Ready. Set. Vote.

We all know about medical checkups, but what about a checkup to make sure you can vote?

The Presidential and Tennessee State General Election takes place on Tuesday, November 8, but the deadline for voter registration is October 11. The Davidson County Election Commission wants to make sure you’re ready to vote before then, and we want to help by sharing the useful information they provided to us.

How do I know I’m ready to vote?

If you can answer “yes” to the following three questions, you are good to go.

  • Are you registered to vote?
  • Is your voter status active?
  • Is your voter information current?

What if I answered ‘no’ to any of the questions?

You are not registered to vote.

You can register to vote if you are a U.S. citizen, a Davidson County resident and you will be 18 years old on or before Tuesday, Nov. 8. Fill out the Voter Registration Application, print it and sign it. After that, you can bring it or mail it to the Davidson County Election Commission Office by Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Office Address:
1417 Mufreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37217

Mailing Address:
P O BOX 650
Nashville 37202

Your voter status isn’t active.

If you’re not sure you are registered or you can’t remember when you last voted, check your voter registration status at www.GoVoteTN.com. If you don’t find your name in the Voter Registration Information Lookup database, you can always re-register using the same directions as above.

Your voter information isn’t current, or it needs to be updated.

If you’ve moved within the county or changed your name, you’ll have to update your voter registration information. Simply write your new address on the back of your voter registration card, sign it and mail it to the Election Commission (mailing address above). You can also use the change of address request form or update your information when you Early Vote.

If you have any questions about being ready to vote, please call the Davidson County Election Commission at 615-862-8800.

Metro Public Health Department offering free flu vaccines

This school year, we’ve been trying to help our students with circumstances outside of school that affect their attendance. These efforts include preventing illness in both our students and staff so that kids are in class and do not have to miss school.

Metro Public Health officials announced last Thursday, Sept. 22, that they received their flu vaccine shipment and will began offering flu shots at all three Health Department’s locations. The following information was received from the Metro Public Health Department.

The Metro Public Health Department will not offer the “nasal spray” flu vaccine this year following the CDC’s announcement that the nasal spray vaccine should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season.

Flu shots are offered for a $25, and TennCare and Medicare Part B are accepted. You can receive a vaccine Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the following Health Department locations:

  • East Health Center
    1015 East Trinity Lane
  • Woodbine Health Center
    224 Oriel Avenue
  • Lentz Health Center
    2500 Charlotte Avenue.

According to the Health Department, it’s especially important for the following groups to get vaccinated because they either have a high risk of contracting serious flu-related complications or they live with or care for people at who have a high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  • Pregnant women
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

For more information about flu shots, please call 615-340-5616 option 8, or visit the Health Department’s website at health.nashville.gov.

Hands On Nashville Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Service Projects Benefiting 25 Schools.

Nearly 1,500 volunteers serve and celebrate on Hands On Nashville Day.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, nearly 1,500 volunteers lent their helping hands to local classrooms during Hands On Nashville Day, a community-service celebration supporting 25 Metro Nashville Public Schools.

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Beloved Metro Schools principal and district leader chosen as American Graduate Champion

Executive Lead Principal Bill Warren will be honored as an American Graduate Champion at Nashville Public Television’s (NPT) American Graduate Champion Event tonight, Sept. 15.

During his almost 40 years of working in education, Warren has specialized in working with at-risk young adults. While working in Chattanooga, he pioneered an educational model focused around helping students whose circumstances in life prevented them from being able to earn a high-school diploma in a traditional setting.


In 2009, Warren was hired by Metro Schools to design and develop similar programs in Nashville. These programs are now the Academies at Old Cockrill, Opry Mills and Old Hickory. These academies are tailored to offer a non-traditional route to earning a diploma for students who may have otherwise dropped out of school.

Warren served as the principal of the Academy of Old Cockrill and has supported thousands of students in obtaining their diplomas from all three of the Academies.

