MLK Magnet & KIPP Academy are 2014 SCORE Prize finalists

ScoreSMALLThe State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) program has named both Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School and  KIPP Academy Nashville as finalists for it’s 2014 SCORE Prize! The prize recognizes the schools and school districts that are leaders in student learning.

MLK Magnet was chosen for demonstrating strong growth, particularly in Algebra I, Algebra II and ACT performance over the last three years. The school also posts a high Advanced Placement (AP) pass rate of nearly 70 percent!

KIPP Academy Nashville was also chosen for strong growth, particularly in math and science. KIPP has three-year math and science proficiency rates that exceed the state average.

SCORE Prize winners in each school category will each receive $10,000. The winners will be announced on October 27 during a ceremony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The event will be hosted by SCORE Chairman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, with country music artist Dustin Lynch giving a special musical performance.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE NOMINEES! Click her to see them all.

STUDENTS: There’s still time to win $250 by entering an original essay, song, poem or video from SCORE. DEADLINE: September 15th.

HURRY: Seniors need to APPLY NOW to get two years of college fully paid!

It is not to good to be true, 2 years of a college education paid in-full, but it’s not going to happen unless you APPLY BY NOVEMBER 1st!

Promise-logo1-300x231If you haven’t heard by now, the Tennessee Promise Program allows the state’s eligible high school graduates heading to college next year the opportunity to attend a community or technical college free of tuition and fees. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate’s degree program.

Even if students hope to go to a larger private institution or even an Ivy League school, starting at a community or tech college for free could make a big impact both financially and educationally.

“The ability to master these skills in a smaller and more personal setting without incurring student debt is a gift,” says Meri Kock, Hillsboro High School counselor. “The Tennessee Promise program is one that can, quite literally, change the lives of those students who opt to take advantage of it.”

Metro Schools’ Executive Director of School Counseling, Nicole Cobb agrees. “Tennessee Promise removes the financial barriers our students’ face, which has in the past prohibited access to college.  This means that many of our students will be the first in their families to attend college.”

How it works…

Scholarship Based

  • The program will cover tuition and fees not covered by all other scholarships, grands and funds.

Mentoring Program

  • Students are required to have a mentor who will assist the student as he or she navigates the college admissions process.

Community Service

  • Students are required to complete eight (8) hours of community service during each term enrolled.

Community Meetings

  • Students will have to attend two community meetings about the program.

Keep Your Grades Up

  • Students must keep their grades above a 2.0 GPA. That’s typically a C.

HOW TO APPLY
Just visit http://www.tnpromise.gov/ and click the “Apply Now” blue ribbon on the top right corner to start the application process ASAP!

Acollegefaire2014TTEND OUR COLLEGE FAIR!
Parents and students can visit with more than 200 colleges and universities, all in one place, during our College Fair, Tuesday, September 23rd at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds (Creative Arts Building and Exhibitor’s Building) from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. There you can learn more about the TN Promise program and how it can help benefit your families higher education goals.

Click here to Download the 2014 College Fair Flyer

Parents can get more information and support at http://www.collegefortn.org.

An essay, song, poem or video can win students $250!

SCORE Prize HeaderTennessee students can win a $250 scholarship just by showing off what they’ve learned in a creative way. The State’s SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education) program is once again hosting the “Students Rise to the Challenge Competition.” Public school students from grades 3-12 are eligible.

Students can submit an original essay, song, poem, or video that addresses one of the following:

  • Grades 3-5: Give a real world example of how you are using knowledge and skills you’ve learned in your classes.
  • Grades 6-8: Give a real world example of how you are using knowledge and skills you’ve learned in your science or social studies classes.
  • Grades 9-12: Give a real world example of how you are using knowledge and skills you’ve learned in your math or English classes.

The deadline for submissions is 5:00 p.m. Central on Monday, September 15, 2014. Please note, students must work alone on their entries. Team submissions are not accepted.

After semifinalists are selected, a poll on SCORE’s Facebook page will determine the finalists in each category. Finalists will be interviewed before the winners are selected.

Winners will be awarded a $250 college scholarship and will share their work at the SCORE Prize event on Monday, October 27, in Nashville where country singer Dustin Lynch will perform.

Metro students have a history of winning this contest. Last year’s winner was Sarah Martin of Hillwood High School.

To learn more visit the SCORE website.

What goes in to planning a school lunch menu?

chefbeccaHi, I’m Chef Rebecca. I am the chef for Metro school cafeterias.

Before I came to work for Metro Schools, I was a research and development chef for an international restaurant chain. I kept up with food trends, best restaurants and top chefs. All I knew about school lunch was mine had come in a brown bag packed by my Mom every morning (even through senior year! Yep, I was THAT kid!) and Michelle Obama was in the news almost daily campaigning for healthier school lunches.

Once I started my own personal journey to better my health, I realized I was part of the problem of the obesity epidemic, and that I wanted to work for someone with the same goals and values as my new healthy lifestyle.  So here I am: more than three months into my new job, working in school cafeterias everyday and finally feeling like I have a grasp on school lunch and all of the USDA regulations. There are a LOT of them. How do they fit with the meals served in our schools and the healthy menus I’m starting to plan for next year? Let me show you!

Although taste, flavor and appearance are important when putting together any menu, when developing a menu for School Nutrition I must consider everything below as well:

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 8.28.54 AM1. Daily food group requirements - Five components (Protein, Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk)

Children must take 3 components (one of which has to be a fruit or vegetable) to be considered a “USDA official” meal. I hope to be able to create a menu where kids want to take ALL five components!

