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School starts Wednesday, August 1, and several of our schools are helping families prepare by holding open houses, orientations, meet & greets, and other events.

Below is a listing of some of these events in no particular order. If we're missing some,
send us an email to let us know. We'll add it!

  • JFK Middle Ice Cream Social - Sunday, July 29, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

  • Hume-Fogg Freshman Orientation - Monday July 23 through Wednesday, July 25, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. with a half-day on Thursday, July 26

  • Hillsboro "Burro Beginnings" Freshman Orientation - Thursday, July 26 at 8:00 a.m.

  • Overton Freshman Orientation - Monday, July 30 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

  • Meet & Greet for Cane Ridge Elementary Principal Donna Wilburn - Monday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m., Cane Ridge High School

  • Meet & Greet for Antioch High School Principal Adrienne Battle-Koger - Tuesday, July 24 at 5:00 p.m.

  • Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet Freshman Firebird Orientation - Monday, July 30 at 6:00 p.m.

    • Pearl-Cohn Academies of Entertainment Management and Communication orientation - Tuesday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m.

  • West End IB World Middle School Parent & Student Orientation Nights

    • 5th & 6th Grades - Wednesday, July 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

    • 7th & 8th Grades - Thursday, July 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

    • School-wide Open House - Wednesday, August 1, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

  • Bellevue Middle School Orientation - Tuesday, July 24, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Church of Christ on Jackson Street

    • 5th Grade Orientation - Sunday, July 29, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Bellevue Middle School

    • Schedule Pick-up - Wednesday, July 25 & Thursday, July 26 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00p.m. at Bellevue Middle School

      • Mt. View Elementary Preview Night - July 31, 6:00-7:00 p.m. (Teacher assignments may be announced this night.)

      • Eakin Elementary School Kindergarten Popsicle Party - Monday, July 30, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

      • John Early Museum Magnet Middle New Student Orientation - Tuesday, July 31, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

        • Buses to run 2012-13 times and stops for transportation to John Early orientation

      • Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary Family Orientation

        • K-2 - Monday, July 30, 9:00 a.m. OR 5:30 p.m.

        • 3-4 - Tuesday, July 31, 9:00 a.m. OR 5:30 p.m.

        • Call 419-0509 by July 27 if you need transportation

      • Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Parent & Scholar Welcome Night - Thursday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m.

      • Granbery Elementary

        • Kindergarten Parent Meeting - Monday, July 30 at 6:00 p.m.

        • Open House for Grades 1 & 2 - Thursday, August 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Parents Only

        • Open House for Grades 3 & 4 - Thursday, August 2, 6:45-7:45 p.m. - Parents Only

      • Hillwood High School Freshman Orientation - July 30, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

      • Jere Baxter Middle School Open House - Tuesday, July 31, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

      • Buena Vista Enhanced Option Elementary School Parent Orientation - Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m.

      • Croft Middle Design Center Orientation and Open House - Tuesday, July 31 at 5:00 p.m.

      • Gra-Mar Middle School Student Orientation & Relationship Building - Thursday, August 2, 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

      • Sylvan Park Elementary Welcome to Kindergarten Party - Tuesday, July 31 at 5:30 p.m.

      • The Cohn School Open House - Thursday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m.


      District meets seven of nine benchmarks; student achievement grows

      Metro Nashville Public Schools showed growth in achievement among all subgroups of students last year, placing the district in intermediate status - the second highest accountability category. The State Department of Education earlier today released district-level status for all Tennessee districts, including for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

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

      “These results show that thousands more of our students are performing at a higher level,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Tennessee standards are among the highest in the country and this new accountability system is real, it is holding districts to standards that are difficult but attainable.

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

      The accountability system, adopted after Tennessee secured a waiver from part of NCLB earlier this year, looks to districts to increase achievement levels for all students and reduce achievement gaps that exist between certain groups. Metro Schools serves approximately one-third of the state’s English Learner students, as well approximately 12,000 Students with Disabilities. The district also serves more than 56,000 economically disadvantaged students, which is about 71% of total enrollment for last year.

      Metro Schools’ students made significant academic progress in the 2011-12 school year and the district met the majority of Tennessee’s academic achievement targets. In 2010, Tennessee adopted new academic performance standards that are among the most demanding in the nation. Metro Schools have shown steady improvement against these higher standards.

