Archives for June 2012

Teacher team externship with Meharry Medical College

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning.

Academies of Nashville Glencliff High SchoolFaculty and staff from the Academy of Medical Science and Research at Glencliff High School participated in a teacher team externship at Meharry Medical College last week. Throughout that experience, the faculty and staff were educated about health concerns prevalent to the school community. From the knowledge they gained during the teacher team externship, they have planned several interdisciplinary projects that bring awareness to students, parents, and community members about public health concerns.

This year, teachers have decide to continue with their 5K Run interdisciplinary project that focuses on diabetes. In addition to the 5K run, students will participate in a scavenger hunt, a health fair, and the American Heart Walk. Because all these things take time to plan, students will take an active role in planning, identifying the needs of the projects, and then the academy’s business partners, other academies within the school, and community members for marketing, expertise, and networking resources. Along with the planning and implementing of the events, students will make connections throughout the academic disciplines. These connections will help reiterate all the aspects of wellness: social, emotional, physical, medical and psychological.

One of the most important parts of this interdisciplinary focus is community involvement. Please help Glencliff create an awareness of healthy living by participating in the 5K Run in March 2013. We would love to have your support. More information will follow in the coming months at Glencliff High School.

Teacher team externship in global logistics at Ingram Content Group

Strong relationships with local academy partners is the key to building effective business engagement in our high schools. The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context through unique partnerships with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Teacher Team Externship Program gives teachers an opportunity to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning.

Ingram Content Group

In June 2012, teachers from Hillsboro High School‘s Academy of International Business and Communications participated in a teacher externship with Ingram Content Group, which is the parent company of a host of book distribution and logistics business units. Ross Womack, Vice President of Global Transportation, hosted the teachers from Hillsboro during their time at Ingram Content Group. Womack and his staff conducted a tour of the warehouse facilities to provide a general outline of the complexities of inventory management, warehousing, and receiving and shipping operations. The teachers also observed presentations and discussions about potential changes in the 3PL strategy of the Ingram Logistics division as it changes suppliers for global consumer direct fulfillment programs.

Academies of Nashville Hillsboro High SchoolBy learning about the various aspects of successful logistics management and participating in essential strategy discussions, the teachers from Hillsboro High School were able to connect with their business partners in a meaningful way and see the broad set of skills needed to succeed in the working world. Following the externship, Mr. Womack remarked that he hoped the teachers gained a sense of “excitement regarding a profession that touches everyone in some fashion every day of their lives.” He also emphasized that solid geography and math skills are essential for success in a career in logistics. In his message for students, Mr. Womack said: “Development of these skills at an early age will provide an advantage in entry level positions after high school. Supply chain and logistics touches every facet of life, and with it can come more specialized career opportunities.”

Engaging with the local high schools through the teacher team externship and other events allows Ingram Content Group to connect with Nashville and Middle Tennessee in a more meaningful way. Mr. Womack emphatically stated: “Without a doubt, the satisfaction comes from giving back to the community in the form of education and training for future professionals, educators, and leaders. The benefit is long-term and we hope to realize greater potential from our future associates who are now being educated in our high schools.”

Preparing project-based learning in finance with Fifth Third Bank

Summer vacation gives teacher teams in the Academies of Nashville the opportunity to go out into the community and learn about how the subjects they teach are applicable in different careers. Teachers participate in teacher team externships that allow them to spend several days with an academy partner to see the day-to-day realities of working in a particular industry. Teachers work directly with professionals in that career area to develop project-based learning activities for students based on the skills and competencies necessary to succeed in the working world. Ryan Jackson teaches English II, AP English Language and Composition, and Journalism at Maplewood High School. His teacher team from the Academy of Business and Consumer Services recently spent three days at Fifth Third Bank, and he writes about the experience in today’s post.

Fifth Third BankMaplewood’s academy partner Fifth Third Bank graciously opened the doors of its Nashville affiliate corporate center to our team from the Academy of Business and Consumer Services. Through relevant presentations and candid, real-world conversations the Maplewood teacher team explored potential student-driven, cross-curricular projects that will offer our students a unique, 21st-century approach to learning.

I was thoroughly impressed by Fifth Third’s commitment to the externship. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michael Shingleton and Marketing and Integrated Strategies Director Connie White participated with us. The Fifth Third senior team’s keen insight into the complex world of banking and their interest and willingness to help the students of Maplewood and the community as a whole left me excited about the upcoming school year and the future of this unique partnership.

Beyond soaking up and processing the plethora of financial information, employment opportunities, and Fifth Third’s marketing approach to the Maplewood community, the team from the Academy of Business and Consumer Services brainstormed diverse and cutting-edge project-based learning opportunities for our students. From MHS math teacher Monica Baugh’s “credibility score” concept to MHS math instructor Andre Warren’s Fifth Third/Maplewood Ambassador interview challenge, the team enjoyed the project-based learning process. We found the challenges of creating engaging, relevant, and rigorous lessons that focus on real-world application to be refreshing and insightful.

