by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc
“Grapple me this Batman” –The Grappler
Wrestling tournaments are like a three-ring circus with an extra ring. I guess that would be a four-ring circus – four simultaneous matches of non-stop action. The North Sports Report enjoyed a season opening tournament at Antioch High School last weekend where referees, wrestlers, scorekeepers, timekeepers and coaches crowd around four mats of competition. What might at first glance seem like chaos is a well-orchestrated athletic competition. Everyone knows where they are going, what they are doing, what the score is and who wrestles next. The logistics and organization were as fascinating as the competition. Good luck to all MNPS wrestlers this season!
Guest Fan Reports
The North Sports Report is proud to provide the fan’s perspective on MNPS sports and will occasionally include submissions from guest fans. This week, Bonnye Pinkerton Holt reports from the Middle School Basketball Jamboree.
The Next Big Thing, Middle School Basketball
by Bonnye Pinkerton Holt
Saturday, November 15th, Maplewood High School hosted a Middle School Basketball Jamboree for several boys and girls teams from Metro Schools. Bellevue Middle, Two Rivers, Head, East, John Early and Jere Baxter are a few of the schools that participated in this awesome event. Each team played two 20 minute periods to showcase their talent and preview some of the exciting elements that are sure to come during this basketball season.
Additionally, 6th graders are now eligible to participate on sporting teams which added to the adrenaline throughout the day. Coaches were pumped, the players were driven and the fans were enthralled as these players showcased that the next big thing in sports will be Middle School Basketball.
The regular season started this week, and games are played on Tuesday and Thursday, with the girls’ game usually starting at 5pm. So mark your calendars and get the schedules of your favorite middle school and watch the excitement of future basketball stars.
Football Playoffs – The Quarterfinals
Which of the two huge playoff games will you attend this week? In 5A, the undefeated and top seeded Hillsboro Burros host Shelbyville with a trip to the state semifinals on the line. In 4A, the high-flying Pearl-Cohn Firebirds look to light up the scoreboard as they host White House. So, will you be at Hillsboro or at Pearl-Cohn? Pick one and go to a game!
Hillsboro’s Kyle Phillips has been invited to play in the prestigious US Army All American Bowl as one of the top high school football players in the country. Congratulations!
MNPS: The First Choice for the Best Fans
Nashville education community comes together to create NashvilleSchoolFinder.org
Metro Schools, Mayor Karl Dean, the Tennessee Charter School Center and the Nashville Public Education Foundation are proud to unveil a powerful new tool to aid families in school choice. NashvilleSchoolFinder.org is a website where parents can learn about schools, compare their performance, schedule a visit and apply all from one place. This tool is the product of collaboration among Nashville’s education community with the single goal of helping families make informed choices about education.
“There are 157 public schools in Nashville representing different neighborhoods, academic programs, schedules, instructional styles and more,” said Mayor Karl Dean. “Families deserve an easy-to-use tool to explore these schools to make the choices that are best for their children. School Finder is that tool.”
School Finder gives complete and objective information on schools, including academic performance, programming, offerings like transportation and after care and more. It is optimized to be viewed on any device – computer, phone or tablet – and gives families the power to easily research all schools before making an important decision.
“School Finder is essentially step one in the choice process,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Families know what they are looking for in a school, and School Finder tells them where to get it. They can look for great schools right in their neighborhoods or other options that cater to their child’s particular needs and interests. Either way, School Finder is a one-stop shop for exploring their choices now and in the future.”
At the center of Nashville School Finder is the district’s Academic Performance Framework (APF). This powerful tool assesses school performance on several levels, including student achievement, academic growth, school culture and student satisfaction. Families can easily see how each school measures up on the APF and use that knowledge in making a final choice.
“The Academic Performance Framework is an incredibly powerful tool because it looks at a wide array of factors to examine school culture and how students are learning,” said Justin Testerman, Chief Operating Officer of the Tennessee Charter School Center. “Families deserve to know as much as they can about schools so they can make informed choices. Dr. Register and his team have built a measurement system that gives them what they need.”
On the homepage of NashvilleSchoolFinder.org, parents will find search tools allowing them to search for schools by address and grade level or to find schools by name. The results of their search will be plotted on a map with the ability to filter results according to schools’ performance ratings on the APF and availability of before and aftercare. Once they select a school, they can dive more deeply into information about each school, including programming, special offerings, demographic information and detailed achievement data. From the school’s information page, parents can contact the school to schedule a tour and go straight to the online application.
