Are you ready for your child’s first day of prekindergarten?

In Metro Schools pre-K, children learn through play and discovery of the world around them. 

Apply for the 2016-17 school year starting

Monday, April 18, 2016

Deadline is Friday, April 29, 2016  

There are more pre-K opportunities than ever before with diverse offerings for every family in every neighborhood. Apply for pre-K before April 29 to be included in the pre-K selection process in May. 

Click here to receive pre-K information sent directly to you. 


Applying is simple: 

1. Find the program that is the best fit for your family using the Pre-K Guide

2. Gather all the documents you need:

  • Birth Certificate or record of birth: Children must turn four years old on or before August 15, 2016 (with some exceptions). 
  • Proof of Davidson County residency- Utility bill, telephone, lease or homeowner policy
  • Parent/Guardian photo ID- Driver’s license, state-issued ID passport or military ID

3. Visit one of our many application locations across Nashville. 

  • Applications are available at any of the 12 Enrollment Centers, Bordeaux and Ross Early Learning Centers and the Customer Service Center.
  • After filling out and submitting the application, families learn about next steps like important dates for the selection process.
  • In the meantime, be sure to visit the schools you like, meet the principal and learn about the pre-K program.  

It is our great pleasure every year to welcome thousands of new prekindergarteners to our schools, and we are excited to partner with you and meet you on the first day of school – August 3, 2016!

See how our prekindergarten students learn through play, in this video:

If you have any questions, call our Customer Service Center at (615) 259-INFO (4636) or visit  


Maplewood High School hosts Funding Your Future conference

Maplewood High School and Fifth Third Bank held its first ever Funding Your Future conference on April 28, featuring sessions on financial investing, credit repair, home buying, predatory lending, and retirement planning.

The conference was part of Financial Literacy Month.

Bravo TV’s Jewel Tankard, businesswoman and star of the “Thicker Than Water” reality show was the keynote speaker for the conference.

“Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you need to do it,” Tankard said to students. “You have to ask yourself, does this bring value to me? Is this making me better? Stronger?”

She challenged students to learn how to develop through pressure, saying that their biggest breakthroughs may come from emotional and mental perseverance through life’s trials.

“While you are young and full of ideas, get around other people who are creative, who have strong ideas and provoke you to greatness,” said Tankard. “Long-term success comes from making good decisions.”

Tankard’s many ventures include the nationally syndicated Jewel Tankard Show and the Millionairess Club, which focuses on mentoring and inspiring others to make positive changes in their lives. The wife of gospel jazz musician Ben Tankard, Tankard is a pastor and business mogul who desires to see people live their dreams by obtaining financial freedom.

See photos from the event below, which feature Jewel Tankard, 101.1 The Beat’s on-air personality, Dolewite, and ambassadors from Fifth Third Bank:

PHOTOS: CMA Music Teacher of Excellence award program celebrates music educators in Nashville


CMA Music Teacher of Excellence recipients gather with host Brett Eldredge (center) at the inaugural honors evening at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen / CMA


The CMA Music Teacher of Excellence honors were held Tuesday, April 26 at City Winery in Nashville. The event was hosted by CMA Award-winner Brett Eldredge, who is also a member of the CMA Board of Directors.

Each Teacher of Excellence received a $2,000 grant from the CMA Foundation.

The $100,000 in teacher grants comes from the CMA Foundation’s $1 million donation to Metro Nashville Public Schools, which brings giving to the school system to $10 million in the past 10 years. The honors program was created in partnership with Metro Schools’ Music Makes Us initiative as a result of a study released in 2015 that focused on the needs and challenges of music educators in the district. CMA and the CMA Foundation have supported Metro Schools since 2006 providing funding for more than 9,000 instruments.

The foundation is also supporting a new professional coaching program for music teachers, subsidizing private instrument lessons for students in grades 5-12, and supporting an advocacy initiative that will bring industry leaders into Metro Schools to see music learning in action.

“We are proud to recognize these educators and their unique contributions to public education in Music City,” said Interim Director of Schools Chris Henson. “Our music teachers are an invaluable asset to the educational opportunities available to Metro Schools students, who benefit from the dedicated efforts and commitment these educators demonstrate.”

“To be chosen made me feel like what I do is worth it,” said Franklin Willis, Choral Director of Madison Middle Prep. “To have someone look into my classroom, invest in me, and show me, ‘Franklin, we see what you’re doing with the kids and it is important.’ “Because many times, we have a thankless job, but it is so much more than that. It gives the kids self-esteem. It provides them confidence – not only to sing a song, but to go take that test, to stand up and give that speech, to be your own person. This makes me feel like I’m in the game. Thank you for recognizing what I do – it is important – and to keep me moving forward.”

