First Choice Festival 2014: 1 night with more than 150 schools in 1 place


Who’s ready to plan for next school year? Get ready because school choice season is about to begin.

The First Choice Festival is September 22 at the Fairgrounds. If you were there last year, you know what a big deal that is. This is the one chance for thousands of families and community members to explore all of the options Metro Schools has to offer under one roof. Every school will be there ready to show you their stuff and answer your questions.

Why is that important? Later in the fall, you will have the opportunity to apply to dozens of different schools in Nashville. The First Choice Festival is your first step: learn about all of your options and find out which ones would be best for your child.

There is literally something for everyone in this district. No matter how your child learns, what she is interested in or where you live, there are quality school options to fit your needs. Come to the First Choice Festival on September 22 to see what they are!

The 2014 Metro Schools First Choice Festival will be held
Monday, September 22nd from 4:30 PM – 7 PM
at the State Fairgrounds, 500 Wedgewood Ave, Nashville, TN.


English - First Choice Flyer Spanish - First Choice Flyer Arabic - First Choice Flyer
Kurdish - First Choice Flyer Somali - First Choice Flyer

Stratford STEM Magnet student honored with National FBI Foundation award & scholarship


Stratford STEM Magnet High School student and Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies ambassador Blake Simmons has been awarded the National FBI Foundation Character Development award, the first honor of it’s kind award by the former agents of the FBI Foundation and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. As part of the award, Simmons won a $2,500 education scholarship.

The awards were only given to two students in the state of Tennessee.

Simmons was nominated by his teacher, retired FBI Agent Jon Stephens, who started teaching at Stratford High soon after his retirement in 2011. Mr. Stephens teaches Criminal Justice within the National Safety and Security Technologies Academy at Stratford.  Mr. Stephens served 28 years as a Special Agent and Assistant Legal Attaché with the FBI.  He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

The award winners embody the Medal of Honor’s core values of courage, integrity, commitment, sacrifice, citizenship and patriotism, and they were selected based on their exceptional actions to represent these values.

Congratulations to Blake Simmons and his Academies teacher, Jon Stephens for the nomination.

Both were interviewed by the organization after the awards ceremony in Knoxville on September 9.

North Sports Report – September 18, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

It is No Walk in the Park

The North Sports Report strolled some of Nashville’s beautiful greenways last week. My walk with Mayor Dean at the ribbon cutting for the new trails at Peeler Park deep in Neely’s Bend – a quiet, slow, non-athletic, communing with nature kind of hike – contrasted my visit to Shelby Bottom as a spectator for the Cross-Country Meet. Understatement Alert: Cross-Country competition is no walk in the park. Over one hundred student-athletes gathered to run the course. MNPS cross-country student-athletes range from world class state champions like Cane Ridge’s Bailee Dean, to basketball players staying in shape for the upcoming season, to runners hoping to just finish the race, and everything in between. It is certainly a diverse field of competitors. Several races occur on the same day, the second race starts before the first one is completed, and the boys and girls compete at the same time on the same course. So, someone is running past you all the time. They start in one large mob, thin out through the course, and finish alone or in a small group sprinting to the finish line. Runners who finish early encourage their teammates as they approach the final stretch. It’s really exciting!

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If you get the chance, go to a Meet and encourage the runners for your favorite team.

Football Friday – The Perfect Date Night

Looking for something to do Friday night with that special someone? If your significant other enjoys musical productions, fine dining, community gatherings, fashion shows, or exciting sporting events, I have the perfect suggestion for an evening out. Last Friday, the North Sports Report and Mrs. NorthSportsReport spent date night at Hillsboro High School for the Burros’ game against the Overton Bobcats. It had everything! The gourmet dining included a perfectly grilled sandwich of ground beef adorned with tomato ketchup served with a side of corn chip Fritos from the Hillsboro Snack Shack; the production quality of the Overton and Hillsboro bands was extravagant; the fashion statement of new football uniforms was certainly a highlight; and we saw some old friends, a great football game and even a live animal show. Now that the weather is getting cooler, we could sit just a little bit closer. As I said…a perfect date night!

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Football Friday September 19, 2014

The North Sports Report will be at Buster Boguskie Field on the campus of Stratford High School to witness the eastside battle between the Stratford Spartans and the East Nashville Eagles. The Spartans look to blemish East Nashville’s record as the Eagles are the only team in the state that has not yet given up a point, outscoring opponents 167-0 in their first four games. It should be a barnburner!

Over at Hillsboro, two teams take undefeated records into Friday’s contest as the Hillsboro Burros host the McGavock Raiders in a game with playoff implications.

In other action:

  • Overton Bobcats travel to Cane Ridge Ravens in another huge district game;
  • Glencliff Colts host Antioch Bears;
  • Hillwood Hilltoppers travel to Jerry Pigue Field to face Hunters Lane Warriors;
  • Whites Creek Cobras play at home against Maplewood Panthers; and
  • Pearl-Cohn Firebirds travel to Lipscomb.

MNPS home games are at Stratford; at Hillsboro; at Cane Ridge; at Glencliff; at Hunters Lane; and at Whites Creek.

Kickoff is at 7:00pm. Go to a game!

