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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!!


Metro Schools are officially closed for Winter Break! The Central Office will be open throughout the break, with the exception of Dec. 22, 23, 26, and Jan. 2. All classes will resume Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Have a great break, and we'll see you in the new year!


Congratulations to John Early Museum Magnet Middle School for being the top winners in the SUMDOG district Math competition with an overall score of 4,755 points!  JEMMMS students won every round, and eight students placed in the top 10 for the entire district. These students will be presented with a certificate for their respective ranking, and every student who participated will be rewarded with a pizza party.

The school will receive an engraved trophy and a site license for Yenka Mathematics software, worth $750.  Again, congratulations to JEMMMS students for their outstanding performance!


Pre-K students at Buena Vista Enhanced Option Elementary have experienced a week full of sharing and surprises! Wednesday, Dec.14, the students took a special trip to Bordeaux Nursing Home to surprise the residents with holiday songs and special hand-made gifts. Today, the students got a surprise of their own when UPS representatives showed up with dozens of presents! This is the second year UPS has "adopted" the Pre-K classrooms for the holiday season.

 Buena Vista Holiday Trip 2011 - students on a field trip to sing at a nearby nursing home Buena Vista Holiday Gifts 2011 - students surprised by UPS with dozens of gifts 


It's time to call your Senators and Representatives!

Key federal funding that helps thousands of students take Advanced Placement tests is in danger of being eliminated. Your calls could make the difference for students right here in Nashville.

Last year Tennessee's low-income students received nearly a quarter-million dollars to help them pay the AP exam fee. Without this money, many students would have been unable to pay and would not have taken their exams.

The AP Test Fee & Incentive Program has been around since 1999, but is not included in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed funding bill for fiscal year 2012. There is a Senate bill currently in the Education Committee that could save it, but that bill has no co-sponsors.

This is where you can help.

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander serves on both the Appropriations and the Education Committee and could help dramatically by supporting this bill and helping it pass through Committee. We need you to urge him along!

Call, email, or fax Sen. Alexander's office and ask him to support the 'Advanced Programs Act of 2011.' Better yet: do all three! You can even reach him on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.

Many, many students around the country depend on this program to prepare themselves for college and make it more affordable. They need your help. All it takes is a simple phone call, email, or fax.

How long does that take? Five minutes?

We've included Sen. Alexander's contact information below.

Sen. Lamar Alexander

Email | Facebook | Twitter | You Tube

Washington D.C. Office:

P: (202) 224-4944

F: (202) 228-3398

Nashville, TN Office:

P: (615) 736-5129

F: (615) 269-4803


Wednesday, Dec. 15, McKissack Middle School’s PTO hosted its inaugural Winter Shopping Extravaganza.  The event was hosted by the PTO to raise money for the school’s athletic programs. There were numerous Nashville vendors that set up booths to showcase their products and services. A big thank you to YMCA Nashville, Tennessee State University, Nuttin’ But Wings, Mommy’s Jewelry Box, and all other vendors for making this night a huge success! The parents loved being able to support local businesses, shop for gifts at affordable prices, and know that the money was going to a great cause!


Hundreds of Metro students and their families will have extra reason to cheer this holiday season. The district’s Family Resource Centers, family involvement specialists, and social workers have been working overtime the past few weeks to make sure food and toys are plentiful for families. Students at Park Avenue were first surprised with the gifts in a special presentation Thursday, Dec. 15.

A special thank you to Metro Schools’ transportation and central services departments have provided unmatched assistance in storing and transferring the items – from area donors to schools and centers in need.

 FRC Toys 2011 - toys donated to metro schools students

 FRC Toys 2011 - toys donated to metro schools students


The Isaac Litton Lions will be back in their home den this January. The school moved to the Dalewood campus more than a year ago while the Litton building underwent a series of renovations. But the time has come to move back home!

The newly renovated Litton Middle School building will officially open on January 17, 2012. The school was originally scheduled to move over the winter holidays, but an extra-rainy fall delayed construction just a little bit. The move will now happen over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend, with students reporting to the Litton Middle building on January 17.