Since 2015, Warren has worked as the executive lead principal (ELP) for 11 Metro Schools, including alternative learning centers, non-traditional schools and traditional high schools. As an ELP, Warren helps principals with the tools and knowledge to manage and lead their schools effectively, and he is a part of a team that develops assistant principals into instructional leaders and principals.

His work with the principals in his network showed an increase in the number of students who were assessing post-secondary educational opportunities.

American Graduate Champions are community leaders that are chosen by NPT for their work in helping high school students to graduate. Their long-term commitment, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, seeks to address the crisis of high-school dropouts and build community capacity to improve graduation rates. NPT believes their Graduate Champions are inspirations within the community that will motivate others to make a difference in young peoples’ lives.

Warren isn’t the only Metro employee to be named an American Graduate Champion. Nasreen Kuvly was named one in 2015 for her work as a translator at John Overton High School.

Congratulations, Bill! We’re so proud of our employees who exceed our great expectations by going above and beyond for their students.

Three Metro Schools have National Merit Scholar semifinalists!

Hillsboro, Hume-Fogg and MLK have a combined 15 students who have been named National Merit Scholar semifinalists, one of the top academic honors for high school students.

These students are among the less than 1 percent of high school seniors who qualify to be semifinalists. They were chosen out of 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools who took the PSAT in 2015. While taking the PSAT is an accomplishment in itself, scoring well enough to be selected as a National Merit Scholar semifinalist is HUGE.

These 15 students will move forward in the competition by submitting an application. The applications will provide information about their academic records, school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards. The semifinalists will also have to be endorsed by an official from their school, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier performance.

Students will learn if they make it to the finalist level in February, and the National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from that group. The scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2017. The winners of the 2017 scholarships will be announced starting in April 2017.

Congratulations to these students, and keep up the hard work!

Hillsboro High School

  • Joseph Henry

Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School

  • Fabiha B. Akbar
  • Duncan A. Brodie
  • Jeremiah R. Ginder
  • Jonathan S. Guider
  • Shira Hao
  • Sherrina Y. Hwang
  • Joachim J. Kennedy
  • Anna Ledeczi
  • Trevor G. Ollis
  • Sabeen Rehman

Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School

  • Sophia Chen
  • John R. Hartley
  • Cullen D. McAnally
  • Anna M. Reside

 

Metro Schools’ ACT participation increases, achievement gaps persist

Metro Schools’ ACT participation rate increased to 88 percent, with 4,376 students of the class of 2016 taking the college readiness assessment, a district analysis of ACT data shows. The 88 percent participation rate represents a 15.5 percent increase in just one year, or 586 additional students taking the ACT. While ACT participation increased beyond the state-required 80 percent rate for that year, the district’s average ACT composite score declined from 18.7 in 2015 to 18.2 in 2016. Scores also declined for each subject tested.

The graduating class of 2017 will be the first in which students are required by the state of Tennessee to attempt the ACT in order to graduate with a regular high school diploma. A 95 percent participation rate is required for all school districts statewide. The required increase in participation puts the focus on appropriating equitable resources to break the links between race, socioeconomics and poverty and their relationship to student achievement, according to Metro Schools’ leadership.

View the full analysis of ACT scores in Metro Schools.

“Without adequate resources, particularly for our growing ELL and special education populations, the road to improvement will be slow, but steady. With or without adequate resources, we should continue to refine our plans to improve achievement for all students,” said Dr. Shawn Joseph, Director of Schools.

“We hope to identify ways to target resources to students who need them to accelerate improvement efforts in the coming months and years. This will be a priority in our K-12 strategic plan, and it is one of the reasons we have been discussing equitable and appropriate school funding formulas to support our efforts to accelerate growth for our students,” Joseph said. “Our children deserve the type of funding that will support us making targeted and adequate investments in their accelerated academic growth.”

The 2016 results reveal that although the district’s 1,100 White students on average met the college readiness benchmark of 21, as defined by the ACT, there are large gaps in achievement and college-readiness between subgroups. The widest achievement gap between Black and White students occurs for Reading (4.4 points) while the biggest gap for Hispanic students relative to White students is for English (5.0 points).

