highest in the country and this new accountability system is real, it is holding districts to standards that are difficult but attainable.

      “The growth we have seen this year is the result of a lot of hard work, of making changes to instructional practice, providing more professional development and meeting our students’ diverse needs. We want to accelerate that growth at all levels and close achievement gaps.”

      The accountability system, adopted after Tennessee secured a waiver from part of NCLB earlier this year, looks to districts to increase achievement levels for all students and reduce achievement gaps that exist between certain groups. Metro Schools serves approximately one-third of the state’s English Learner students, as well approximately 12,000 Students with Disabilities. The district also serves more than 56,000 economically disadvantaged students, which is about 71% of total enrollment for last year.

      Metro Schools’ students made significant academic progress in the 2011-12 school year and the district met the majority of Tennessee’s academic achievement targets. In 2010, Tennessee adopted new academic performance standards that are among the most demanding in the nation. Metro Schools have shown steady improvement against these higher standards.

      Grade 3-8 TCAP Tests
      % proficient/advanced
        2010 2011 2012 
      Reading/Language Arts 33.9% 38.9% 42.1% 
      Math 25.9% 32.2% 38.4%
      Science 36.2% 38.8%  44.5%

      High School End of Course Exams
      % proficient/advanced
        2010 2011  2012 
      Algebra I 28.7% 37.6% 41.8%
      English II 47.4% 46.6%  48.7% 

      In addition, the district made impressive improvement at every grade level on the TCAP writing assessment with nine out of ten middle and high school students scoring competent or better.

      Writing Assessment
      Competent or Higher
        2010 2011  2012 
      Grade 5  77% 77% 81% 
      Grade 8 86% 86% 90%
      Grade 11 90% 88%  91%

      With this new system, Metro Schools met seven of nine benchmarks. The district showed improvement but narrowly missed the set benchmark for third grade reading/language arts. The district also missed in the graduation rate, the one calculation that has a one-year lag. The state has changed its calculation of graduation rate from a 5-year calculation to a 4-year calculation. Many students served by Metro Schools, such as English Learners or Students with Disabilities, require five years to graduate and are not included in the district’s overall graduation rate. Last year, Metro Schools’ graduation rate was 76.2%, down from 82.9% under the 5-year calculation. The 2012 graduation rate is not available.

      Under Tennessee’s new accountability framework, the top-performing districts are exemplary while the bottom performing districts are in two in need of improvement categories; the remaining districts are in an intermediate category.

      “I appreciate the support of our Board of Education as we transform our district. We knew test scores would be the last thing to change and we are pleased to see this growth,” said Register. “We must continue to improve in all categories. Reducing the achievement gap among student groups is our most significant challenge.”

      Individual student reports are in transit to the schools where students are assigned for the 2012-13 school year. Each school will send the reports home to families. The State of Tennessee has not yet released school-level data.

      Watch the live announcement of these results.


      They're a piece of every child's imagination, and several of our Metro students learned to build and control them this summer at Robocamp 2012. But no need to fear: these robots are built for peace.

      Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School held RoboCamp July 9-13. Teachers from Bailey, Litton Middle School and Stratford STEM High School led rising 5th-7th graders through the process of building a robotic arm to use in a competition at the end of the week. The students also learned to solder on a circuit board for an electronic siren. A trip to the Nissan factory in Smyrna provided students the opportunity to see robots in action. The students stopped at Home Depot on the way back to school for an “Inventor’s Tour” of the Home Depot in East Nashville where they explored alternative uses for different materials in the store. The competition on Friday put the students’ robotic arms to the test as they competed as teams and individuals.

      Thanks to all the educators who made this free summer camp possible and to all the campers who had an amazing time building robots!


      Court affirms school district’s position in Spurlock case

      NASHVILLE, TN (July 27, 2012) – Today, Federal Judge Kevin Sharp vindicated the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Board of Education and the Student Assignment Task Force in the long-running Spurlock litigation.

      Judge Sharp lauded the Student Assignment Task Force, a racially diverse body of laypersons, for their “commendable effort.” The court also commended the Board for its work in implementing “a federal magnet grant” to improve schools “in the urban core” and make them more racially and ethnically diverse.

      With this ruling, the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee dismissed the case without conditions. The ruling means Metro Schools can continue with its current zoning plan for neighborhood zoned schools and numerous school options.

      “We are happy to have this litigation behind us. We value diversity in our schools and will continue to promote diverse schools through innovative programs and school choice,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “We are committed to providing every student with an outstanding education.”

      About one-fourth of Metro students choose a school other than their zoned school; the district provides MTA bus passes to magnet school students who qualify for free and reduced price meals.

      The court said the plan, adopted by the Board of Education in 2008, does not classify students on the basis of race. The district has been battling the lawsuit since 2009, asserting the zoning plan enables families to take advantage of the benefits of neighborhood schools, including greater opportunities for parental involvement. The plan also provides families with a wide array of school options in addition to zoned schools.

      The district is planning a First Choice Festival for Thursday, Oct. 18 from 4:30 to 7:30 PM at McGavock High School, 3150 McGavock Pike. At the festival, families can learn about their school options and the district’s new, streamlined optional school application process. In the 2013-14 school year, the district is expected to offer more than 60 schools through the school option process.


      Several Metro students have been working on math class work during the summer, even winning awards!

      Thirteen Metro Schools participated in the Metro Nashville Summer Math-a-lon and earned Apangea Math Points for their school.

      Apangea Math provides one-student-to-one-teacher differentiated math instruction through a unique integration of proprietary tutoring technology and live, online certified teachers. As a web-based solution, Apangea Math can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection – ensuring students can learn math anytime, anywhere.

      Here are the Metro Summer Math-a-lon schools and scores:

      • Margaret Allen MS – 11,507 Apangea Math School Points

      • East Literature Magnet – 10,608 Apangea Math School Points

      • John F. Kennedy MS – 4,322 Apangea Math School Points

      • John T. Moore MS – 4,547 Apangea Math School Points

      • Madison MS – 2,408 Apangea Math School Points

      • Gra-Mar MS – 1,124 Apangea Math School Points

      • Thurgood Marshall MS – 736 Apangea Math School Points

      • Rose Park MS – 237 Apangea Math School Points

      • Wright MS – 95 Apangea Math School Points

      • Haynes MS - 42 Apangea Math School Points

      • Bellevue MS - 25 Apangea Math School Points

      • Apollo MS - 46 Apangea Math School Points

      • DuPont Tyler MS - 18 Apangea Math School Points

      Students had several options to choose from after collecting the points. Fifty-seven percent of the Apangea Points earned were donated to a charity of the student’s choice. Charities included:

      • A Soldier’s Child Foundation

      • Big Brothers Big Sisters

      • United Way

      • Wounded Warrior Project

      • The Boys and Girls Club

      • Make-A-Wish Foundation

      • Special Olympics

      • Habitat for Humanity


      Julia Green Elementary school parents, neighbors and faculty filled the school’s auditorium Thursday, July 26 for a community discussion about the school’s future. Leaders from Metro Schools, Metro Codes, Metro Planning, and Metro Public Works answered questions for nearly three hours.

      Metro Council Members convened the meeting, which was prompted by a planned purchase of two parcels of land adjacent to Julia Green. The proposed purchase contract requires Metro Council approval.

      School buses, traffic flow, student enrollment, land use, portable classrooms, classroom additions, the school zone and school size were among the issues discussed. The district shared drawings that showed how the additional land could be used with or without additional classrooms. There is no funding for additional classrooms.

      VIEW Drawings of Possible Uses for Additional Land

      Julia Green is projected to have 635 students for the 2012-13 school year.


      The Middle Tennessee Reading Association is the local council affiliate of the Tennessee Reading Association. Several Metro School teachers hold positions with the association.

      • Angel Viera, literacy coach at J.E. Moss Elementary, has been named the 2012-2013 President-Elect of the Tennessee Reading Association.

      • Melanie Collins, teacher at Bordeaux Enhanced Option Elementary, assumed the office of Vice President of the Tennessee Reading Association for the 2012-2013 school term. Collins will become President-Elect during the 2013-2014 school year. She is also serving as Middle Tennessee Reading Association treasurer.

      • Sandra Smith-Hitt, teacher at Robert Churchwell Elementary, will serve as the 2012-2013 Treasurer of the Tennessee Reading Association.

      • Anita Armstrong, literacy coach at Cole Elementary, is serving Tennessee Reading Association as the 2012-2013 Recording Secretary.

      • Holly Perez, teacher at Donelson Middle School, is the president of Middle Tennessee Reading Association for 2012-2013.

      • Jana Crosby is the new state coordinator for the Tennessee Reading Association charged with overseeing and planning many activities for our association.

      • Eileen Steeples of Robert Churchwell is serving as membership chair for Middle Tennessee Reading Association.


      Mark North

      Board Member &

      Sports Fan Mark North

      Tennis anyone? …Or … Does love mean nothing to you?

      The national story of the summer in the tennis world has been the incredible rise of Hillwood Alum Brian Baker who earned his way through qualifiers to play at The French Open and at Wimbeldon. The former Hilltopper played his way to the round of 16 at Wimbeldon. Next stop for Brian is the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

      Alumni Alert – It’s the Principal

      The new Principal at Gower Elementary School is one of the all-time greatest athletes in MNPS history. Barbara Frazier was a member of the first 5 on 5 Girls basketball state championship team at Pearl High; a state champion in several events in track and field; the first MNPS alum to be a member of the world famous Tigerbelles track team at Tennessee State; a member of the Tennessee State University Athletic Hall of Fame; and a member of the Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame. Oh … and a Superstar Principal!

      Fall Sports …Get the Party Started

      Even before school starts, practice for the fall sports is in full swing. Last year, MNPS teams and athletes made runs at state championships, and this year is shaping up to be even better. If you have a school nearby, make sure you go to the competitions. If you aren’t affiliated with any particular school, pick a school and follow it. Fall sports include: Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Golf, Football, Cheerleading, and Cross Country. Not only will you enjoy the competition, your presence and support benefits the student-athletes in ways and to an extent that are immeasurable. Go to a game!

      NIL Reunion Picnic

      Like an alumni association/historical society of legendary athletes, coaches, and fans, the Nashville Interscholastic League held its annual reunion picnic this week to celebrate the governing body for high school sports in Nashville until the mid-1980’s. The North Sports Report attended and rubbed elbows with the greats: Farrell Owens of Cohn; DuPont’s Bobby Gaines; McGavock’s John Griffith; and legendary Coaches Ken Redmond, Jerry Pigue, Wes Elrod, Tommy Frensley, Tommy Griffith, and Charlie Anderson. The highlight for the North Sports Report was visiting with Hillsboro football great Donny Sherman, Stratford basketball star Mike Jackson, and the incomparable Charles Davis of McGavock. Wow… great memories of the sports heroes of bygone days. If you don’t recognize these names and want to know more about the history of high school sports in Nashville, do a little research at www.highschoolglorydays.com.

      The Future of the North Sports Report

      Will the North Sports Report be back for the 2012-13 school year? Answer: Ohhhh Yeeeeessss! And you can follow MNPS related Sports Reports on Twitter @TheFansInc.