We're so happy to have the Lions back where they belong, and hope the new renovations just add to their successful school year!

Here is a map of the Isaac Litton Middle School building, opening on January 17, 2012:

View Larger Map


Mark North

Board Member &

Sports Fan Mark North

Wrestling Roundup

McGavock’s 39th annual invitational wrestling tournament featured a star studded field from across the state. McGavock’s team finished third, and MNPS grapplers took home several individual honors.

Garang Madut (Glencliff), Carlos Garcia (McGavock), Ronquai Love (MLK), Jamal Donoso (Glencliff), and Nolan Sexton (McGavock) each won the tournament championship in their respective weight classes.

Gerald Hold (Hillsboro), M. Johnson (Cane Ridge), Carlos Harrison (McGavock), Trevion Jones (Antioch), and Jordan Bradley (Hunters Lane) each placed second.

Danny Erazo (Glencliff), Clarence Mathis (Antioch), Brayan Garcia (Hillsboro), Justin Holland (Hunters Lane), Jahmare Anthony (Hillwood), and Keith Harris (MLK) each finished third.

Congratulations to all our MNPS grapplers!

All Star Game Honors

Caleb Azubike of McGavock (a Vanderbilt commitment) was named the Defensive MVP of The Toyota All Star Classic while leading the West All-Stars to victory in the annual match-up of top-level high school gridders from across the state. Another MNPS student-athlete, Ladarius Vanlier of Maplewood, was the leading rusher for the West squad.

Hoops Weekend

Go see the great match-ups this weekend on the hardwood:

Friday December 16:

  • East Lit Eagles travel to MLK Royals;

  • Glencliff Colts go to Father Ryan;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors host Hillsboro Burros;

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers head over to West End to play MBA (boys game only);

  • Hume Fogg Knights travel to Whites Creek Cobras;

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host Maplewood Panthers;

  • Stratford Spartans travel to CPA;

  • And in the battle of the Overtons: Memphis Overton (or as we call them, Overton the Less) visits MNPS to play the real Overton Bobcats.

MNPS home games are at MLK, Hunters Lane, Whites Creek, Pearl-Cohn, and Overton.

Friday and Saturday:

  • Antioch Bears will play out in Wilson County in the Mt. Juliet Classic tournament; and

  • Cane Ridge Ravens travel to Sumner County for the Hendersonville Christmas tournament.

Saturday December 17:

  • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to Nashville Christian; and

  • Hillsboro Burros (boys’ team) will play in the Independence Classic tournament in Williamson County

Pick some games and enjoy the hoops.

Exam Week Advice (or I heard this from a Coach)

Show your poise and composure; be prepared; always improve; and never give up.

Good luck on exams and have a safe and happy holiday break.

-- Mark North

MNPS: The First Choice for Perseverance


Cathy Forester, a teacher at East Literature Magnet High, was named the Tennessee Council of Teachers of English 2011 High School English Teacher of the Year. The award was presented at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in Chicago, November 19. Congratulations!


The Hume-Fogg Silver Jazz band has been selected to perform and compete in the Savannah Music Festival’s Swing Central Jazz Competition and Workshop at the end of March. This is an elite competition for which only the top 12 high school jazz bands in the USA are selected! Congrats HFA!


Going to college is about to get a little more accessible for students at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School and Maplewood High School. These two schools have been awarded $162,720 in Seed Grant funding through the state's Race to the Top grant. It will be used to help fund college for more than 1,700 students. Check out the full release below, or click here to read more.


You don’t have to take our word for it. One of the most well-respected educational research outfits in the country says MNPS Achieves is working and making our district better.

Back in April of 2010, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University started a two-year evaluation of the district’s massive reform effort. In the Institute’s ‘Year 2’ report, which is now available online, evaluators say that MNPS Achieves is moving the district “in the right direction.”

