Is your high-school senior unhappy with his or her ACT score? Did they not score high enough for the scholarship they want? Or maybe just want to see if they can reach even higher?
It’s been shown that students who retake the ACT generally improve their score. This helps them qualify for more financial aid, like the HOPE Scholarship. Unfortunately, retaking the exam can be an unexpected expense.
That’s why the Tennessee Department of Education is giving eligible high school seniors the opportunity to retake the exam FOR FREE.
High school seniors who have previously taken the ACT can sign up to retake the test on October 22 at no cost to them. To take the test for free, students must individually register using a waiver by Sept. 16.
The waivers will be provided through each school’s counselor, and students must use their code when they register for the Oct. 22 test date.
Students who register after Sept. 16 but before the late registration date of Sept. 30 will be responsible for paying the late registration fee.
ACT scores are important. They can make a big impact on a student’s life, even after college. All eligible students are encouraged to visit their school’s counseling office for a free registration code. The waivers are expected to be delivered to each school the week of Aug. 22.
200 partners + 7,000 Davidson County high school freshmen = engaged youth exploring college and careers
More than 7,000 Davidson County high school freshmen jammed the Music City Center exhibit hall to ask questions of business and technology companies, public utilities, police and fire agencies and dozens of local employers about the skills necessary to make it to college or a good career.
The seventh annual “My Future, My Way” Career Exploration Fair was hosted by Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and was sponsored for the fifth consecutive year by Shoney’s.
“This event is always a big win for our students because of the conversations it sparks,” said Metro Schools Interim Director of Schools Chris Henson. “Thousands of Metro students engage in meaningful conversations with professionals of all types to explore their options for what to do after high school. When they leave, they have conversations with themselves, their parents and each other about where their interests lie and what they can do in the classroom to help get there.”
More than 200 Middle Tennessee businesses and non-profits participated in the Career Exploration Fair.
Read the full news release here and see some of the photos from the career fair below.
Rate skyrockets from 61.9 percent in 2005 to 81.6 percent in 2015
With a 2015 graduation rate of 81.6 percent, Metro Schools continues its sharp upward trajectory in the number of students who are graduating high school prepared for the rigors of college and success in life after high school. The new graduation rate marks an increase of 2.9 percentage points in a single year, handily beating the district’s goal of 80 percent. In the last ten years, the district’s graduation rate has increased 19.7 percentage points, from 61.9 percent in 2005.
“Our efforts at district-wide improvement are paying off in an extremely important way,” said Chris Henson, interim director of schools. “More students are earning their high school diplomas, and that is our ultimate goal. Most districts don’t lead improvements with high school. Ours are blowing away all expectations and cementing Metro Schools as an example of how to do high school reform right.”
The vast majority of individual high schools – 18 out of 23 – saw increases, with Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School remaining steady at 100 percent.
2015 reflects the highest graduation rate the district has reached since before 2011, when the Tennessee Department of Education changed the way it calculates the rate. Before 2011, students were given five years and a summer to count as graduating on-time. Now they are given only four years plus a summer. Despite this higher standard, the hard work of Metro teachers, principals, counselors and staff are helping more students graduate on time.
“You can’t underestimate the power of our teachers and principals to change students’ lives,” said Chief Academic Officer Jay Steele. “Our schools have become nimble and responsive places where educators can make individualized decisions for students based on real-time information of what they need at any particular point in the school year. They are getting better and better at tailoring instruction to individual students and meeting the needs of our very diverse student body.”
That diversity is represented in graduation rate gains, as well. Over the last five years, the district as a whole has increased the graduation rate by 5.4 percentage points with several student subgroups improving at an even faster pace. The rates increased significantly for economically disadvantaged students (+7.3 percentage points), students with limited English proficiency (+8.7 percentage points) and Hispanic students (+12.8 percentage points). These rapid gains are helping close the gap between these subgroups and their peers.
The decreases in graduation rates for Asian students and student with disabilities will require close study to determine the root cause and possible solutions. Students who receive a special education diploma or take more than four years and a summer to graduate, as many special education students do, count against the graduation rate.