      -- Mark North

      MNPS: The First Choice for Legendary Athletes, Coaches and Fans


        Pearl-Cohn Summer demo students, producers, and engineers

        Metro students Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay, Jevon and Jordan Donaldson, and Ariell Pryor had the opportunity to work with well-known Nashville musicians to cut artist demos in Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High’s studio. This comes on the heels of Music Makes Us and Warner Music Nashville providing two week summer internships for 20 Pearl-Cohn students, where they learned about the record business first-hand.

        Dave Pomeroy, bassist and president of the American Federation of Musicians, along with drummer Craig Krampf, keyboardist Jim “Moose” Brown, and guitarist Gary Burnette provided tracks for the demos. Studio production services were provided by Bob McCracken, audio production teacher at Pearl-Cohn, assisted by Warner Music interns Mario Rosales, Deon’te Jones, Luis Trejo, and Vincent Zirker. At the end of the recording session, each of the students gets a mix of their song. This is the first effort of the new student-run record label at Pearl-Cohn to introduce itself to Metro students who dream of becoming recording artists.

        A good time was had by all!


        Tougher high school courses better prepare students for college so Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is changing its high school GPA calculations to encourage and reward students who choose academic rigor.

        Nueva escala de calificaciones 5.0 para las escuelas preparatorias (high schools) promueve el rigor académico

        The district will convert to a 5-point Grade Point Average (GPA) in 2012-13. This change will phase in over a two-year period beginning with students in grades 9, 10 and 11 this school year, which begins Wednesday, August 1. In 2013-14, students in grade 12 will be included.

        “The weighted GPA will encourage students to enroll in advanced, rigorous courses of study,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “We want all our students to graduate prepared for college and career. This change is another step in cultivating a strong college-going culture in our district.”

        Under the new policy, students will receive an additional 1 point weight for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Students will receive a 0.5 weight for dual enrollment and honors courses. This will reward students who enroll in more rigorous college-prep courses.

        Grade Scale: GPA Calculation: 
        Letter Grade Numeric Value Un-weighted Regular Weighted Honors, Dual Enrollment Weighted Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate
        A 93-100 4.0 4.5 5.0
        B 85-92 3.0 3.5 4.0
        C 75-84 2.0 2.5 3.0
        D 70-74 1.0 1.5 2.0
        F 0-69 0 0 0

        “The new 5-point GPA aligns Metro Schools with surrounding districts and districts across the United States,” said Jay Steele, associate superintendent for high schools. “We discussed our plans with admissions officers at public and private universities. They told us they look for academic rigor and some said the weighted GPA would help students applying to their schools.”

        A 5-point GPA will shape future valedictorian and salutatorian selections and honor student designations. Two GPAs will be recorded on student transcripts, a weighted 5-point GPA and an unweighted 4-point GPA. Many universities request both weighted and unweighted GPAs on student transcripts and want school districts to encourage students to take more advanced courses.

        Research from the College Board, which administers the SAT, shows rigorous high school classes improve student performance on college entrance exams and college success.

        Current 9th, 10th and 11th grade students will receive retroactive GPA calculations as the system is updated to reflect the new GPA. Current seniors will not be included in the new calculation.


        From 1933 until 1986, Nashville area high schools went head-to-head in major sports as part of the Nashville Interscholastic Sports League. To remember those glory days, alumni of Nashville high school sports will gather for a reunion this Wednesday.

        Come take part - bring sports memorabilia from your school, reconnect with old team mates, and relive the past glories of Nashville scholastic sports.

        Sports radio superstar George Plaster will even broadcast his show live from the reunion!

        Wednesday, July 25

        2:00 p.m. until "as long as folks keep coming"

        Freeland Work Truck Superstore

        504 Collins Park Drive in the Antioch/Hickory Hollow area


        Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools has named Barbara Frazier and Kellee Akers to elementary school principal positions effective immediately.

        Frazier, who recently served as principal of Hermitage Elementary, has been appointed principal of Gower Elementary School. No stranger to the district, Frazier began working for the district in 1986 as a teacher at Tom Joy Elementary, where she taught for 16 years. Frazier also served as an athletic coach for Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood and Hunters Lane High Schools and Meigs Middle School. In 2002, Frazier returned to Tom Joy Elementary as assistant principal for one year before moving to principal of Hermitage Elementary where she completed seven years as principal. Frazier is an alumna of Metro Schools, graduating from Pearl-Cohn High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Tennessee State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University. She will replace former principal Steven Cagle, who retired this summer.

        Akers has been appointed principal of Hermitage Elementary School. Akers most recently served as assistant principal at Granbery Elementary School. Before serving at Granbery, Akers was a teacher at Una and Glenview Elementary Schools. As a Glenview teacher, she provided statewide professional development for the Tennessee Department of Education and district-wide professional development in the use of DIBELS and Tennessee Standards. At Glenview, she was named Teacher of the Year. While assistant principal at Granbery, Akers traveled to China as a delegate for the Educational Leadership Learning Exchange with Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education. Akers received her bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and master’s degree from Cumberland University. She also participated in the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville at Vanderbilt University. Akers will be replacing Barbara Frazier.

        See a complete list of new leadership for Metro Schools in 2012-13.


        Seven Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Academies of Nashville programs have received national accreditation, including five that earned the highest designation as “model” academies by the National Career Academy Coalition. Hillwood High School, with a “Triple Crown “ of three model Academies, is Nashville’s first high school to receive the model designation for all academies in the school.

        “When we launched the Academies of Nashville, we had high expectations for the program and for the effect on students’ academic performance,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “We have seen an improvement in graduation rate, student engagement and school climate and now national experts in preparing students for college and career have named several academies as models for the nation.”

        The National Career Academy Coalition will honor the five “model” academies at the National Career Academy Conference to be held in Nashville November 8-10, 2012. Each model academy will receive a $1000 check, listing on the national website, and a banner to display in the school.

        The model academies to be honored are:

        • Hillwood High School Model Academies **Triple Crown**

          Dr. Steve Chauncy, Executive Principal

          • The Academy of Art, Design and Communications

          • The Academy of Business and Hospitality

          • The Academy of Health Sciences

        • McGavock High School Model Academies

          Robbin Wall, Executive Principal

          • The Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality/The U.S. Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance

          • The CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication

        In addition, academies at two other zoned highs schools earned certification. The certified academies are:

        • Glencliff High School Certified Academy

          Clint Wilson, Executive Principal

          • The Academy of Medical Science and Research

        • Antioch High School Certified Academy

          Dr. Adrienne Battle-Koger, Executive Principal

          • The Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance

        “This national recognition validates the work we are doing to make every student college- and career-ready,” said Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools. “We are grateful to our community partners who work with us and our students to ensure our programs are rigorous and relevant. We appreciate these accolades as we continue our work to make every Metro Nashville Public School an outstanding choice for parents.”

        The NCAC’s meticulous evaluation process includes documenting success on 10 national standards. Teachers and business partners worked together to prepare for the national reviews with countless hours of preparation for the coveted recognition.


        The Maplewood Showstoppers performed at the grand opening of a Fifth Third Bank last Saturday, July 14.

        The Maplewood Showstoppers' "Black Cat Band" performed outside the new Madison bank branch, and were even joined by a famous sabre-toothed mascot - Gnash from the Nashville Predators!

        Gnash performing with the Black Cat Band

        Despite the weather and having to reroute the sound, sound board and speakers due to the rain, the dedicated students were able to perform for a very enthusiastic crowd. The band played songs from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and the Temptations.

        The Black Cat Band performing

        Fifth Third has asked for the band to come back and perform at future events. The performance was Maplewood's way of saying "thank you" to Fifth Third and giving back to an amazing Academy partner.


        The PENCIL Foundation is gearing up for the August 1 start of school! LP PENCIL Box will open for teacher shopping starting July 31st, and everyone is busy collecting supplies to make sure every Metro teacher can stock their classrooms for FREE this school year!

        Want to help out?

        There are several ways to it. Hold a supply drive at your business. Donate gently used office supplies. Or you can even donate at several supply drives taking place this month!

        Here are some BIG supply drives taking place now:

        • Metro Government Supply Drive: Mayor Karl Dean launched a Metro-wide supply drive, which started July 9 and ends July 20. Metro departments that raise the most supplies will be recognized by Mayor Dean at a ceremony on July 30. Members of the public are encouraged to participate by donating school supplies at drop-off sites at any Nashville library, fire hall, police station and community center or at the MTA Music City Central transit station and the Nashville Farmers’ Market. We are looking forward to seeing all the Metro departments on Friday as they bring their donations! Read the press release.

        • Kroger: Visit any Davidson County Kroger through August 5th and drop off supplies in their donation bins. You can visit their school supply section OR purchase a $6.00 supply kit to make it easy! Our friends at Kroger are even sending 30 volunteers to help sort and count supplies. Thanks again to Kroger for many years of support!

        • McDonald's: Throughout the month of July, Davidson County McDonald's locations will also have supply drive bins. Your donation will also get you a free small McCafe drink! Many thanks to McDonald's for helping out again this year!

        • Make a Cash Donation Online: The LP Pencil Box website has a simple donation form for you to use.

        All supplies will be given to the LP Pencil Box, a non-profit "store" where Metro teachers can shop for free supplies for their students.

        Thank you for supporting our students!


        Nine Metro Schools educators, including teachers and coordinators, took a ride with Sally Ride Science Academy sponsored by ExxonMobil. Through this program, each teacher will learn new and innovative strategies to help raise student interest in science subjects and careers.

        Congratulations to the following teachers selected for the Academy:

        • Nicole Kloor-Janz, Maxwell Elementary

        • Hildateri Parks, Lakeview Elementary

        • Amanda Sheaffer, Tom Joy Elementary

        • Shauntel Jennings, Isaac Litton Middle

        • Stephanie Lankford, McMurray Middle

        • Carlene Taylor, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet

        • Mary Jane Woomer, DuPont-Hadley Middle

        • Ernestine Saville-Brock, MNPS Mathematics Coordinator

        • Sarah Baker, MNPS Science Coordinator

        These fine educators join 260 others from across the country.

        The Sally Ride Science Academy was founded by Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. The academy is dedicated to assist teachers in raising student interest in science. The program, based on research, shows that introducing young students to various science careers and scientists can spark interest and make the study of science more meaningful.


        Four of the district's IB experts traveled to the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Conference not just to learn, but to teach others.

        Dr. Terry Shrader, principal at Hillsboro High School; Emily Munn, IB Coach; Stephanie Knight, IB Coordinator at Hillsboro; and Dr. Sharon Chaney, the MNPS Director of Advanced Academics, gave a presentation detailing how the district was able to seamlessly integrate the International Baccalaureate program with the Academies of Nashville model that has transformed our high schools in the district.

        Hillsboro has the
        Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which has a 100% graduation rate and 97% post-secondary enrollment rate.

        We are so proud to have these four represent the district and this program at an international conference!


        Students at Middle College High School are already earning college credits and attending school on a college campus. This year they'll be getting even more of the full college experience, starting school on August 13 and following the Nashville State Community College Academic Calendar.

        "In addition to extending summer break," Principal Roderick Manuel says, "following the Nashville State Community College calendar will allow our students to have a more complete college experience and will give our students real breaks during the academic year." 

        Middle College students had huge college successes last year, with many earning associate degrees and general education certificates

        Read the full letter from Principal Manuel:

        Dear Middle College Families:

        I am writing with good news! As part of our efforts to create a college-going culture at Middle College, we will follow the Nashville State Community College calendar beginning with the 2012-13 school year. This means summer vacation is extended until Monday, August 13, 2012 for Middle College students.

