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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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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 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.


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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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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


    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.


    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.


    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


    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?


    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.


    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.


    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


    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.


    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.”


    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.


    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!


    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!


    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


    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






    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.


    It’s not a science fair. It’s a STEM Fair, the first of its kind in our city, and it’s changing the face of Nashville.

    Metro Nashville Public School students compete against one another individually and in teams using videos, presentations, and on-site demonstrations to see which of their projects has the best potential to improve the city.

    Don’t come expecting to find science fair stand-bys like plaster volcanoes and three-panel display boards. The Metro Schools STEM Competition is a district-wide high school event. Students have worked with Nashville’s top STEM professionals to share their ideas, investigations and recommendations to “Change the Face of Nashville.” At the competition, individuals and teams will use videos, presentations, and on-site demonstrations to showcase the project with the best potential to improve the city in any of five categories: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, STEM Career.

    Stratford STEM Magnet High School will host this inaugural competition on May 16.

    More information about registering to compete and other contest details
    can be found here. The deadline to register is Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

    Stratford STEM Logo


    A school of fish swam its way into Mt. View Elementary’ s cafeteria! The school is using Pepperidge Farms fish bread to promote healthy choices and eating at school during TCAP testing. Check out the pictures of the healthy lunches MNPS students are enjoying.

    Mt View Fish Lunches

    Mt View Fish Lunches

    Mt View Fish Lunches

    Mt View Fish Lunches


    Cole Elementary School fourth grade debate team will participate in a debate on Saturday, April 28, at 10:00 a.m. in Vanderbilt University’s Calhoun Building. Cole’s debate team has had a successful year, competing in various debates with Kirkpatrick Elementary School. Cole's three teams will debate against three teams from Kirkpatrick Elementary School. The top three teams will go on to compete in the finals on Thursday, May 10. The topic of the debate will be “Parents should not be held legally responsible for their children’s poor choices.”

    Good luck to all teams from both schools!


    Glendale Elementary is like a brand new school on the outside. Its community is anxious to show off its newest outdoor features and say a hearty 'Thanks!' to the folks who made it possible at an open house next week.

    Glendale has recently finished renovations on a large playground, planted 30 shade trees, built new birdhouses and planters, and even installed a raised garden and outdoor learning structure! And none of it would have been possible without the private donations given to the school.

    The school is hosting an outdoor 'open house' on Friday, May 4, at 8:30 a.m. at the raised bed garden. Please join them in celebrating their newest additions!


    Glendale Open House



    Eakin Elementary School Sign

    On Wednesday, April 18, Eakin Elementary School was officially named an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School!

    Eakin is the second elementary school in the district to house the IB Primary Years Programme, joining Julia Green. The school received a letter from Director Jeff Beard in Geneva, Switzerland, announcing the status of the school. Eakin is now included as one of 3,372 schools in 141 countries offering IB programmes to more than a million students.

    “This authorization to offer the IB/PYP at Eakin Elementary affirms that we are on the right path, encouraging our students and community “to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand, that other people with their differences, can also be right,” says Principal Ann-Maria Gleason.


    Churchwell Math Night 2012 - students solving hands-on math problems

    Families at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School and the Nashville community came together to see just how fun math can be!  Nashville Public Television, TSU Women’s Basketball Players, WSMV's Snowbird, Vanderbilt University's Mr. Commodore, and representatives from 92Q celebrated the evening and focused on fine-tuning math skills with the students and families of Robert Churchwell.

    Roughly 180 students and their parents attended the special family night. They enjoyed a dance-off with area mascots and tested their math skills with a variety of hands-on problems that needed solving.