“I have taught elementary music in Metro Nashville Public Schools for almost 14 years, and over the years I have seen new instruments come into my classroom made possible by CMA,” said Josh Wright, a music teacher at McGavock Elementary School. “This year [CMA] has gone above and beyond by providing outstanding professional development and community recognition. I was selected as a CMA Music Teacher of Excellence this year, and I feel almost as if I had won a CMA Award! I am a better teacher because of you.”

To date, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $13.68 million to 30 music education initiatives across the country, reaching 1 million students. Studies show students who participate in the arts are more likely to graduate, have better attendance rates, and higher GPAs than students not enrolled in arts classes. The CMA Foundation recognizes the importance of music education in keeping kids engaged and in school as well as providing access to higher education through scholarships.

Read the full news release from CMA here and see photos of the event below:

 John Esposito, President/CEO, Warner Music Nashville and CMA Board Chairman; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; Brett Eldredge; Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; Joe Galante, CMA Foundation Board Chairman. Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen / CMA

John Esposito, President/CEO, Warner Music Nashville and CMA Board Chairman; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; Brett Eldredge; Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; Joe Galante, CMA Foundation Board Chairman.
Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Brett Eldredge, host of the CMA Music Teacher of Excellence, welcomes his own childhood music teacher, Judy Carroll, as his special guest at the inaugural honors evening at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Brett Eldredge, host of the CMA Music Teacher of Excellence, welcomes his own childhood music teacher, Judy Carroll, as his special guest at the inaugural honors evening at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen / CMA

CMA Music Teacher of Excellence Franklin Willis, Choral Director at Madison Middle Prep (center), with Dr. Nola Jones, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Jon Loba, Executive Vice President, BBR Music Group and CMA Board member, at the CMA Music Teacher of Excellence honors at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville. Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen / CMA

CMA Music Teacher of Excellence Franklin Willis, Choral Director at Madison Middle Prep (center), with Dr. Nola Jones, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Jon Loba, Executive Vice President, BBR Music Group and CMA Board member, at the CMA Music Teacher of Excellence honors at City Winery Tuesday in Nashville.
Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen / CMA


The inaugural recipients of the CMA Music Teacher or Excellence grants are:

  • Kate Affainie (Granberry Elementary)
  • Ronda Armstrong (Stanford Montessori)
  • Jennifer Barnes (Lockeland Design Center)
  • Rita Black (Eakin Elementary)
  • Christopher Blackmon (Thomas Edison Elementary School)
  • Michael Currie (A.Z. Kelley Elementary)
  • Benjamin Easley (John Overton High School)
  • John Feltt (Hermitage Elementary School)
  • Kim Marie Folsom (Dan Mills Elementary)
  • Lisa Forbis (Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School)
  • Mandy Funderburk (Bellevue Middle School)
  • Laura Gabriel (Nashville School of the Arts)
  • Janelle Ganske (Hillsboro High School)
  • Katie Harrah (W.H. Oliver Middle Prep)
  • Kathy Hart (Harpeth Valley Elementary)
  • Daniel Hayes (Granberry Elementary)
  • Kathy Hull (Hull-Jackson Montessori School)
  • Melissa Husebo (Andrew Jackson Elementary)
  • Ira “Trey” Jacobs III (Head Middle Magnet)
  • Lisa Kemp (Haywood Elementary)
  • Steven King (Tom Joy Elementary)
  • Laura McAfee (Glenn Elementary Enhanced Option)
  • Melissa McClaran (Cane Ridge Elementary)
  • Kimberly McLemore (Antioch High School)
  • Anna Maria Miller (Hume-Fogg/Martin Luther King)
  • Eleni Miller (John Overton High School)
  • Ila Nicholson (John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep)
  • Franklin Norris (Meigs Academic Magnet)
  • Jennifer Partridge (Cumberland Elementary)
  • Sean Patrick (Cole Elementary)
  • Catherine Pratt (Goodlettsville Elementary)
  • Holly Rang (Pennington Elementary)
  • Richard Ripani (Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School)
  • Tracy Roberts (Dodson Elementary)
  • Alaina Schwartz (Crieve Hall Elementary)
  • Todd Shipley (Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School)
  • Marilyn Smith (W.H. Oliver Middle Prep)
  • Nita Smith (Creswell Middle Prep)
  • Alexander Snyder (Two Rivers Middle Prep)
  • Michael Walton (DuPont Hadley Middle Prep)
  • Karen Waters (Park Avenue Enhanced Option Elementary School)
  • Paul Waters (Bellevue Middle School)
  • Susan Waters (W.H. Oliver Middle Prep)
  • Richae Williams (J.E. Moss Elementary)
  • Franklin Willis (Madison Middle Prep)
  • Chad Witemeyer (Maxwell Elementary)
  • John Womack (McGavock High School)
  • Joshua Wright (McGavock Elementary)
  • Frank Zimmerer (East Nashville Magnet High School)
  • Ben Zolkower (Hillwood High School)