        In addition to extending summer break, following the Nashville State Community College calendar will allow our students to have a more complete college experience and will give our students real breaks during the academic year. Without this change, differences between the Metro Schools calendar and the Nashville State calendar would make it difficult for students to take full advantage of breaks during the semester.

        Following the academic calendar of the associated college is a best practice used in many Middle Colleges and other dual enrollment programs across the nation. I have enclosed a copy of the Middle College High School instructional calendar for your reference. I am pleased about this change to our Middle College experience and regret that I was not able to let you know sooner. In any case, I look forward to seeing you back on campus Monday, August 13 for another successful academic year.

        It is our goal to have everyone fully registered and ready to begin class on Monday, August 13, 2012. Monday, August 6 - 9, 2010 are teacher in-service days; students do not report. If you have not completed all the forms and immunizations required for enrollment in school, please do so immediately. A list of these requirements will be in the first day packet that students will receive on the first day of school. Our school counselor, Miss Chandler, will be available beginning Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Our office hours are 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

        I ask that you remember MNPS buses will not be available to transport your child to Middle College High School. You may also access this information online at www.mnps.org under Our Schools/Buses and Transportation. Other information regarding the opening of school is also available on the district website. Please plan to arrive early on August 13, 2012 if you are transporting your child. Traffic is usually more congested the first day and parking is limited on the campus of Nashville State Community College.

        Please carefully read all of the enclosed information to help you and your child have a successful year. Pay attention to the Middle College High School dress code before purchasing your child’s school clothes. The dress code policy will be enforced on the first day of school. If you have any questions, please call the school office at 615-353-3742. We look forward to seeing all of our students on August 13, 2012 for a wonderful opening of school.


        Roderick Manuel, Principal


        Long-time educator Dr. Betsy Ruhl Potts has been tapped as principal of Old Center Elementary School in Goodlettsville. Potts will succeed former principal Rob Hancock who has accepted a position in the district’s Human Resources department.

        Potts, who most recently served as assistant principal at Amqui Elementary, has worked in education for more than 20 years. She began her career teaching first grade at Goodpasture Elementary and later became principal of the school. She joined Metro Schools in 2006 and taught first and third grades at Goodlettsville Elementary School. There, she was selected Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the district’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

        She has also served as assistant principal representative to the Metropolitan Nashville Principal Association board and participated in the Education Leadership Learning Exchange between Vanderbilt’s Peabody College and South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China and in the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville.

        She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from David Lipscomb University, a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University and a doctorate, also in administration and supervision, from Tennessee State University.


        Glencliff High School has named two new basketball coaches. John Filson has been named the new head girls basketball coach and Doug Kiel has been named the new head boys basketball coach.

        Filson worked as a teacher and assistant basketball coach at Glencliff High before assuming his new position. Before coming to Metro Schools, Filson worked at LaVergne Middle School, Hunters Lane and Holloway High Schools. He also serves in the Tennessee Army National Guard. Filson is a graduate of Belmont University.

        Kiel recently served as a mathematics teacher and boys assistant basketball coach at Mt. Juliet High School. He also worked for Lebanon and Warren County High Schools, where he was a teacher and head boys’ basketball coach. His coaching expertise has led 97% student-athletes to college, and he attended five region and three region semi-finals games. Kiel has a bachelor’s from Western Kentucky University and master’s from Tennessee Technological University.


        There's a big change happening this summer in the district's Technology Services, and it's getting some national press.

        The Metro Schools Technology & Information Services (TIS) team is moving to provide email accounts to all employees and students using Microsoft's Office 365 platform. This means transitioning away from the Metro government email system that was used in the past, a move that will reduce the district’s cost for email services while also addressing storage, security and information sharing needs. Employees will keep their current email addresses and existing emails will transfer to the new platform.

        Office 365 for education is a new platform just made available this summer. Metro Schools is one of the first institutions to take it on, which garnered us a mention in a blog post last month.

        From GettingSmart.com:

        Eighty thousand students will switch from Google to the Microsoft solution while 9,500 faculty and staff will be moving to the cloud from on-premises solutions, saving the district $400,000 annually in IT services costs.


        “It’s important we have a consistent toolset across the district so people can work together effectively. With Office 365 everything from the features and functions in the applications to the way the toolbars look exactly the same no matter where or how it’s being accessed, helps improve both teacher and student productivity,” said John Williams, executive director, Technology and Information Services, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. “This consistency, combined with the collaboration capabilities of Office 365, will be essential in supporting the blended learning environment we’re striving for across our district.”

        Read the full article on GettingSmart.com


        This transition will allow a seamless method for communication and collaboration throughout the district. Additionally, the district will be poised to meet the increasing demand for mobility, conferencing, social media, file-sharing and file storage.

        Thanks, TIS for all you do to serve Metro Schools employees and students!


        High honors came for two of the district's principals this summer. Dr. Nancy Meador, principal of Madison Middle School, was elected President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Not long after, Ruby Major Elementary principal Teresa Dennis was chosen to serve on the NAESP Board of Directors!

        These are high national honors for Ms. Dennis and Dr. Meador, so a big, hearty congratulations to them both! They will serve NAESP and represent our district well.


        Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools taps Glencliff High School assistant principals Dr. Adrienne Battle-Koger and Sonia Stewart as the district’s two new high school principals.

        Dr. Battle-Koger has accepted the position as principal at Antioch High School. Formerly academic principal at Glencliff High School, she also served as the high school’s Academy of Medical Science and Research principal, where she led the charge toward achieving national certification for the academy. Dr. Battle-Koger also facilitated and implemented instructional programs that increased school-wide Reading/English for each grade level. Prior to coming to Glencliff High, she served as principal and assistant principal at East Academy and taught at Dalewood Middle School. Dr. Battle-Koger is an alumna of Metro Schools, graduating from John Overton High School. She has a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University, and master’s and doctorate degree, from Tennessee State University. She will replace former principal Brian Mast, who resigned to take a job in higher education.

        Stewart has been appointed principal of Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. Stewart recently served as Glencliff High School’s Freshmen Academy principal with responsibility for providing instructional leadership, supporting Small Learning Community team meetings, and managing effective student intervention plans. As academy principal, Stewart increased ninth grade promotion, developed student leadership teams, improved parental involvement through academy showcases and student recognition. Prior to coming to Glencliff High, she was a teacher for Antioch High School, Brentwood Academy High School and Washington Prep High School in Los Angeles, Ca. Stewart received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. Stewart will be replacing Dr. Milton Threadcraft, who retired this summer.

        See a list of all principal changes for 2012-13.


        When I arrived at the newly renovated Isaac Litton Middle School, principal Tracy Bruno was fleeing the spray of a lawn sprinkler deployed to help the parched and newly planted landscaping. The grass may not have been prepared for the drought, but the school is prepared for more students and a higher profile in its East Nashville neighborhood.

        “We are the epitome of a neighborhood school, right here in the middle of all these houses,” Bruno told me. And it’s true. Litton sits nestled between small, residential streets like Winding Way and Littonwood Drive right off Gallatin Pike.

        The renovations that have taken place over the last year and a half have transformed the school into a building that looks practically new – and that’s because a lot of it is. The main office has been expanded. The library has a massive bank of new windows opening to the front lawn. The cafeteria is brand new and full of natural light. And the gym – once completely disconnected from the main building – has now been built out with new entrances, a new concession stand, and a host of new classrooms underneath it for fifth grade and related arts classes.

        Click "Read more" for photos and the full story of Litton's neighborhood transformation.


        Deloris BurkeA Metro Schools alumna educator is spending her summer in the deep end of a huge pool of knowledge in our nation's capital, all to help other teachers in the classroom.

        Deloris Burke, formerly principal of McMurray Middle School, is honored to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute. Burke was selected from more than 300 candidates to participate in this week-long program in Washington, D.C.

        During the program, Burke is working with Library education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website. This session will also include instruction on using primary sources from the World Digital Library website, established by the Library of Congress, endorsed by 
        UNESCO and launched online. in 2009. The site contains cultural materials from all 193 countries in UNESCO with expert commentary in seven languages.

        The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Library serves the public, scholars, Members of Congress and their staffs—all of whom seek information, understanding and inspiration. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the
        Library’s website.


        Dr. Antoinette WilliamsDr. Antoinette Williams, principal of Gra-Mar Middle School, has been named Tennessee Association of Middle Schools Middle Tennessee Administrator of the Year. Dr. Williams was awarded this honor during the Tennessee Association Middle School Conference this summer. She was given the honor for her accomplishments in providing Sustainable and Relevant Teacher Professional Development, Success in Transforming Low Achieving Schools, and Improving Student Achievement.

        Congratulations, Dr. Williams!


        Chadwell Elementary School hosted its first Academic Vocabulary Bee for the second, third and fourth grade students. Students prepared by studying the State Academic Vocabulary word list for Reading and Math. Chadwell teachers and literacy coaches planned rigorous activities to help students learn definitions and the origins of words. The Bee included a written test followed by two rounds of oral testing.

        Congratulations to the winners and participators. All winners received an Apple iPod!

        • Michelle M. – 2nd grade runner–up

        • Diana A. – 2nd grade winner

        • Linda L. – 3rd grade winner

        • Ordonte S. – 3rd grade winner

        • Sierra H. – 3rd grade winner

        • Jamare W. – 4th grade runner up

        • Nancy D. – 4th grade winner


        Whites Creek High School

        Students, parents, faculty, alumni, neighbors, and more – everyone will be welcome at the Whites Creek High School community cookout!

        “We are charting a new course – one leading to excellence – and we are excited about it,” said Dr. James Bailey, the school’s new Executive Principal.

        Dr. Bailey particularly wants to see faces from the past: former teachers, administrators, coaches, and band members.

        The celebration that will introduce his new administrative team and show parents and students the “new” Whites Creek High School. There will food, drinks, door prizes, and music at the celebration, as well as plenty of back to school information, elected officials, local dignitaries, and members of the Board of Education.

        Dr. Bailey explains, “The theme for the afternoon is transforming teaching and learning while bringing back the glory days. When I was a Whites Creek High School student, we had fun! We learned! We worked hard! We excelled! Those were the glory days! The alumni have committed to work with us this year to bring back that spirit of distinction, and that is what this event is about.”

        Come out and see for yourself!


        Saturday, July 21

        2:15 – 5:00 p.m.


        Whites Creek High School


        Don't leave your school hanging! Update your contact info today!We say it often: it is very important for schools to have your correct address and phone number.

        How important? This important:

        When report cards were mailed home after school ended a few weeks back, nearly all of them arrived on time and at the right house. But more than 2,700 were sent back because of incorrect addresses.

        How to Pick Up Your Report Card

        Those families who have not yet received report cards can pick them up at their school. Parents must bring proof of residence with them so school staff can verify who you are and also correct your address in their records.

        Any report cards not picked up by July 13 will be sent to Central Office (2601 Bransford Avenue).

        Your school will soon be in contact with you about this.

        Oh, and while we have your attention, why not
        give your school a call to update your address and telephone number?


        Want to help great students earn their high school diplomas?

        A school that gives students their second chance to graduate is getting a second chance itself. The Academy at Opry Mills had to move across town after the historic flood of 2010. But it is being reborn with a lot of hard work and help from Metro Schools and our partners at the Simon Youth Foundation.

        Now you can pitch in, too.