“There’s much more to a school that its test scores and reputation. There are so many options in Nashville, and they all have something unique to offer,” said Dr. Register. “The best way to explore those offerings and to find out if a school is the right fit for you is to research it for yourself and visit it in person.”
“Parent engagement and high quality options for all kids are at the heart of Nashville’s ability to have strong public schools,” NPEF President and CEO Shannon Hunt said. “And perhaps just as important as the product itself is the fact that this was done through a strong public-private partnership. Kids and parents win when we work together rather than against one another. I hope this becomes a model for future collaboration.”
School Finder is a joint effort co-financed by MNPS, the Nashville Public Education Foundation and the Tennessee Charter Schools Center. Its development marks another strong collaboration among Nashville’s education community to improve outcomes and offer families high-quality educational options for their children. It will serve families during the current Optional Schools Application period and in the months and years to come as they make future decisions.
“The work is always better when you do it together,” said Mayor Karl Dean. “I’m proud of the collaboration this project represents and the joint focus on Nashville families finding the right school for their children regardless of label or location. Everyone on this project worked together to give all parents real, informed school choices.”
Though the vast majority of optional schools in Nashville use a shared application through the Optional Schools Application process, some charter schools use their own applications. Links to all applications can be found from individual school pages on School Finder.
Metro schools on the Optional Schools Application are open for tours Tuesdays during the application period, with one remaining date available Dec. 2. Tours at other times can be scheduled on an individual basis.
The Optional Schools Application deadline is Friday, Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. for the paper application and 11:59 p.m. for the online application. There is no advantage to turning in an application early as it is not a first come, first served system. All applications will be randomly selected on Selection Day, Jan. 9.
The Metro Schools Customer Service Center is also available to answer any questions and provide additional information at (615) 259-INFO (4636) or by emailing CustomerService@mnps.org.
This program deals with the challenges that immigrant and refugee students face in graduating high school. It follows several Metro students and teachers including Deana Conn, teacher at Overton High School.
During the documentary, Deana and other education experts will participate in a live town hall, answering your questions and giving additional insights into the issues explored in the film.
To chat during the live event: http://bit.ly/AmGradChat.
by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc
Middle School Football City Championship – Bulldog Battle
Bulldogs were all over the field last week at McGavock High School for the Middle School Football City Championship between the Oliver Bulldogs and the DuPont-Tyler Bulldogs. These two teams are loaded with talent, well-coached and came into the game undefeated. The North Sports Report had the honor of presenting the championship trophy to the DuPont Tyler team in the middle of the field, and I am looking forward to seeing the players from these two teams playing on Friday nights for the next four years.
Check with a middle school near you for their Winter sports’ schedules. You will enjoy watching the competition, and they need your support.
Blue Knights Take Home Prestigious TSSAA Award
At its regional meeting last week, the TSSAA presented the BlueCross Championship Series award to Hume-Fogg for the 2013-14 school year. According to Assistant Principal Kelly Harned:
“Now in its fourth year, the BlueCross Championship Series… awards points based on quarterfinal, semifinal, final round and championship appearances, with the potential points earned increasing at each level of competition. At the end of the school year, those schools with the top average point totals in their division, as well as no citations for unsportsmanlike conduct, win.”
It’s an award for winning AND sportsmanship. Congratulations to Hume-Fogg coaches, students, parents and fans.
A big day of signings this week as MNPS student-athletes prepared to take their education and athletic endeavors to the next level. McGavock’s Deann Whitlow signed to play basketball at Florida A&M; MLK’s Shon Jordan signed to play softball at Carson-Newman; Hillsboro’s Janel Pate signed to run track at Alabama; and Hume-Fogg’s Shannon Chelsvig will compete on the swim team at the University of Wyoming. Congratulations!
Firebird Named Mr. Football Finalist
Pearl-Cohn’s tremendous running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn was named a finalist for the TSSAA Mr. Football Award for the second straight year. Again this year, Vaughn rushed for over 2,000 yards and has his team primed for a run at the state championship.
The hoopsters hit the hardwood this week as MNPS looks to send even more teams to the state tournament this year.
Football Playoff Time – Friday November 14
The second round of the state playoffs features three MNPS teams.
- In 4A, the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds host Spring Hill.
- In 5A, the undefeated Hillsboro Burros host Springfield.
- In 6A, the McGavock Raiders travel to Ravenwood.
In the playoffs, the name of the game is survive and advance … no, make that … dominate and advance.
MNPS: The First Choice for Scholarship, Championship and Sportsmanship