The report includes a lot of praise for collaboration both within the district and with the community as a whole. It also notes the visible culture change taking root in Central Office and a more focused and shared understanding of what effective teaching should look like.

For the full report, head over to the MNPS Achieves page. While you’re there you can learn more about the massive reform effort that’s been underway since 2009. Below you’ll find our official press release, which points out some highlights from the report.


Brown University’s Annenberg Institute Issues Year 2 Assessment; National Advisory Panel Offers Recommendations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 13, 2011) – “MNPS Achieves,” the system-wide transformation of Metro Nashville Public Schools that began in 2009, shows great promise according to the second annual report issued today by the Brown University-affiliated evaluation team. The report’s release coincides with the reform effort’s National Advisory Panel meeting in Nashville.

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (AISR) submitted its 54-page assessment, covering August 2010-May 2011, to Dr. Jesse Register, director of MNPS Schools, and the Metro Nashville Board of Public Education, noting, “MNPS has much to be proud of in building a comprehensive and inclusive system-wide transformation effort.”

“We are making progress in public education in Nashville and it is good to have our progress recognized by national experts as well as our school families,” said Director of Schools Jesse Register. “We have much more work to do to improve student achievement and we look forward to additional feedback on our efforts from the National Advisory Panel.”

A draft of the Annenberg Institute’s complete report was shared with the five-member National Advisory Panel for “MNPS Achieves,” recruited by AISR in fall 2010, to aid in evaluation conceptualization, provide feedback and suggest improvements to the reform model’s design and implementation. Members include AISR’s Norm Fruchter; Boston College’s Andy Hargreaves; San Diego State professor and National Center for Urban School Transformation Executive Director Joseph Johnson; University of Pittsburgh’s Carrie R. Leana; and Harvard University’s Thomas Payzant, the former superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. All but Payzant will be in Nashville Thursday, December 15 and Friday, December 16.

A central focus is the implementation of “MNPS Achieves,” a transformational change leadership model that has engaged more than 100 leaders throughout the district and community in a systematic process to improve student achievement. “MNPS Achieves” is organized around nine transformational leadership groups (TLGs) that are areas of concern, such as English learners, human capital systems and students with special needs. In AISR’s evaluation, researchers focused on assessing these TLGs, as well as collaborative culture and capacity building, and one of the improved performance outcomes: a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning.

In the examination of district culture, researchers found that the significant improvement in collaborative practice identified in last year’s report was maintained, and furthermore, the district’s close partnerships with community organizations, businesses and individuals through their involvement as TLG members has “contributed to the shift to a more hopeful culture.”

“’MNPS Achieves’ has brought together partners across the city, and there is alignment on several important issues…,” noted the report. “Some participants also mentioned…a citywide focus on education, with increasing collaboration with, and support from organizations such as the mayor’s office and chamber of commerce, as well as an improved sense of confidence in the district from the community at large….”

At the central office, researchers found a general sense that MNPS possesses a vision and mission focused on student achievement, highly effective teaching, leadership development, and continuous improvement, and is “’moving in the right direction.’” Researchers observed that changes in attitude and actions of MNPS leadership have “begun to take root across the district, and a major factor in accelerating that shift has been the investments made to develop the capacity of principals.”

Within capacity building, survey and interview results were consistent among central office and school administrators in their support for “data-informed decision making,” identified as a major focus and priority of MNPS.

In contrast, researchers noted that district communication continues to be a challenge, as fewer than half of the staff felt that the channels of communication were open. While there was improvement noted in communication between schools and the central office, schoolbased staff complained about inconsistencies in communication from the central office.

Regarding a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning, the theme of differentiation was most frequently identified -- instruction tailored to the needs of individual learners or groups of learners -- as the vision of good instruction. Whether that vision was shared district-wide, one teacher summed-up by saying: “I think the most productive part of this initiative is that no matter what need the student has, we must meet it…Metro has put it out there…we do it.”

Respondents, however, pointed to two challenges to defining and further developing instructional vision: (1) The Common Core Standards mean that any connections between standards and the instructional vision are at an early stage (K-2 only); (2) tools meant to support good instruction – such as pacing guides and benchmarks – are not seen as useful by teachers.