        SYF Gift RegistrySimon Youth has set up a “gift registry” of sorts where you can make donations that will go directly to finishing The Academy’s space inside Opry Mills Mall. Have $50 to contribute? You just “bought” a lamp or other classroom support item for students to use. $100? That’s good for a set of group seating. Big spenders can sponsor high-tech items like interactive white boards, teacher workstations or even an entire media center that students will use directly.

        Furnish the Future of The Academy at Opry Mills

        “This is not about buying fixtures for classrooms; this is about furnishing the future of Nashville by keeping young people in school so that they can prosper to become active members of the community who secure well-paying jobs that positively impact the local economy,” says SYF President and CEO J. Michael Durnil, Ph.D.

        The donations all go toward a $350,000 grant from Simon Youth to Metro Schools. That grant is what will help The Academy at Opry Mills break new ground in classroom design. The school is being built using the principles set forth in The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching & Learning. It will be a collaborative and engaging environment far removed from the traditional high school classroom. Please take a moment to look at the donation page and make a contribution, no matter how small (or big!).

        Opry Mills Floor Plan

        And look for a lot more bragging about The Academies at Old Cockrill, Hickory Hollow, and Opry Mills in 2012-13!

        Full release from the Simon Youth Foundation:

        “Furnish the Future” Public Giving Campaign Launches in Support of Simon Youth Academy at Opry Mills

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After being closed for more than two years following the historic Nashville flood in May of 2010, the Simon Youth Academy at Opry Mills will reopen this August and once again serve Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) students who are at risk for dropping out.

        Now, Nashville area residents can help write the story of the school’s return by making a gift to Simon Youth Foundation, the nonprofit organization supporting the school’s reconstruction.

        In the style of a gift registry, a donation page has been established at SYF.org to allow the Nashville community and other supporters to directly contribute to the construction of the new school, including the purchase of student desks and seating and learning resources like white boards and monitors.

        “Gifts supporting the Academy at Opry Mills are a sound investment in the city’s future, and we are hopeful that Nashville residents will take ownership of this new school by contributing to the cause,” said SYF President and CEO J. Michael Durnil, Ph.D. “This is not about furnishing classrooms; this is about securing the future of Nashville by keeping young people in school so that they can become active members of our community.”

        In a first for Metro Schools, the Academy at Opry Mills will utilize concepts from the book The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching & Learning. With innovative use of space and design, the Academy will promote collaborative and active learning while offering flexibility in the layout of learning spaces. The environment will engage students in new ways and benefit student-teacher interaction.

        “For the students at the Academy, the traditional classroom setting did not work,” Durnil says. “We will be creating a non-traditional environment that will ignite hope in students, giving them the confidence to be successful and earn their high school diploma.”

        Gifts made through the gift registry page at SYF.org will help fund a $350,000 grant from Simon Youth Foundation to Metro Schools for the Academy build out, and the school will operate in partnership between the two organizations with support from Opry Mills.

        To support the reopening of the Academy at Opry Mills, donors can log on to http://www.syf.org/support-syf/donate-in-support-of-the-simon-youth-academy-at-opry-mills. While suggested gift amounts are posted at the page, donations at any level are encouraged. SYF is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, and all gifts to the Academy construction are tax deductible.

        The Simon Youth Academy at Opry Mills is one of two Metro Schools supported by SYF. The second is the Simon Youth Academy at Hickory Hollow, which opened to serve the students displaced by the flood-forced closure of the school at Opry Mills in 2010. Between the two Academies, SYF and MNPS will annually serve as many as 500 at-risk Nashville youth.

        The reopening of The Simon Youth Academy at Opry Mills follows the recent return of Opry Mills as the largest outlet and value retail shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in Tennessee. With more than 200 popular stores, plus an unmatched selection of family-friendly dining options and entertainment venues, Opry Mills is a top destination and a vital economic force, providing jobs, impacting tourism, and generating revenue.

        About SYF

        Simon Youth Foundation, established in 1998, operates 23 academies in 13 U.S. states that give at-risk students the same education they would receive in a traditional classroom while offering the flexibility that their individual circumstances require. Recipient of the Crystal Star Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention from the National Dropout Prevention Center, the foundation has helped more than 8,000 students earn their high school diploma and provided more than $10.7 million in college scholarships to 3,500 students in 42 states. The Education Commission of the United States has recognized the Foundation with its Corporate Award for sustained and substantial investment in improving public education.


        It's important for students to have a physical before coming back to school. It can help prevent the health problems that may impact learning. That's why United Neighborhood Health Services is offering Back to School check-ups to get ready for that first day!

        Students will also be given all of the shots they need to come back to school. Incoming kindergarteners, pre-kindergarteners and 7th graders are required to have updated immunizations certificates and will not be allowed to attend without them.

        UNHC is offering immunizations and physicals at its three clinics now through the first day. TennCare and private insurance plans are accepted. Uninsured patients are also welcome, with fees based on a sliding scale. Call ahead to make appointments for physicals.

        United Neighborhood Health Services Clinics

        615-620-UNHS (8647)


        Dickerson Road Clinic, 1223 Dickerson Road, Nashville 37207

        Main Street Clinic, 905 Main Street, Nashville 37206

        Southside Family Clinic, 1101 Charles Davis Boulevard, Nashville 37210

        Full press release:

        Back-to-School Immunizations and Physicals Are Available at Three Clinics of United Neighborhood Health Services

        Free immunizations offered to students; shots are required for 7th graders and kindergarten & pre-K students by start of school on August 1

        Nashville, TN -- United Neighborhood Health Services is offering back-to-school immunizations and physicals for children at three of its Nashville clinics so that children will be prepared for the first day of school on August 1. Metro Nashville students entering 7th grade, kindergarten and pre-K are not allowed to attend school unless they have proof of immunizations.

        Free immunizations are available to students age 18 and under, who do not have insurance coverage or who have TennCare, at these United Neighborhood Health Services Clinics: Dickerson Road Clinic, 1223 Dickerson Road, Nashville 37207; Main Street Clinic, 905 Main Street, Nashville 37206; and Southside Family Clinic, 1101 Charles Davis Boulevard, Nashville 37210. Physicals are available on a sliding fee scale at the clinics. Appointments for immunizations and physicals at the three clinics can be made by calling 615.620-UNHS (8647). Appointments are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

        “Parents should schedule appointments now so that their children can get the required shots and be allowed to attend school this year,” said Mary Bufwack, CEO of United Neighborhood Health Services. “Metro schools require proof of immunizations on the first day of school for 7th grade, kindergarten and pre-K students.”

        She added, “Also, it is important that all students have a physical exam before going to school. Health problems can have a big impact on a student’s ability to learn.”

        United Neighborhood Health Services (UNHS) welcomes uninsured patients. Back-to-school immunizations are free. Patients are charged for other services on a sliding fee scale based on their ability to pay. UNHS also accepts TennCare and private insurance.

        United Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. (UNHS) is a private non-profit network of neighborhood health centers that have served Nashville for more than 30 years. Through its nine Nashville neighborhood clinics, five school-based clinics, the Downtown Homeless Clinic, two mobile health units, and a clinic in Hartsville, Tennessee, United Neighborhood Health Services annually serves approximately 32,000 medically underserved people of all ages; 17,000 have no health insurance. Visit www.unitedneighborhood.org or call 615-620-UNHS (8647) for information about UNHS’ other clinics and programs.


        The first day of school, Aug. 1, is fast approaching and Metro Schools’ Nutrition Services Department is hard at work preparing for next year. One of its tasks this summer is spreading the word about important changes in USDA rules that will affect all Metro Schools’ students who participate in the Meal Benefits (free/reduced lunch and breakfast) program.

        Starting this year, students who are on the Meal Benefits program must take certain items for the meal to qualify as a free or reduced meal. A lunch meal consist of one meat/meat alternate, one serving of vegetables, one serving of fruit, one serving of grain and milk. A breakfast meal consists of one fruit, one grain and milk. If a student does not take all required items, the student will be charged at the à la carte rate for the meal. Café employees will encourage students to take all the required items; however, families should also make sure their children are aware of this change to prevent from incurring charges.

        School meals are a great value and a huge convenience for busy families! Children need healthy meals to learn. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools offers healthy meals at every school every day. Breakfast costs $1.25 for elementary, middle and high schools and lunch costs $2.25 for elementary and $2.50 for middle and high schools. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals which cost $ .30 for breakfast and $ .40 for lunch. A lunch meal consist of 1 meat/meat alternate, 1 serving of vegetables, 1 serving of fruit, 1 serving of grain and milk. A breakfast meal consists of 1 fruit, 1 grain, and milk.

        More information for the new year is available in our Back to School Guide.


        Experienced educators to assume new posts at Shwab, McGavock and Bellshire

        There will be new principals at Shwab Elementary, Julia Green Elementary and Bellshire Elementary schools when the 2012 -13 school year starts Wednesday, Aug. 1.

        Dr. Natalyn Gibbs has accepted the position as principal for Shwab Elementary. Currently the assistant principal of Cole Elementary, Dr. Gibbs has also served as assistant principal of Hull-Jackson Montessori Magnet Elementary. She has background experience in teaching third, fourth and fifth graders at the elementary school level. Dr. Gibbs is a graduate of Tennessee State University, where she received her master’s degree in administration and supervision and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She replaces Catherine Prentis, who is retiring.

        Lance Forman has been appointed as principal of McGavock Elementary. Forman most recently served as assistant principal at Julia Green Elementary. Prior to coming to Julia Green, he was a fourth grade teacher at Andrew Jackson Elementary and worked the summer of 2008 as a STEM coach. Foreman is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communications and human resources and his master’s degree in educational leadership.

        Dr. Chris Marczak, formerly at McGavock Elementary, will take over as principal at Bellshire Elementary. Dr. Marczak has led McGavock Elementary as principal for three years and, prior to that post, served as assistant principal for both Una and Charlotte Park Elementary schools. Dr. Marczak is a graduate of Austin Peay State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and elementary education. He later received his master’s degree in educational leadership and doctorate in professional practice/leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University. In addition to being a principal, Dr. Marczak teaches in both the master’s and doctoral programs at Trevecca and David Lipscomb universities. He replaces Donna Wilburn, who has been named principal of the new Cane Ridge Elementary, opening this year.

        See a list of all principal changes for 2012-13.


        The Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Nutrition Services was awarded the 2012 Best Practices Award. The award presented by the USDA at the State Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. The department addressed the concern of being able to reach every student’s nutritional needs by introducing the “Translating the Menu to Achieve Healthier Food Choices” program. This program assists students who speak English as a second language by helping them gain a better understanding of food options available during breakfast and lunch.The program is one of many tools the students will use to adopt long term lifestyle choices.

        The program features names and images of foods in four languages including Spanish, Somali, Kurdish-Bahdini and Arabic languages. They are displayed for students to see in the serving line and on the bulletin board in the cafeteria.


        Vanderbilt University Dyer Observatory invites students to the NASA Summer of Innovation Program and Concert. View details about the event below.