Antioch High School recognized nationally for AVID program

Antioch High School has been selected as a National Demonstration School by AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID is a program that helps underrepresented students in the academic middle succeed in high school and get access to four-year colleges. It is run by a non-profit organization, also called AVID, that provides educators with proven, real-world strategies to accelerate student performance.

Antioch High School joins the list of 150 AVID National Demonstration Schools in the United States – the first AVID National Demonstration School in Tennessee. The school was selected through an application process, screening, and review, which included a site visit.

AVID is implemented in more than 5,600 schools in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and 16 other countries/territories and impacts almost 1.3 million students annually in grades K-12 and postsecondary institutions.

“My journey was wild until AVID came into my life. Ever since I can remember it has been my dream to be the first to get into college,” said Hernan Saravia, an Antioch senior who will be attending Middle Tennessee State University in the fall of 2016. “I was very thankful for being in a class that helps students are determined to go to college find their way to success. This class has provided me with many opportunities to reach my goal and provides me with the materials that can help me out during my college career. I feel like this class has mentally and physically prepared me for college. It’s thanks to this program that my dream of being the first one to attend college is coming to life.”

Antioch High School Recognized Nationally for AVID program

Antioch High School recently received its AVID National Demonstration School banner as part of its new designation. Pictured, left to right: Dr. Sharada Deaton, Antioch High School Assistant Principal; Dr. Matthew Nelson, Metro Schools Director of Advanced Academics; Denise Rupert, AVID Regional Director; Stephanie Ridley, Antioch High School AVID Elective Teacher; Angela Bailey, Antioch High School Assistant Principal; Elaine Plummer, Antioch High School AVID Elective Teacher; Melissa Harkreader, Antioch High School Executive Principal; and Dr. Alberta Banks, AVID Regional Director.

AVID Chief Executive Officer Sandy Husk, Ph.D, notes the significance of attaining Demonstration School recognition. “Schools recognized as National Demonstration Sites have proven their ability to successfully implement the AVID Elective course and take the strategies schoolwide to impact all students,” says Dr. Husk. “Antioch was selected as an AVID National Demonstration School because it has implemented the AVID System throughout the school and can serve as a model for new AVID sites.”

The recognition of being an AVID National Demonstration School was established in 1993 with a $250,000 award from the Charles A. Dana Foundation of New York. As part of the AVID Demonstration Sites Network, sites are expected to develop a model program with schoolwide participation.

With AVID’s proven methodologies used throughout subject-area classes, performance levels improve for all students, but especially for those students who are the least likely to attend four-year colleges. Schools from around the world that are preparing to implement the AVID System will visit Demonstration Schools, such as this one, to observe a highly evolved AVID System.

Melissa Harkreader, Antioch High School’s executive principal, is pleased that the school was chosen as an AVID National Demonstration School, noting the impact of the program on staff and students. “It is a tremendous honor to be selected as a Demonstration School, and we are proud of our AVID program and our school as a whole,” said Ms. Harkreader. “The use of AVID strategies schoolwide has positively impacted students and staff, and we continue to see a more engaged and college-ready student body.”

April 2016 Kindergarten Readiness Newsletter


The April Kindergarten Readiness Newsletter is now available on iTRAILS!

This monthly newsletter was created by Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Pre-K Department to provide an additional resource to support families in getting their child ready for kindergarten.  This month’s newsletter is available in English, Spanish and Arabic.

Click HERE to view and download the newsletter.

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Metro Schools Select Teachers of the Year for 2016-17


Metro Schools is proud to announce the official slate of our Teachers of the Year for 2016.

These 140 teachers, one from every district-managed school, are chosen by their colleagues and principals as the epitome of a model educator. This year, one winner and two runners-up will be selected from each tier – elementary, middle and high – for district-wide honors. All Teachers of the Year nominees are celebrated at a banquet in May.

