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Hey, Vanderbilt: Thanks for the 3,800 computers!

On hand for the presentation of the computers were, from left, Kyle Dufresne, Dell; Joe Steele, Dell; John Lutz, Vanderbilt; John Manning, Jr., Ph.D., MBA, Vanderbilt; Tim Burleson, Dell; Ellen Lehman, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; Keith Durbin, director of Information Technology for Metro Government; Laura Hansen, Metro Nashville Public Schools; Andy Aylor, Metro Government; Zach Moore, Metro Government; and John Williams, Metro Nashville Public Schools. (photo by Anthony Scarlati)

On hand for the presentation of the computers were, from left, Kyle Dufresne, Dell; Joe Steele, Dell; John Lutz, Vanderbilt; John Manning, Jr., Ph.D., MBA, Vanderbilt; Tim Burleson, Dell; Ellen Lehman, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; Keith Durbin, director of Information Technology for Metro Government; Laura Hansen, Metro Nashville Public Schools; Andy Aylor, Metro Government; Zach Moore, Metro Government; and John Williams, Metro Nashville Public Schools. (photo by Anthony Scarlati)

Well, the folks up at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have outdone themselves with a very generous donation of 3,800 computers. That’s enough computers for two high schools or 10 percent of our elementary school population. It really makes a difference for our families who may not have access to technology at home.

This comes on the heels of a major announcement from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which sponsored a digital inclusion initiative and managed the project with several community partners to coordinate refurbishing, imaging and handing out the computers to economically disadvantaged families from 18 Metro Schools.

The Community Foundation says there are about 54,600 Davidson County homes and about 44 percent of MNPS families who lack Internet access.

What a way to make a dent in that number, Vanderbilt! Thanks again!

Read more about VUMC’s donation here.

College Fair 2015: 200+ colleges and universities in one place

Parents and students can visit with more than 200 colleges and universities all in one place during our annual College Fair next Tuesday, September 22nd at Global Mall at the Crossings from 3:30 – 7:00 p.m. There you can learn more about admissions, financial aid, college life and opportunities for scholarships.

College Fair 2015

Parents can get more information and support for the college search at http://www.collegefortn.org.

Metro Schools’ First Choice Festival – Sept. 20 at the Music City Center

No matter what your child needs or where you live, there is a public school that is right for you. Metro schools offer children advanced academics, personalized learning, music, arts, access to technology and much, much more!

First Choice Festival Flyer

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The First Choice Festival brings together more than 160 public schools in one room so you can see which ones fit your family’s needs. Admission is free and includes the Family Fun Zone with kids activities, puppet shows and a bounce house!

Free parking is available at the Tennessee Titans’ Nissan Stadium, and free rides are available on any MTA bus the day of the event. Just tell the driver you’re going to the First Chocie Festival.

Whether you’re planning for next year, the year after or a few years from now, the First Choice Festival is the perfect opportunity to start looking at schools. Talk to principals, meet teachers and schedule tours all in one afternoon.

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Neighborhood schools, magnet schools and more: see for yourself what Nashville’s public schools have to offer!

We need every family in Metro Schools to fill out these two forms.

Last year we asked you to fill out two forms and send them back to school so we could know more about your family. It was a big success! We learned a lot and got the information we needed.

Well… now it’s a new year, and we need to do it again.

On August 25, your child will bring home two forms.
They must be filled out and returned by August 26.


What are these forms?
One form tells us who your child is, where you live and how to get in touch with you. The other helps us know how many of our families are economically disadvantaged.

Why do you need to know that?
There are two big reasons:

  1. Money – Without this information, your school could lose money. Certain kinds of federal and state money – including money used to buy technology – are partially dependent on the number of students who are economically disadvantaged. We need to know how many there are so our schools can get all of the resources they need.
  2. Accountability – We are required by the state to track the academic performance of economically disadvantaged students. Failure to complete this form could have an effect on your school’s accountability status.

What will the survey ask?
The survey will ask some very simple questions:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone number
  4. Number of people in your household
  5. A range of income for your household

That’s private. What if I don’t want to share it with you?
We completely understand the concern. But there are two really important things to know about your personal information:

  1. We will never share it with anyone. It will always stay private. We promise. Your answers are put together with everyone else’s and reported as a percentage, with no names or identifying information attached.
  2. We don’t want to know how much money you make. The form only asks for your range of income. We don’t want to know an exact number.
Take a look at this year's Household Information Survey

Take a look at this year’s Household Information Survey

Is there another way for you to get this information?
We used to collect this information with the Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals. If you’ve never filled out that application, then you have probably never seen this form. Because we now offer free meals to every student without an application, we need a new method to keep track of our economically disadvantaged families. This is it.

