Archives for July 2013

MNPS Virtual School Takes Historic Step

Tennessee’s first public virtual school adopts the Academy model

 

MNPS_AN_Virtual SchoolFrom the district that brought you Tennessee’s first public virtual school, Metro Schools is excited and proud to introduce the Virtual Academy of Business and Marketing. With this, MNPS Virtual School becomes the first virtual school in the world to adopt the academy model.

“Virtual School continues its tradition of leading the field of online learning,” said Dr. James Witty, Virtual School principal. “At the click of a button, the new academy will provide students with dynamic and unique course options and career exploration opportunities which are embedded in the academy model. Our school has already experienced a spike in enrollment based upon student interest alone and are excited for the full roll out.”

The Academy will take full advantage of the unique perspective that comes from taking classes online by offering classes in virtual enterprise, web design, interactive multimedia and more. Students will interact in a highly personalized small  learning community with a focus on college and career readiness, raising aspirations and increasing achievement.

Like their counterparts in more traditional high schools, students will have multiple opportunities for job shadowing and internships. Students will also complete a capstone experience and meet industry professionals who can expose them to a multitude of careers, industry skills and potential employers.

“The virtual academy of business and marketing is another example of how Metro Schools is committed to our vision of providing every student with the foundation of knowledge, skills, and character necessary to excel in higher education, work and life,” said Chaney Mosley, director of the Academies of Nashville.

“We are excited to expand the reach of influence of the Academies of Nashville to a student population that has previously not been connected to business partners in high skill, high wage, and high demand career fields in the Nashville area.”

Virtual School leaders are working with the Pencil Foundation to identify local business and community partners.

About MNPS Virtual School

MNPS Virtual School is the first public virtual school in Tennessee. It is a nontraditional school with open enrollment for in-county and out-of-county students. Students can enroll full-time or choose to remain in their own high school while also taking core classes, electives and Advanced Placement courses part-time through MNPS Virtual School. Learners are taught by highly qualified, certified MNPS teacher-scholars. All courses are accredited and approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and State Board of Education. All virtual credits obtained at Virtual School also transfer to ANY MNPS high school for graduation purposes. Courses are free for MNPS students meeting the eligibility requirements.

 

Students and Partners Make Sweet Music Together

Internships give students the opportunity to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world. Student from Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School participated in an internship this summer with Warner Music. In this post, the students created a short video depicting their experience. Congratulations Raynesha A., Courtney B., De’Maira D., Jasmine F., Quantarius H., Jasmine J., Cavelle J., Deanna K., Antionial K., Caitelyn K., Tanner L., Jarvisha M., Fred O., Dominique P., Vincent P., Adrian P., Brittany R., Spencer R., Devanta D., and Justin W. on a successful summer!

One piece of the puzzle

When Su Kang, a rising senior at Hillwood High School in the Academy of Business and Hospitality, started her summer internship this year through the National Career Advancement Center, she had a preconceived notion of what working in Mayor Karl Dean’s Office would be like.

“As a senior in high school, I finally get to be at the ‘top of the food chain’ in school,” Kang said. “A senior usually feels a sense of happiness, superiority, and mental prowess. But, being in this office and being surrounded by people who have such great experience and intellect intimidated me as well as gave me a wake up call. I had such a naive mindset. But, since I know better now, I can work harder to do some good in my community.”

Kang spent the majority of her summer interning in the Mayor’s Office where she learned about all of the initiative going on in Nashville including areas such as transportation, entertainment, health and wellness and much more. One of her major projects was the Mayor’s Neighborhood Challenge. Kang organized application information, invited neighborhoods via email and phone, and editing the final website for the event.

“I learned that all the small things add up in the big picture from working on the Mayor’s Neighborhood Challenge,” Kang said. “Even though the task might seem small, it is still something that needs to be done and done correctly and efficiently.”

Kang was able to gain this experience through the Summer Youth Internship Program through the Nashville Career Advancement Center. The internship program is a short-term learning and employment opportunity for Nashville Davidson County youth. Participants are assignment to work at a Metro department for twenty hours a week for four weeks. In addition, all participants receive opportunities for skill building and training.

 

 

 

 

What are we preparing students for?