“This group of teachers represent the best of the best in Nashville,” said Interim Director of Schools Chris Henson. “They are the full package– not only do these teachers perform well with academic scores, they are highly respected as individuals and truly inspire their students and colleagues. We are fortunate to have gifted educators like these in our city.”

Every spring one top teacher from each Metro School is selected as a Teacher of the Year for that school. The Teacher of the Year program provides recognition to teachers on a district, regional, state and national level. To select the district-wide winners, teachers are scored on all characteristics of a well-rounded educator including relationship with students, leadership and overall academic performance of students.

All school-level winners will be honored on May 3 with a banquet at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. At the ceremony, three winners will be named. From there, the teachers will move on to the state Teacher of the Year competition with the potential to advance to the National Teacher of the Year in 2017.

Principals of the Year and a new award, Substitute of the Year, will also be announced at the May 3 event.

These are the top teachers for each tier, from which the winner and runners-up will be chosen:


  • Kelly Carey, fourth grade teacher at A.Z. Kelley Elementary
  • Danielle Jones, second grade teacher at Stratton Elementary
  • Kimberly Carter , pre-k teacher at Charlotte Park Elementary


  • Sandy Irwin, sixth grade teacher at Bellevue Middle Prep
  • Maritza Herod, fifth grade teacher at Haynes Middle Prep
  • Julie Martin-Walker, Encore teacher at Robertson Academy


  • Clay Meachum, health life wellness teacher at Hunters Lane High School
  • Laura Vignon, social studies teacher at McGavock High School
  • Avril Syes, English teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School

Click here to view the complete list of all school-level Teachers of the Year, or view below:

Metro Schools’ Class of 2016 prepare for graduation ceremonies

Mark your calendars! This May, 26 Nashville school communities will celebrate the Class of 2016 with graduation ceremonies.

Metro Schools graduates around 5,000 students each school year, representing a diverse body hailing from 141 countries and speaking 124 languages.

Between May 12 and May 20, graduation ceremonies will include special guests such as Jeh Charles Johnson, the current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, who will be the commencement speaker for Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, and Mayor Megan Barry, who will be the commencement speaker for the Nashville School of the Arts and Antioch High School, as well as giving students a “Charge of Excellence” at Maplewood High School. A confirmed schedule of speakers will be released closer to graduation time.

“We have tremendous pride in our graduates for all that they have accomplished. Many of our graduates have completed a capstone research project, internship or job shadow, due to the Academies of Nashville model that positions students to thrive beyond the classroom,” said Chris Henson, interim director of Metro Schools. “Metro Schools would like to thank its community partners and all that they do to support our students to reach this important milestone.”

There are five district-level scholarships that reward students who demonstrate academic excellence, exemplary school and community service, and strong leadership skills:

  • the Charlotte and Elbert Brooks Scholarship,
  • the Nettie Adams James Scholarship,
  • the J.T. Perkins Scholarship,
  • the Bill M. Wise Memorial Scholarship, and
  • the Excellence in the Arts Scholarship.

Follow our announcements as we celebrate the Class of 2016 by following the hashtag #MNPSco2016 on Twitter, Facebook and on Children First.

Here’s the schedule of ceremonies for the Class of 2016:


A school nurse in every school? Yes, please!


Jennifer Putnam is a school nurse with the Metro Public Health Department.

A typical day for Metro Public Health Department school nurse Jennifer Putnam consists of arriving at a school a half hour before children arrive, managing health plans, and meeting with diabetic students to administer insulin and check blood sugar levels. She’s been a school nurse for two years.

School nurses are on the front line for many of the chronic diseases and problems children cope with everyday. Beyond treating minor cuts and bruises, school nurses also provide a connection to students who may have behavioral, emotional or mental health issues, becoming a confidant to students struggling with puberty or who may be at risk for abuse, homelessness or other distressing situations.

In one school year alone, Metro school nurses have more than 40,000 office visits with children and administer nearly 80,000 procedures that help kids stay in school.

“We’ve got a lot of children in Metro where I may be the only health care provider they will see in a given month or school year,” – Jennifer Putnam, school nurse.

“We know in Metro we have a lot of children who have chronic illnesses of some sort – asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, sickle cell, diabetes, seizures –  and don’t have sufficient access to a primary care doctor,” Putnam said. “Those children are really caught in a middle ground where school nurses can bridge that gap for them. I can most effectively do that when I’m in a building. I get to be part of a frontline response.”

