Archives for June 2013

Antioch accepted for IB candidacy

MNPS_AN_AntiochAntioch High School has been accepted as a candidate school for the Diploma Programme and is pursuing authorization as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education that the Antioch High School learning community believes is important for students.

Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), and the new IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted, but allows a school to continue its quest for official authorization.

Metro Schools continues to provide advanced coursework opportunities to students through authorized IB Programmes, The Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma Program, and expanded College Board Advanced Placement (AP) course offerings.

IB Programmes have been previously authorized at the following Metro Schools:

  • PYP: Julia Green Elementary, Eakin Elementary;
  • MYP:  Bellevue Middle, Goodlettsville Middle, Hillsboro 9th and 10th grades, Hunters Lane 9th and 10th grades, Neely’s Bend Middle, J.T. Moore Middle, West End Middle;
  • DP:  Hunters Lane High, Hillsboro High;
  • IBCC:  Hillsboro High (received official authorization letter from the IB June 18).

For more information about the IB and its programmes, visit http://www.ibo.org.  Antioch High will begin its candidacy phase in September 2013.  The full authorization process can require two or more years to complete.

Why is there so much emphasis on STEM education?

STEM_infographic

Locks, Levees, and Lessons

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.

 

If you look at a map of Tennessee’s rivers and lakes, hundreds of blue veins criss-cross the state in all shapes and sizes. From the mighty Cumberland River flowing through downtown Nashville to the smallest stream in your backyard, Tennessee waterways shape both the landscape and the economy of the state. Two teachers from Cane Ridge’s Academy of Architecture and Construction attended a three-day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers in order to understand the vast impact the organization has on Metro Nashville and Davidson County.

Check out the team’s photos below to learn more about their externship experience.

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

The first day of the externship included an in depth overview of the US Army Corp of Engineers in order to learn the mission, values, and overall scope and complexity of the organization. 

 

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

The second day of the externship included a plan review and site visit to the Cheatham Lock and Dam project. The work that was on display was a result of the May 2010 floods where these buildings were under water. The visit also included a tour of the power plant located within the dam.

 

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

“There were so many points of interest it was very difficult to narrow them down,” said Harold Cunningham, a teacher at Cane Ridge High School. “I feel the highlights of the externship were the complexity of the US Army Corps of Engineers and their scope of work. I also was very impressed with the love and pride every employee we spoke with has in being a part of the organization.”

 

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

The locks and dams on Tennessee rivers have a significant impact on the economy of the region. Shipping goods by barge keeps more than 70 semi-trucks or 15 rail cars off Tennessee roads and railways. Through barge transportation, there is a reduction in highway traffic, fuel consumption, air pollution, wear and tear on the highways, and the number of tires sent to the landfill.

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

There were several lessons the teachers picked up from the externship experience with the US Army Corps of Engineers. The interdisciplinary project designed is based on the need for proper scheduling and budgeting. Students will work in teams to create and design a project that will allow them to procure supplies, allocate materials, and manage a budget.

Teachers from the Academy of Architecture and Construction participated in a three day externship with the Army Corp of Engineers this summer.

Students will begin to understand and implement 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. They will also be provided with the opportunity to examine and explore the role that the US Army Corps of Engineers has played in the development of Nashville and surrounding counties.

 

Education 3.0: Preparing students for the IT field

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.

MNPS_AN_StratfordStudents today are some of the most technologically savvy in the world. Many students enrolled in Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of National Safety and Security enjoy working on computers, but are more interested in helping to build them than in using them to send emails and play Angry Birds. In order to provide students with high quality, real-world learning opportunities in the information technology field, a team of six teachers participated in a teacher team externship with the Willis Corporation and the Nashville Technology Council during summer break.

The teacher team spent three days meeting with industry professionals such as Liza Massey, the CEO/ President of the National Technology Council, Eugene Batsuk, a Senior Technology Specialist with the Willis Corporation, and representatives from myEmma, an email marketing company. The groups discussed the specific roles and responsibilities of the companies and the day-to-day job duties of different employees. While visiting the Willis Corporation, the team was able to visit different work areas of the company and see the actual IT hub for worldwide operations that is housed in Nashville.

Over the course of the three day experience, a reoccurring theme emerged. Communication. 

