New principals named for the 2016-17 school year

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We believe principals are the most critical member of a school’s team. He or she shapes the school, guides students instruction and sets a tone for progress. Because it is such an important job that has a direct impact on every student and employee, we wanted school communities to be involved in the process for hiring a new principal.

We held staff and community meetings to gather input into the characteristics that the next principals at these schools should have. Working together with the district, those communities built leadership profiles that guided the process as we conducted interviews and chose the following new principals in Metro Schools:

Antioch High School – Dr. Keiva Wiley
Dr. Wiley currently serves as an assistant principal in the Prince George County Public School System. She has served in several administrative roles for the past 12 years.  Previously, she has served as an instructional support specialist, reading specialist and English teacher. Dr. Wiley is a graduate of Florida A&M University and received her administration certification from Johns Hopkins University.  She most recently completed her doctorate at Nova Southeastern University.

Bellshire Elementary School – Robbin Masters
Robbin Masters joined Metro Schools in 2015 as an Academy Principal at John Overton High School, where she led the English and English Learner departments. She brings experiences as an effective classroom teacher in Illinois schools, where she provided successful interventions for struggling students. Ms. Masters is excited to lead a school community in preparing each student to excel in our expanding global society.

The initial search and interview process for a permanent leader at Bellshire resulted in no candidates moving forward for hire. Ms. Masters was not part of the original interview process and was to be placed at Bellshire as an acting principal while we restarted the search. However, after meeting with Ms. Masters, Bellshire parents and community members requested she be placed as the permanent leader at the school. We are happy to oblige because she is a supremely qualified candidate.

Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts – Trellany Lane
Trellany Lane will be our next principal at Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts. Ms. Lane served for two years as the executive principal at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary and exudes a positive and thoughtful personality. Prior to Churchwell, she was an assistant principal for three years and taught at the elementary school level for three years. Her administrative experience, coupled with her teaching experience, has prepared Ms. Lane to not only take Creswell to the next level but also prepare students to perform at Nashville School of the Arts.

Crieve Hall Elementary School – Nate Miley
Nate Miley is the next principal of Crieve Hall Elementary School. Mr. Miley comes to us from Marion, Indiana, where he has served as the assistant principal at Frances Slocum Elementary School since 2013. Prior to his administrative role, Mr. Miley was a 5th grade teacher for four years and a 1st grade teacher for three years. Mr. Miley has had experience in a variety of elementary schools with students of all demographics and exudes a positive and thoughtful personality.

Cumberland Elementary School – Carolyn Cobbs
Carolyn Cobbs comes to us from Denver Public Schools where she was director of elementary language and literacy and where she previously served as the instructional superintendent. Ms. Cobbs has also served as a principal in the District of Columbia Public Schools and in Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools.

Dan Mills Elementary School – Robert Yates
Robert Yates has been an assistant principal at Norman Binkley since 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Yates served as a classroom teacher at Lakeview Design Center Elementary here in Nashville for 10 years and at Madison Creek Elementary in Sumner County for six years.

Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School – Jeanna Collins
Jeanna Collins currently serves as the executive principal at Oliver Middle Prep School and previously served as the principal at Ewing Park Middle School. In addition to administrative experience, Ms. Collins also has 14 years of teaching experience. For the past two years, Ms. Collins has also served as a network lead principal supervising several elementary and middle schools in our district.

Goodlettsville Middle School – Beatriz Salgado
Ms. Salgado was the Engineering Academy principal at Overton High School. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, she was a school counselor and a Spanish teacher for Metro Schools and a classroom teacher in El Paso, TX. Beatriz earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, a master’s degree in school counseling from Middle Tennessee State University and most recently completed the administrative licensure program at Lipscomb University. She is currently a fellow in the Governor’s Academy for School Leaders at Vanderbilt University. One of her recent accomplishments is the addition of a new pathway to the Engineering Academy that will be available to students in fall 2017.