About the Annenberg Institute

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University is a national policy-research and reform support organization that promotes quality education for all children, particularly in urban communities. The institute's primary lines of inquiry include college readiness, extended learning, and school transformation. Its focuses on developing and promoting the concept of a “smart education systems,” a comprehensive set of community-centered school reforms that coordinate educational supports and services at school, at home, and in the community to provide all children with equitable opportunities and high-quality learning experiences.


The staff at Antioch and Cane Ridge high schools are on a mission to help students and parents better understand the issues and dangers of teenage drug use. The schools will host a special session for parents and future students Monday, Dec. 12. Several special guests and experts on drug addiction will be in attendance. Guests will also enjoy a chili supper and be eligible for a some great door prizes. Check out the details below.


Have your say in how your children are taught by giving us feedback on the new textbooks up for adoption.

MNPS is looking to adopt new textbooks for literature, fine arts, and career & technical education. Once adopted, they will be purchased and used for six years. They will all be on display throughout December and January for your review. Details are below:


Parents, teachers and the community are invited to view textbooks Metro Nashville Public Schools is considering adopting for literature, fine arts and Career & Technical Education courses. Books may be viewed daily; a feedback form will be available. The books selected will be used for six years.


Weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Friday, Dec. 9 through January 20, 2012. Limited hours December 19 through 21, 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Closed December 22, 2011 through January 2, 2012.


Cohn Adult Learning Center, Room 100, 4805 Park Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209

Parking is suggested on the street closest to the corner of Elkins Avenue and 49th Street. Enter through the door facing Elkins closest to 49th or the door on 49th closest to Elkins. Room 100 is just inside.


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.


Belmont University has extended a gracious offer to MNPS students and staff. The university is offering discounted pricing at several December games, and free admission to see the Lady Bruins take on Texas State, Wednesday, Dec. 21. Just show your ID card and gain free admission.

You can also get discounted tickets for the Men's Dec. 15 game against Troy State, the Lady's Dec. 18 game against Austin Peay, and the Men's Dec. 29 game against Marshall. Tickets for these games are $5 for adults, $1 youth for the men's games; $3 for adult, $1 youth for the women's games. For more information, call the Curb Event Center Box Office at 460-BALL.


Maplewood Panther

The Maplewood

Panther (not

Mark North)

Hume Award

Thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Nashville for hosting the 68th annual Hume Award luncheon last week at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. Awarded since 1944 to a football player from Nashville public schools based on “scholarship, sportsmanship, individual performance and value to the team,” the Hume Award is one of the most prestigious honors for student-athletes.

The luncheon recognized this year’s Hume Award recipient, Dustin Binkley from Maplewood, as well as finalists DeMarco Moore from Antioch, Maurice Cooper from Hillsboro, Caleb Azubike from McGavock, and Ike Amadi from Overton.

Other Hume Award nominees included Jamaris Lavay Pye (Cane Ridge), James Franklin Patterson (East Lit.), Travelle Ervin Deion Pointer (Hillwood), Scottie McCrae Peace (Hunters Lane), Ryan Andrew Deising (Pearl-Cohn/MLK), George Enrique Gutierrez (Stratford), and Michael R. Woodside Jr. (Whites Creek).

Hume Award trivia – Overton Principal Dr. Shuler Pelham was a finalist for the Hume Award in 19….well, let’s just say many years ago.


McGavock Raiders host the 39th annual McGavock Invitational Wrestling tournament this weekend. Wrestlers from across the state, including MNPS wrestlers from McGavock, Cane Ridge, Antioch, Hunters Lane, Hillsboro, MLK, Hillwood, Whites Creek and Glencliff will grapple Saturday beginning at 9:00am. The Junior Varsity tournament starts Friday at 4:30pm and also includes wrestlers from Hume Fogg and East Lit. Admission is $5.00 for the JV tournament on Friday evening and $8.00 for Saturday’s main event.