“Once they reach graduation, students have a world of options available to them, with a focus on college readiness and access,” said Dr. Steele. “With the real-world exploration and experience they gain in Metro high schools through the Academies of Nashville and other programs, students are better prepared to make decisions about where to take their lives. And with dual enrollment, dual credit and advanced placement opportunities, they often head to college already equipped with several class credits.”
Learn more about the advantages Metro students gain for college life in this video, produced through the Academies of Nashville.
Note: A previous version of this post included longitudinal grad rates that were inaccurate. We regret this error and have revised the graphic to reflect the correct rates.
Hillsboro High School opens an actual, working branch of US Community Credit Union for students to run
Hillsboro High School made history as it opened a working branch of the US Community Credit Union (USCCU) inside the school. Students will run and work in the branch as part of the US Community Credit Union Academy of International Business and Communication.
Today’s announcement also marked the official renaming of the Academy to include the USCCU naming rights. These rights are given for significant contributions to the Academy, including material supports, volunteer hours, job shadowing, internships, externships and more. USCCU is the first Academy business partner to earn naming rights at two different high schools: this one at Hillsboro and the USCCU / Gaylord Opryland Academy of Hospitality and Finance at McGavock High School.
For senior Ty Carney, a student financial service representative for the new credit union, his summer was unlike any other he had experienced, thanks to his paid internship at the credit union.
“I wasn’t just sitting at home like I normally do. Working at the credit union is something I will forever be grateful for. It has taught me that I am in control of my spending. I learned that I can make or break my future. Managing my money better has helped me plan and save money for the things I want. I have a better understanding of what I put my parents through when I surprise them with a text telling them I need $500 for a school trip that departs in a couple of weeks,” Carney said.
Hillsboro, one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the state of Tennessee, has emerged as an incredible school that is achieving at a high level. Community partnerships enhance the school even more, as students succeed by engaging more in school and in the community.
“Today we celebrate a total of eight branded academy partners across the district as well as two branded learning laboratories. To become a branded academy, a business partner must commit to at least $100,000 in donated community investment to an academy during the first year and $50,000 of community investment in the following years,” Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jay Steele explained. “The US Community Credit Union has far exceeded these requirements. Since their initial branding at McGavock High School, nearly 100 student interns have been trained, staffed and run a US Community Credit Union branch in their high school. Today these opportunities will be extended to Hillsboro High School. ”
Hillsboro High School Principal Dr. Shuler Pelham, who opened a bank account at the credit union after the ribbon cutting, remarked that the credit unions are well respected branches, often with high accuracy rates. Shuler is pictured below with student Ty Carney.
“This is what academies of Nashville are all about getting students excited about connecting what’s in the classroom with what’s happening in the real world,” Pelham said.
“It’s really fun working here,” said Hillsboro student Justin Stern, who said it is easy for students and teachers to open accounts – only $5 for a savings account and $10 for a checking account.
USCCU Chief Executive Officer Paul Johnson said there is no better way to embody the vision of the company of “people helping people,” than to “educate our students and provide them a real-life work experience… The Academies provide a pathway for student success.”
The credit unions have also been good for business, according to USCCU Chief Operating Officer Ben Johnson, since student employees have lower turnover rates in the summer and address what would otherwise be a work scheduling gap, he said.
“The students have really stepped in and filled that gap,” said Ben Johnson. “Our students at McGavock and Hillsboro have been some of the best employees we have had.” Some students have even been able to transition to full-time employment after high school, taking advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement benefit as they continue on to postsecondary education. “We have retained at least one employee from each graduating class at McGavock for at least part-time employment since we’ve opened there,” Ben Johnson said.
Our schools are inviting you to visit!
You can’t just go on what you’ve heard. It’s time to see for yourself! Mark your calendars for a special series of tours available district-wide beginning next week.
Taking a peek at your local neighborhood school or a school you may have heard about can help you make a decision on which school is the right fit for your family.
As part of Walk-Through Tuesdays, every Metro school will host tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 13, Oct. 20, Nov. 10, Nov. 17 and Dec. 1. You can visit classrooms, talk to teachers, principals and staff to get a feel for what is going on.