      Grade 3-8 TCAP Tests
      % proficient/advanced
        2010 2011 2012 
      Reading/Language Arts 33.9% 38.9% 42.1% 
      Math 25.9% 32.2% 38.4%
      Science 36.2% 38.8%  44.5%

      High School End of Course Exams
      % proficient/advanced
        2010 2011  2012 
      Algebra I 28.7% 37.6% 41.8%
      English II 47.4% 46.6%  48.7% 

      In addition, the district made impressive improvement at every grade level on the TCAP writing assessment with nine out of ten middle and high school students scoring competent or better.

      Writing Assessment
      Competent or Higher
        2010 2011  2012 
      Grade 5  77% 77% 81% 
      Grade 8 86% 86% 90%
      Grade 11 90% 88%  91%

      With this new system, Metro Schools met seven of nine benchmarks. The district showed improvement but narrowly missed the set benchmark for third grade reading/language arts. The district also missed in the graduation rate, the one calculation that has a one-year lag. The state has changed its calculation of graduation rate from a 5-year calculation to a 4-year calculation. Many students served by Metro Schools, such as English Learners or Students with Disabilities, require five years to graduate and are not included in the district’s overall graduation rate. Last year, Metro Schools’ graduation rate was 76.2%, down from 82.9% under the 5-year calculation. The 2012 graduation rate is not available.

      Under Tennessee’s new accountability framework, the top-performing districts are exemplary while the bottom performing districts are in two in need of improvement categories; the remaining districts are in an intermediate category.

      “I appreciate the support of our Board of Education as we transform our district. We knew test scores would be the last thing to change and we are pleased to see this growth,” said Register. “We must continue to improve in all categories. Reducing the achievement gap among student groups is our most significant challenge.”

      Individual student reports are in transit to the schools where students are assigned for the 2012-13 school year. Each school will send the reports home to families. The State of Tennessee has not yet released school-level data.

      Watch the live announcement of these results.


      They're a piece of every child's imagination, and several of our Metro students learned to build and control them this summer at Robocamp 2012. But no need to fear: these robots are built for peace.

      Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School held RoboCamp July 9-13. Teachers from Bailey, Litton Middle School and Stratford STEM High School led rising 5th-7th graders through the process of building a robotic arm to use in a competition at the end of the week. The students also learned to solder on a circuit board for an electronic siren. A trip to the Nissan factory in Smyrna provided students the opportunity to see robots in action. The students stopped at Home Depot on the way back to school for an “Inventor’s Tour” of the Home Depot in East Nashville where they explored alternative uses for different materials in the store. The competition on Friday put the students’ robotic arms to the test as they competed as teams and individuals.

      Thanks to all the educators who made this free summer camp possible and to all the campers who had an amazing time building robots!


      Court affirms school district’s position in Spurlock case

      NASHVILLE, TN (July 27, 2012) – Today, Federal Judge Kevin Sharp vindicated the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Board of Education and the Student Assignment Task Force in the long-running Spurlock litigation.

      Judge Sharp lauded the Student Assignment Task Force, a racially diverse body of laypersons, for their “commendable effort.” The court also commended the Board for its work in implementing “a federal magnet grant” to improve schools “in the urban core” and make them more racially and ethnically diverse.

      With this ruling, the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee dismissed the case without conditions. The ruling means Metro Schools can continue with its current zoning plan for neighborhood zoned schools and numerous school options.

      “We are happy to have this litigation behind us. We value diversity in our schools and will continue to promote diverse schools through innovative programs and school choice,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “We are committed to providing every student with an outstanding education.”

      About one-fourth of Metro students choose a school other than their zoned school; the district provides MTA bus passes to magnet school students who qualify for free and reduced price meals.

      The court said the plan, adopted by the Board of Education in 2008, does not classify students on the basis of race. The district has been battling the lawsuit since 2009, asserting the zoning plan enables families to take advantage of the benefits of neighborhood schools, including greater opportunities for parental involvement. The plan also provides families with a wide array of school options in addition to zoned schools.

      The district is planning a First Choice Festival for Thursday, Oct. 18 from 4:30 to 7:30 PM at McGavock High School, 3150 McGavock Pike. At the festival, families can learn about their school options and the district’s new, streamlined optional school application process. In the 2013-14 school year, the district is expected to offer more than 60 schools through the school option process.