If you’re not pinned down this weekend, come to McGavock and watch our wrestlers go to the mat for MNPS.

State Championship Game

Blue Cross Blue Shield Bowl
Sunny weather, not-so-sunny outcome.

It was a great Saturday afternoon for the trip to Cookeville for Maplewood’s Championship game appearance. Tennessee Tech played the gracious and hospitable host for a sunny and beautiful Championship Saturday. The team fought hard to the end and brought home the silver football trophy; the band rocked the house; the cheerleaders and Panther mascot displayed the Panther pride; the fans traveled well and included Nashville elected official Howard Gentry, at least five MNPS high school principals, several central office administrators including associate superintendents Lora Hall and Jay Steele, Director of Schools Jesse Register, and Board Chair Gracie Porter. We are proud of the Panthers.

Travel tip: Ralph’s Do-Nut Shop. When you travel to Cookeville to tour Tennessee Tech on a campus visit, or for next year’s state championships, or any time you drive east on Interstate 40, do not miss the donuts at Ralph’s Do-Nut Shop. I recommend the “Butter Twists.” Tell the folks at Ralph’s the North Sports Report sent you.

Ralph's Donut Shop

Tell Ralph 'North Sports Report' sent you.

Brush with Fame/Alumni News

I ran into TSSAA administrator, baseball great, and Madison High School Alumnus Gene Menees in Cookeville. Gene is still one of the most popular players in Nashville Sounds’ history. Everyone from Nashville of a certain age remembers the familiar Greer Stadium call when he was introduced … “Now batting, second baseman, Geeenoooo Meneeeeeeees!” Priceless.


An exciting slate of basketball games awaits MNPS fans this Friday night December 9.

  • Antioch Bears travel to Hillwood Hilltoppers;

  • Overton Bobcats visit Cane Ridge Ravens;

  • East Lit. Eagles travel to CPA;

  • Hunters Lane Warriors host Glencliff Colts;

  • McGavock Raiders head to Green Hills for a showdown with Hillsboro Burros;

  • MLK Royals travel to Stratford Spartans;

  • Maplewood Panthers host Whites Creek Cobras; and

  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host David Lipscomb.

The MNPS home games are at Hillwood, Cane Ridge, Hunters Lane, Hillsboro, Stratford, Maplewood, and Pearl-Cohn. Pick a game and enjoy!

-- Mark North, Board of Education Vice-Chair & District 3 Representative

MNPS: The First Choice for Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Value to the Team


Essay contest winners with Shoney's executives
Hannibal Myers, chief development officer of Shoney's; Oskar Groitzsch; Magdalene Kennedy; Angel Puryear; and Catherine Hite, general counsel of Shoney's.
Students from Hume-Fogg, McGavock and Stratford High Schools took home free iPads after winning big in the "My Future, My Way" essay contest from MNPS, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Shoney's.

The three's essays were among thousands turned in after the Career Exploration Fair in October. Of those thousands, one winner was chosen from each school, with three grand prize winners chosen by a panel of judges. Magdalene Kennedy, Angel Puryear, and Oskar Groitzsch wrote the three winning essays and each received an iPad as reward.

A full release from the Chamber of Commerce, including the list of all seventeen school-level winners, is below.

Nashville's business recognize leaders
Metro Nashville Public Schools freshmen
ssay contest winners receive prizes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 7, 2011) – Seventeen ninth-grade Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) students were recognized by leaders in Nashville’s business community today as winners of the inaugural "My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair essay contest.

More than 4,500 freshmen from 17 different MNPS schools attended the career exploration fair at the Nashville Convention Center on Oct. 27. As part of Shoney’s five-year sponsorship of the "My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair, students later wrote an essay about how the experience impacted their thoughts about school, college and an eventual career. Each of the 17 schools selected an essay winner, and a panel composed of judges from MNPS, Shoney’s and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce selected three grand prize winners. The three grand prize winners read their essays at today’s CEO Champions meeting, and each received a new iPad. The remaining 14 winners will each receive a $100 Shoney’s gift card.