According to district calculations, further gaps exist between students of differing socio-economic backgrounds. Among non-economically disadvantaged students, 42.4 percent scored at least 21 on the ACT compared to just 18.5 percent of economically disadvantaged students. The average composite scores for these two groups were 20 and 17, respectively.

Among the class of 2016, the population of economically disadvantaged students were: 67.4 percent Hispanic; 65.5 percent Black; 56.6 percent Asian; and 40.4 percent White. Since all Metro Schools’ students are now eligible to receive no-cost breakfast and lunch under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Community Eligibility Provision, those identified as economically disadvantaged last year were based upon participation in a program such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the parents’ response to an income survey distributed in the fall of 2015.

What’s next?

Metro Schools will tackle the decline in scores with a multi-faceted approach to better prepare students for the test and increase access to local preparation programs outside of school. This effort includes getting students into more rigorous classes earlier so they are exposed to the material included on the test and making sure students have the preparation they need to take the test.

Alignment Nashville offers a collaborative initiative involving several district high schools to provide ACT preparation for students who may not otherwise be able to afford prep courses. This initiative, Partners for ACT Preparation (PACT), was piloted with juniors in 2015-16 in four high schools – Hunters Lane, Hillsboro, Maplewood and Overton. At these schools, half of the students who participated in PACT scored a 21 or higher, and all schools saw an average increase in scores among participants. For 2016-17, PACT has spread to more than half of all high schools and two middle schools.

In further work with Alignment Nashville, district teachers and administrators are backward mapping current ACT shortcomings to identify needed instructional strategies for middle and high school classrooms.

The majors of Metro high schools will give practice ACT tests this fall that will be analyzed by a professional ACT prep firm called Analyze Ed. This will give teachers needed data for strategic interventions and targeted tutoring for students who need it.

The district will also explore the development of an early warning system that will identify which students are in need of supports much earlier than the 11th grade year, which is when the state of Tennessee requires students to take the ACT.

“We will use this data to provide targeted supports to students earlier in their academic programs,” Joseph said. “As we develop a strategic plan, we will be focusing K-12 on stronger curricula implementation, stronger monitoring and stronger communication about student performance between school and home.”

Read the full district analysis of ACT data here.

School Choice Festival: Know Your Options

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September 24 | 1 – 4 p.m. | Music City Center

We are used to having options and choices in life, so why shouldn’t you have a choice in where your children go to school?

What is School Choice?

We know that where you send your child to school is an important decision. We believe that Metro Schools has the resources and academic variety to accommodate any set of needs your child might have. This is why we give our families the option to send their children to schools outside of their neighborhoods. This is School Choice.


What is the School Choice Festival?

The School Choice Festival is the first step toward making the decision about which school is best for your child. It is the best, most interactive way for families to learn about their options and start looking for the right school for their children. It is also the ONLY TIME that every Metro school will be under one roof. That includes our neighborhood schools, magnets, charters and more.

Why should you be there?

Having every school in one room gives families the opportunity to meet with teachers, learn about what each school offers, sign up for school tours and visit with as many schools as they like. For families who decide to look outside of their neighborhood for a school, the festival takes place BEFORE our Optional Schools Application opens up October 31. This gives families enough time to consider all of their options before making a decision.

Why do we do this?

We know every child is different, and Metro Schools wants to work with you to make sure your child’s needs are being met. We want your child to have the educational experience he or she needs in order to be successful, even if that means attending a school outside of your neighborhood.

With more than 160 public schools in our district and a variety of academic programs, supports and extracurricular activities at each school, we know there is at least one with the tools your child needs to be their best, and we want to help you find it. That’s why we host our School Choice Festival every year.

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Academy Showcases demonstrate what makes Metro high schools unique

“When am I ever going to use this?”

It’s a common thing students ask themselves while sitting in a class that is seemingly unrelated to what they hope to do in the future. When students can’t see why they need to learn something, they’re less likely to put forth the effort to learn it.