        Vanderbilt University Dyer Observatory

        1000 Oman Drive, Brentwood, TN 37027

        Invites you to join us

        Thursday, June 21, 2012

        for a special

        NASA Summer of Innovation Event

        5:00 pm

        Gates Open and Summer of Innovation activities provided by

        the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

        You are welcome to bring a picnic and relax on the

        Dyer Observatory lawn for this special program

        7:30 pm

        NASA Summer of Innovation Program and Concert

        Featuring a performance of The Mighty Sky by

        Beth Nielsen Chapman and the Long Players


        Summer of Innovation Presentation by

        NASA Associate Administrator for Education and

        former two-time Space Shuttle astronaut

        Leland Melvin

        9:00 pm

        Telescope Viewing

        If inclement weather causes the concert and program to be moved to a different location, please visit www.dyer.vanderbilt.edu for rain site.

        RSVP Required: Due to limited parking, each car which comes through the gate requires a ticket. Only 100 free tickets are available, although you can put as many as 8 people in your car. To obtain a free ticket for your car, PLEASE RSVP online at http://nasadyerconcert.eventbrite.com. Questions? lynn.d.mcdonald@vanderbilt.edu.



        Chris Henson, Chief Financial Officer; Gracie Porter, Metro School Board Chair; Glenda Gregory, Director of Business Services and Dr. Jesse Register, Superintendent of Metro Schools

        Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is now a three-time winner of the Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) presented by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for excellence in budget presentation. This award is conferred only to school districts that have met or exceeded the Meritorious Budget Award criteria. In 2010, Metro Nashville Public Schools made history when it became the first Tennessee school district to earn the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association.

        To earn this award, Metro Schools submitted its 2011-2012 budget for a rigorous review based on demanding criteria. Developed by ASBO for school districts, the MBA criteria guide school business officials toward a quality school budget presentation by enhancing the school business officials’ skills in developing, analyzing, and presenting a school system budget.

        The award recognizes excellence in school system budget presentation and is given to districts with budgets that

        • use sound fiscal management practices,

        • promote effective use of educational resources,

        • provide clear budget presentations,

        • use up-to-date budget practices and

        • meet several other criteria.

        Congratulations to Chief Financial Officer Chris Henson, Director of Business Services Glenda Gregory, Communications Specialist Noelle Mashburn, and the Metro Office of Management and Budget for their award-winning work on the district’s budget.

        Featured in photograph (l to r) is Chris Henson, Chief Financial Officer; Gracie Porter, Metro School Board Chair; Glenda Gregory, Director of Business Services and Dr. Jesse Register, Superintendent of Metro Schools.


        Students in Overton's Academy of Information Technology participated in the Emerging Communication Technologies externship. This externship was in collaboration with the school’s academy partner Deloitte. As part of the externship, students researched the environmental impact of emerging technologies to show the effects of disposing old electronic devices on the environment. After completing the research, students used creative presentations to share their findings. In fact, one presentation included a song and a video written and produced by students within the academy. Check out the students’ presentation below.



        Dr. Cecila ArbuckleMetro Schools has appointed Dr. Cecilia Arbuckle the Lead iTeacher in the district’s Innovation Cluster to turnaround struggling schools. In this role, she will assure iTeachers receive the support, training and professional development needed to educate students in the Innovation Cluster. iTeachers are expected to meet rigorous student achievement goals.

        Dr. Arbuckle earned a Ph. D. and M. A. from George Peabody College for Teachers, now part of Vanderbilt University, and a B. A. from Brescia College in Owensboro, Kentucky. She has worked with Metro Nashville Public Schools for more than 30 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Previously, she served as a division chair of the Teacher Education Program at Brescia College; held adjunct professorships at Murray State University and Western Kentucky University; worked in the extended learning master's degree program at Cumberland University and served as executive director of KARC, Kentucky’s organization for intellectual and developmental disabilities.


        On June 7, 2012, the 500th student earned a high school diploma from the Academy of Hickory Hollow. Congratulations to Langley Bogle and The Academy of Hickory Hollow!

        Langley Bogle is the 500th student to graduate from the Academy of Hickory Hollow


        FirstBank Owl at Shwab Elementary

        Students at Shwab Elementary got an early lesson in dollars and cents back in April with an activity put on by FirstBank called "Teach Children to Save."

        They learned a lot about money, bank accounts, and budgeting. They also got a visit from the soft and fuzzy side of money - FirstBank's owl mascot!

        For more, read the full FirstBank press release below.



        On Tuesday, April 24th FirstBank associates Melinda Pulliam, Pam Theis, Heather Steele, Karen Risner and Lee Pitt participated in "Teach Children to Save Day" at Shwab Elementary in Nashville. The team worked with the students to teach them how to make good decisions with their money and the difference between needs and wants. They also explained how to identify expenses, demonstrate ways to cut spending and show how to maintain bank accounts. FirstBank is proud to partner each year with the American Bankers Association and help educate our youth.

        Teach Children to Save Day is a component of the national Teach Children to Save campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the important role that banks and bankers play in helping young people develop lifelong savings habits. So far it's reached more than 5 million young people with the help of some 100,000 plus banker volunteers. This year Teach Children to Save Day was celebrated on April 24, while bankers will give lessons throughout the year.

        About FirstBank

        FirstBank is Tennessee’s 3rd largest bank with 44 locations across the state. The bank, headquartered in Lexington, Tenn., serves every major metropolitan market in the state and, with more than $2 billion in total assets, has the resources to provide a comprehensive variety of financial services and products.

        FirstBank follows a community-banking model adopted by its charter, Farmers State Bank, more than 100 years ago in Scotts Hill, Tenn. As Tennessee’s premier community bank, FirstBank is committed to its role as a leader in the communities it serves. That commitment is reflected by the Ayers Foundation Scholars program, a scholarship fund established by FirstBank Chairman and sole shareholder Jim Ayers to advance higher education for young people in Tennessee.

        To learn more about FirstBank, a wholly owned subsidiary of First South Bancorp, Inc., visit www.firstbankonline.com.


        Working together, parents can do anything!

        That's why we're bringing parents and experts together for another big Parent University Conference. We're offering free workshops and seminars meant to help all of our parents raise self-confident, disciplined, and motivated children. Parents will learn tips for helping their children learn in modern classrooms. There will also be plenty of information on healthy lifestyles and families.

        It's happening Saturday, July 21, at McGavock High School. It's free and open to everyone, but you do have to register.

        So don't delay. Sign up today!

        Parent University - English Parent University - Spanish
        Parent University - Arabic Parent University - Kurdish Bahdini


        Mark North

        Board Member &

        Sports Fan Mark North

        State Champions Galore – MNPS Total Track Domination

        In all, MNPS finished the track and field season with one team state championship, 7 relay state championships, 4 individual girls state champions, and 4 individual boys state champions. MNPS was on the fast track. Here are the details.

        MLK’s Girls Track Team won its third straight state championship last week. Their performance in the A/AA State Track Meet can only be described as dominating. MLK finished with 105 points, and no other team earned more than 61.

        East Lit (5th) and Stratford (10th) both finished in the top 10 in A/AA.

        In the AAA Girls track meet, Hillsboro finished 3rd and Antioch placed 4th in the state.

        MNPS particularly dominated the Girls’ relay events, displaying the teamwork, precision and speed of champions.


        • 4x100 – MLK, State Champion

        • 4x200 – MLK, State Champion; Stratford, 2nd place

        • 4x400 – MLK, State Champion; Hume-Fogg, 3rd place

        • 4x800 – MLK, 3rd place.


        • 4x100 – Antioch State Champion

        • 4x200 – Antioch State Champion

        • 4x400 – Antioch State Champion

        The Girls’ individual results reveal several state champions:


        • 100 – Berryhill, MLK, 3rd place

        • 400 – Owens , MLK, 2nd place; Rucker, East Lit, 3rd place

        • 100 Hurdles – Hagans, Maplewood, State Champion

        • 300 Hurdles – Cunningham, MLK, 3rd place

        • Long Jump – Curbeam, East Lit, State Champion

        • Triple Jump – Curbeam, East Lit, 2nd place; Butler, MLK, 3rd place

        • Discuss – Jones, Stratford, 2nd place


        • 100 – Pate, Hillsboro, State Champion

        • 200 – Pate, Hillsboro, State Champion; Jackson, Cane Ridge, 3rd place

        • 400 – Johnson, Antioch, 2nd place

        • 100 Hurdles – Eady, Hillsboro, 3rd place

        • Long Jump – Johnson, McGavock, 3rd place

        The Boys state track meet was another great performance by MNPS. MLK’s boys track team placed runner-up (by less than one point), and Maplewood finished 6th.

        The Boys’ individual and relay results reveal several state champions:

        • 4x100 Relay – Maplewood, State Champion

        • 4x200 – Maplewood, 3rd place

        • 4x400 – MLK, 2nd place


        • 100 – Scruggs, Stratford, 3rd place

        • 200 – Scruggs , Stratford, 3rd place

        • 800 – Klockenkemper, MLK, 2nd place; McCutcheon, Hume-Fogg, 3rd place

        • 1600 – Klockenkemper, MLK, State Champion

        • 3200 – Klockenkemper, MLK, 3rd place

        • 300 Hurdles –Wooten, MLK, State Champion

        • High Jump – Nightinggale, East Lit, State Champion

        • LongJump – Harris, Pearl-Cohn, 3rd place

        • Shot Put – Cain, Whites Creek, 3rd place


        • 800 – Prince, Antioch, State Champion

        • 110 Hurdles – Collins, Cane Ridge, 3rd place

        • Long Jump – Burns, Hillsboro, 3rd place

        Congratulations to all MNPS Track & Field student-athletes.

        Point Guard Signings

        The North Sports Report received word that two MNPS superstar point guards will take their hoops talents to the next level. Hunters Lane point guard Billy Hughes signed with Chattanooga State and Hume-Fogg’s Will Harris signed with Maryville. Remember the point guard credo – handle it…dish it…score when you need to.

        Alumni Alert

        Hillwood Hilltopper tennis alumnus Brian Baker made his French Open debut with a victory on the red clay courts of Roland Garros in Paris. Let me repeat that to be sure you get it. Former Hillwood tennis ace Brian Baker is playing tennis this week in the French Open! That is grand-slam-diggity!

        Cap and Gown

        It was with pride that the North Sports Report witnessed several great MNPS student-athletes cross the graduation stage and turn the page to their future. We are proud of your accomplishments, and we have enjoyed watching you grow, learn and excel. The North Sports Report looks forward to including news about you in the alumni alerts.

        Next Season is Upon Us

        Fall sports season starts in just a few short months. Go ahead and mark your calendar to attend MNPS athletic events next year. It is a great evening of athletic entertainment, and the students will love to see you there. MNPS has the finest student-athletes in the country, and they deserve the support of great sports fans. You can make a real difference simply by being a fan.

        For returning student-athletes – don’t waste your time this summer. Show up in shape and dominate the state.

        -- Mark North

        MNPS: The First Choice for the Finest Student-Athletes


          Metro Schools brought home three honors at the Parthenon Education Awards this month.

          • Parthenon Teacher of the Year - Nancy Ives, Charlotte Park Elementary School

          • Parthenon Student of the Year - Mitchell Mielnik - John Early Museum Magnet Middle School

          • Parthenon School of the Year - Hillwood High School

          School of the Year is not an annual award and Hillwood is only the second school to receive this honor. The photo below shows Parthenon Education Director DeeGee Lester presenting the Parthenon School of the Year Award to Daniel Shelton, student representative for Hillwood’s Academy of Art, Design and Communications.

          Parthenon School of the Year Award


          The Avery Give Back to Schools™ campaign has launched, marking the third year the office supply company has given back to schools, students, educators and communities throughout the United States. Schools are selected to win through an online voting process.