Ivanetta Davis Early Learning Center – Jessica Hardin
Jessica Hardin will serve as the Principal at the Ivanetta Davis Early Learning Center, formerly known as the Bordeaux Early Learning Center. Ms. Hardin is a Metro Schools graduate who taught in the district and served as an assistant principal at Lakeview Elementary School. She is also an Ayers Fellowship Mentor for prospective school leaders through Lipscomb University.

Joelton Middle School – Todd Irving
Todd Irving is the next principal of Joelton Middle Prep. Mr. Irving comes to us from Irvine, California, where he has been the principal of Spurgeon Intermediate School since 2013. Mr. Irving served as a coordinator for leadership development in the Orange County central office, and was a high school principal for eight years. Mr. Irving also has experience as an education consultant and as a lead instructor for the Aspiring Administrator Academy in Santa Ana Unified School District. Mr. Irving began his career as a middle school teacher in Long Beach.

Kirkpatrick Elementary School – LaToya Cobb
LaToya Cobb is the next principal of Kirkpatrick Elementary School. Ms. Cobb currently serves as the assistant principal at Paragon Mills Elementary School – a role she has held for four years. Ms. Cobb previously served as a school counselor for nine years, six in the district and three in Kentucky. She also had four years of elementary teaching experience in Kentucky. These experiences, along with her development through the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville, have prepared her to lead Kirkpatrick Elementary thoughtfully and effectively.

Madison Middle School – Jackie Freeman
Jackie Freeman is the next principal of Madison Middle Prep. Freeman currently serves as the assistant principal at Rose Park Middle Magnet School in the district – a role he has held for six years. Mr. Freeman previously served as assistant principal at Dupont-Tyler Middle Prep for five years. In addition to his administrative experience, he has 10 years of teaching experience in math and algebra at the middle school level. These experiences have prepared Mr. Freeman to, in his words, “lead Madison to national recognition.”

McGavock Elementary – Hilda Smith
Ms. Hilda Smith will be our next principal at McGavock Elementary School. Ms. Smith has served in Metro Schools for 15 years, including the last three years as the assistant principal at Cane Ridge Elementary. She has also previously served in the district as a teacher, a model classroom instructor, an instructional coach and as a district presenter for Sally Ride Science.

McKissack Middle Prep -Thomas (Tre) Chappelle III
Mr. Thomas (Tre) Chappelle III will be the next principal at McKissack Middle School. Mr. Chappelle has been an educator for 17 years including time in Metro Schools and in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mr. Chappelle has served as the assistant principal at Oliver Middle School since 2011. Prior to being an administrator, he served in a school support position for two years and taught as a classroom teacher for nearly a decade in middle school grades. He is also a graduate of the Principal Leadership Academy of Nashville, where he gained experience with global research and training for school improvement work. Mr. Chappelle believes that all students can be successful as learners and transformed into community leaders.

Napier Elementary School – Dr. Watechia Lawless
Dr. Lawless currently serves as the interim principal at Napier, a role she has held since last October, but also served Napier for seven years prior to that as a classroom teacher and assistant principal. She began her career in education as a classroom teacher at Dodson Elementary School for two years. These experiences have prepared Dr. Lawless to be the next principal of Napier Elementary.

Neely’s Bend Elementary School – Derrick Salter
Mr. Salter has been an assistant principal at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School since 2014. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Tulip Grove Elementary for four years. He has also served as a numeracy coach in elementary school and was a teacher for six years, serving both 4th and 6th grades.

Oliver Middle Prep – Steve Sheaffer
Steve Sheaffer will be our next principal at Oliver Middle School. Dr. Sheaffer has been serving the students of Metro Schools for 18 years. For the past five years, he has been an academy principal at Overton High School. Under his leadership, the academy of Engineering became Overton’s first NCAC model career academy in 2013. In 2015, Dr. Sheaffer began Overton’s newest academy, the Academy of Event Marketing and Music Performance. Prior to these roles, he was an academy coach, instructional coach and classroom teacher. Dr. Sheaffer is excited to continue working with the families of the Overton cluster.