    Churchwell Math Night 2012 - community partners


    Julia Green Elementary Student Display 2012 - part of the school's inaugural PYP ExhibitEarlier this spring, Julia Green Elementary hosted its first annual PYP Exhibition. The PYP Exhibition is a culminating showcase of the Primary Years Programme International Baccalaureate experience. It gives the fourth-grade students an opportunity to present what they have learned through student-driven collaborative inquiry into a topic they have chosen. In addition to the inquiry, the students develop an action plan based on the knowledge they have gained through the inquiry process. This year, the central idea behind the exhibition was “People’s Contributions Make a Difference.” Students investigated topics such as animal rights, childhood obesity, the need for clean water, hunger, homelessness, and the importance of education. They researched the lives of people who have made a contribution in that field, and drew inspiration from the differences that were being made by those people. As a result of that inspiration, they developed a plan to raise awareness and support for their cause. Students created displays, brochures, bookmarks, donation information for local non-profits, or activities to raise awareness.

    The group that researched the need for clean water created a “water walk.” During the walk, participants carried large containers of water around an area to simulate the experience of walking to a water source and carrying water back to your home. (pictured below)

    Julia Green Elementary Water Walk 2012 - part of the school's inaugural PYP Exhibit


    Ray Whittaker WhittsittThe faculty and staff at Whitsitt Elementary will soon dedicate the school’s gymnasium to Ray Whittaker, a 35-year member of the Whitsitt family.  Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m., the Whittsitt community will gather to celebrate at a special dedication ceremony.

    Whittaker dedicated more than three decades to the students, staff and families of Whitsitt Elementary. During his tenure, he served as physical education teacher and principal designee. He also served as a mentor, friend, and father figure to many. He encouraged and inspired countless young people including their family. Even after retirement, Whittaker remained active in the profession serving as a substitute teacher.  Whittaker passed on August 28, 2011.


    Congratulations to the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools students that participated and placed in Belmont University’s annual Poetry Contest:

    • 1st Place – Kate B., “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, Percy Priest Elementary 

    • 2nd Place – Edie M., “Where the Wild Things Are”, Dan Mills Elementary

    • 3rd Place – Ellie P., “The Hundred Acre Woods”, Julia Green Elementary

    • 4th Place – Jackson D., “Up in Space”, Sylvan Park Elementary

    • 5th Place – Clara M., “The Woods”, Percy Priest Elementary


    As an International Baccalaureate Candidate school for the Primary Years Program (PYP), Eakin Elementary presented its first IB Exhibition this spring. Leading up to the event, Eakin fourth graders conducted extensive small group research that encompassed the theme: “Opportunities Depend on Available Resources”. For an IB school, the Exhibition is a culminating experience that gives students the opportunity to share with teachers, parents and fellow students what they learned. The most important and distinguishing features of the Exhibition are the processes of inquiry and the action the students then take because of their learning.

    Some examples of this inquiry and action in practice are:

    • Students researched the role of St. Jude’s Hospital in the battle of cancer in children. They held a lemonade stand one Sunday and raised more than $500 to donate to the hospital.

    • Another group of students visited the local non-profit group, Room in the Inn and interviewed a homeless person as a result of their inquiry into the issue of Homelessness.

    • Their research on oil spills, led another group of fourth graders to locate businesses in Nashville who recycle oil. They created a brochure to distribute to visitors at the Exhibition.

    • Students researching the lack of education realized that the problem is global. Investigating charities, they selected a charity with a high rating of integrity. The students’ goal is to raise enough money to sponsor a year of education for a student in South Africa.

     Eakin IB Exhibition 2012 - a student who worked on a project for St. Judes  Eakin IB Exhibition 2012 - a student who worked on a project about water



    The Percy Priest Elementary School Chess Team placed 2nd in the State Tournament on Saturday, March 24, at Tennessee Tech University.

    The PPE Tigers won the first round against A. L. Lotts Elementary from Knoxville 4-0. Then, they played the defending State Champs, Grahamwood Elementary of Memphis, in round ftwo and lost 0-4, but bounced back in rounds three and four to defeat Harding Academy and Ensworth, both matches were 3-1 in PPE’s favor. PPE had three match wins, with the only loss coming against Grahamwood, who finished first with four match wins. Third place went to St. George Independent School and fourth place was the Lester School, both from Memphis. PPE made it to the State Finals by finishing third in the Region III Team Tournament at BGA. The only team to beat PPE in the Regional was Ensworth, but evened the score with them by beating them in round 4 at State.