The Metro Public Health Department, in partnership with Metro Schools’ Support Services Office, has a proposal before Mayor Megan Barry and Metro Council that would build up a capacity of full-time nurses in every Metro School within a four-year period.

“Student health, both physical and mental, can present big barriers to academic success,” said Dr. Tony Majors, chief support services officer for Metro Schools. “We need to take every opportunity we can to eliminate student health disparities and barriers while maximizing the time students spend learning in the classroom.”

“There are so many components to supporting the student and moving them forward to the ultimate goal of student success and graduation,” said Lisa Nistler, director of school health for the Metro Public Health Department. “The nurse is one component of helping everyone – parents, social workers, guidance counselors – and being one more resource students can have.”

To be more of a resource for students means that school nurses like Putnam need to spend more time in schools and physically be present and available. Right now, school nurses like Putnam spend a significant chunk of time traveling between three to four schools a day, losing precious minutes or hours that could be spent with students in school communities.

Providing a full-time school nurse is a major investment that supports keeping children healthy and ready to learn. That would mean nurses like Putnam could do BMI checks, preventative screenings – tasks that can make a big difference in the long term for students. Instead, these services have to be put aside to focus on managing a caseload of chronically ill children who may need skilled nursing – tube feeding, care and assessment of airways and insulin administration – and writing health plans for them.

“We know it’s a big ask, but it would really make a difference in the lives of our students and staff,” said Majors.

Learn more about the Metro Public Health Department’s School Health program by clicking here or viewing below:

BUDGET TALK: Here’s what we want to do to improve teacher pay

A major part of the budget we’re asking for next school year improves pay for teachers and staff.

What needs improving?

While our starting pay of $42,000 is very competitive with cities regionally and districts that are similar to our size nationwide, but the pay for teachers who are five-to-ten years into their career isn’t as competitive.

Improving teacher pay is part of a major focus to retain great teachers.

“We want to remove barriers that would encourage people to leave us. It’s a great place to put funding to make sure the salary scale meets the needs of teachers,” said Katie Cour, executive director of talent strategy for Metro Schools.

This year’s budget request calls for $10.25 million for teacher pay raises and $3 million for support staff.

Read more about the proposal by clicking here or reading below:

Another part of our budget improves how we support new teachers.

Over the summer, we’ll have our first New Teacher Academy that will welcome all new teachers to Metro Schools.

Developed and facilitated by teachers, the New Teacher Academy will focus on how strategies that will help teachers be successful on day one, and introduce new teachers to the unique and diverse aspects of our student population, with an emphasis the focus on setting high expectations for all students in our district.

“The purpose is to inspire our new teachers, share resources that are essential for the first week of school and give them opportunities to network and meet other teachers,” Cour said.

The other part of the New Teacher Academy delves into how Metro Schools defines great teaching and best practices for planning, communications and managing student behaviors. Cour says teacher support is critical for new teachers.

“You’re nervous already just being a new teacher. You don’t know how to navigate the systems and the culture and you need the tools and network to do well,” Cour said.

Part of supporting new teachers is giving them mentors, which is part of the district’s budget request.

Extra money will allow schools to create more opportunities for teachers to collaborate and take on more leadership roles.

“Dovetailing the support to new teachers is continuing the commitment for leadership opportunities for experienced teachers,” Cour said.

The budget includes $1.42 million for teacher leadership pay as part of a strategic way to recognize the role of teachers who take on mentoring, completing special projects, participating in leadership teams and other roles in the district.

“We recognize that most people go into teaching because they want to work directly with students and teach in the classroom. Some teachers want the desire to grow and we want to provide them with reinforcements in areas that can help their career but allow them to stay in the classroom,” Cour said.

Read more about our proposal for leadership stipends here or below:

Donna Gilley is the new Academies of Nashville director


Donna Gilley is not new to Metro Schools, but she is now serving the district in a new role as the director for the Academies of Nashville.  In her role, she helps manage career and thematic academies across the district, works with business partners to create engaging activities for students, and facilitates professional development for teachers.

Gilley has been involved in the support and management of academies for the past nine years at the district level. Prior to her work at the district office, she spent 17 years in the classroom teaching a variety of business courses before joining district office administration seven years ago. She has been involved in many aspects of development and implementation of the Academies of Nashville. Gilley has also been actively involved with the Ford Next Generation Learning Communities as a professional development provider and consultant for more than 20 years.

Her educational background is in business and business education. She received her undergraduate business degree from Belmont University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Jack C. Massey School of Business at Belmont University in Nashville.

Read Gilley’s greeting to the Nashville community here.


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