What if I’m not economically disadvantaged or don’t want your free lunch? Do I still have to fill this out?
Yes. We need this form from everyone. It’s not a requirement to get free breakfast and lunch. Everyone gets that already. But we need you to fill out the form so we can get the funding we need to serve all students. If you don’t fill it out, we won’t know if you’re economically disadvantaged or not, and we do not want to miss even a single family.

What is the student information form, and why do I have to fill it out?
There are thousands of Metro families with out of date contact information in our system. This summer, we mailed home nearly 44,000 report cards. Thousands were sent back to us with incorrect addresses. We clearly need a better way to keep this information up to date, and this is it. We need to be able to reach you if there is urgent news from your school, there is some sort of emergency, if school is closed due to weather or any number of good reasons.

How do I fill it out?
The form shows your child’s information as it is in our system right now, including address and phone number. Please hand write corrections directly on this form and return it to school by the next day (Wednesday, August 26). We will take your corrections and note them in our system. If there are no corrections needed, please write “NO CORRECTIONS” and send it back to school by the next day.


Again, these forms will be sent home when August 25 and needs to be returned August 26. They will also be available at our Enrollment Centers.

Thank you in advance for helping us capture this vital information about our families!

It’s Back to School time for parents at Parent University 2015

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Parent U Flyer - EnglishYou already shuffled the kids back to school, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s back to school time for parents, too!

For eight years, the Parent University Conference has helped parents start the school year right with workshops, health screenings and community services. Families work with educators and district employees to learn how to be more involved in their child’s education and how best to support them in their academics.

There are also chances to win door prizes and get free school clothes and supplies. Plus, there will be free breakfast and lunch, as well as free childcare of parents who pre-register!

This year, we are honored to welcome Tennessee Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen to speak with parents about what they can expect from their kids’ education now and in the coming years.

It’s always a terrific event, one that brings together parents, teachers and city leaders to talk about how we can all work together to help kids. Here’s what parents have to say about it:

“I’ve learned so much information and gotten lots of help. I really like how I am able to get information that I might not have gotten at other places and am able to actually speak with service providers.” – MNPS Parent 

“I feel better about sending my children to a public high school. I am happy I came and will spread the word to other middle school parents.” – MNPS Parent

Registration is free, and you can get a free ride on an MTA bus if you tell the driver you are going to Parent University. How easy is that?!

Register for Parent University online or call 615-298-6752
Saturday, August 15, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Trevecca Nazarene University
Boone Business Center

333 Murfreesboro Road, 37210

Back to School: Three Metro schools will have longer school days this year

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What Time

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.

The Goodlettsville Middle building is still under construction, so the school will remain at the Dalewood campus in East Nashville (1460 McGavock Pike) for another school year..

School bus transportation will still be available for all schools as normal. Bus routes and times are available on MNPS.org.

Back to School Central 2015

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The first day of school in Metro Nashville Public Schools is Wednesday, August 5. You read that right. We’re just a few days away from school bells and big yellow buses.

This page is your headquarters for everything you need to go back to school. You can find links to all of the important information you need, including enrollment, immunizations, school bus routes and more. We will also be collecting your questions and posting the answers from now until August 5.

Get started today, because #MNPSDay1 will be here before you know it!

We will update this page regularly with new posts and information, so come back often.

The Metro Schools Customer Service Center is open to answer your questions.
Call (615) 259-INFO (4636)
Email CustomerService@mnps.org
Visit 2601 Bransford Avenue, 37204

Important Back to School Articles and Posts

Important Back to School Links

Back to School Flyers You Can Download

Important Back to School Events

  • First Day of School (half-day) – August 5
  • No School / Election Day / Teacher Planning Day – August 6
  • Full Day of School for Grades 1-12 – August 7
  • Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday – August 7-9
  • Full Day of School for All Students – August 10

Important Back to School Articles and Posts from 2013 (that are still relevant)

Back to School: 5 things you need to know before the first day of school

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1. The first day of school is Wednesday, August 5. It is a half-day. There is no school on August 6, which is Election Day.

Every year hundreds of children who are not enrolled or immunized arrive at school on the first day. There is no school on Thursday, August 6, so school staff can work through new enrollments, place them in classes and get textbooks and materials for them. It is also Election Day, and many of our schools will serve as polling places. School resumes for everyone on Friday, August 7.