    Members of the PPE  team are Jonah B., Garrett S., Drew B. (State Finalist for the Individual Championship), Zachary R., and alternates, Owen S. and Luke R.


    Mark North

    Board Member &

    Sports Fan Mark North

    Proud Elementary School Teacher – Greatness Groomed Early

    The North Sports Report visited Chadwell Elementary School recently and chatted with Music teacher extraordinaire Marsha Brewer who spoke fondly of a former Chadwell student named Devin Wilson and pointed out that Devin recently received the Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Award from the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, after leading the TSU Tigers in receiving this year and carrying a 3.15 grade point average. TSU’s Coach Rod Reed described the Chadwell Elementary alumnus as “a true student-athlete. He is a great role model for young kids and spends time reaching out to our youth.” Mrs. Brewer remembers Devin as “a great music student.”

    Every high school and college scholar is built on a foundation of tremendous elementary school and middle school teachers. Congratulations to Devin and to Chadwell Elementary!

    A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

    Can you imagine receiving a scholar-athlete award from a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Thanks to retired MNPS athletic director Scott Brunette, sports photo-journalist Mike Strasinger, and the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, these scholar-athletes have a memento to treasure, and the North Sports Report proudly shares the pictures with you.

    Click here for photos of the Scholar Athlete Awards

    PHOTOS of Student Athlete Awards

    MNPS: The First Choice for Tremendous Teachers


    MNPS security officers Tina Petrig, Mariette Arroyo and Bady the K9 went the extra mile to help students at Lakeview Design Center. The trio participated in the school’s Animal Safety Day and presented valuable information about animal safety and real-life emergencies to the kindergarten and Lifeskills classes.

    Animal Safety Day at Lakeview - MNPS security officers and canine visit elementary students


    Moozie at Fall-Hamilton 2012

    "It's all up to me" was the theme of a recent visit from Moozie, the ambassador of kindness for the Children's Kindness Network, at Fall-Hamilton Enhanced Option Elementary. Students heard a story from the beloved character, and those who shared how they have been kind received a free copy of "Moozie's Kind Adventure"! Also included with the book was a CD of the book being read by Larry Gatlin who was backed up by he 90-piece orchestra fro Arizona State University.

    This was the third year Moozie visited Fall-Hamilton.


    Nutrition Services - Healthy meals at every school, every day.Congratulations to seventeen of our school for winning the USDA's Healthier U.S. School Challenge Award! The HUSSC Award is given to schools across the country for exemplary steps, leadership and team work used to make changes to the schools’ nutrition environment. This includes the quality of the foods served; the offering of more nutritious, healthier choices; and, enhancing their physical activity program.

    Awards are given broze, silver, and gold. Winning schools receive a HUSSC award plaque, a banner to display, and a small monetary incentive award of $500 to $2000. The names of these schools are also added to the HUSSC awardees list on the Team Nutrition HUSSC website.

    Here are the winners:

    • Glenview Elementary School (Gold)

    • Bordeaux Enhanced Option Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Cole Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Harpeth Valley Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Haywood Elementary School (Bronze)

    • I.T. Cresswell Arts Magnet (Bronze)

    • John F. Kennedy Middle School (Bronze)

    • Jones Paideia Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Lakeview Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Lockeland Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Margaret Allen Middle School (Bronze)

    • McGavock Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Pennington Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Rosebank Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Ross Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Shwab Elementary School (Bronze)

    • Stanford Elementary School (Bronze)

    Congratulations to you all!!


    Caldwell Enhanced Option Elementary School is earning national recognition for its efforts to promote healthier lifestyles. The school recently received a kit packed with roughly $2,000 worth of easy to use cookware from the Partnership for a Healthier America. The organization is a nonprofit, nonpartisan convener across the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to accelerate existing efforts addressing childhood obesity and to facilitate commitments toward First Lady Michelle Obama’s national target.