At each location the teacher team visited, the professionals all agreed that both written and verbal communication, a teamwork mindset, and critical thinking/ problem solving skills were the most important characteristics they look for in employees. One aspect of communication is the ability to interact with employees just as easily as customers. The first impression of a company can oftentimes be the call center, or help desk. These positions can be entry-level, yet require a high degree of competency in communication.

In order to take the knowledge and skills gained during the externship back to the classroom, the teacher team has develop an interdisciplinary project known as the “Battling Spartans.”  In the gaming/ programming class, students will develop a simple two-dimensional game with a character associated with the Spartans. Using the Engineering Design Cycle process, students will go through steps of discovery, design, development, and delivery with evaluations between each phase. The English teachers will be able to use character development and story creation in reading and writing assignments associated with the characters developed by the students in the gaming/ programming class. The music courses will also created motifs and themes to compliment the stories throughout the course of the project.

“Attention to communication skills will be enhanced across curriculum and subjects,” said Roger Osbourne, the gaming/ programming teacher at Stratford. “An increase in critical thinking and problem solving will come from more accountability for students to seek answers and be curious within their own peer learning assignments and abilities as well.”

Bill Clinton, Eva Longoria, and Chaney Mosley walk into a coffee shop…..

Lucia Folk, Chaney Mosley, and Connie Williams attended the Clinton Global Initiative this week in Chicago, Ill.

Lucia Folk, Chaney Mosley, and Connie Williams attended the Clinton Global Initiative this week in Chicago, Ill.

When working to find solutions to promote economic recovery, whom would you invite to the table? Maybe a former President of the United States?  Or CEO of some of America’s most successful Fortune 500 companies? Perhaps even a philanthropic celebrity? And of course, stakeholders in the Academies of Nashville.

 

Academies of Nashville Director, Chaney Mosley, PENCIL Foundation Executive Director, Connie Williams, and CMT Senior Director of Public Affairs, Lucia Folk, were invited to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative this week in Chicago, Ill. The Clinton Global Initiative is an annual meeting that brings together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions to increase employment, access to education and skills development, strengthen energy security, and promote an environment for business growth and innovation.

 

“Coming together with professionals from around the country with a common goal of creating opportunities for disconnected youth to be successful in college and careers has been empowering. The structure of the Clinton Global Initiative provided a platform to have focused conversations and share strategies that are benefiting the most vulnerable groups of young people,” said Mosley. “From sharing our practices in the Academies of Nashville, our work was affirmed as an effective strategy; however, we know that there is more work to be done and we cannot slow down. From participating in the CGI, I am more aware now than ever before of the intensity with which we must focus on creating pipelines for our students to successfully transition from middle school to high school and from there to college and careers.”

 

100MEDIA$IMAG1410The United States places 31st in overall education performance among OECD nations, but ranks first when it comes to excluding schools with highly impoverished student populations. Strengthening local support systems and using community partnerships to increase innovation in low-incoming communities has been proven to foster academic success and improve student performance.

 

“We had a chance to talk with and hear ideas from people across the country who are working creatively and effectively with children and youth,” said Williams. “There were wonderful ideas that we can build on here in Nashville and I know we will. It was inspiring to see how well our academy and business engagement model measures up to initiatives in other cities. We have so much to be proud of here in Nashville!”

 

The Academies of Nashville presentation was one of the only groups at the Clinton Global Initiative representing a public school district, the business community, and a non-profit organization who work collaboratively.

 

“I was honored to have the opportunity to present about the Academies of Nashville at CGI America,” said Folk. “It was a wonderful platform to showcase the incredible partnership between the business community and MNPS and how that is positively impacting students.”

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Bravo! Bein Cocido! Gut Gemacht! Bein Fait! Well Done!

In any language, Stratford STEM Magnet High School has a reason to celebrate a job well done with its PENCIL partners.

BRAVO -172On May 23, the PENCIL Foundation held its annual BRAVO! Award Luncheon. The PENCIL Foundation connects business and volunteers with students in Metro Nashville public schools and the yearly ceremony recognized individuals and organizations that donate volunteer hours in the school system.

Adventure Science Center received the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding School Partner for its work with Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of Science and Engineering! Nissan also received honorable mention for their work with the Academy of Science and Engineering.

 

BRAVO -176Mayor Karl Dean also presented awards for system-wide work from partners including C3 Consulting which works with the advisory board at Stratford STEM Magnet High School’s Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies.