          May 7th – September 14th 2012, communities, students, families and school supporters (ages 18 and older) can vote for their local K-8 school at http://www.avery.com/giveback.

          Avery is expanding the 2012 campaign to award 40 schools with much-needed educational resources and offering cash benefits through Avery’s partnership in Box Tops for Education®.

          This year, Avery will award the top 35 schools with the most online votes in a tier-based structure:

          • The top five schools with the most online public votes will each receive $10,000 worth of Avery office products and school supplies of their selection, 25,000 Bonus Box Tops coupons (redeemable for cash by schools) and ten $100 gift cards to be split among the teachers for purchase of additional classroom supplies; the school with the most votes overall will receive an in-school donation presentation.

          • The next 25 schools with the most votes will each receive 10,000 Bonus Box Tops coupons (redeemable for cash by schools).

          • 10 randomly selected schools with over 100 votes will be awarded 5,000 bonus Box Tops.

          Head to the Avery website and vote!


          Latino high school juniors across America can apply to the Youth Awards program presented for the 15th year by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF). The 2012 Youth Awards applications are available at www.hispanicheritage.org and must be postmarked no later than Friday, July 6, 2012. William Levy, who is the official spokesperson for the 2012 Youth Awards, will be part of a national public awareness campaign in both English and Spanish.

          Much more information available on the Hispanic Heritage website.

          Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards


          Lakeview Elementary Junior Docents at the Hermitage


          Students in the Teaching as a Profession course offered through the Academy of Teaching and Service at Antioch High School gained valuable “real world” teaching experiences during the 2011-2012 school year. In partnership with The Hermitage, these students created lesson plans related to Andrew Jackson and the Jacksonian era. The students taught various lessons to Mr. Ben Oldham’s fourth grade class at Lakeview Elementary Design Center over the course of several weeks. As a culminating event to celebrate their hard work and achievement, the fourth graders were able to use what they had learn and perform as junior docents at The Hermitage on May 14, 2012.

          Teaching as a Profession is a dual credit course (meaning it can be taken for college credit) designed to capture the interest of secondary students as potential teachers, introduce students to teaching as a profession, and foster respect for the teaching profession. Students gain knowledge and skills that will enable them to establish a foundation for a successful pathway to a teaching career. The course at Antioch High School is taught by Patricia A. Deas and is also offered at Whites Creek High School.



          The Cole Elementary 4th Grade Chorus received Superior ratings and the Highest overall score in the Elementary Division at the 3rd Annual Beech Bend Band and Choral Festival held in Bowling Green, KY.

          The 25 member chorus, chaperones, and director Bill Laarz enjoyed many hours playing in the park together, traveling and finally bringing home 2 trophies to celebrate with the entire school. Principal Chad High and Vice Principal Dr. Natalyn Gibbs were both excited with how well the Chorus represented the school, the community and MNPS.


          Public-private partnership will make the Metro Schools program the nation’s best

          Laurie SchellAfter a nationwide search, Metro Nashville Public Schools has selected the inaugural director of the Music Makes Us education project, Laurie Tobian Schell, who has 25 years of experience as an arts education advocate and leader.

          “When school starts August 1, we will also start a new era in music education for Metro Schools,” said Dr. Jesse Register, director of schools. “Laurie Schell brings expertise in both the education and arts policy arenas as well as a passion for music. It’s evident she cares deeply about the success of all our students.”

          Schell joins Metro Schools from California, where she served as the executive director of the California Alliance for Arts Education, a statewide policy and advocacy organization, from 2001 – 2011. She garnered a national reputation for innovative, effective leadership for her role in securing $105 million for ongoing state funding for arts education for all 6 million California students in 2006. Most recently, she has worked as founding principal of Laurie Schell Associates, providing consulting services and issue expertise to nonprofits with a focus on the arts and K-12 education.

          She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Stanford University and a master of arts in liberal studies in dance from Wesleyan University.

          “Music Makes Us will transform music education in our city, and Nashville is fortunate to have an innovative leader like Laurie Schell shape this important program,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “She has been a champion in making arts and music a core part of every child’s education in California, and I welcome to Music City her proven ability to work with educators and music industry professionals.”

          Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project is a public/private partnership among Metro Schools, Mayor Karl Dean, the Music City Music Council, and music industry leaders in Nashville. The initiative will move Metro Schools beyond a traditional performance-based music curriculum to an expanded curriculum that includes diverse music genres. New classes in composition, rock band and hip-hop performance will be added, while traditional music curriculum in band, orchestra and choir will be enhanced.

          “It is exciting to see the Music Makes Us initiative take shape,” said Nancy Shapiro, vice president of member services for The Recording Academy and an early advocate for Music Makes Us. “Laurie’s hiring is another step toward our goal of making Nashville’s music education program the best in the nation.”

          The initiative is under the overall direction of Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools, with a community advisory board to be appointed by Mayor Dean and Dr. Register. The staff also includes Dr. Nola Jones, music coordinator, and long-time Metro Schools educator Carol Crittenden. Schell will begin her duties June 15.

          About Music Makes Us

          Music Makes Us is a new approach to music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools that focuses on enhancing the traditional music curriculum and adding a contemporary curriculum track that uses new technologies and reflects a diverse musical landscape. Reaching 79,000 students in Metro Public Schools, Music Makes Us pledges to make Nashville the worldwide leader in music education. The initiative was announced in 2011 as a partnership among Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and the Music City Music Council.


          On May 21, 2012 when Metro Nashville Fire Department decided to evacuate the Parthenon Towers located at 301 28th Avenue North Nashville, Tennessee 37203, the Metro Schools Transportation Department was called upon to assist. The following Transportation employees went to the aid of the residents.

          • Ms. Carol Bayless, Exceptional Education Driver

          • Ms. Jackie Bazzell, Exceptional Education Driver

          • Ms. Sandra Burton, Exceptional Education Transportation Manager

          • Mr. Dennis Cantrell, Senior Mechanic

          • Ms. Arlinda Clark, General Education Driver

          • Ms. Tracey DeMoss, Special Services Coordinator

          • Mr. Dewayne Ferrell, Shop Foreman

          • Mr. Bill Fryer, Exceptional Education Driver

          • Ms. Barbara Hudson, Field Supervisor for Hillwood Cluster

          • Ms. Donna Jones, Exceptional Education Driver

          • Ms. Anita Lewis, General Education Driver

          • Ms. Tamara Mitchell, Field Supervisor for Hillsboro Cluster

          • Ms. Angela Renz, Field Supervisor for Pearl Cohn Cluster

          • Ms. Irene Richardson, General Education Driver

          • Mr. Ronnie Wilson, Mechanic

          These dedicated employees worked into the early hours of the morning and into the following day providing transportation services to the displaced residents.

          We love our transportation employees! This is not the first time they've assisted in needed evacuations. They were also on cal during the 2010 flood bringing people all over the city to safety.

          It's just one of the countless ways they impact Nashville every day on the job (and even way, way after hours). Great job!


          Metro Schools will mail elementary students’ report cards to their home address this year. To ensure everyone receives a report card, it is very important for families who may have moved to check with their child’s school to make sure their home address is listed correctly.

          The report cards are not available at schools today due to an unexpected problem with grade calculations by the grading software. Metro Schools’ Information Technology staff worked through the night with the Gradespeed software vendor to identify and resolve the problem. Those efforts will continue today.

          Online grades available to parents do not appear to be affected.

          While the district has used Gradespeed effectively for a number of years to generate report cards for middle and high school, this is the first time to use the product to generate elementary report cards.

          The middle and high school report cards are not affected and will be mailed as usual.


          Expect a few phone calls from us this summer. When you answer there will be the familiar recorded greeting “Good evening, Metro Schools families.” What comes after may determine whether or not your child can attend school next year.

          When school starts Wed., August 1, 2012, any student entering the seventh grade must have an updated Tennessee Immunization Certificate showing a recent tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) booster and verification of immunity to varicella (chicken pox). Without it, students will not be allowed to attend school.

          That’s why we’re urging everyone to take care of these requirements now, not later. Have your child vaccinated and give the updated certificate to your school before summer break starts. It’s easier for everyone and takes another item off your summer to-do list.

          The Metro Public Health Department offers immunizations required for school each Monday through Friday at its three Health Centers. Health officials emphasize that children with insurance coverage should visit their own healthcare provider for these shots, along with an added benefit of getting an annual well child physical exam. Tell your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and church groups. Send it to your neighborhood list-serv. Announce it at your next PTA meeting. It’s important information for the entire community.

          Go to your family doctor or one of the three Public Health Centers to make arrangements for your child to receive these immunizations. Then when the phone rings with our friendly reminder, you can go on with your evening. For full information about required immunizations and where you can get them, call your child’s healthcare provider or visit the Metro Public Health Department website:


          Donna WilburnThe first day of school is always special, but for Cane Ridge Elementary School students, August 1, 2012, will be particularly memorable. It is not only the first day of class for Metro Nashville Public Schools, but also the first day of operations for Cane Ridge Elementary. Veteran educator Donna Wilburn, who will be the school’s first principal, will start work even before then to prepare for the school’s 700 students.

          “Students never forget their elementary school teachers and principals because they provide the foundation for children’s academic achievement and personal development,” said Brenda Steele, associate superintendent for elementary schools. “I know Mrs. Wilburn will be a great principal for Cane Ridge Elementary and will give Cane Ridge students a solid foundation for middle school success.”

          Wilburn currently serves as principal of Bellshire Elementary Design Center. She began her career in the Hardeman County School District and also served as a teacher in Memphis City Schools. Prior to becoming principal at Bellshire, she taught third grade at Amqui Elementary School and served as a first grade teacher, reading specialist and assistant principal at J.E. Moss Elementary.

          She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Tennessee at Martin, a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Memphis, and an educational specialist degree from Tennessee State University.

          Cane Ridge Elementary School, located at 3884 Asheford Trace 37013, is included in the district’s proposed 2012-13 operating budget at an incremental cost of more than $1.1 million. Teachers and students will move from other schools to Cane Ridge Elementary’s 45 classrooms in 90,000 square feet. The budget request must be approved by Metro Council.

          In addition, the proposed capital spending plan includes funds to acquire land for another elementary and middle school in the area because of enrollment growth. Projected enrollment in the Cane Ridge and Antioch clusters for the 2012-13 school year is about 2900 students more than five years earlier; an additional 1900 students are expected by 2016.


          Melva Stricklin

          Congratulations to Melva Stricklin, principal at Stanford Montessori Elementary Design Center, recently named the #1 Elementary Principal in Middle Tennessee by the Education Consumers Foundation!

          Ms. Stricklin was chosen according to the growth made by students at Stanford.

          From the Education Consumers Foundation:

          Education reformers have made teacher quality a top concern in Tennessee and elsewhere – and rightly so. But without the support of a great principal, working quietly behind the scenes to create the conditions for success, even the best teachers will inevitably be limited in what they can accomplish in the classroom. The Education Consumers Foundation is, therefore, proud to recognize the achievements of 18 principals from across the state through its annual Value-Added Achievement Awards.

          “These 18 principals show what a dedicated principal and teaching force can achieve in Tennessee schools,” noted ECF President Dr. J. E. Stone. “If every school performed at the level of our 18 winners, Tennessee would lead the nation in educational improvement.”