Business engagement is a reality in the Academies of Nashville

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is calling on schools, businesses, and communities to come together to give students better opportunities to learn about and participate in the working world while in school.  In a recent blog post, Mary Beth West argues that the business community often is the missing link that can bridge the gap between academic achievement and meaningful preparation for the rigors of the workforce. West points to local chambers of commerce as organizations that can step in to connect schools and businesses to make a positive impact through business engagement in education: “Tennessee’s nearly 150 chambers of commerce, as well as workforce development programs, are uniquely well-positioned to address these issues in local communities and to make outreach to students more effective.”

Tennessee TN State collaborative reforming education

The rest of Tennessee could very well look to the Academies of Nashville as a model for how to create effective business engagement in education. A student from McGavock High School‘s Academy of Aviation & Transportation spoke with members of the SCORE initiative about how the Academies of Nashville have used business engagement to create new, dynamic learning opportunities for all students. Alignment Nashville plays a vital role by bringing stakeholders in the community together to address educational needs. Pencil Foundation recruits business partners and maintains positive relationships between schools and academy partners. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce provides high-level support from groups like the CEO Champions and Partnership Councils. In other words, the Academies of Nashville are embedded in a network of dedicated organizations that support the academic achievement of our students through effective business engagement practices. We believe that this level of collaboration with local businesses helps to prepare students for success in college and careers.

This unique structure makes exciting opportunities available to students in the Academies of Nashville. Organizations like Junior Achievement organize opportunities for students to learn about business and finance and participate in job shadowing at local companies. Partnerships between local organizations and specific academies allow students to pursue in-depth projects that have an impact in the real world, such as the  CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication‘s video project at Stones River National Battlefield. Events like the Career Exploration Fair and constant interaction with business partners permit students to explore careers that interest them and start preparing now for their professional future.

We agree with SCORE that other school systems in Tennessee and around the country would do well to find new and creative ways to bring local business talent into schools. The Academies of Nashville are proud to lead the way in establishing a program that fosters effective business engagement in the education of our young people.

Summer learning: connecting academics with the real world

Summer learning is a popular topic during the warm months. Educators and parents across the United States talk each year about the importance of students maintaining their knowledge during summer break in order to make progress in the following school year. There’s plenty of research that shows that students’ skills erode during long vacations (here is one example from the National Summer Learning Association). At the same time, it is important to allow students to enjoy the opportunity to recharge and learn other important skills that are less accessible in the classroom, such as starting a small business or getting a job.

The Academies of Nashville encourage all students to use the summer break to explore their interests and deepen their understanding of professions they want to pursue. Job shadowing is a great way to spend time with professional who work in a particular field and learn more about what it takes to succeed in that industry or career. For more advanced students, an internship is an opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge of an industry, gain valuable experience working in that industry, and build relationships with working professionals to start a career. Summer learning can take many forms, and learning about a career through hands-on learning and real-world experience can be a boost that jumpstarts your professional goals.

Teacher team externship at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Teachers from Antioch High School‘s Academy of Teaching and Service completed a three-day externship with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts during the first week of June. The teachers worked with the Frist Center’s education and outreach staff to learn about the various programs, activities, and initiatives the Frist Center carries out to bring appreciation of the arts to the middle Tennessee community. The educators from Antioch High School also had the opportunity to learn about the exhibitions currently on display at the Frist Center, including Creation Story: Gee’s Bend Quilts and the Art of Thornton Dial.

During the externship, Emma Lancaster, the art teacher at Antioch High School, worked with Frist Center staff to film the weekly “This Week at the Frist” video, which informs visitors of the events and programming available at the museum in downtown Nashville.

The Academies of Nashville provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning in context. Inquiry-based teaching and project-based learning are important for the Academies’ goal of teaching students how to think critically and creatively to solve problems in the classroom and real world. To bring these ideas to MNPS classrooms, academy partners in Nashville have joined forces with the Academies of Nashville to educate teachers about the realities of working life in different careers. The result of this collaboration is the Teacher Team Externship Program. The program is an opportunity for teachers to have a real-world professional experience at a host organization to develop a project-based curriculum that gives students industry exposure and applied learning. A teacher team works together to create interdisciplinary projects that reinforce the theme of their academy across subject areas.