That’s where our high school academies come in.

The Academies of Nashville have redesigned learning in Metro high schools. The easiest way to understand how they work is to compare them to college. If each high school was a university, the Academies of Nashville would be the individual colleges within that university, and the academy pathways would be the programs of study each college offers.

The pathways are what distinguishes our high schools from most others across the county.

There are certain classes that every student must take in high school, but not every student learns the information taught in those classes in the same way. The Academies relate each course to each student’s interests and chosen pathway. They individualize lessons so that students can relate it to something they are interested in, know exactly why they’re learning it and how they will be able to apply that information outside of school.

The Academies of Nashville provide curriculum and instruction that is engaging for students through project-based learning that bridges individual classes. Students in the Academies are given opportunities like early college credit, professional certifications, job shadowing and internships. The goal of this innovative model is to engage kids in learning, prepare them for college and introduce them to careers that are high-paying and in high demand.

What’s even better is that if your child’s zoned high school doesn’t offer an Academy or a pathway that interests them, they have the option to apply to high schools outside of their neighborhoods so that they can attend a school that does. To see what each high school and Academy has to offer or to learn more about the Academies of Nashville, you can check out the schools at our School Choice Festival or visit the high schools during their individual showcases (schedule below.)

High School Showcase Dates and Times

Overton High School | Sept. 7, 2016 | 5:00 p.m.
Whites Creek High School | Sept. 9, 2016 | 5:00 p.m.
Glencliff High School | Sept. 16, 2016 | 5:00 p.m.
Antioch High School | Sept. 22, 2016 | 5:30 p.m.
Stratford STEM Magnet | Sept. 23, 2016 | 5:00 p.m.
Hunter Lane High School | Sept. 29, 2016 | 6:00 p.m.
Cane Ridge High School | Sept. 30, 2016 | 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Pearl Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School | Oct. 17, 2016 | 6:00 p.m.
Hillsboro High School | Oct. 25, 2016 | 6:00 p.m.
McGavock High School | Oct. 25, 2016 | 6:00 p.m.
Maplewood High School | Oct. 27, 2016 | 5:30 p.m.
Hillwood High School | Oct. 28, 2016 | 5:30 p.m.

Swearing-in ceremony marks new term for Board of Education representatives

The Metro Schools Board of Education held a swearing-in ceremony at its Sept. 6 board meeting. The ceremony marks the beginning of a term for the newly elected board member and affirms the roles and responsibilities for all board representatives.

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The ceremony welcomed a new member to the Board: Christiane Buggs, District 5. Buggs is succeeding Elissa Kim, who had decided not to run for re-election.

Four returning members also renewed their relationships: Dr. Sharon Gentry, District 1; Jill Speering, District 3; Will Pinkston, District 7; and Amy Frogge, District 9.

The oaths were administered by Judge Rachel Bell and Judge Shelia Calloway. Dr. Shawn Joseph and other Board members were also in attendance.

Partnership with Saint Thomas gives Metro students an advantage

One hundred Metro students have been selected to be a part of the new Saint Thomas Health Scholars program.

In partnership with Saint Thomas Health, Metro schools will launch a healthcare-based program in the 2016-2017 school year that is the first of its kind. The innovative program focuses on professional mentoring for students that are actively pursuing an industry certification in the healthcare field.

The students in the program, known as Saint Thomas Health Scholars, will receive weekly hands-on industry certification mentoring at Saint Thomas facilities. At the end of the school year, these scholars will sit for the Clinical Certified Medical Assistant Certification exam, and students who receive their certification will have the opportunity to be hired immediately and receive future scholarship opportunities.

Earning an industry certification while still in high school allows Metro School graduates to advance more quickly in their field of interest through potential career opportunities and increased post-secondary options. Providing this opportunity to students will also prepare Metro School graduates to better address critical local and statewide economic needs.

People from both Metro Schools and Saint Thomas Health will present information about the program tonight at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. The students who were selected to participate in the inaugural year of the program will also be commissioned during the event.

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