      Several Metro students have been working on math class work during the summer, even winning awards!

      Thirteen Metro Schools participated in the Metro Nashville Summer Math-a-lon and earned Apangea Math Points for their school.

      Apangea Math provides one-student-to-one-teacher differentiated math instruction through a unique integration of proprietary tutoring technology and live, online certified teachers. As a web-based solution, Apangea Math can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection – ensuring students can learn math anytime, anywhere.

      Here are the Metro Summer Math-a-lon schools and scores:

      • Margaret Allen MS – 11,507 Apangea Math School Points

      • East Literature Magnet – 10,608 Apangea Math School Points

      • John F. Kennedy MS – 4,322 Apangea Math School Points

      • John T. Moore MS – 4,547 Apangea Math School Points

      • Madison MS – 2,408 Apangea Math School Points

      • Gra-Mar MS – 1,124 Apangea Math School Points

      • Thurgood Marshall MS – 736 Apangea Math School Points

      • Rose Park MS – 237 Apangea Math School Points

      • Wright MS – 95 Apangea Math School Points

      • Haynes MS - 42 Apangea Math School Points

      • Bellevue MS - 25 Apangea Math School Points

      • Apollo MS - 46 Apangea Math School Points

      • DuPont Tyler MS - 18 Apangea Math School Points

      Students had several options to choose from after collecting the points. Fifty-seven percent of the Apangea Points earned were donated to a charity of the student’s choice. Charities included:

      • A Soldier’s Child Foundation

      • Big Brothers Big Sisters

      • United Way

      • Wounded Warrior Project

      • The Boys and Girls Club

      • Make-A-Wish Foundation

      • Special Olympics

      • Habitat for Humanity


      Julia Green Elementary school parents, neighbors and faculty filled the school’s auditorium Thursday, July 26 for a community discussion about the school’s future. Leaders from Metro Schools, Metro Codes, Metro Planning, and Metro Public Works answered questions for nearly three hours.

      Metro Council Members convened the meeting, which was prompted by a planned purchase of two parcels of land adjacent to Julia Green. The proposed purchase contract requires Metro Council approval.

      School buses, traffic flow, student enrollment, land use, portable classrooms, classroom additions, the school zone and school size were among the issues discussed. The district shared drawings that showed how the additional land could be used with or without additional classrooms. There is no funding for additional classrooms.

      VIEW Drawings of Possible Uses for Additional Land

      Julia Green is projected to have 635 students for the 2012-13 school year.


      The Middle Tennessee Reading Association is the local council affiliate of the Tennessee Reading Association. Several Metro School teachers hold positions with the association.

      • Angel Viera, literacy coach at J.E. Moss Elementary, has been named the 2012-2013 President-Elect of the Tennessee Reading Association.

      • Melanie Collins, teacher at Bordeaux Enhanced Option Elementary, assumed the office of Vice President of the Tennessee Reading Association for the 2012-2013 school term. Collins will become President-Elect during the 2013-2014 school year. She is also serving as Middle Tennessee Reading Association treasurer.

      • Sandra Smith-Hitt, teacher at Robert Churchwell Elementary, will serve as the 2012-2013 Treasurer of the Tennessee Reading Association.

      • Anita Armstrong, literacy coach at Cole Elementary, is serving Tennessee Reading Association as the 2012-2013 Recording Secretary.

      • Holly Perez, teacher at Donelson Middle School, is the president of Middle Tennessee Reading Association for 2012-2013.

      • Jana Crosby is the new state coordinator for the Tennessee Reading Association charged with overseeing and planning many activities for our association.

      • Eileen Steeples of Robert Churchwell is serving as membership chair for Middle Tennessee Reading Association.


      Mark North

      Board Member &

      Sports Fan Mark North

      Tennis anyone? …Or … Does love mean nothing to you?

      The national story of the summer in the tennis world has been the incredible rise of Hillwood Alum Brian Baker who earned his way through qualifiers to play at The French Open and at Wimbeldon. The former Hilltopper played his way to the round of 16 at Wimbeldon. Next stop for Brian is the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

      Alumni Alert – It’s the Principal

      The new Principal at Gower Elementary School is one of the all-time greatest athletes in MNPS history. Barbara Frazier was a member of the first 5 on 5 Girls basketball state championship team at Pearl High; a state champion in several events in track and field; the first MNPS alum to be a member of the world famous Tigerbelles track team at Tennessee State; a member of the Tennessee State University Athletic Hall of Fame; and a member of the Metro Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame. Oh … and a Superstar Principal!