          According to Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman, “I am pleased to join with the Education Consumers Foundation in recognizing some of our most effective principals and schools,” Huffman said. “Value-added achievement is a central focus as we work to boost student achievement across the state, and these education leaders are shining examples of what’s possible in Tennessee.”


          Three Hume-Fogg students are organizing a great benefit concert with all proceeds being donated to UNICEF.

          There will be a wide range of performers including bands such as Peter and the Tinseys, Joey and the Indian Wonders, and HFA's Silver Jazz sax quartet; dancing, from traditional Indian dance to hip-hop dance; and covers like Celine Dion's Aun Existe Amor, Beatles songs, and Edward Sharpe's Home by extremely talented singers!

          Come support these great artists and also donate to a great cause.

          Friday, May 25th

          Baha'i Center

          1556 Bell Rd, Nashville, TN 37211

          Dinner starts at 6:30 pm.

          Performance starts at 7:30.

          Tickets are $3; dinner not included.


          Music education is getting a big bookst at Lakeview & Oliver thanks to an influx of cash from the Nashville Singers.

          These schools have been awarded the
          Music Makes a Difference Education Grant. It will fund a new chorus program at Oliver and help fund music classes at Lakeview.

          From Oliver's Choral Music Teacher Franklin Willis:

          The Oliver Middle School community advocates in the importance of music education in students' lives. Receiving this award not only serves as monetary gain to fund the new chorus program, but motivation to meet the challenge of engaging students in finding their own voice through music. It is truly an honor to be a recipient of the Nashville Singer's Music Makes a Difference Grant. I look forward to future collaborations with the Nashville Singers and the Oliver Middle School Chorus.
          Nashville Singers started the Music Makes a Difference Education Grant to help support music education in our schools and the community. The program is designed to provide financial assistance to school music programs serving “at risk” youth.


          Maplewood High School Unit TN-933 was one of 80 units to receive the 2011-2012 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit Award with Merit. This award recognizes Air Force Junior ROTC units that have performed above normal expectations and have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force Junior ROTC mission of producing better citizens for America.

          Cadets completed more than 500 hours of community service including “The Get Motivated” Seminar, Veteran’s Wreath Laying Ceremony, Veterans’ Day Parade, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Congressman Cooper’s Academy Day, GNASBE, United Way’s McGruder Playground Groundbreaking Ceremony, the Mayor’s Field Day, and most recently, the Department of Defense Small Business Conference.

          The objectives of the Junior ROTC program are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline through character education.


          After more than 15 weeks of rehearsals and performances at their own schools, Metro students took the stage at TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall to showcase their adaptations of three classic Disney musicals.

          Before an audience of parents, teachers, administrators, and folks from the community, students performed excerpts from The Jungle Book, Aladdin, and 101 Dalmations.

          Glengarry, Hattie Cotton, Hull-Jackson, Kirkpatrick, and Percy Priest Elementary Schools took part in the Disney Musicals in Schools program carried out with strong cooperation from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. This is the first time this program has been available outside of New York City. The expansion to MNPS is a pilot program leading up to a rollout in school systems nationwide.

          And you can expect to see more of this in Nashville next year. Disney has awarded the city of $75,000 after-school "creativity grant" which will allow more students to perform more Disney musicals next year.

          Great job, students! And thank you, Disney!


          There are a lot of reasons why students may not follow the traditional path to graduation. For Dylan Wright those reasons are deeply personal and tragic.

          When Dylan was a sophomore in high school, his brother was murdered. The two of them were extremely close, even starting a lawn care business together. After his brother’s death, Dylan had trouble at his Williamson County high school. He couldn’t focus and would suffer from emotional breakdowns in the middle of the day. Sometimes he would just skip school entirely, putting him far behind in his classes. After three months out of school, Dylan decided to give it another try – but not in the usual fashion.

          Dylan enrolled at The Academy at Hickory Hollow, which he heard about from a friend. At The Academy he was given the individual attention he needed to keep focused in class. He says he was treated like an adult, not “a little kid.” It was actually a lot like a college environment, where the faculty never gave up on him and pushed him to success.

          Now Dylan is graduating, applying to college, and is even a featured speaker at
          The Academy’s graduation this morning.

          Congratulations, Dylan. We’re so happy you found your place and your path to success at The Academy.


          Big congratulations and a round of applause are in order for MNPS Middle College High School seniors who will not only graduate from high school this evening, but have also earned Associate Degrees or General Education Core Certificates (earned 41 or more college credit hours) from Nashville State Community College.

          Each of these students participated in the Nashville State Community College graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

          • Kevin Goolsby – Associate of Applied Science in General Technologies and a Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting

          • Paul Porter – Associate of Science in Computer Science

          • Joy Sanders – Graduated Summa Cum Laud with an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies

          • Geneva Waynick – Graduated Summa Cum Laud with a General Education Core Certificate

          • Rosa Gomez – General Education Core Certificate

          The Middle College High School graduating class of seniors have earned 1,113 college credit hours while in high school. We’re all extremely proud of all of these students and their accomplishments.

          BONUS: Even though he's not graduating yet, we have to give a shout to Kahlud Shamsuddin. She's only a junior in high school at Middle College, but she's also been elected Student Government Association Vice President for all of Nashville State Community College. Talk about making an impact! Way to go, Kahlud!


          You may have heard a lot about Common Core Standards recently. They represent a huge shift in how subjects are taught across all grades. Here in Metro Schools we started implementing Common Core in middle schools some time ago, and now some of those first educators to use the curriculum will help train others in our district.

          The Houghton Mifflin Lead and Learn Organization, led by nationally recognized Doug Reeves, has approved 25 MNPS educators as certified trainers for middle school Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.

          SEE a list of the certified trainers in Metro Schools.

          These trainers have gone through a rigorous preparation process, concluding with a juried presentation evaluated by Lead and Learn consultants according to a challenging performance rubric. These 25 educators are now licensed to train middle school English language arts and mathematics educators within Metro Schools using the exclusive research based materials developed by the Reeves' organization, and will have access to all future materials, research, and resources to use with our educators in MNPS.

          This is not only a huge honor for these teachers, but a big boost to the implementation of Common Core in MNPS. We now have many more in-house resources for training, information, and research in this major shift in educational curriculum. Great work!


          Lt Col Martha Shaffer has been selected as the 2012 Outstanding Instructor Award with Merit (OIAM) winner for AFJROTC!

          Those selected represent the top 10% of all officer and NCO instructors. She was selected for her exemplary dedication to the corps, Maplewood High School, and the community, as well as her exemplification of the Core Values (Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence) each and every day. She was also selected for her continuing dedication to developing "Better Citizens for America", exceptional classroom management, outstanding instruction, and leadership to over 100 students, completing over 500 community hours for the 2011-2012 academic term. This dedication to the corps earned her unit the Distinguished Unit Award with Merit for the 2011-2012 school year.


          Cole and Kirkpatrick Elementary Schools participated in the first-ever debate championship May 10, at the Estes Kefauver Building in downtown. The debates were held in federal courtrooms, with five teams from each school debating. Each school’s debate team consisted of 4th grade students with one 3rd grader.

          The topic of the debate was “Parents should not be held legally responsible for their children’s poor choices.” Kirkpatrick argued the affirmative and Cole the negative. Kirkpatrick Elementary took home first and second place and Cole placed third. This was only the second debate between these two schools. This was the first year for each team of elementary students, coaches and principals.

          Congratulations to both teams!


          Chris Cotter decided early in life he wouldn’t be another statistic. He would not be “average” or accepting of the bare minimum. He would expect a lot out of himself – only the best – even if he didn’t expect much help from others.

          He moved around a lot, often changing schools in the middle of the year. Until high school, he had never stayed at one school for longer than one year, giving him precious little growing time in his classes and with friends. After suddenly losing their rented home to an unexpected sale, Chris’ family found themselves without many options. Through all of this misfortune and despite hard times, his mother stayed strong and provided for her sons. Chris was able to stay with another family, but it would not be the only time he found himself without a home. He realized then he couldn’t depend on others to help him succeed. He’d have to do it himself.

          One day while searching on the Internet, Chris found an article claiming young men in his situation would never lead successful lives, never rise above the statistics for “average black men.” He would not accept that.

          Through hard work, Chris earned a 3.5 grade point average and is graduating with honors this weekend from Hunters Lane High School. He never accepted Bs and only worked toward As – even in honors and AP classes.

          He has been accepted to Berea College in Kentucky, where he’ll study to become a math teacher. The school has offered him full scholarships for all four years, totaling $100,000.

          The young man who always has a smile, but hasn’t always had good fortune, has found his path in life. And he will soon be making a difference in the lives of young students very much like himself.

          Congratulations, Chris. We couldn’t be more proud of you.


          We have just learned End of Course (EOC) exam scores will not be available as soon as expected. This makes it impossible for us to calculate final grades and to award diplomas to any student who took an EOC this spring.

          Students who completed their EOC exams before this spring will not be affected by this delay.

          We have all been looking forward to the excitement of graduation and we will do everything we can to allow students and families to enjoy the celebration, despite this delay.

          • Students who are on track to graduate if they receive an appropriate score on an EOC may walk the stage at graduation and participate in any other graduation events.

          • When we receive the EOC scores this summer, we will calculate final grades and call families when diplomas are available to be picked up at the school office. Please make sure we have a current phone number for you so we can reach you!

          • Students may then pick up their diplomas at their high schools.

          • If a student does not pass an EOC, the student may participate in the summer extended learning program. Upon successfully completing the work and exam, students will receive their diplomas in July as part of the class of 2012.

            • Summer extended learning will be offered Monday-Friday, June 4-June 29, 8 AM to Noon, using the A+ program.

            • Classes will take place at Glencliff, McGavock and Stratford High Schools. There will be approximately 100 students per site and first priority will be given to 12th grade students who need credits to graduate in July. For more information, contact your school counselor.

          We know this is a disappointment to our families, as it is to us. We invite all our families to join in celebrating our graduates and look forward to awarding diplomas to affected students soon.


          Send your graduation and end of year celebration photos to MNPSCommunicationsOffice@mnps.org

          We want to see how our families are celebrating another successful school year and the end of an era for graduating seniors. Caps and gowns, diplomas, parties and proud, smiling parents - we want to see it all!

          Share your proudest moment with the entire MNPS community by sending your pictures to the Communications Office. We'll post them to our
          Flickr page.

          By submitting your photos, you allow Metro Nashville Public Schools to use and display them online.

          Graduation Photo

          CLICK HERE for a full graduation schedule.


          Dan Mills Kindergartener Julia S. and her parents recently set up a lemonade and cookie stand at their home to raise money for the Dan Mills library book fund. The Schencks raised $650! Julia presented a check to the Dan Mills librarian Starra Withers during the morning announcements on Wednesday, May 9.

          Dan Mills Lemonade Fundraising Dan Mills Lemonade Fundraising


          Mayor Dean at Harris-Hillman

          Mayor Karl Dean joined Harris Hillman families, friends and staff for the dedication of the new Wiggle Room Therapy Facility at Harris Hillman School.

          The Wiggle Room is an environmental support that supplies an opportunity for students with performance exceptionalities to address academic goals. It uses movement and body input to help prepare students for learning readiness while also challenging the student in appropriate IEP goals. It is implemented using a integrated team approach and plans are individualized for each student to help promote successful engagement.