Community partnerships lead to increased student achievement

The national conversation about high school education continues to show how the Academies of Nashville are improving opportunities for students in Nashville. In a recent story in U.S. New and World Report, Kelsey Sheehy writes about the importance of public-private relationships in helping students find opportunities in the classroom and after they graduate. Efforts across the country are focusing on decreasing dropout rates. In her article, Sheehy quotes Tony Miller, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education: “The dropout issue costs our country about a trillion dollars. It’s the equivalent of a permanent recession.” Increasing student achievement and completion of high school is imperative for the success of our communities.

Community partnerships that align public education with the civic activism of private business and community organizations allows everyone to work together to improve students’ opportunities. The Academies of Nashville program creates community partnerships between schools and businesses to give students access to real-world learning in context. Providing career exploration and community engagement shows the link between finishing high school and fulfilling personal and professional goals. The structure of the Academies of Nashville has drawn praise for the dynamic community partnerships that are flourishing in our schools.

Tennessee has seen wonderful gains in the statewide graduation rate over the past few years, as noted in a civic report titled Building a Grad Nation by the Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Logically, Nashville’s schools have enjoyed a decrease in the dropout rate. Since 2007, the dropout rate in Nashville schools has dropped from 7 percent to 2 percent, an achievement that has been linked to the successes of the Academies of Nashville and their community partnerships.

The Academies of Nashville are poised to continue leading the way in the national conversation on education reform.

Scholarships awarded to Academy students by Cornerstone Financial Credit Union

Cornerstone Financial Credit Union has announced the winners of its 2012 scholarships. Three students from the Academies of Nashville won competitive $1,000 scholarships that will be applied to post-secondary education. Crystal M. Preston of Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Miriam S. Caravez of Overton High School, and Jessica Massey of McGavock High School won scholarships based on their academic achievements and financial need as they prepare to go to college in the fall.

Cornerstone Financial Credit Union

Cornerstone Financial Credit Union is an academy partner of Overton High School’s Academy of Information Technology. Hank Flury, CEO of Cornerstone , says that supporting education is one of the organization’s core values: “We continue to be actively engaged in a variety of initiatives targeted to educators and education, including the second annual scholarship program. We had more than three times the applicants this year than last year and look forward to seeing the program grow every year.”

Public, private, and home-schooled high school students in Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery, Rutherford, Sumner, and Williamson Counties are eligible to apply for the scholarships, which come from Cornerstone Financial Credit Union’s $25,000 annual scholarship fund. Winners are selected based on financial need and academic achievement and are encouraged to write a short essay on what they plan to do in college in order to be in good financial shape once they graduate. The students’ essays on good financial practices are available on the credit union’s personal finance education site, GetFocusedOnFinance.org. Miriam S. Caravez recommends maintaining a balanced budget in personal finances.

 

Academy partnership: Stones River National Battlefield and McGavock

The Academies of Nashville depend on dedicated community partners to enrich classroom learning, provide real-world learning opportunities such as job shadowing and internships, and support the success of our high school students.Creating meaningful business engagement in education improves the quality of our schools and prepares students for college and careers in high-demand industries. Local businesses create partnerships with an Academy to provide dynamic opportunities for our students.

Rosecrans Stones River

Stones River National Battlefield and the CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication at McGavock High School have created one of the strongest partnerships in MNPS. This partnership won Academy Partnership of the Year in the area of Arts, Media & Communication at the 2012 Academies of Nashville Awards. Stones River National Battlefield is part of the U.S. National Parks Service and commemorates one of the most fierce battles of the Civil War.

This unique academy partnershipbegan when a park ranger and a broadcast journalism teacher at McGavock met in a workshop and planned a video project to provide information about the battlefield to a broader audience. Soon after, park rangers began working with teachers to determine essential questions, standards, connections, and field trips to the site. Projects were posted to the park’s Web site, and students were required to pitch their ideas to the rangers, an experience that reflects the real world of client demands, deadlines, and limited resources. Qualifying videos were posted on the Stones River Battlefield Web site and linked to the National Parks Web site.

Currently, McGavock students are developing a virtual tour geared to young people for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Stones River. The best partnership benefit both the school and the academy partner: real-world opportunities for journalism and communications students and digital marketing that the park can use to attract younger visitors and achieve its educational mission.

Academy partnership: Dialysis Clinic, Inc. and Glencliff High School

The Academies of Nashville depend on dedicated community partners to enrich classroom learning, provide real-world learning opportunities such as job shadowing and internships, and support the success of our high school students.Creating meaningful business engagement in education improves the quality of our schools and prepares students for college and careers in high-demand industries. Local businesses create partnerships with an Academy to provide dynamic opportunities for our students.

Dialysis Clinic Inc. glencliff

Dialysis Clinic, Inc. and the Academy of Medical Science and Research at Glencliff High School have created one of the strongest partnerships in MNPS. This partnership won Academy Partnership of the Year in the thematic area of Health at the 2012 Academies of Nashville Awards. Dialysis Clinic, Inc. is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide dialysis and other healthcare services to patients who otherwise might not be able to afford care. Incorporated in 1971, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. has given over $188 million to medical research initiatives. The company operates over 200 dialysis clinics serving over 13,000 patients in 27 states.