Here are three things to do when you visit a school:
During your visit, take note of first impressions and how parents are received. How are the classrooms set up? What are interactions like between students and teachers? What does the library have? How is technology integrated? Looking at big questions like these is an important step.
Be sure to ask questions — as many as you like!
To get you started, here are 5 things to ask:
- What are the special academic programs and offerings at this school?
- What extra curricular activities are available?
- Are there any special parts of the physical building like open spaces or themed areas?
- How does this school approach student discipline or behavioral issues?
- What support programs are available for special learning needs?
Pick up brochures, newsletters, policies, sample learning materials and handouts to understand the what is happening in the classrooms and how you as a parent can get involved in the school.
As Metro Schools opens its doors on Walk-Through Tuesdays, don’t forget you can also check out some of our high school tours online:
Here are some other useful links:
For questions about school tours, call 615-259-INFO (4636) or contact the school directly.
Okay, parents. We know what you’re thinking. Your young one isn’t so young anymore, and – GULP – it’s time to start thinking about high school.
The Academies of Nashville enable students to learn through the lens of an academic theme in a personalized learning community. Through their Academy, students can prepare for life after graduation by getting college ready and exploring possible career fields. They are exposed to a multitude of college opportunities, industry skills and potential employers by way of classroom speakers, site visits, job shadowing and internships.
Learn all about the Academies of Nashville in 5 minutes.
The Academies offer:
- Personalized learning environments for all students
- Engaging curriculum and instruction
- Advanced academics
- Preparation for college and high demand careers
- Parent and community involvement
- Practical work experience such as job shadowing and internships
- Opportunities for online courses, early college credit and professional certifications during high school
- Project-based learning across subjects
Several Academies have even been designated as National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Model Academies.
Selecting the right high school is an important step for students and families in Nashville. More options are available than ever before, and the Optional Schools Application gives every family the ability to choose.
Eighth Grade Choice Day is Thursday, November 5.
On this day, all eighth graders can make a choice of where they want to attend high school based on their individual interests.
But before you make a decision, visit the schools that interest you. Seeing schools in person is the single best way to make sure it is the right decision for your family.
Academy Showcases provide an opportunity to experience the school environment, learn more about the academic programs and talk with teachers, principals and current students.
For more information about the showcase or the application process for eighth graders entering high school, visit MNPS.org or call 615-259-INFO (4636). Even if you miss a showcase that interests you, call the school and ask to schedule a visit.
The school year is barely a month old, but student awards are already rolling in…
19 Metro students have been named National Merit Scholar semifinalists, putting them well on their way to earning one of the top academic honors in the entire country.
They were chosen from among 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools who took the PSAT last year. The PSAT is a test students have to choose to take, so the scoring is very competitive. Scoring well enough to be a National Merit Scholar semifinalist is a huge accomplishment.
These 19 students will now move on in the competition, where officials from National Merit will look at their applications, academic record, extra curricular activities, leadership roles and more. They will also have to write an essay and get an endorsement from a leader in their school. After all that they will have to take the real deal SAT and score well enough to advance to the finalist round.
It takes a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it. In the spring and summer, 7,400 students will win National Merit Scholarships worth a combined $32 million. Last year 20 Metro students won National Merit Scholarships, National Achievement Scholarships and College-sponsored National Merit Scholarships.
Congratulations to these students, and good luck in the spring!
Glencliff High School
- Davis Truong
Hume-Fogg Magnet High School
- Arthur Eff
- David Feng
- Varun Gudibanda
- Adella Kuster
- Caleb Obregon
- Saba Rehman
- Jacob Vest
- Jonathan Warkentin
Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School
- Matthew Bray
- Elom Dumenyo
- Lillian Ekem
- Dylan Folsom
- Matthew Jones
- Alexander Staggs
- Tahj Starr
- April Townson
- Xiuya Yao
Nashville School of the Arts
- Blake Skelton
When will that school bell ring on August 5? While the vast majority of Metro schools will start at their regular times, some have changed schedules for the new year.