Paragon Mills Elementary School – Dr. Joie Austria
Dr. Austria comes to us from Adelphi, Maryland where she has been the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instructional specialist for secondary schools in Princes George’s County Public Schools. Dr. Austria has previously served as an ESOL instructional coach and as an acting assistant principal. Dr. Austria also started her own school in her home country of the Philippines.

Shayne Elementary School – Elayna Wilson
Elayna Wilson is the next principal of May Werthan Shayne Elementary School. Ms. Wilson comes to us from Atlanta where she has been an assistant principal at the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School since 2012. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal at Lindley Middle School in Marietta for three years and an assistant principal at Sandtown Middle School in Atlanta for three years. Her nine years of administrative experience, coupled with her 11 years of teaching experience in grades 3 through 5, have prepared Ms. Wilson to take Shayne Elementary School to the next level.

Sylvan Park Elementary School – Robin Elder
Robin Elder has served as a classroom teacher, elementary school guidance counselor and assistant principal of an elementary school in College Park, GA. In her role as an assistant principal she served more than 1,100 students, and the school was recognized as a Distinguished Title 1 School for being the highest performing school in South Fulton County, GA.

Stanford Montessori Elementary School – Angela Bailey
Angela Bailey will be the new principal at Stanford Montessori School. Ms. Bailey is a veteran educator and Metro Schools graduate. She has served as an assistant principal in the Antioch Cluster for the past three years. Prior to that, she served the district as an instructional coach, mentor, trainer and teacher. She is dedicated to ensuring a nurturing environment where children are recognized and supported as individuals and encouraged to grow through enriching and engaging experiences. She is excited to return to her home community.

Tulip Grove Elementary School – Dr. Allyson Johnson
Dr. Johnson has served as an assistant principal for four years. Dr. Johnson was the assistant principal at Gower Elementary School and most recently at Amqui Elementary School. Prior to her administrative roles, she served as a school counselor for nine years in two elementary schools in East Nashville: Caldwell and Warner. Dr. Johnson has also worked as a case manager in the Department of Children’s Services and served on the Metro Action Commission. Her varied experiences developed her skills as a child centered leader.

Warner Elementary School – Denise Jacono
Denise Jacono has been the principal at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford, Delaware for three years. Ms. Jacono previously served as the principal at Holy Cross School in Dover, Delaware for four years after serving as the principal at Holy Rosary School in Claymont, Delaware for five years. In addition to her administrative experience, she has 15 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle school grades. Before working as an educator, Ms. Jacono served in counseling positions at state levels and in various healthcare facilities.

Acting Principals
For a variety of reasons, some principal changes are happening late in the summer with little time to find a permanent replacement. To provide consistency throughout the school year and avoid changing leadership in the middle of the semester, we have placed acting principals at these schools for the full school year while we perform a thorough search and hiring process for a permanent leader.

Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School – Ms. Marcia A. Northern 
Marcia Northern’s familiarity with the school will ensure continuity of services to students, staff and parents. Ms. Northern has demonstrated excellent skills as an instructional leader and will ensure that teachers provide rigorous instruction that promote the 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills.  Ms. Northern has articulated a strong commitment to enhancing literacy skills as a vehicle to ensure student success across all subject areas. Ms. Northern believes in having a safe, orderly and academically enriching learning environment. She knows that the school, the classrooms, the extracurricular activities on and off campus have to be safe. To this end, Ms. Northern emphasizes collaboration with all staff to identify needs and develop a plan as to how to address those needs. The relationships that Ms. Northern has established with staff and students will be in asset as we provide a safe and orderly environment where learning takes place at high levels.

Croft Middle School – Dr. Jeremy Lewis
Dr. Lewis has served in administrative positions at Bellevue Middle and Cane Ridge High School. As you know, his most recent role as the Dean of Instruction for Croft Middle School, which will make this a seamless transition. Dr. Lewis is a native Tennessean. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from MTSU, a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Christian Brothers University and an Educational Doctorate degree in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University. We are excited that Dr. Lewis plans to continue the work and mindset of moving Croft Middle School from good to great. His focus on high expectations for all, his desire to collaborate with all stakeholders and his student centered decisions making will undoubtedly yield positive results.