      Fall Sports …Get the Party Started

      Even before school starts, practice for the fall sports is in full swing. Last year, MNPS teams and athletes made runs at state championships, and this year is shaping up to be even better. If you have a school nearby, make sure you go to the competitions. If you aren’t affiliated with any particular school, pick a school and follow it. Fall sports include: Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Golf, Football, Cheerleading, and Cross Country. Not only will you enjoy the competition, your presence and support benefits the student-athletes in ways and to an extent that are immeasurable. Go to a game!

      NIL Reunion Picnic

      Like an alumni association/historical society of legendary athletes, coaches, and fans, the Nashville Interscholastic League held its annual reunion picnic this week to celebrate the governing body for high school sports in Nashville until the mid-1980’s. The North Sports Report attended and rubbed elbows with the greats: Farrell Owens of Cohn; DuPont’s Bobby Gaines; McGavock’s John Griffith; and legendary Coaches Ken Redmond, Jerry Pigue, Wes Elrod, Tommy Frensley, Tommy Griffith, and Charlie Anderson. The highlight for the North Sports Report was visiting with Hillsboro football great Donny Sherman, Stratford basketball star Mike Jackson, and the incomparable Charles Davis of McGavock. Wow… great memories of the sports heroes of bygone days. If you don’t recognize these names and want to know more about the history of high school sports in Nashville, do a little research at www.highschoolglorydays.com.

      The Future of the North Sports Report

      Will the North Sports Report be back for the 2012-13 school year? Answer: Ohhhh Yeeeeessss! And you can follow MNPS related Sports Reports on Twitter @TheFansInc.

      -- Mark North

      MNPS: The First Choice for Legendary Athletes, Coaches and Fans


        Pearl-Cohn Summer demo students, producers, and engineers

        Metro students Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay, Jevon and Jordan Donaldson, and Ariell Pryor had the opportunity to work with well-known Nashville musicians to cut artist demos in Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High’s studio. This comes on the heels of Music Makes Us and Warner Music Nashville providing two week summer internships for 20 Pearl-Cohn students, where they learned about the record business first-hand.

        Dave Pomeroy, bassist and president of the American Federation of Musicians, along with drummer Craig Krampf, keyboardist Jim “Moose” Brown, and guitarist Gary Burnette provided tracks for the demos. Studio production services were provided by Bob McCracken, audio production teacher at Pearl-Cohn, assisted by Warner Music interns Mario Rosales, Deon’te Jones, Luis Trejo, and Vincent Zirker. At the end of the recording session, each of the students gets a mix of their song. This is the first effort of the new student-run record label at Pearl-Cohn to introduce itself to Metro students who dream of becoming recording artists.

        A good time was had by all!


        Tougher high school courses better prepare students for college so Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is changing its high school GPA calculations to encourage and reward students who choose academic rigor.

        Nueva escala de calificaciones 5.0 para las escuelas preparatorias (high schools) promueve el rigor académico

        The district will convert to a 5-point Grade Point Average (GPA) in 2012-13. This change will phase in over a two-year period beginning with students in grades 9, 10 and 11 this school year, which begins Wednesday, August 1. In 2013-14, students in grade 12 will be included.

        “The weighted GPA will encourage students to enroll in advanced, rigorous courses of study,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “We want all our students to graduate prepared for college and career. This change is another step in cultivating a strong college-going culture in our district.”

        Under the new policy, students will receive an additional 1 point weight for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Students will receive a 0.5 weight for dual enrollment and honors courses. This will reward students who enroll in more rigorous college-prep courses.

        Grade Scale: GPA Calculation: 
        Letter Grade Numeric Value Un-weighted Regular Weighted Honors, Dual Enrollment Weighted Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate
        A 93-100 4.0 4.5 5.0
        B 85-92 3.0 3.5 4.0
        C 75-84 2.0 2.5 3.0
        D 70-74 1.0 1.5 2.0
        F 0-69 0 0 0

        “The new 5-point GPA aligns Metro Schools with surrounding districts and districts across the United States,” said Jay Steele, associate superintendent for high schools. “We discussed our plans with admissions officers at public and private universities. They told us they look for academic rigor and some said the weighted GPA would help students applying to their schools.”