Here are the altered school schedules for 2015-16:
- Jere Baxter Middle Prep – 8:25 a.m. – 3:55 p.m. (30 minutes longer)
- Madison Middle Prep – 8:15 a.m. – 3:55 p.m. (40 minutes longer)
- Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School – 7:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. (45 minutes longer)
- Napier Elementary School – 8:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. (five minutes shorter)
These four schools changed their schedules last year and will keep these altered schedules for 2015-16:
- Goodlettsville Middle Prep – 9:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
- McKissack Middle Prep – 9:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
- John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep – 9:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
- Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts – 7:55 a.m. – 3:05 p.m.
School bus transportation will still be available for all schools as normal. Bus routes and times are available on MNPS.org.
Funding is renewable for 2-4 more years, could top $11 million total by 2020
Six of Metro Schools’ priority schools are starting the new year with an infusion of funding to help accelerate turnaround efforts. Combined, the schools will receive more than $3 million this year with the possibility of another $5 million over the following four years. The money comes from a School Improvement Grant (SIG) awarded by the federal government through the Tennessee Department of Education.
In addition to the school-based SIG awards, the district will receive a $1 million innovation zone grant for the upcoming school year to provide leadership, oversight and support for priority schools. This grant is renewable for two more years for a total of $3 million, meaning altogether Metro Schools could receive more than $11 million by 2020 for district and school support in turning around priority schools.
The six schools and their award amounts are:
|Year 12015-16||Year 22016-17||Year 32017-18||Year 42018-19||Year 52019-20||5 Year Total|
|KIPP at Kirkpatrick Elementary||$270,000||$204,910||$182,907||$657,817|
|Jere Baxter Middle||$402,000||$295,315||$240,000||$150,000||$75,000||$1,162,315|
“We feel very fortunate to receive these grants, and the money will be put to good use right away supporting students, teachers and school leaders in this important work,” said Dr. Euna McGruder, the district’s new executive officer for priority schools. “Just as much as they need this additional funding, these schools need support from the district and the community. That’s what my office is tasked with doing. We will work closely with principals and teachers to ensure they have what they need to give students the high-achieving education they deserve. We have high expectations, but we also have high hopes for success.”
Priority schools are those listed in the bottom five percent statewide in terms of raw achievement scores. The SIG money is to be used to focus on three areas that are most critical in turning around high-need schools: strong leadership, effective instruction and time for learning. If these schools are able to demonstrate progress and growth, the awards can be renewed for up to four more years, with the final two years designed to promote sustainability of newly instituted programs.
Students at priority schools will benefit from targeted interventions focused on reading and math, developed by school leaders based on their individual schools’ needs. Inglewood and Whitsitt Elementary Schools will also use SIG funds to expand prekindergarten offerings and better align learning from pre-K through fourth grade. At three of the six schools receiving SIG funds, students will get an extended school day with 30-45 minutes added to their daily schedules:
- Jere Baxter Middle Prep – 8:25 a.m. – 3:55 p.m. (30 minutes more)
- Madison Middle Prep – 8:15 a.m. – 3:55 p.m. (40 minutes more)
- Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School – 7:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. (45 minutes more)
This extra learning time is a requirement of receiving SIG funds under the turnaround model used at these schools. Central office leadership will help support school efforts by implementing high-quality professional development for teachers, finding appropriate instructional strategies for extended learning time and helping develop intervention programs to meet students’ needs.
School leaders in each of these six schools began work last spring on developing school improvement plans, which became the basis for their SIG applications. By starting this work months ahead of the first day of school, they were able to conduct a full review of their schools and develop ways to address historical challenges. Of the district’s 12 priority schools, eight were eligible for SIG funding. Joelton Middle, Neely’s Bend Middle and Kirkpatrick Elementary did not receive SIG funds but will be part of the district’s innovation zone and will benefit from the district-level grant. The remaining four priority schools were previous recipients of SIG money and therefore ineligible to apply.
Teachers report to priority schools July 27, a full week ahead of their peers at other schools, to get a head start on the new year. Students return to school August 5.