Hillsboro first in Tennessee to earn acclaimed international certification

Hillsboro High School has officially been authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Certification (IBCC). Hillsboro is the first school in Tennessee and one of the just 27 schools nationwide to receive this certification from the IB organization in The Hague.

“Having the IB career-related certificate will further Hillsboro High students on their academic and career paths so every graduate is college and career ready,” said Jay Steele, Metro Schools’ chief academic officer.

ICBB will increase access to Hillsboro’s IB education and provide a flexible learning framework to meet students’ needs. For IBCC students, IB Diploma Programme courses will provide theoretical and academic rigor. Career-related studies support the program’s academic strength and provide practical, real-world approached to learning. To earn the IBCC, students must complete their chosen academy pathway and IB courses in addition to the IBCC core, which are: language development, approachsd to learning course, reflective project, and community and service.

Hillsboro High’s class of 2015 will be the first to be able to earn the IBCC.

“We’re thrilled to add the IBCC to our IB program offerings. As a wall-to-wall academy school, we really feel this is the perfect union between career academies and IB curriculum,” said Allison Delano Bateman, Hillsboro’s IBCC coordinator. “The Hillsboro faculty and staff worked for months to meet the rigorous IBCC standards of practice.”

 

New Model Academies in Nashville!

National Career Academy Coalition moving to Nashville
to be closer to Metro academies

Nashville has a long list of recent national titles, from “It City” to “Friendliest” and more. Now Metro Schools and the Academies of Nashville are adding another: hub for high school improvement.

Four more high school academies have received accreditation from the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) and been designated as national models, the highest honor that group can give. This brings the total to eleven accredited academies in six Metro high schools, including nine national models.

“We find the academies extremely strong and the business partnerships with the schools are outstanding,” said Jan Struebing, Executive Director of NCAC.

“Our efforts to improve and redesign high schools have been significant,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Clearly they are working. We’re honored to serve as the national example of how high school redesign should be done. The Academies of Nashville are due a lot of the credit for the increasing academic performance and student engagement we see.”

The newest model academies are:

The McGavock academies received perfect scores of exceeding evaluation criteria in ten out of ten categories. Only six  academies in the nation have achieved this honor, and three of them are at McGavock. The third perfect score academy is McGavock’s Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality / U.S. Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance.  These academies not only met but exceeded the requirements for each of the standards.

“My teachers and staff are just good and make coming to work easy,” said Robbin Wall, executive principal at McGavock. “The amount of work that goes into this process is so time consuming and requires a lot of extra work after hours for our staff, but this just shows the work ethic that is McGavock. On top of that there are no better kids in Nashville than we have at McGavock. I am proud of our accomplishments and grateful the community supports McGavock High School.”

Last summer, academies at McGavock, Hillwood, Glencliff and Antioch were accredited by NCAC. All three of Hillwood’s academies were designated as model academies. McGavock now joins Hillwood in achieving “wall-to-wall” model status in all school academies.

“Nashville is on the map as the premier location for the country’s best academies, magnets, and non-traditional schools,” said Jay Steele, chief academic officer. “I know from experience the tremendous amount of work that goes into this evaluation process. It’s incredible to see the hard work our educators are doing for our students.

“The Academies of Nashville, combined with advanced academic programs like International BaccalaureateAdvanced Placement and Cambridge AICE, give Nashville families outstanding high school choices to meet every need,” said Steele.

Accreditation and model status comes after rigorous evaluation according to ten criteria, ranging from academy structure and faculty to curriculum and community support. Academies judged to exceed all ten criteria are certified as national models to be replicated in other districts across the country.

The new NCAC HQ will be in the middle of the action, housed in Metro Schools’ own Cohn School (4805 Park Avenue). The move is expected to be complete by July 1.

National Career Academy Coalition
NCAC is a 17 year-old, membership-based, non-profit organization that has as its mission “to create and support a national network of existing and emerging career academies.” Core values of NCAC are:  student-centered focus of career academies; NSOP for academies through assessment and review; professional development of educators and academy partners; diversity of people, ideas and experiences; and business, economic and workforce development partnerships.  NCAC has a diversified Board, offers opportunities for networking, fosters support systems and training and provides an outstanding yearly national conference.

NCAC will be moving to Nashville as of July 1, 2013 where we will have the ability to provide staff development opportunities to our network from across the country.