        A 5-point GPA will shape future valedictorian and salutatorian selections and honor student designations. Two GPAs will be recorded on student transcripts, a weighted 5-point GPA and an unweighted 4-point GPA. Many universities request both weighted and unweighted GPAs on student transcripts and want school districts to encourage students to take more advanced courses.

        Research from the College Board, which administers the SAT, shows rigorous high school classes improve student performance on college entrance exams and college success.

        Current 9th, 10th and 11th grade students will receive retroactive GPA calculations as the system is updated to reflect the new GPA. Current seniors will not be included in the new calculation.


        From 1933 until 1986, Nashville area high schools went head-to-head in major sports as part of the Nashville Interscholastic Sports League. To remember those glory days, alumni of Nashville high school sports will gather for a reunion this Wednesday.

        Come take part - bring sports memorabilia from your school, reconnect with old team mates, and relive the past glories of Nashville scholastic sports.

        Sports radio superstar George Plaster will even broadcast his show live from the reunion!

        Wednesday, July 25

        2:00 p.m. until "as long as folks keep coming"

        Freeland Work Truck Superstore

        504 Collins Park Drive in the Antioch/Hickory Hollow area


        Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools has named Barbara Frazier and Kellee Akers to elementary school principal positions effective immediately.

        Frazier, who recently served as principal of Hermitage Elementary, has been appointed principal of Gower Elementary School. No stranger to the district, Frazier began working for the district in 1986 as a teacher at Tom Joy Elementary, where she taught for 16 years. Frazier also served as an athletic coach for Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood and Hunters Lane High Schools and Meigs Middle School. In 2002, Frazier returned to Tom Joy Elementary as assistant principal for one year before moving to principal of Hermitage Elementary where she completed seven years as principal. Frazier is an alumna of Metro Schools, graduating from Pearl-Cohn High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Tennessee State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University. She will replace former principal Steven Cagle, who retired this summer.

        Akers has been appointed principal of Hermitage Elementary School. Akers most recently served as assistant principal at Granbery Elementary School. Before serving at Granbery, Akers was a teacher at Una and Glenview Elementary Schools. As a Glenview teacher, she provided statewide professional development for the Tennessee Department of Education and district-wide professional development in the use of DIBELS and Tennessee Standards. At Glenview, she was named Teacher of the Year. While assistant principal at Granbery, Akers traveled to China as a delegate for the Educational Leadership Learning Exchange with Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education. Akers received her bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and master’s degree from Cumberland University. She also participated in the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville at Vanderbilt University. Akers will be replacing Barbara Frazier.

        See a complete list of new leadership for Metro Schools in 2012-13.


        Seven Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Academies of Nashville programs have received national accreditation, including five that earned the highest designation as “model” academies by the National Career Academy Coalition. Hillwood High School, with a “Triple Crown “ of three model Academies, is Nashville’s first high school to receive the model designation for all academies in the school.

        “When we launched the Academies of Nashville, we had high expectations for the program and for the effect on students’ academic performance,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “We have seen an improvement in graduation rate, student engagement and school climate and now national experts in preparing students for college and career have named several academies as models for the nation.”

        The National Career Academy Coalition will honor the five “model” academies at the National Career Academy Conference to be held in Nashville November 8-10, 2012. Each model academy will receive a $1000 check, listing on the national website, and a banner to display in the school.

        The model academies to be honored are:

        • Hillwood High School Model Academies **Triple Crown**

          Dr. Steve Chauncy, Executive Principal

          • The Academy of Art, Design and Communications

          • The Academy of Business and Hospitality

          • The Academy of Health Sciences

        • McGavock High School Model Academies

          Robbin Wall, Executive Principal

          • The Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality/The U.S. Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance

          • The CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication

        In addition, academies at two other zoned highs schools earned certification. The certified academies are:

        • Glencliff High School Certified Academy

          Clint Wilson, Executive Principal

          • The Academy of Medical Science and Research

        • Antioch High School Certified Academy

          Dr. Adrienne Battle-Koger, Executive Principal

          • The Tennessee Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance

        “This national recognition validates the work we are doing to make every student college- and career-ready,” said Jay Steele, associate superintendent of high schools. “We are grateful to our community partners who work with us and our students to ensure our programs are rigorous and relevant. We appreciate these accolades as we continue our work to make every Metro Nashville Public School an outstanding choice for parents.”