Nine Metro schools in three clusters now offer the advanced academic program
Antioch High School has been authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, making it the third high school to offer the internationally recognized advanced academic program in Metro Schools. Antioch can begin offering IB classes in the upcoming 2015-16 school year, with the first graduating class of IB Diploma students expected in 2017.
This expansion means IB is available in three geographic clusters, making it accessible to students in the northern half of Davidson County at Hunters Lane High School, western and central parts of the county at Hillsboro High School and now South Nashville at Antioch.
“This is another major step forward in offering high-level academics for high achieving students in all schools, not just a few magnets,” said Dr. Jesse Register, director of schools at the time of Antioch’s IB authorization. “Through IB, Cambridge, Advanced Placement and dual enrollment, Metro students have the opportunity to reach higher and challenge themselves through advanced academic programs no matter where they live or go to school. Expanding these opportunities is one of our proudest accomplishments in Metro Schools.”
IB schools share a common philosophy and a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education. They aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who can help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. IB programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners.
The IB authorization process has been ongoing at Antioch for three years. It is rigorous and thorough, with stringent inspections, interviews and curriculum review. Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic tracks, all of which are available in Metro Schools:
- Primary Years Programme (PYP)
- Julia Green Elementary School
- Eakin Elementary School
- Middle Years Programme (MYP)
- Bellevue Middle Prep
- Goodlettsville Middle Prep
- Hillsboro High School 9thand 10th grades
- Hunters Lane High School 9thand 10th grades
- T. Moore Middle Prep
- West End Middle Prep
- Diploma Programme (DP)
- Antioch High School
- Hillsboro High School
- Hunters Lane High School
- International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP)
- Hillsboro High School
This is just the latest major accomplishment for Antioch High School, which earlier this year was the first zoned Metro high school to be classified as a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education. This means it ranks in the top five percent of all schools in Tennessee for academic growth.
“We have been working very hard to be able to provide this excellent educational opportunity to our community,” said Antioch Executive Principal Dr. Adrienne Battle Koger. “Nashville’s students deserve the chance to prove themselves in rigorous academic programs that will prepare them for success in college and life. IB is a perfect fit for Antioch because it not only gives our kids that opportunity, but it brings an internationally-focused curriculum to a school and community that is already very international in its make-up. We are excited for our students to seize on this opportunity and earn their IB diplomas.”
Antioch High School was also named a 2015 Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education, and Dr. Koger was awarded the prestigious Field Award for outstanding school leadership from the University of Tennessee. All four of Antioch’s Academies have been designated as national models by the National Career Academy Coalition. In addition to adding IB classes next year, Antioch will further its international focus by being one of the first schools in Tennessee to offer Arabic language classes, including heritage Arabic for native speakers.
Frequently Asked Questions About IB at Antioch
When will IB classes begin to be offered at Antioch High School?
Antioch High School will begin offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme classes this year, 2015-16.
Can my student sign up for the IB Diploma Programme now? How do students register for classes?
Yes, students should contact their Academy Counselors regarding interest in enrolling in the IB Diploma Programme.
What grade levels are eligible?
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two year program available for juniors and seniors.
What courses will be available?
The following courses will be available in the IB Diploma Programme at Antioch High School during the 2015-2016 school year:
- IB Language: Literature
- IB Biology
- IB Math Studies
- IB Theatre
- IB History of the Americas
- IB Spanish, Language B
- IB Theory of Knowledge
What are suggested courses for 8th, 9th or 10th grade students interested in enrolling in the IB Diploma Programme?
- 8th grade – High School Credit Integrated Math I, Spanish
- 9th grade – AP World History, Spanish IIH, Geometry H
- 10th grade – AP Human Geography, Spanish IIIH, Algebra II H
How do I get more information?
If you are interested in learning more about the IB Diploma Programme at Antioch High School, please check our website at www.antiochhs.mnps.org.
Will there be a meeting about the IB program?
An IB forum will be held on July 23 at 6:00pm in the media center of Antioch High School for students, parents and community members interested in learning more about our programme.