“These students are already ahead, because they are exploring their interests and thinking about college and what they might want to do in life,” said David Davoudpour, chairman & CEO of Shoney’s. “Shoney’s Restaurants is investing in Nashville’s young people, because we feel it’s important to help develop America’s future leaders.”

“This year’s fair was not only bigger than in the past, it was even more engaging and inspiring for our students,” said Dr. Jesse Register, director of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. “It is important for young people to broaden their horizons about the many careers that could be in their futures. The career fair not only introduces students to new career possibilities, it also helps them understand how they can prepare for those careers during high school and through higher education. We appreciate Shoney’s for making this experience possible.”

"My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair essay contest winners

  • Magdalene Kennedy, Hume Fogg Academic Magnet School (grand prize)

  • Angel Puryear, McGavock High School (grand prize)

  • Oskar Groitzsch, Stratford High School (grand prize)

  • Kelcie Walden, Antioch High School

  • Austin Hayes, Big Picture School

  • Sandra Watson, Cane Ridge High School

  • Stephanie Webb, East Literature Magnet School

  • Aaron Davis, Glencliff High School

  • Efrain Salazar, Hillsboro High School

  • Matcie Sitze, Hillwood High School

  • Cory Nelson, Hunters Lane High School

  • Destiny Anderson, Maplewood High School

  • Dheeraj Namburu, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School

  • Iris Engel, Nashville School for the Arts

  • Niesha Everson, Pearl-Cohn High School

  • Lilly Quach, Overton High School

  • Tovia Williams, Whites Creek High School
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing more than 2,000 member companies. Belong, engage, lead, prosper embodies what the Chamber focuses on for its members. Together with its affiliates, the Nashville Chamber works to strengthen the region’s business climate and to enhance Nashville’s position as a desirable place to live, work and visit. For more information, visit www.nashvillechamber.com.


Students, staff and community members of Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School celebrated their new Blue Ribbon status with numerous dignitaries and free ice cream courtesy of Blue Bell last Friday. The school was awarded the national honor for its overall academic excellence. It was one of just six schools statewide given the honor. Senior Em’maja Hancock is seen below addressing the crowd.

HumeFogg Blue Ribbon Ceremony


West End IB World School is competing for a $5,000 grant to help solve hunger in the school community. Through the Brookside Foods Giving Back Challenge: Call for Community-Based Organizations, the students have submitted an “IDEA” that revolves around the expansion of the school’s community garden. If selected, West End will add raised beds and a greenhouse to the existing community garden, which will allow the students to grow more vegetables and herbs. The produce will be packed into students’ backpacks and sent home for health weekend meals.

Click here to see West End’s video and cast your vote.Voting is open until December 9, 2011, 2:00 p.m.


2011 Hume Award Winner Re

Dustin Binkley of Maplewood High School is this year’s Hume Award recipient! In a special ceremony, Metro Schools recognized the brightest and best football players off the 2011 season. Binkley impressed both on and off the field with stellar game stats and grades. He has been accepted to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Austin Peay State University, but has not made his final decision.

The Hume Award began in 1944 and is given to a football player who has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship athletically and academically. These student-athletes are chosen by their principals and coaches based on scholarship, sportsmanship, individual performance and value to the team.


State Releases NCLB Report Card Results

Metro Nashville Public Schools Show Progress


NASHVILLE, TN (December 2, 2011) – In what could be the last Tennessee Report Card tied to No Child Left Behind, Metro Nashville Public Schools shows overall growth despite tougher standards and new calculation methods.


“We are seeing a great deal of progress across the board and fully support the state’s pursuit of an accountability process that accurately reflects the progress of our schools and students,” said MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register.  “We have just received the final Report Card information and are currently reviewing the information it contains.”


This past July, the state released Adequate Yearly Progress results for 2011, which provided clear evidence of the flaws in the current assessment structure with NCLB.  Tennessee is in its second year of implementation of new standards that are among the most rigorous in the country, which is a positive change for students. These more difficult standards and increasing benchmarks make it harder for districts and schools to make AYP.