DuPont Tyler Middle School – Dr. Bianca Jefferson
Dr. Jefferson has served as an assistant principal at J.E. Moss Elementary for the past three years. Before becoming an administrator, Dr. Jefferson taught as an exceptional education teacher at J.E. Moss Elementary and Charlotte Park Elementary. In addition to her school leadership and instructional experience, Dr. Jefferson is an adjunct professor with Cumberland University. Dr. Jefferson earned both her bachelor’s in psychology and master’s of education with a special education focus at Tennessee State University and her doctorate at Lipscomb University.

Maplewood High School – Dr. Keely Jones-Mason
Dr. Jones-Mason believes in having a safe, orderly, and academically enriching learning environment. The schools, the classrooms, the extracurricular activities on and off campus have to be safe. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Jones-Mason emphasizes the need for collaboration with all staff to identify needs and develop a plan to address those needs. She also maintains that the school must be welcoming to parents and visitors. Visitors entering the school should always feel safe, feel welcomed, and receive good customer service. Dr. Jones-Mason also feels that celebrations are an integral part to having a healthy school climate.

Prepare for #MNPSDay1 by having up-to-date immunizations

The first day of school – Wednesday, August 3, 2016 –  is right around the corner. For students who are new to Metro Schools, entering pre-school, prekindergarten or kindergarten, or entering seventh grade, that means it’s time to update their immunizations.

This is really important. In fact, it’s so important that without proof of updated immunizations or a certified exemption form, your child will not be allowed to attend school. It’s a state law.

But you still have time before #MNPSDay1 is here, so don’t wait to get this done!

You can visit any Metro Health Department Clinic or your family physician. Or you can go to the immunization clinic this Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 12 at 224 Oriel Avenue in Nashville. See details below:

Immunizations Clinic English

For any questions, call the Family Information Center at 615-259-4636 or email familyinfo@mnps.org.

 

Metro teachers to receive significant salary increase as a result of new pay scale

Metro Nashville Public Schools has unveiled a new salary scale for certificated employees that will result in significant pay increases for many teachers, particularly those with five to 10 years of experience. The new salary scale aligns MNPS salaries with regional market data at key points throughout a teacher’s career.

All Metro teachers can look forward to a salary increase on their next paycheck. The new fiscal year budget that started on July 1 includes $10.25 million in additional teacher pay – $3 million more than budgeted last year. Teachers will receive a salary step increase and benefit from the revised pay scale. The operating budget for 2016-17 also includes $2.7 million for support employees to receive step increases on the pay schedule.

“By far, teachers have the most direct impact on individual student success of all the employees in a school system. In order to achieve excellence by design in every classroom every day, we have to have the best and the brightest educators. While culture and leadership also play important roles in teacher recruitment and retention, competitive salaries are absolutely essential,” said Dr. Shawn Joseph, Director of Metro Schools. “I am pleased that our Board prioritized increasing teacher pay in this year’s budget, and I am grateful to Mayor Megan Barry and the Metro Council for funding the request.”

Salaries for new teachers in Nashville have been competitive for the last five years, following a significant increase to starting teacher pay in 2011. However, no other major changes have been made to the district’s pay scale since that time. For the last several years, Metro Schools has instituted across-the-board pay increases in lieu of salary step increases.

The complete pay scales for certificated and support staff were shared via email with employees. Metro Schools employees can access the pay scales online.

 

Key Highlights of Pay Scale Differences
Step (Years of Experience) (Old) FY15-16 Pay Scale for Teachers with a Bachelors’ Degree (New) FY16-17 Pay Scale for Teachers with a Bachelors’ Degree
0-8 $42,082.10 (no variation other than across-the-board increases in recent years) Ranges from $42,100 for starting teachers to $44,750 for teachers with nine years of experience
10 $44,536.45 $47,000

 

The MNPS 3rd Annual Enrollment Fair is Saturday, July 16 at the Global Mall

Need to help your child enroll, transfer, withdrawal, get a sports physical or immunizations? This is the event to get everything done in one place!