        The NCAC’s meticulous evaluation process includes documenting success on 10 national standards. Teachers and business partners worked together to prepare for the national reviews with countless hours of preparation for the coveted recognition.


        The Maplewood Showstoppers performed at the grand opening of a Fifth Third Bank last Saturday, July 14.

        The Maplewood Showstoppers' "Black Cat Band" performed outside the new Madison bank branch, and were even joined by a famous sabre-toothed mascot - Gnash from the Nashville Predators!

        Gnash performing with the Black Cat Band

        Despite the weather and having to reroute the sound, sound board and speakers due to the rain, the dedicated students were able to perform for a very enthusiastic crowd. The band played songs from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and the Temptations.

        The Black Cat Band performing

        Fifth Third has asked for the band to come back and perform at future events. The performance was Maplewood's way of saying "thank you" to Fifth Third and giving back to an amazing Academy partner.


        The PENCIL Foundation is gearing up for the August 1 start of school! LP PENCIL Box will open for teacher shopping starting July 31st, and everyone is busy collecting supplies to make sure every Metro teacher can stock their classrooms for FREE this school year!

        Want to help out?

        There are several ways to it. Hold a supply drive at your business. Donate gently used office supplies. Or you can even donate at several supply drives taking place this month!

        Here are some BIG supply drives taking place now:

        • Metro Government Supply Drive: Mayor Karl Dean launched a Metro-wide supply drive, which started July 9 and ends July 20. Metro departments that raise the most supplies will be recognized by Mayor Dean at a ceremony on July 30. Members of the public are encouraged to participate by donating school supplies at drop-off sites at any Nashville library, fire hall, police station and community center or at the MTA Music City Central transit station and the Nashville Farmers’ Market. We are looking forward to seeing all the Metro departments on Friday as they bring their donations! Read the press release.

        • Kroger: Visit any Davidson County Kroger through August 5th and drop off supplies in their donation bins. You can visit their school supply section OR purchase a $6.00 supply kit to make it easy! Our friends at Kroger are even sending 30 volunteers to help sort and count supplies. Thanks again to Kroger for many years of support!

        • McDonald's: Throughout the month of July, Davidson County McDonald's locations will also have supply drive bins. Your donation will also get you a free small McCafe drink! Many thanks to McDonald's for helping out again this year!

        • Make a Cash Donation Online: The LP Pencil Box website has a simple donation form for you to use.

        All supplies will be given to the LP Pencil Box, a non-profit "store" where Metro teachers can shop for free supplies for their students.

        Thank you for supporting our students!


        Nine Metro Schools educators, including teachers and coordinators, took a ride with Sally Ride Science Academy sponsored by ExxonMobil. Through this program, each teacher will learn new and innovative strategies to help raise student interest in science subjects and careers.

        Congratulations to the following teachers selected for the Academy:

        • Nicole Kloor-Janz, Maxwell Elementary

        • Hildateri Parks, Lakeview Elementary

        • Amanda Sheaffer, Tom Joy Elementary

        • Shauntel Jennings, Isaac Litton Middle

        • Stephanie Lankford, McMurray Middle

        • Carlene Taylor, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet

        • Mary Jane Woomer, DuPont-Hadley Middle

        • Ernestine Saville-Brock, MNPS Mathematics Coordinator

        • Sarah Baker, MNPS Science Coordinator

        These fine educators join 260 others from across the country.

        The Sally Ride Science Academy was founded by Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. The academy is dedicated to assist teachers in raising student interest in science. The program, based on research, shows that introducing young students to various science careers and scientists can spark interest and make the study of science more meaningful.


        Four of the district's IB experts traveled to the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Conference not just to learn, but to teach others.

        Dr. Terry Shrader, principal at Hillsboro High School; Emily Munn, IB Coach; Stephanie Knight, IB Coordinator at Hillsboro; and Dr. Sharon Chaney, the MNPS Director of Advanced Academics, gave a presentation detailing how the district was able to seamlessly integrate the International Baccalaureate program with the Academies of Nashville model that has transformed our high schools in the district.