It is important for all students to attend the first day of school. Students who are registered before arriving on the first day will meet their teachers, review school and classroom rules and receive some materials so everyone will be ready to work on the next school day.

2. You might need to formally enroll in school. Do it now to avoid the rush.

Here is who needs to enroll:

  • Students coming to Metro Schools for the first time
  • Students entering Metro pre-K or kindergarten for the first time
  • Students who have moved to a different school zone

All families can enroll at one of our 12 Enrollment Centers. Find your nearest Enrollment Center and see what forms to bring with you on MNPS.org. Families who speak a language other than English at home must register at our English Learners Office.

Our Enrollment Centers typically serve between 5,000-7,000 families in the final two weeks of summer before school starts. If you want to avoid the rush, head to your nearest Enrollment Center today.

3. You can find your zoned school and bus stop online.

To find your zoned school, use the School Zone Finder or call the Customer Service Center at (615) 259-INFO (4636). Bus Stop information will available on our website very soon through the Find Your Bus Stop tool. Bus stop assignment letters will also be mailed for students who are eligible to ride.

4. Your child might need new immunizations before coming to school.

Students who fit into one or more of these categories need updated Tennessee Immunization Certificates:

  • New to Metro Schools
  • Entering pre-school, prekindergarten or kindergarten
  • Entering seventh grade

You can get immunizations and the Certificate from the Metro Health Department or your family physician. Without proof of updated immunizations or a certified exemption form, your child will not be allowed to attend school. It’s a state law.

The Metro Health Department offers immunizations to Davidson County children under age 18. Immunizations are offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Health Department’s three centers:

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

5. Your child must be five years old by August 15 to attend kindergarten.

A child entering kindergarten must be five years of age on or before August 15. Kindergarten is mandatory for all students prior to enrolling in first grade. Make sure your kindergartener knows his or her name and address, what to do at the end of the day (for example, attend aftercare or ride the bus) and put your student’s name on her or his backpack and lunch box.

The Metro Schools Customer Service Center is open to answer your questions.
Call (615) 259-INFO (4636)
Email CustomerService@mnps.org
Visit 2601 Bransford Avenue, 37204

Metro Schools and Metro Public Health make going back to school easy at the 2015 Enrollment Fair

School starts August 5, and now is the time to prepare! Metro Schools and the Metro Public Health Department have teamed up for a one-stop back to school shop at an Enrollment Fair on Saturday, July 11. At the fair, families can:

It’s a chance to make going back to school as easy as possible, so don’t miss it.

2015 Enrollment Fair
Saturday, July 11 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Lentz Public Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Pike

Enrollment Fair 2015

The new leader of the Parent Advisory Council wants to see you

As a parent, do you look for more ways to get involved and have a voice in Metro Schools? Do you ever wonder who is speaking for you in important matters that affect your kids and your schools?

Then meet the PAC.

PAC (Parent Advisory Council) elected new leadership this month and is preparing for a great year ahead. And though the end of the school year is close, it’s not too late for you to get involved right now.

New PAC Chair Stephanie Spear wants you to go to a PAC meeting and use your voice to make a difference.

I want to increase parent involvement across the district. It’s not nearly to the level it needs to be. Once we get parents in the door, it’s great. But first we have to bring more of them in.

Parents know things administrators don’t. We tell them about issues and concerns from a different perspective, issues that affect parents and kids as a whole. I hope parents tell us what we need to improve. Without knowing what the issues are, we can’t fix them.

I have been with PAC for three years, starting in the Cane Ridge cluster. Now I am chair of the McGavock Cluster. I am a mom of two at Dodson Elementary, including my youngest with autism, and one at Meigs Middle Magnet. So I have a lot of different perspectives on Metro Schools.

I wanted to become chair because I want to accomplish some specific goals. I want parents to know who we are and what we do. As more parents get involved on the district level, they will also get more involved at the school level. That is where they can make a real difference for students.

I urge parents to come to PAC meetings in their cluster and as a district and speak up. Do not be afraid to talk and give your opinions.. Metro is a big, big organization. Trying to figure it all out and make real improvements is a big, big job. Working together, we can make that easier for all parents.

The last cluster PAC meetings of the year are May 14. Here is a list of times and locations. Keep up with PAC over the summer and next school year on MNPS.org.

The PAC Leadership Team for 2015-16 is:

  • Stephanie Spear, Chair
  • Barry Barlow, Vice Chair
  • John Little, Secretary
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