The MNPS 3rd Annual Enrollment Fair will be held on Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Global Mall, 5252 Hickory Hollow Parkway, Antioch 37013.

All students enrolling will receive a MNPS drawstring backpack and other awesome giveaways.

Check out the flyer below: 2016-17_EnrollmentFair_Flyer-page-001.jpg

PHOTOS: Metro Schools, Mayor Megan Barry and the Nashville Public Library encourage summer reading

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Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph greets a little reader at the Nashville Public Library after a July 5 news conference. 

Metro Schools, the Mayor’s Office and the Nashville Public Library held a joint press conference Tuesday, July 5, addressing a shared commitment to boost literacy in Nashville. The conference took place in the Children’s reading area at the Downtown Public Library and was attended by Metro Schools’ staff, members of the Board of Education, local reading and education advocacy programs and various other community leaders.

Mayor Megan Barry, Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph, and Nashville Public Library Board Member Joyce Searcy delivered the messages and handed out books provided by Book’Em to children in attendance. Book’Em is a Nashville nonprofit committed to distributing tens of thousands of books each year to economically disadvantaged children.

In beginning his new position with Metro Schools, Dr. Joseph has shared the urgency he feels for addressing areas of need, but this time he specifically referred to urgency with literacy advocacy—especially during these critical summer months.

“We cannot put learning aside for two months by taking a break on reading,” Dr. Joseph said. “Reading is the foundation of all other learning, so we must take advantage of the tremendous educational resources available in Nashville to support our students.”

Mayor Megan Barry shares that same urgency, speaking on the importance of the dollars added to this year’s budget—specifically designated to support literacy efforts. The funds were added to the public libraries as well as to the reading programs in Metro Schools.

Dr. Joseph also called on families to make reading a priority at home so it becomes second nature to a child and for the community to rally around those efforts. He did not speak lightly about this call to action, referring to literacy as a top focus on the list of Metro Schools’ “great and complex” challenges. All speakers at the library event asked that the community come together in the spirit of collaboration to move the dialogue forward, including Metro teachers.

Since it was Dr. Joseph’s second official day of work, the event was Dr. Joseph and Mayor Barry’s first opportunity to lead a press conference side-by-side. Both look forward to working together and campaigning for public education. Mayor Barry’s last words hit on her hopes for the new director of schools

“I am thrilled to go on this adventure together,” Mayor Barry said speaking to Dr. Joseph, “If you are successful, our children are successful.”

Metro Schools has compiled a list of literacy resources for families, students and teachers on MNPSDirector.org. Below are two opportunities from NPL:

NPL Summer Challenge
Students can sign up for the Summer Challenge to log reading hours over the summer to earn prizes. Each branch will draw for prizes like iPad minis and a trip to Dollywood. Mayor Barry has even offered up the chance to be Student Mayor for a Day.

Visit https://library.nashville.org/summerchallenge

Limitless Library Summer Reading Lists (K-12)
Limitless Library is a resource sharing program created from a partnership between the Nashville Public Library and Metro Schools to improve student access to learning materials. The Limitless Library site has popular summer “must reads” and required school reading lists.

Read more about these programs and more extended learning resources at https://mnpsdirector.wordpress.com/reading-resources-for-families

See more photos from the news conference below:

Dr. Shawn Joseph Announces Three Key Leadership Appointments

Today, Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph announced the hiring of three new team members in Metro Schools who will lead high-need initiatives to serve students and families – two previously existing and one newly created.