MNPS: The First Choice for a Diverse Field of Competitors

PAC Meetings begin tonight in each cluster

MNPS Parents! We are excited kick off this year’s first Parent Advisory Council (PAC) cluster meetings TONIGHT at 5:30 p.m.

All 12 cluster PACs will meet at the same time at centrally located middle schools in each cluster. All parents are encouraged to attend in order to participate in conversations about cluster priorities and needs, create community-building events, and meet principals and parents from all of the cluster schools. At tonight’s meetings, cluster PACs will elect officers, and will also weigh in on the creation of a Magnet Cluster PAC.

The goals of the Parent Advisory Council are to:

  • Increase parent attendance and engagement in PAC across MNPS
  • Increase cluster identity and collaboration
  • Create a strong link between parents and MNPS leadership
  • Provide meaningful opportunities for parent input, leadership, and engagement

You can see meeting agendas here. We hope to see a full house tonight in all 12 clusters. Your voice matters!

                                                                                          Meeting Locations                                                                                  

  • Antioch Cluster – Apollo Middle Prep
  • Cane Ridge Cluster – Marshall MIddle Prep
  • Glencliff Cluster – Wright Middle Prep
  • Hillsboro Cluster – JT Moore Middle Prep
  • Hillwood Cluster – HG Hill Middle Prep
  • Hunters Lane Cluster – Madison Middle Prep
  • Maplewood Cluster – Gra-Mar Middle Prep
  • McGavock Cluster – DuPont-Hadley Middle Prep
  • Overton Cluster – McMurray Middle Prep
  • Pearl-Cohn Cluster – John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep
  • Stratford Cluster – Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Prep
  • Whites Creek Cluster – IT Creswell Arts Magnet Middle Prep


Volunteer in schools on September 20 for Hands On Nashville Day 2014

by Brian Williams, President & CEO of Hands on Nashville


On September 20, hundreds of community members will gather at more than 50 Metro Nashville Public Schools to celebrate Hands On Nashville Day, Nashville’s largest annual day of service to public schools.

With buckets of paint, fresh mulch and a desire to make a difference, volunteers will complete “done-in-a-day” improvement projects, including painting and landscaping, to make the places where our children learn and play a little brighter. Today, I would like to personally invite you to join us.

Through the service of volunteers, healthier and safer environments will be created for children and families, and Metro Schools will be able to save time and money.  Last year, Hands On Nashville Day 2013 volunteers had an estimated economic impact of $203,688, according to Independent Sector research.

We’re thrilled to be hosting our 23rd annual Hands On Nashville Day and inspired that more than 1,500 volunteers are already signed up to beautify schools next week. There are still openings at several MNPS school sites that need to be filled, which you can register for today.

I encourage you to rally your friends, family and co-workers and join us for an inspiring and fun day of volunteerism that has a meaningful impact.

In service,

Brian Williams

23rd Annual Hands On Nashville Day 2014:

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 20.
  • Time: 8 a.m. to Noon
  • Location: More than 50 Metro Nashville Public Schools

Registration: Volunteers must register ahead of time to participate at Project slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

This event is also Hands On Nashville’s biggest fundraiser of the year. During registration, all participants will be asked to make a $25 donation to support Hands On Nashville’s work to connect volunteers to community needs. Hands On Nashville leverages every $1 donation into $5 of volunteer service that meets critical community needs. Donations are encouraged, but not required.

Parent Meetings: Dr. Register to visit and speak with families at priority schools

Before we can make any decisions on how to turn around low-performing schools in Nashville, we must engage the school communities in a conversation about what they need, what they want and how we can work together to give all students the schools they deserve. That starts with in-depth visits to the district’s priority schools.

At each visit, Dr. Register will observe the school in session, meet with faculty and meet with parents. This is an opportunity for everyone in the school community to share what challenges they face and what visions they have for the future.

All parent meetings are open to the public. When taking questions and comments from parents, the meeting facilitator will prioritize hearing from parents at that school.

  • Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School – Thursday, September 18, parent meeting at 5:00 p.m.
  • Inglewood Elementary School – Wednesday, September 24, parent meeting at 5:00 p.m.
  • Kirkpatrick Elementary School – Thursday, September 25, parent meeting at 4:00 p.m.*
  • Jere Baxter Middle School – Tuesday, September 30, parent meeting at 5:30 p.m.
  • Napier Elementary School – Wednesday, October 1, parent meeting at 5:30 p.m.
  • Fall Break – October 6-10
  • Neely’s Bend Middle School – Monday, October 20, parent meeting at 5:30 p.m.
  • Madison Middle School – Tuesday, October 21, parent meeting at 5:30
  • Churchwell Elementary School – Thursday, October 30, parent meeting at 5:30 p.m.
  • Whitsitt Elementary School – Monday, November 3, parent meeting at 5:00 p.m.
  • Joelton Middle School – Tuesday, November 4, parent meeting at 5:30 p.m.
  • Buena Vista Elementary School – Wednesday, November 5, parent meeting at 5:30 p.m.

*After consulting with the Kirkpatrick principal, this meeting was moved to 4:00 p.m. Many parents at Kirkpatrick walk to school to pick up their children, so the meeting will be held soon after school ends with childcare activities in the gym.


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