2. Minimum daily and weekly grain and protein requirements - All grains must be at least 51% whole  grain.

Did you know anything we serve with breading (fish, chicken patties, nuggets) has to meet these requirements? That means even the breading is whole grain rich! Although those items are traditionally fried, we bake them. Baked and whole grain “fried” foods… sneaky, sneaky!

3. Guidelines for vegetable groups – Greens, Red/Orange, Legumes and Starchy Vegetables

Not only do I have to make sure the kids get enough vegetables, but now I need to go as far as to break it down to ½ cup of this color Monday, ¼ cup of that color Tuesday, etc! There is a lot of math involved!  Just eat the rainbows kids (and I’m not talking about Skittles!).

4. Weekly calorie limits and total saturated/transfat range limits – Cafeteria Moneyball

I’m the rookie around here, but I work with the best registered dietician who sees eye to eye with me. She loves my vision! We sit down regularly at her computer with a program called NutriKids that evaluates recipes and breaks down the nutritional information. It’s amazing to watch the numbers change as we play with a recipe to meet all requirements.

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 8.23.55 AM5. Availability/Volume – We served almost 235,000 MORE meals in the first 12 days of school… MIND BLOWN!!! 

You know whose mind is also blown? Our food vendors and distributors! When working in such a large school district, we have to make sure the food we want will be available in large quantities. Imagine going to a farm and saying “I’ll take it all!”

6. Kitchen equipment – “What do you mean you don’t have a burner to make a scratch sauce on?!?”

I travel to a different school every day and every kitchen I have been to is a little bit different: the size, the people, the equipment – they all vary! When testing a recipe, I have to make sure each kitchen can execute it depending on all these variables.

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 8.19.45 AM7. Space on the cafeteria serving line – How will it all fit? 

Although we are only required to offer the 5 components, we like to give the students several options within each component every day. That means serving two or more entrees (protein and grain), chef salads (pre packed as an entrée), two ore more hot vegetables, cold vegetables, two to three fruit options and four milk flavor options. That’s a lot to fit on one serving line. As Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work!”

8. Cost – Making nutritious and delicious meals for just $1.18 per plate

That may seem like a small amount, but due to the volume of food we buy we are able to negotiate low prices. Next time you make dinner, I challenge you to try to make a well balanced, nutritious and delicious meal for that price! It’s really hard!

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 8.36.23 AM

All things considered, I am looking forward to the challenge of developing and planning next year’s menu. I am currently working in a different school every day getting feedback from cafeteria managers, principals, teachers and – most importantly – students. I will incorporate those changes into next year’s menu.

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @MNPSChefRebecca to see daily lunches, new items I’m working on, and healthy eating tips!

North Sports Report – August 28, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

More than a Game

High school football is the best entertainment in town. The competition, the players, the cheerleaders, the marching band …fantastic, but only part of the story. The North Sports Report reveled in the opening night spectacular at Antioch High School last Friday. Teachers, administrators and school support staff helped guide the fans, worked the grill, served the chicken wings, and even doled out college information and free cupcakes to high school seniors. Fans of all ages enjoyed the family-friendly atmosphere with school age children playing and tossing a football while younger kids, sporting their favorite school’s gear, rode the track in a wagon. The highlight was the Antioch Bear mascot entertaining the crowd. As you may know, the North Sports Report loves mascots!

Of course, Antioch High School has the most appropriately named concessions stand on earth. Prove it? Ok. What do you say right after you take that first gulp of an ice cold soft drink on a hot August night? Exactly, you say “Ah”! When visiting a game at Antioch, be sure you stop by AHS for a soft drink.

Between the lines was an exciting football game with two good teams. Outside the lines was a Friday Night Festival. Go to a game! You’ll love it.

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Girls Soccer Season is Kickin’ It

Soccer’s popularity in Nashville continues to skyrocket, and the high school season is in full swing. The North Sports Report enjoyed a game this week at the Metro Center fields as the Hume-Fogg Lady Blue Knights visited the East Nashville Lady Eagles. The skill, tenacity and teamwork of these student-athletes will always help them reach their goal.

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Football Friday August 29, 2014

The North Sports Report will head over to the TPS football field this week as the high-flying East Nashville Eagles host the galloping Glencliff Colts in the only game of the week that pits two MNPS teams.

In other action:

  • Whites Creek Cobras head down the street to face Davidson Academy;
  • Startford Spartans host Howard from Chattanooga;
  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to Clarksville to face Kenwood;
  • Overton Bobcats welcome Centennial to Nick Coutras Stadium;
  • McGavock Raiders play at home against Rossview;
  • Maplewood Panthers head down I40 to Jackson to face Madison Academy;
  • Hunters Lane Warriors travel to Sumner County to take on Hendersonville;
  • Hillwood Hilltoppers go to CPA;
  • Hillsboro Burros take the long bus ride to Christian County, Kentucky;
  • Cane Ridge Ravens host Smyrna; and
  • Antioch Bears welcome Mt. Juliet.

The MNPS home games are at Stratford, at Overton, at McGavock; at East Nashville (at TPS on Foster Avenue); at Cane Ridge; and at Antioch.

Go to a game!

MNPS: The First Choice for Skill, Tenacity and Teamwork

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