  • Moreno Carrasco – Executive Officer for Priority Schools
  • Dennis Queen – Executive Officer for Charter Schools
  • Maritza González – Executive Officer for Diversity and Equity

“These are three of our highest need areas, and it’s important we get strong leaders to take charge of them right away,” said Dr. Joseph. “I feel a sense of urgency in getting these positions filled because we need fresh perspectives. I am very fortunate to have worked with hundreds of great educators over my career and have access to a national network of talent. It’s nice to be able to draw upon that network now to take on some of the biggest issues facing our schools. All three are strong additions to Team MNPS.

“When I hire people to be on my team, I look for evidence of proven leadership which has resulted in increased student performance, a passion for equity and excellence and the ability to connect with people to inspire higher levels of commitment from their teams. Mr. Carrasco, Mr. Queen and Dr. González are three home run hires. They are committed to supporting us as we work to improve educational outcomes for the children of Metro Schools for years to come.”

Moreno Carrasco, Executive Officer for Priority Schools

Carrasco HeadsotMoreno Carrasco has been tapped to lead the district’s efforts to improve and turnaround its lowest-performing schools. He comes from Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, where he worked in the Office for School Support and Improvement as the head of leadership development both in schools and the central office. His work gave him deep experience in organizational change and strategic planning for improving school performance and classroom instruction. Prior to working in district administration, Carrasco worked as a principal in two Montgomery County schools, where he led successful turnarounds and raised student achievement, particularly among African American and Latino students. In 2007, he won the Met Life High School Principal of the Year award for the state of Maryland, given by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

“Moreno is one of the strongest school leaders I have worked with,” said Dr. Joseph, “and he brought that drive for serving students to the district-level, too. He can be a coach, a strategist and a mentor, which is exactly what our highest priority schools need. He learned firsthand what it takes to bring real change and improvement to a school, and he uses that knowledge to develop talents in others.”

Dennis Queen, Executive Officer for Charter Schools

Dennis Queen HeadshotDennis Queen is an experienced education leader whose career has taken him from police officer to teacher to executive consultant to district leader. He most recently worked in Charlotte-Mecklenberg as a community superintendent and prior to that as a regional superintendent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Between both jobs, he supported school improvement efforts in 65 schools with success in raising academic achievement and lowering discipline incidents. In that work, Queen also gained experience working alongside area charter schools. He also spent 11 years as a school principal with significant academic gains in each school he led.

“We have 30 charter schools in Nashville, which is larger than many stand alone school districts,” said Dr. Joseph. “They serve thousands of our neediest students and are an important part of the fabric of Metro Schools. Dennis has worked as a regional superintendent in two different districts, and that’s essentially what I want from him here. He will lead this specific subset of schools with the same collaborative and strategic approach that brought him success in Wisconsin and North Carolina. Luckily, he’s starting with a strong foundation of processes and schools so that we can build on our relationships and begin planning for the future.”

 Dr. Maritza González, Executive Officer for Diversity and Equity

Maritza GonzalezIn the newly created position of executive officer for diversity and equity, Dr. Maritza González will touch every department in Metro Schools with a focus on creating greater equity and access for academic programs and services. She will serve as a guiding force for decisions across the district, ensuring they are made with the needs of all students in mind.

“This is a new position for Metro Schools, but it is a sorely needed one,” said Dr. Joseph. “I want Maritza involved in everything. Family engagement, zoning, academic interventions, communications, school choice – everything gets better when you look at it through the lens of diversity. This district has prioritized diversity, and that’s commendable. We need to make sure our practice matches our philosophy.”

Dr. González has the experience to cover that broad range. She moved to the United States from El Salvador when she was six years old and holds a variety of degrees in international business, communication, education and policy. She is an expert in family and community partnerships and has experience in curriculum design for diverse learners. In 2010, she was appointed to the Maryland Governor’s Task Force on Universal Design for Learning.

“Maritza held a similar position to this in Prince George’s County where we faced a growing population of Latino students whose needs weren’t being met,” said Dr. Joseph. “I want her perspective in Nashville so that every family feels included and no one feels invisible.”

All three will officially begin work tomorrow, Friday, July 1.