This year’s data show:


The district has rebounded from the significant increase in state standards in 2009-10 and showed marked increase in achievement in 2010-11.

  • We increased our scores for achievement in all four subjects: reading, science, math and social studies. Our letter grades rose in math and social studies to C’s, which are comparable to the rest of the state.

  •  We made more progress in all grades for reading and math than the state target. Our overall three-year TVAAS (Tennessee Value Added Assessment System) grades went up significantly and our math scores increased a letter grade.

  • The report card shows our high school graduation rate dropping from 82.9% in 2010, using a five-year calculation, to 76.2% in 2011, using a four-year calculation. We knew the change to a four- year rate would affect us more than most districts because we serve many English Learners and students with disabilities who benefit from a five-year program. Unfortunately, the four-year calculation does not allow the time appropriate for these students.

  • We cut our dropout rate almost in half, from 4.4% to 2.3%, which means about 250 more students have remained in school.


To see results from the 2011 Tennessee Report Card, click here.


Also worthy of note, educators locally and nationally have pushed for new evaluation tools that more accurately reflect the academic progress of students, schools and school districts. Tennessee has submitted a request that would provide a waiver from some parts of the NCLB law and allow more flexibility for accountability.  The request can be found online here.


Students at five Metro high schools recently showed their culinary skills at a professional competition featuring some of Nashville's top chefs. The students were invited to participated in the annual Hospitality Championship Series. The students went head to head in a cooking competition based on the TV show "Chopped." At the end of the day, Hunters Lane claimed first place, Antioch took second, and Hillwood rounded out the top three. Congrats!


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 


The TSU Aristocrat of Bands made a quick stop at Head Magnet Middle School to help kick off the Fall Festival. The band played several of its hit tunes and had the students on their feet.

TSU Band at Head - the band helps kick off the fall festival   TSU Band at Head - the band helps kick off the fall festival


Congressman Jim Cooper proves that it never hurts to ask! Earlier this week, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet Senior Gerald Harris (pictured lower left with Congressman Cooper and PCHS Principal Dr. Threadcraft) invited the lawmaker to visit the school and see the changes. Not only did he say yes, but he also spent time touring the school and visiting with students.

Cooper at PCHS 2011 - Congressman Cooper visits the school for a special interview on PCTV


Here's a great opportunity for high school students looking to learn and earn this summer - the Bank of America student leader PAID internship program.


Inglewood Elementary recently hosted a writing contest during which two bikes from Happening From Kids were donated and given students as prizes.  All fourth grade students submitted a graphic organizer, first draft, and a final paper on "Why I Should Win the Bike."  We want to send a big shout out to all of our fourth grade participants for their hard word.  A congratulations to 2nd place winner Deyomi H., for the Best Persuasion paper; and to 1st Place winner Carlton B., for Best Mechanics paper.  Also, a big thanks to Eastside Cycles, Happening for Kids, Asphalt Beach, and the Inglewood PTO for supporting the contest.

Inglewood Writing Competition - students entered a writing competition for a chance to win a new bike


Penny S., a student at Glencliff High School, was the winner of a laptop from Bridgestone through a drawing at the Career Fair. Penny says she appreciates Bridgestone for partnering with MNPS and she will use her new laptop wisely to conduct research.

Jenny Sinard from Bridgestone presented the laptop during a Freshman Academy assembly.

Glencliff student wins laptop - a freshman awarded a laptop by Bridgestone


It's no secret Metro Schools is in the midst of district-wide transformational change, and our middle schools are no exception! The district is placing a heavier focus on educating the whole child, not just one aspect of adolescent life. And the difference is palpable.

In a series of short videos (found here), hear why students and staff say the new philosophy is making a real difference. You can also catch the full 22-minute piece Sundays at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., or Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on NECAT's IQTV10, cable channel 10.

To see more videos produced by Metro Schools, visit us on YouTube.

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