        Hillsboro has the
        Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which has a 100% graduation rate and 97% post-secondary enrollment rate.

        We are so proud to have these four represent the district and this program at an international conference!


        Students at Middle College High School are already earning college credits and attending school on a college campus. This year they'll be getting even more of the full college experience, starting school on August 13 and following the Nashville State Community College Academic Calendar.

        "In addition to extending summer break," Principal Roderick Manuel says, "following the Nashville State Community College calendar will allow our students to have a more complete college experience and will give our students real breaks during the academic year." 

        Middle College students had huge college successes last year, with many earning associate degrees and general education certificates

        Read the full letter from Principal Manuel:

        Dear Middle College Families:

        I am writing with good news! As part of our efforts to create a college-going culture at Middle College, we will follow the Nashville State Community College calendar beginning with the 2012-13 school year. This means summer vacation is extended until Monday, August 13, 2012 for Middle College students.

        In addition to extending summer break, following the Nashville State Community College calendar will allow our students to have a more complete college experience and will give our students real breaks during the academic year. Without this change, differences between the Metro Schools calendar and the Nashville State calendar would make it difficult for students to take full advantage of breaks during the semester.

        Following the academic calendar of the associated college is a best practice used in many Middle Colleges and other dual enrollment programs across the nation. I have enclosed a copy of the Middle College High School instructional calendar for your reference. I am pleased about this change to our Middle College experience and regret that I was not able to let you know sooner. In any case, I look forward to seeing you back on campus Monday, August 13 for another successful academic year.

        It is our goal to have everyone fully registered and ready to begin class on Monday, August 13, 2012. Monday, August 6 - 9, 2010 are teacher in-service days; students do not report. If you have not completed all the forms and immunizations required for enrollment in school, please do so immediately. A list of these requirements will be in the first day packet that students will receive on the first day of school. Our school counselor, Miss Chandler, will be available beginning Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Our office hours are 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

        I ask that you remember MNPS buses will not be available to transport your child to Middle College High School. You may also access this information online at www.mnps.org under Our Schools/Buses and Transportation. Other information regarding the opening of school is also available on the district website. Please plan to arrive early on August 13, 2012 if you are transporting your child. Traffic is usually more congested the first day and parking is limited on the campus of Nashville State Community College.

        Please carefully read all of the enclosed information to help you and your child have a successful year. Pay attention to the Middle College High School dress code before purchasing your child’s school clothes. The dress code policy will be enforced on the first day of school. If you have any questions, please call the school office at 615-353-3742. We look forward to seeing all of our students on August 13, 2012 for a wonderful opening of school.


        Roderick Manuel, Principal


        Long-time educator Dr. Betsy Ruhl Potts has been tapped as principal of Old Center Elementary School in Goodlettsville. Potts will succeed former principal Rob Hancock who has accepted a position in the district’s Human Resources department.

        Potts, who most recently served as assistant principal at Amqui Elementary, has worked in education for more than 20 years. She began her career teaching first grade at Goodpasture Elementary and later became principal of the school. She joined Metro Schools in 2006 and taught first and third grades at Goodlettsville Elementary School. There, she was selected Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the district’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

        She has also served as assistant principal representative to the Metropolitan Nashville Principal Association board and participated in the Education Leadership Learning Exchange between Vanderbilt’s Peabody College and South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China and in the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville.

        She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from David Lipscomb University, a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University and a doctorate, also in administration and supervision, from Tennessee State University.


        Glencliff High School has named two new basketball coaches. John Filson has been named the new head girls basketball coach and Doug Kiel has been named the new head boys basketball coach.

        Filson worked as a teacher and assistant basketball coach at Glencliff High before assuming his new position. Before coming to Metro Schools, Filson worked at LaVergne Middle School, Hunters Lane and Holloway High Schools. He also serves in the Tennessee Army National Guard. Filson is a graduate of Belmont University.

        Kiel recently served as a mathematics teacher and boys assistant basketball coach at Mt. Juliet High School. He also worked for Lebanon and Warren County High Schools, where he was a teacher and head boys’ basketball coach. His coaching expertise has led 97% student-athletes to college, and he attended five region and three region semi-finals games. Kiel has a bachelor’s from Western Kentucky University and master’s from Tennessee Technological University.