Board of Education and Dr. Shawn Joseph begin their journey together

This is what Dr. Joseph will do in his first 100 days with Metro Schools

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Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph has released the official entry plan for his leadership transition into Metro Schools. The plan covers all areas of priority and activities for his first 100 days on the job, excluding weekends.

The entry plan is designed to launch a long-term, sustainable strategic planning process that will drive the district forward. It will take Dr. Joseph to all corners of Nashville and into every Metro School in order to give him a comprehensive view and understanding of the district, the city and all major stakeholders. Simultaneously, it will help him build the relationships needed to address immediate, short-term needs and design and execute long-term strategies. All of this will happen on an accelerated timeline and while normal operation of the district continues, so no time is wasted standing still.

“This plan is ambitious because it has to be,” said Dr. Joseph. “The children of Nashville deserve excellence now. They don’t have any time to waste. I intend to hit the ground running and expect my leadership team to join me in running fast so that we can give our students the education they deserve and help them maximize their potential. I promise to be relentless in pursuing excellence for all children, and in this plan I ask Nashville to do the same.”

Dr. Joseph wrote the plan to achieve five broad goals for his transition:

  1. Ensure an effective, efficient and orderly transition of leadership with a focus on increased achievement for all children;
  2. develop a trusting, productive and collaborative relationship with the Board of Education;
  3. create opportunities for deep engagement and listening with all stakeholders;
  4. proactively seek inclusion of all voices, not just those traditionally in the conversation; and
  5. build excitement, momentum and sustained engagement in the district’s vision and work.

To achieve these goals, the plan is structured with specific action items to address several priority areas:

  • Governance: Activities that will help build positive, team-oriented relationships with individual Board members and with the Board as a whole.
  • Organizational Capacity: Examining the alignment and culture of the district office to ensure a high-performing, results-oriented executive team is in place to support the work of schools.
  • Student Achievement: Evaluating instructional supports for teachers and school staff, including curriculum, professional development, and tools to monitor students’ progress.
  • Community and Public Relations: Building and sustaining two-way dialogues with all key stakeholders, especially with those who are traditionally underrepresented in public education. Assessing the district’s communication systems and processes to ensure openness and transparency.
  • Operation and Finance: Appraising each district division to determine how they maximize support and service to schools.

Work on this plan has already begun. The action items for each priority area include activities that have been underway during Dr. Joseph’s “pre-entry” period, as well as tasks he will undertake after he officially begins work in the district on July 5.

View Dr. Joseph’s entire entry plan on the new MNPSDirector.org.

“This plan is indicative of the methodical and deliberate approach Dr. Joseph has taken throughout his career and what was well demonstrated in his interactions during the interview process,” said Board of Education Chair Dr. Sharon Gentry.  “It’s a comprehensive plan that shows near term goals that will have an immediate impact on the culture of the district.  Dr. Joseph is moving with a sense of urgency and brings the change the district needs to support the bold action that will be necessary for progress, and I’m beyond excited to be a part of it.”

Aiding in execution of this plan will be a transition team made up of local and national experts, parents and district staff. They will come together into four subcommittees to study and give recommendations that will form the basis for the district’s new strategic plan. The transition team members are expected to be named later this month.

The transition team work and Dr. Joseph’s long-term plans for the district will also be informed by broad community input. Last week, Dr. Joseph and the Board of Education announced a series of 11 community meetings, called “Listen & Learn” sessions. The first one is scheduled for Dr. Joseph’s first day on the job. All of them will take place prior to the start of school on Aug. 3.

“I want to build a collective vision for the future of Metro Schools, hand-in-hand with the Board, parents, staff and community leaders,” said Dr. Joseph. “Effective, sustainable change can’t come from the top down. It has to be built from the bottom up, and I look forward to starting that work on day one.”

The end goal of the entire entry plan is to build a launching pad for the next era in Metro Schools. A full report of all findings, observations and key lessons from community engagement will be paired with an outline for a new strategic planning process that will review the current strategic plan, Education 2018. With the community energized behind the work, Nashville will chart a new course forward for its students.