          Funded by the
          Shelby Foundation, an organization that has been extremely dedicated to the students and growth of Harris-Hillman School since 2006. Since its inception, the Shelby foundation has raised more than $318,000 for much needed projects at the school!


          Do you know...

          • What your child will do this summer? (Metro Parks/Others)

          • What are your school options? (Student Assignment Office)

          • How to keep your child safe in the community and in social media, including electronic resources for students and parents?

          • What new standards your child will be required to master next year? (Information on new Standards)

          • What school immunizations are required? (Metro Health/MNPS)

          • What will be the Metro Planning updates for our community? (Metro’s Planning Dept)

          • How to plan for your child’s education? (Katie Morgan, EdSouth)

          If you are looking for answers to these questions and more, specialists will be available to give you answers.

          Antioch Middle School

          5050 Blue Hole Road

          Thursday, May 17th

          6:00 p.m.


          Made weekend plans yet? Don't bother! We know what you'll be doing.

          Grammy nominated mariachi star José Hernàndez is giving a FREE performance at Glencliff High School this Friday night! He'll be joined by the Veterans Juvenil de America Mariachi Band from Rio Grande City, Texas.

          It's all a fundraiser for the Music Makes Us Mariachi program kicking off next year. This new program will bring middle and high school students into the world of mariachi, practicing and performing in school ensembles. Donations will be accepted at this free concert event.

          This is a wonderful opportunity to not only enjoy a free concert, but to support a budding music program that could change the lives of young students. Don't miss it!!

          La música nos hace Mariachi

          Music Makes Us Mariachi Concert






          In just a few days, the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance will be heard throughout Davidson County as more than 4,000 Metro seniors receive their high school diplomas. Thousands more families, friends, neighbors, and guests of Metro Schools will join in the celebration of that accomplishment at graduation ceremonies.

          We want everyone to enjoy graduation, which is why we’ve developed a Graduation Etiquette Pledge (GEP) made up of four easy steps to an honorable, dignified, and civil ceremony.

          Guests of graduation pledge to:

          • leave air horns, whistles, fog horns and other noise makers at home;

          • allow seatmates to see the entire ceremony by not holding balloons, signs, or banners of any kind;

          • respect school and security staff present and follow requests made by them; and

          • wear appropriate clothing and behave in a manner befitting guests of Metro Schools.

          Our guests also understand that school staff may ask disruptive a guest to leave.

          Following our simple GEP, everyone can have a grand graduation and see his or her baby walk across that stage. Air horns and ten-foot signs can wait until the after party in your own backyard.

          Thank you to all of our guests and congratulations to all of our graduates!

          CLICK HERE for a full schedule of all graduation ceremonies!


          Congratulations to you and your student who is about to finish 6th grade! There is one last requirement before your student can begin 7th grade.

          Students currently enrolled in a Tennessee school and entering the 7th grade in August 2012 must provide the school an updated Tennessee Immunization Certificate with proof of two additional immunizations:

          1. Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster (“Tdap”):not required if a Td booster dose given less than 5 years before 7th grade entry is recorded on the DTaP/Td line

          2. Verification of immunity to varicella; (2 doses or history of disease)

          The Metro Public Health Department and Metro Nashville Public Schools encourage you to get these immunizations NOW to avoid long waits in clinics and doctor’s offices. Below are some suggestions of places to get your child immunized before school begins:

          1. Your private health care provider

          2. The Metro Public Health Department (addresses below)

          Lentz Public Health Center

          311 23rd Avenue North

          Nashville, TN 37203

          (615) 340-5616

          Walk-In Hours

          East Public Health Center

          1015 East Trinity Lane

          Nashville, TN 37216

          (615) 862-7916

          Walk-In Hours

          Woodbine Public Health Center

          224 Oriel Avenue

          Nashville, TN 37210

          (615) 862-7940

          Walk-In Hours


          The law requires parents provide an updated immunization certificate to the school before the student can start 7th grade. You will only need to have proof of the two additional immunizations mentioned above on the updated immunization certificate. You can turn in the certificate to your child’s school as soon as you have it completed.

          For more information you may contact:

          Metro Public Health Dept.

          Immunization Program


          Metro Schools Customer Service Center


          Remember 2-4-7:

          2 Immunizations

          Be 4 my student

          Can start 7th grade

          To view in Spanish, click here.


          On May 11, 2012, McGavock High biology teacher Nae'Shara Neal is hosting the Second Annual Science Symposium.

          This is a competition between high school students and includes a variety of science projects from Overton, Hume Fogg, and McGavock High Schools. The students invited to the symposium are all part of a
          National Science Foundation Grant called GK12.

          These are original science research projects completed by Nashville high school students with the help of “real” scientist mentors. There will be no vinegar/baking soda volcanos. The mentors participating in this program practice in a number of different scientific fields. The students have used the scientific method to investigate their projects and have worked with their science mentors for the last 7 months.

          The Middle Tennessee area is one of only two such National Science Foundation programs currently in place in Tennessee schools. This symposium will showcase the hard work of the students, teachers, and their science mentors.

          Students will be at the competition from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at McGavock High School. Feel free to stop by at your convenience!


          After a nationwide search for outstanding educators, Metro Nashville Public Schools Innovation Cluster has selected school principals, called iLeaders. Four are new to their schools and six are veterans; all are charged with leading dramatic improvement at Innovation Cluster schools.

          • Bailey STEM Magnet Middle - Dr. Christian Sawyer (New)

          • Buena Vista Enhanced Option Elementary - Michelle McVicker (New)

          • Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary - Jahi Rohrer (New)

          • John Early Museum Magnet Middle - Risè Pope (New)

          • Napier Enhanced Option Elementary - Dr. Ronald Powe (Returning)

          • Gra-Mar Middle - Dr. Antoinette Williams (Returning)

          • Margaret Allen Middle - Dr. Dorothy Gunn (Returning)

          • Cameron Middle - Chris Hames (Returning)

          • Jere Baxter Middle - Dr. Corey Walker (Returning)

          • Brick Church Middle - Chirelle Jefferson (Returning)

          Learn more about the Innovation Cluster on its website.

          What are iLeaders?

          “iLeaders are an elite group of educators committed to transforming Innovation Cluster schools into exceptional schools,” said Alan Coverstone, director of Innovation Schools. “These iLeaders will analyze data and implement strategies to improve student achievement at each school. We want rapid results and will work with teachers, students, parents and the community to achieve them.”

          Who are our new iLeaders?

          McVicker is a product of Metro Schools as a member of the first graduating class of Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School. She began her teaching career at Norman Binkley Elementary and then moved to Bordeaux Elementary where she taught sixth grade until becoming the outreach manager for Nashville Public Television. In 2004, she joined Rutherford County Schools as school technology specialist. In 2007, she became an assistant principal in Murfreesboro City Schools, splitting her time between Hobgood Elementary: A NASA Explorer School and The Discovery School. During her tenure, both schools have been recognized for student achievement. Hobgood is 13th in the state and second in Middle Tennessee for improving student achievement in Education Consumers Foundation rankings.

          McVicker earned an associate’s degree from Columbia State Community College and a bachelor’s degree from David Lipscomb University, both in elementary education. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University and the Ed. S. from Tennessee Technological University.

          Rohrer has five years’ experience in school leadership in New York, the British West Indies, and Washington, D.C. He joined DC Prep in 2010 as an instructional coach and became executive principal of the school’s Benning Elementary Campus in 2011. Previously, he was regional director of Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School, also in Washington. In the British West Indies, he was the principal of the Teacher Gloria Omololu Institute. He began his career as a Teach For America Corps member in New York where he was a semi-finalist for the New York Sue Lehmann Award for teaching effectiveness. He has four years of elementary teaching experience.

          Rohrer holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, a master’s degree in elementary education from Pace University, and has completed the Principal Leadership Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also earned the M.Ed. He is the first African-American to win the overall title at the United State Alpine Skiing Junior Olympic Championship and was on the U.S. Olympic Development Ski Team.

          Sawyer returns to Metro Schools from Louisiana where he worked to integrate 21st century learning technology into classrooms. He taught at Hillsboro High School and served as "Teacher in Residence" at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education, where he taught in the Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools program. He has been an instructor of Geopolitics at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, and an Atlantik-Bruecke Fellow studying German-American relations with the Tennessee Department of Education. He was named 2006 National Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the National Council for the Social Studies and the 2006 Tennessee Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year. In 2008, he received both the Tennessee Distinguished Educator honor and Nashville’s "Educator Award" from the Mayor's Commission on People with Disabilities.

          He has written and edited curriculum, including books on Human Geography. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the honors program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

          Learn more about the Office of Innovation.

          Metro Nashville’s Innovation Cluster schools are “priority” schools in the bottom 5 percent of Tennessee’s schools based on proficiency rates in math, reading, and science. Under the new statewide accountability system, these schools must improve student achievement at twice the rate of the rest of the district to remain under district governance.


          Hume-Fogg Magnet High School has been selected by the College Board and Cambridge International Examinations as one of only 20 schools in the world to pilot the new AP® | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential program. This rigorous new program, which was designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that are increasingly valued by colleges and necessary for life in an interconnected world, combines the in-depth subject matter offered through AP courses and exams with the interdisciplinary global seminar curricula and the assessment of research projects and presentations offered by University of Cambridge International Examinations.

          The pilot program, which will determine how the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential can best be implemented across the range of schools that AP serves, will begin this fall. Hume-Fogg Magnet was selected as a pilot school based on a number of factors including Advanced Placement® participation and performance, and a commitment to providing equitable access to AP for all academically prepared and motivated students.

          The College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations created the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program based on feedback from colleges and universities requesting that high school students develop stronger backgrounds in independent research, collaborative teamwork, and 21st-century knowledge and skills now essential for success on college campuses and in today’s global marketplace.

          “The students from Hume-Fogg who participate in the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program will be engaged in some of the most challenging issues facing our world today,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of Advanced Placement and College Readiness for the College Board. “With its concentration on research methodology, global issues and challenges, and team collaboration, this program will enable motivated high school students to take their advanced studies to the next level.”


          Three students from the Academy at Hickory Hollow have racked up big scholarship dollars from the Simon Youth Foundation, to the tune of $28,000 each!

          Lance Dowling, Clinton Ekwuazi, and Simone Ross-Thompson were awarded the scholarships during the Opry Mills Mall grand re-opening celebration on Saturday, May 5.

          SYF established the Community Scholarship to meet the financial needs of students in communities that host Simon® shopping centers. The goal of the Foundation is to apply a holistic approach to the educational experiences of our youth. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations, and an outside appraisal. The Academy at Hickory Hollow relocated from Opry Mills after the May 2010 floods that submerged the Opryland area, but still receives great support from SYF. The Academy at Opry Mills, will re-open this fall.

          Lance Dowling is a May 2012 graduate, who will be attending Middle Tennessee State University to study sports medicine. Clinton Ekwuazi, also a May 2012 graduate, has been accepted to Middle Tennessee State University and waiting on a response from Austin Peay State University. Simone Ross-Thompson, a December 2011 graduate, has been accepted to Tennessee State University.


          Adam Taylor, Biology teacher at Overton High School, has been busy chatting on twitter with other Metro teachers. Taylor has created the "#scistuchat" hashtag on Twitter, where he coordinates a technology conference in the summers to raise awareness for learning technologies. He also leads professional development in his school to help more teachers become comfortable with teaching with t