    Earlier this school year, the students also received a special visit from Dr. Bernard Lafayette. Dr. Lafayette, an ordained minister, is a longtime civil rights activist, organizer, and an authority on nonviolent social change. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, and was a core leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville, Tenn., and Selma Ala., in 1965. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, and he was appointed by Martin Luther King, Jr. to be national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and national coordinator of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.


    Sylvan Park Elementary School held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newly decorated cafeteria and auditorium. The cafeteria wall paintings are designed to promote healthy eating among students as well give them a visual of how the school grows its food. These two areas of the school were recently updated through the hard work of the Sylvan Park parents.

    Sylvan Park Cafeteria Remodel  Sylvan Park Cafeteria Remodel 2 


    December is here and you can't escape those familiar holiday tunes playing in malls, on the radio and TV.

    Shake it up this year and escape the old standards by taking in one of the many fine performances by Metro students! Below is a listing of some of the performing arts events happening in Metro Schools in December. If you're looking for the holiday spirit or something a little outside the norm, take your pick and support our young artists!

    • December 1 - Nashville School of Arts - Tastes of the Season - 6:00 PM

    • December 2-3 - Antioch High School Dance Department presents “Cats in Motion” - 7:00 PM

    • December 5 - McKissack Band Concert - 6:30 PM

    • December 8 -Jere Baxter Middle School Fall Band Concert - 5:00 PM

    • December 8 - Dodson Elementary 3rd Grade PTO Show - 6:00 PM

    • December 8 - East Literature Magnet HS Choir Concert - 7:00 PM

    • December 8 - NSA Fall Orchestra Concert - 7:00 PM

    • December 8 - Hillsboro HS Music Department Concert - 7:00 PM

    • December 9 - DuPont Tyler Middle School Band Concert - 7:00 PM

    • December 9-10 - Nashville School of Arts Fall Dance Show - 7:00 PM

    • December 11 - Creswell Dance Department presents “Nutcracker - All Jazzed Up” - 6:00 PM

    • December 12 - Goodlettsville MS Band Concert - 5:30 PM

    • December 12 - Joelton MS Holiday Concert - 5:30 PM

    • December 15 - Eakin Holiday Program - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM


    Glengarry Elementary School celebrated being “portable free” during its building dedication. The school has undergone remodeling projects that added three new wings and 22 new classrooms to its original structure. Glengarry Elementary has been educating students for more than 49 years. Within its diverse student body, more than 19 countries and 14 different languages are represented.


    Paragon Mills Elementary third and fourth grade classes recently invited students from the Glencliff High School Academies to visit Paragon Mills and discuss the various Academies and the importance of setting academic goals and working hard. The students had the opportunity to visit four of the six Academy stations including Business, Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Marketing, Engineering, and Medical Sciences, asking questions about the Academies as well as the importance of reading and math skills, future job plans, and post secondary aspirations. The Glencliff High School students served as outstanding role models for the third and fourth graders by inspiring them to dream big and work hard.

    Glencliff students promote academies at Paragon Mills

    Glencliff students promote academies at Paragon Mills Culinary Arts


    McGavock Elementary students will soon be navigating a new climbing wall thanks to the support of their community. The school was nominated for the Henkel Helps Kids Get Fit program and was awarded the $1,500 Grand Prize! Congratulations.


    Pennington Elementary students have just finished a history lesson they won’t soon forget. After studying about the Constitution, Susan Beasley, Pennington’s librarian, challenged students to memorize the Preamble. She did this by reciting it herself on the morning announcements and asked who would join her the following week to share this special document. Students were given movements and a song to help them remember the parts.

    This was a voluntary project, but 22 students, grades 2 – 4, participated! The students were awarded certificates and recorded saying the Preamble. The next day they showed off for the entire school, reciting it on the morning announcements. 


    Council Lady Gilmore at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary

    The first grade classes at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet learned how to be leaders in their community with the help of Council Lady of District 19 Erica Gilmore. Council Lady Gilmore was a part of “Wow, America,” a program through which she speaks to students about voting, citizenship, and how to make their community better.