        There's a big change happening this summer in the district's Technology Services, and it's getting some national press.

        The Metro Schools Technology & Information Services (TIS) team is moving to provide email accounts to all employees and students using Microsoft's Office 365 platform. This means transitioning away from the Metro government email system that was used in the past, a move that will reduce the district’s cost for email services while also addressing storage, security and information sharing needs. Employees will keep their current email addresses and existing emails will transfer to the new platform.

        Office 365 for education is a new platform just made available this summer. Metro Schools is one of the first institutions to take it on, which garnered us a mention in a blog post last month.

        From GettingSmart.com:

        Eighty thousand students will switch from Google to the Microsoft solution while 9,500 faculty and staff will be moving to the cloud from on-premises solutions, saving the district $400,000 annually in IT services costs.


        “It’s important we have a consistent toolset across the district so people can work together effectively. With Office 365 everything from the features and functions in the applications to the way the toolbars look exactly the same no matter where or how it’s being accessed, helps improve both teacher and student productivity,” said John Williams, executive director, Technology and Information Services, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. “This consistency, combined with the collaboration capabilities of Office 365, will be essential in supporting the blended learning environment we’re striving for across our district.”

        Read the full article on GettingSmart.com


        This transition will allow a seamless method for communication and collaboration throughout the district. Additionally, the district will be poised to meet the increasing demand for mobility, conferencing, social media, file-sharing and file storage.

        Thanks, TIS for all you do to serve Metro Schools employees and students!


        High honors came for two of the district's principals this summer. Dr. Nancy Meador, principal of Madison Middle School, was elected President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Not long after, Ruby Major Elementary principal Teresa Dennis was chosen to serve on the NAESP Board of Directors!

        These are high national honors for Ms. Dennis and Dr. Meador, so a big, hearty congratulations to them both! They will serve NAESP and represent our district well.


        Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools taps Glencliff High School assistant principals Dr. Adrienne Battle-Koger and Sonia Stewart as the district’s two new high school principals.

        Dr. Battle-Koger has accepted the position as principal at Antioch High School. Formerly academic principal at Glencliff High School, she also served as the high school’s Academy of Medical Science and Research principal, where she led the charge toward achieving national certification for the academy. Dr. Battle-Koger also facilitated and implemented instructional programs that increased school-wide Reading/English for each grade level. Prior to coming to Glencliff High, she served as principal and assistant principal at East Academy and taught at Dalewood Middle School. Dr. Battle-Koger is an alumna of Metro Schools, graduating from John Overton High School. She has a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University, and master’s and doctorate degree, from Tennessee State University. She will replace former principal Brian Mast, who resigned to take a job in higher education.

        Stewart has been appointed principal of Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. Stewart recently served as Glencliff High School’s Freshmen Academy principal with responsibility for providing instructional leadership, supporting Small Learning Community team meetings, and managing effective student intervention plans. As academy principal, Stewart increased ninth grade promotion, developed student leadership teams, improved parental involvement through academy showcases and student recognition. Prior to coming to Glencliff High, she was a teacher for Antioch High School, Brentwood Academy High School and Washington Prep High School in Los Angeles, Ca. Stewart received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University and master’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. Stewart will be replacing Dr. Milton Threadcraft, who retired this summer.

        See a list of all principal changes for 2012-13.


        When I arrived at the newly renovated Isaac Litton Middle School, principal Tracy Bruno was fleeing the spray of a lawn sprinkler deployed to help the parched and newly planted landscaping. The grass may not have been prepared for the drought, but the school is prepared for more students and a higher profile in its East Nashville neighborhood.

        “We are the epitome of a neighborhood school, right here in the middle of all these houses,” Bruno told me. And it’s true. Litton sits nestled between small, residential streets like Winding Way and Littonwood Drive right off Gallatin Pike.

        The renovations that have taken place over the last year and a half have transformed the school into a building that looks practically new – and that’s because a lot of it is. The main office has been expanded. The library has a massive bank of new windows opening to the front lawn. The cafeteria is brand new and full of natural light. And the gym – once completely disconnected from the main building – has now been built out with new entrances, a new concession stand, and a host of new classrooms underneath it for fifth grade and related arts classes.

        Click "Read more" for photos and the full story of Litton's neighborhood transformation.

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