Metro Schools announces academic eligibility requirements for summer pathways

Students in our four magnet feeder middle schools have an opportunity to gain a summer pathway into Hume Fogg or MLK. Meaning, students who have attended Meigs, Head, Rose Park and John Early are given a second chance to qualify for entrance into the magnet high school based on grades and test scores from the most recent school year.

According to the district’s Student Assignment Options Policy, students normally qualify for the summer pathway by meeting the following two academic requirements:

  • Students must have an academic average of 85 or above for all subjects combined for the second, third and fourth nine weeks of the most recent school year, with no failing grades for any grading period in this time frame.
  • Students who took Tennessee’s criterion-referenced state achievement test (TCAP) in the previous year must have scores of Proficient or Advanced in both reading and math (except for EL students, who must have scores of Proficient or Advanced in either reading or math).

Since the state canceled TNReady testing this past spring, the district has developed alternative ways to determine academic eligibility for students who didn’t qualify based on either 2015 grades or test scores.

All students will still be required to meet the course grade requirements. However, in place of the TCAP requirements, students may qualify based on any of the following:

  • 2015 TCAP assessment – the student must have scored Proficient or Advanced in both reading and math
  •  Fall 2015 8th grade EXPLORE scores – the student’s reading and math stanine scores must total 14 or above
  • 2016 TVAAS projections for reading and math – the student must have stanine scores that total 14 or above
  • Students who do not meet any of the above assessment qualifications will be provided an additional opportunity for summer testing on two dates using a nationally normed standardized achievement test, the Terra Nova Survey, 3rd Edition. Students must receive reading and math stanine scores that total 14 or above unless they are an EL student who can qualify with a stanine of a 7 in either reading or math.

Summer testing will be held at the four magnet feeder middle schools on Wednesday, June 22 and Tuesday, July 12. Students who qualify for summer testing will receive a letter in the mail this week with information on how to register for one of these two test dates.

The qualifications described above apply only to students eligible for the 2016 summer academic pathway option.

District staff are still working to determine academic entrance requirements for all students intending to apply to an academic magnet during the 2017-18 school options process this fall.

For questions, please contact the MNPS Family Information Center at (615) 259-INFO (4636).

PHOTOS: Metro Schools opens new enrollment center at the Global Mall

Metro Schools opened a new enrollment center at the Global Mall in Antioch on Friday, June 10.

Enrollment centers opened in each of our zoned high schools a few years ago as a way for the district to centralize enrollment services. Families can register at these locations Monday through Friday, year round – even when schools are out on spring, summer, fall and winter breaks.

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“This new enrollment center here at the Global Mall is larger and easier to access for families in the Cane Ridge and Antioch clusters. But most importantly, it will be our first location outside of the district office that will offer English Learner (EL) registration services,” said Chris Henson, interim director of schools. “As the fastest growing segment of our student population, we are taking a number of steps in this upcoming year to improve how we service EL students and their families.”

With so many of our English Learner families living within the Cane Ridge and Antioch clusters, the new enrollment center will provide better service by bringing school registration closer to them, the district said.

“Having bilingual registrars and EL assessors from the Office of English Learners readily available at the Global Mall ensures easy, one-stop access for all of our families. This is a model site we hope to replicate in other parts of Nashville for the highest level of service possible for our families with non-English speaking backgrounds,” said Kevin Stacy, director of the Office of English Learners.

GlobalMallEnrollmentCenter

The Global Mall enrollment center is located at 5250 Hickory Hollow Parkway, Antioch, 37013. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The main number for the Global Mall enrollment center is 615-687-4011. 

While it’s still early in summer, Metro Schools encourages families to take advantage of the new enrollment center at the Global Mall and other locations throughout Davidson County.

“The last two weeks of July – just before school starts back – is the busiest time of the year for our enrollment staff. We encourage families to come while the lines are short or non-existent. You’ll be glad that you did!” Henson said.

A complete registration checklist is available on our website.

For questions about the registration process, call our Family Information Center at 615-259-INFO (4636).

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