    Read TennesseeTime and time again, research shows children who struggle with reading in third grade will continue to struggle in school and have a greatly reduced chance of graduating from high school.

    But we can all help turn this around - teachers, parents and everyone else - thanks to a wealth of new resources from the Tennessee Department of Education. ReadTennessee.org helps us all understand the new standards for reading in elementary school and gives ideas for helping to meet them.

    You don't have to be a professional educator or understand the jargon of pedagogy to help out. Cruising through the website, I see reading toolkits for both teachers and families. The reading standards are easily available from the homepage and written in language we can all understand. There is even an area set aside for those who want to volunteer as reading tutors.

    Tennessee's First Lady Crissy Haslam says in her welcome message:

    Thank you for visiting the home of Read Tennessee, a joint project designed to allow teachers, families and community members to work together for the benefit of young children throughout the state of Tennessee. We encourage you to explore our website to take advantage of the information provided to help accelerate the learning of Tennessee's most important resource, our children.

    ReadTennessee.org is meant to get us all working together for the benefit of our students, so head on over and check it out. There are ways for all of us to help!


    First Lady reads at Napier - for Read Me Wekk 2011

    First Lady Crissy Haslam read “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama” to a Pre-K class at Napier Elementary School today in advance of tomorrow’s Read for the Record Day.

    Read for the Record Day is a national event aimed at encouraging students to read. Students throughout MNPS elementary schools will enjoy guests readings and special visitors throughout the day.


    Kirkpatrick Enhanced Option Elementary is diving right into Read Me Week, with five days full of fun reading activities. Students will read a different book from the popular "Llama, Llama" series each day and participate in dress up days and special learning projects. Guest readers including WSMV's Jonathan Martin, MNPS Director of Schools' Dr. Jesse Register, and a team of readers from local colleges and corporations will visit the school and read to kindergarteners. Thursday, the school will join in a national effort to set a reading record by reading the hit book "Llama Llama Red Pajamas." To help them with the feat, Pearl, a real-life llama friend, will make a special guest appearance.


    J.E. Moss students are about to feel some hi-tech support! TTL, Inc., an engineering firm
    based out of Tuscaloosa, Ala., has adopted J.E. Moss Elementary school as a PENCIL
    Partner. The firm is initiating an Accelerated Reader Program – Soaring Toward
    Amazing Reading Success (S.T.A.R.S.) at the elementary school. The firm has also
    provided $3,000 to purchase prizes for students that earn points through reading.

    TTL’s Accelerated Readers Program was initiated to increase literacy and encourage the
    reading skills of at risk elementary school students.

    JE Moss TTL Partnership


    If you're not hard at work with Hands on Nashville Day, take the kids down to the Parthenon for Celebrity Storytelling!

    Each Saturday morning a different local celeb will read a 20 minute story of Greek Mythology at the feet of the golden statue of Athena in the main room of the Parthenon. Following the reading, a Parthenon intern will offer an activity to enhance the reading, as recommended by the National Reading Panel.

    Here's the best part: It's 100% free and families who attend can stay and enjoy the Parthenon afterward!

    This week's celebs are Woody & Jim from 107.5 The River. Upcoming stars include news anchor Demetria Kalodimos, the Nashville Symphony's Giancarlo Guerrero and country singer Ketch Secor.

    The program will continue every Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. from now until November 12. Full details in the flier below.


    Glendale Spanish Immersion will host it's annual "Grandparent Tea"  on Sept. 23. Grandparents will come from all over the United States to share this day.  Grandparents will have tea, punch, and tea sandwiches on the front lawn while the children perform. The grandparents will visit the classrooms and receive small gifts from their grandchild as a memory of the day. Many grandparents will have a chance to donate money for library books and other materials for the school.


    meigs 11Wow, talk about a big response - Hands on Nashville Day has set a new record with more tha 1,600 people already signed up to help beautify Metro Schools!

    The 20th annual Hands on Nashville Day is this Saturday, September 24, at 54 different schools. Volunteers will plant, paint, repair, rake, dig, and mulch until the schools look brand new inside and out. All of this volunteer labor is estimated to make a $145,000 economic impact.