Academies of Nashville Glencliff High School

Dialysis Clinic, Inc. is helping to create innovative opportunities for students to explore their interests and talents by making meaningful connections between academic learning and application of knowledge. They give students the chance to apply their learning in a healthcare setting where they are able to serve patients with end-stage renal disease. Dialysis Clinic, Inc. supports classroom work, field trips, job shadowing, and paid summer internships. The company also plays to continue working with the Garden Club, which provides fresh fruits and vegetables to dialysis patients free of charge. Dialysis Clinic, Inc. even has a partnership coordinator on staff dedicated to working with the Academy of Medical Science and Research at Glencliff.

Job shadowing at the Tennessee State Capitol

Job shadowing connects students with the real working world and gives them an insider’s view of a profession. Claudia R., a senior in Hillwood High School‘s Academy of Business and Hospitality, participated in job shadowing at the Tennessee State Capitol this spring. Organized through academy partner organizations Junior Achievement (JA) and AT&T, the experience allowed her to see the day-to-day activities and inner workings of state government.

Tennessee State capitol

The JA and AT&T job shadow at the State Capitol was a great opportunity for me as an MNPS student. Job shadowing a state representative was a huge honor. I got to shadow state representative Mark White. I got to go around the State Capitol and see where Governor Bill Haslam has his office. We were able to attend a press conference he was having that morning. Being able to attend the press conference was very informative because I heard things that I honestly have never heard before or been able to see.

Later, we also had the honor of attending a meeting with representative White and other state representatives. I was able to sit in the chairs that are up at the front and saw how they conduct a meeting and how everyone has a chance to talk about what is being discussed.

Later in the day we sat down to have lunch and someone from AT&T gave us a presentation on texting while driving. We learned of all the dangers there are because of texting and driving and how families have lost their sons or daughters because of this and what they wish they could have done to prevent everything from happening. This experience was a very good opportunity. It was great being  one of the first groups of MNPS students in job shadowing state representatives at the Tennessee State Capitol.

Job shadowing in hospitality industry at Hilton Suites

In April, students from Antioch High School‘s Academy of Hospitality participated in job shadowing at the Brentwood Hilton Suites. This experience gave the students an opportunity to learn about the demanding work of running a hotel’s various operations. In this blog entry, Paola V. writes about spending the day at the hotel’s front desk.

Antioch students job shadowing Hilton Suites 2012

My name is Paola Villarreal and I was given the opportunity to participate in job shadowing at the Brentwood Hilton Suites on April 12th. It was a great experience to be in a work environment and learn about the career options in a hotel. By beginning our visit with a tour of the building from the general manager, Tom Rybak, we were able to see all aspects of a hospitality business.

I was able to work with the front desk attendants, who taught me about all the work that goes into making a person feel comfortable in a foreign place such as a hotel. This career is difficult because the front desk personnel must know everything that is going on around the whole hotel. I was not the only one that got to work with individuals in the field; some of my peers worked in the kitchen or in housekeeping.

At the end of our time there, we had lunch with Mr. Rybak in the hotel restaurant. We were given the chance to discuss our experience and were given muffins that our culinary students had baked with the hotel chef. Overall we had a great day and I enjoyed  job shadowing in the hospitality industry.

Academy partnership: Just Cruisin’ Plus and the Academy of Hospitality at Antioch

The Academies of Nashville depend on dedicated community partners to enrich classroom learning, provide real-world learning opportunities such as job shadowing and internships, and support the success of our high school students. Creating meaningful business engagement in education improves the quality of our schools and prepares students for college and careers in high-demand industries. Local businesses create partnerships with an Academy to provide dynamic opportunities for our students.

Antioch Academy of Hospitality partnership Just Cruisin' Plus

Just Cruisin’ Plus and the Academy of Hospitality at Antioch High School have created one of the strongest partnerships in MNPS. This partnership won Academy Partnership of the Year in the area of Hospitality and Tourism at the 2012 Academies of Nashville Awards. Just Cruisin’ Plus is a full-service travel agency that specializes in cruises and vacations. Sherrie and Charlie Funk own the business and are passionate about engaging students and encouraging them to work in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Academies of Nashville Antioch High School

Through this partnership, Just Cruisin’ Plus created a method that gives students access to cruise line certification programs. The programs normally are reserved for travel agents. The first of these opportunities was made available through Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines‘ University of WOW. Twenty-five students have completed the Expert and Expert Plus courses of study. They have completed this free certification program that expands their horizons as they learn about the hospitality industry on an international scale.