    To make it all happen, the Department of Maintenance and Operations has prepared:


    • 1,400 gallons of paint

    • 1,700 paint brushes

    • 504 rolls of tape

    • 380 plastic drop cloths

    • 400 roller covers and roller frames

    • 440-4 ft wood paint handles

    • 432-5 gallon buckets

    • 884-1 gallon pails

    • 8 bush / limb cutters

    • 450 yards of mulch

    • 65 wheelbarrows

    • 100 rakes

    • 80 shovels

    • 35 hedge trimmers

    It's not too late to sign up, either. Head over to the Hands on Nashville website to register and get ready to work on Saturday!

    Volunteers will be rewarded with the CMT One Country Celebration at 3rd & Lindsley at noon. There's really no reason to not sign up!



    Lady Liberty at Jones Paideia - the Nashville performer greeted students

    Liberty Learning Foundation kicked off its “Super Citizen” tour at Jones Paideia Elementary earlier this week. During the visit, the foundation donated teaching tools and taught students about the nation’s history with an in-school performance. Closing the show, Lady Liberty gave a special performance about the life of the Statue of Liberty. 


    Students at Caldwell Enhanced Option Elementary are feeling the love of the community! The school is working to enhance its community garden thanks to a grant received from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture last year. Now, they students are also getting access to free swim lessons, courtesy of Vanderbilt. The students will be provided free transportation to and from the weekend swim classes. The hope is this will help prevent youth drownings in the Nashville area.


    Officially Grandparents’ Day was Sunday, Sept.11; however, Rosebank Elementary students and staff celebrated early with a special luncheon Friday, Sept. 9. More than 100 Rosebank grandparents accepted the invitations and ate lunch with their grandchildren. Grandparents were also presented with special badges welcoming them to Rosebank, place mats made by the students in art class, and bookmarks that read, "Grandparents:  A Love That Lasts A Lifetime."


    Stella White, Tom Joy Elementary’s library/media specialist, has received a $5000 Dollar General Literacy Grant. This grant will be used to develop a literacy “hub” to promote literacy in school. The money will be divided to provide the Tom Joy students with playaways, ebook, netbooks, flip cameras and software.


    New to Nashville? Enrolling in Metro Schools for the first time? We can help you register!

    New Student Registration Week runs from Monday, August 1 to Friday, August 5. Student registration must be completed at your assigned school. We recommend contacting your school before you register.

    What do you need to bring with you to register?

    • Birth Certificate or acceptable proof of age;

    • Immunization (vaccination record) on a Tennessee Certificate of Immunization Form;

    • Physical examination (within one (1) year of the beginning of school)

    • Proof of residency (current utility bill, lease, etc.)

    • Social Security Card (optional)

    • Recent Report Card (optional)

    The immunization information is particularly important. Full information on immunizations and the immunization certificate is available here.

    The first day of school is Thursday, August 11. We have a lot more answers to your Back to School questions in our Back to School Guide for 2011-12.

    See you on August 11!


    If you have a child who speaks a language other than English and has a date of birth between October 1st 2005 and September 30th of 2006, you need to register your child for Kindergarten at the Office of English Learners. Registration will began February 28, 2011 and will be by appointment only. It is best to register your child before the first day of school. For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact the EL Office at (615) 259-8608 Si ustedes tienen niños que hablan un idioma diferente al inglés y con fecha de nacimiento entre el 1º de octubre de 2005 y el 30 de septiembre de 2006 necesitan matricularlos para Kindergarten en la Oficina de Inglés como Idioma Adicional. Nosotros empezaremos a inscribir con cita previa a partir del 28 de Febrero de 2011. No esperen hasta el primer día de escuela, matriculen a sus niños con tiempo. Para más información y para hacer una CITA comuníquense con la Oficina de Inglés como Idioma Adicional (615) 259.8608


    A Nashville Encore student, Keshandria, is big winner this holiday season; she's going on a 60-second shopping spree courtesy of Dollar General! The shopping spree comes months after Keshandria's mom entered an essay for a contest from Dollar General. The topic of her essay was her daughter's plan to collect supplies for homeless people. Out of more than 3,000 entries, the mother-daughter duo were selcted to the Top 25. After a week of public voting, Keshandria and her mother won! Their shopping spree is set for Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 11 am, at the Dollar General in Inglewood.


    This Holiday Season, the Pennington PTO is sponsoring the “Pennington Panthers Giving Tree Project”. Between Monday, Nov. 29 and Friday, Dec. 10, Pennington students are asked to bring in gift donations for children in our community. These gifts will be administered and distributed to families in need. Gifts the school will be collecting include educational toys (Leap Frog toys, Magna-doodles, puzzles, flash cards, etc.), board games (all kinds), building toys (such as Legos, Lincoln Logs, etc.), as well as books (easy readers, books on tape, etc.). After all items are collected, the PTO will take the gifts and a roll of wrapping paper to the families. And in true "Giving Tree" spirit, the students who donate are having a special commemorative picture made with the stump of a 50-year-old tree that was recently cut down in front of the school.


    Wednesday, Nov. 17, Napier Enhanced Option School celebrated International Day recognizing cultures from around the world with special emphasis on the cultures represented in the school. The 2nd graders sang songs from Ghana, Spain, China, and American born Gospel music led by music teacher, Franklin Willis. The third grade girls danced to the Liberian song “Funga Alafiya,” while the grade boys played traditional African drums. High School students from Hunter’s Lane and Pearl-Cohn assisted by performing traditional Puerto Rican dances and playing the “Djembe” African drum. Parents from Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Somali prepared food and displayed artifacts from their country. Teachers dressed in ethnic clothing and everyone had a wonderful time!


    Thursday, Dec. 2, from 4 - 7 p.m., Taylor Stratton Elementary will host World Day 2010. The free event will highlight a variety of different cultures. Guests will enjoy traditional dances, international vendors, native music and ethnic foods!


    Monday, Nov. 22, Walmart will hand over 1,000 in reward cards to 10 deserving teachers at Glencliff Elementary! The teachers, who were selected through Walmart's Teacher Rewards program, will be able to use the money to purchase classroom supplies at Sam's Club or Walmart. This event is part of a national campaign that will infuse 4.5 million into schools across the nation. Walmarts nationwide were asked to pick one local K-8 school and donate the cards to 10 teachers at the school. In all, 45,000 teachers across the U.S. will benefit. The presentation will be Monday morning at 9 a.m., at Glencliff Elementary.


    Check out the video of the Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Dedication Ceremony! Students singing, a portrait unveiled, and touching words from the Churchwell family.


    Saturday, Nov. 20, Glendale Spainsh Immersion will host its 2nd Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., in the school gym. The event serves as a fundraiser for the school's Parent Teacher Organization. Younger guests will enjoy carnival games, facepainting and "tattoos," while parents can visit dozens of booths sponsored by local businesses. Some of the more known vendors include Bongo Java and Las Paletas. Also on hand will be representatives from Arbonne, Pampered Chef, and Premiere Designs Jewelry. Many local craftsmen and artisans will display a variety of handmade items such as knitwear, jewelry, children's accessories, glasswork, paintings, cards, decorative items, baked goods and more. If that isn't enough to whet your whistle, there will also be a custom framing booth on hand!


    The Nashville Predators started their "off-the-ice" season at Carter Lawrence Elementary Magnet School. And from the looks of things, they had a pretty good time!


    More than 70 volunteers spent hours working at Whitsitt Elementary this weekend. Together, the group planted and mulched 10 trees and cleared the campus of more than 100 pounds of debris and trash. A special thank you to all the community members who pitched in to help.


    Tuesday, Nov. 16, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin visited Lockeland Elementary School to stress the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. The visit was in conjunction with part three of Nashville Public Television's Children's Health Crisis that will first air Thursday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Health Director Dr. Bill Paul, and NPT Director Beth Curley were also on hand to encourage students and staff to lead healthier lifestyles.

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