The goal of the Academies of Nashville is to prepare students for college and careers after high school. Each academy is aligned with the workforce needs and post-secondary opportunities in Middle Tennessee. Through the Academies of Nashville, students learn the academic and 21st Century skills needed in industries such as health, law, communications, business, hospitality, engineering, and much more.

 

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HS students wash away a collegiate competition

kytn1When Shelby Seaborn, Desiree Schutt, and Destinee Schutt were invited to attend the Water Professionals Conference earlier this month, the thought of participating was an honor. After all, this is a collegiate event, where upper level undergraduates and graduate students from throughout Kentucky and Tennessee would be presenting their research developed from years of carefully planned studies. Little did these three rising juniors from Stratford STEM Magnet High School know, they would make waves with their research on water quality at Cooper Creek.

Not only were they the only high school team to be invited to the conference, but they took home first place!

The team beat out seven other projects to be announced as the winners of the 2013 Young Professionals Student Poster Contest at the Water Professionals Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky. All three girls received a cash prize and a one year student membership to the American WaterWorks Association and Water Environment Association.

As a result of their big win in Louisville, the girls have been invited to participate in the AWWA conference later this year at Montgomery Bell.

iHealth: What is Health Informatics?

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. Teachers from Hillwood High Schoohad the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, HCA. 

 

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Antioch student recognized for outstanding skills in national competition

 

DSCN0469Brandi Coates, a recent graduate of Antioch High School’s Academy of Teaching and Service, participated in a STAR Event (Students Taking Action with Recognition) this week at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) 2013 National Leadership Conference.

Coates received a gold medal in Nutrition and Wellness, one of 31 national STAR Events available to FCCLA students. Her medal was presented at a recognition session honoring all participants at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center on Thursday, July 11.  Thousands of members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the nation attended this meeting. Approximately 3,600 students advanced from the local, regional, and state level of STAR Events to the national meeting.

Coates was a participant in the Nutrition and Wellness competition. This competition is an individual event that recognizes participants who track food intake and physical activity for themselves, their family, or a community group and determines goals and strategies for improving their overall health. Competitors had to prepare a portfolio and an oral presentation. 

FCCLA’s STAR Events are based on the belief that every student is a winner. Competition, evaluation, and recognition all stress cooperation as the basis of success. Both youth and adults work together to manage the events and serve as evaluators of the participants.

Throughout the year, FCCLA members tackle issues such as teen violence prevention, traffic safety, family issues, career exploration, and much more. FCCLA programs and competitions enrich student learning, improve self-esteem, and serve students with a range of ability levels, economic situations, and cultural influences.

An “Electric” Externship

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. Teachers from Maplewood High School had the opportunity to have an externship with their business partner, the Nashville Electric Service

 

UnknownThe PBL training was an excellent look at how project based learning can help our students.  The first three days at the Martin Professional Development Center gave our group a solid base of knowledge about what PBL is supposed to be and was insightful in the explanation of how many projects are not PBL because they lack one of the 8 essential characteristics.  Our experiences in the first three days prepared us to look for aspects in our project that we may have missed otherwise as we moved on to our externship.

Our partner (NES) was exceptional.  They were patient and yet exposed us to many different areas of their operation.  We learned the history of the organization and moved on to the specific equipment they use and maintain.  We were introduced to new technology and how that was swiftly changing their operations and the types of skills that employees would need as they moved into new and challenging roles.  We visited a number of work sites and saw the vast infrastructure that is used as well as the depth of the operation and its importance to the community.  We saw the command center where power for the entire county can be controlled from a single room.  The physics and chemistry of the equipment was explained, as was the civil engineering used to design the system and place specific poles to carry electricity to the community.  It was an exciting externship that pushed our group mentally and physically.

We spent our final work day preparing for the renewable resource project we have chosen.  Planning and scheduling were a priority.  As we worked through a schedule we assigned roles to our academy teachers so that each could be as efficient as possible in teaching our students.  We understand that there are time restrictions to the project and want to implement this project in the same vein as our externship.  We hope it is an exhaustive and rewarding experience for our students because that is what we believe will benefit them most as they transition from school into a workplace like NES.

Cane Ridge and Stratford combine STEM and externships

Teachers from Stratford STEM Magnet High School and Cane Ridge High School participated in two teacher team externships this summer with the Army Corp of Engineers. Check out this video depicting their experiences and hear what the teachers thought about their externships.

 

To find out more about the Academies of Nashville, teacher team externships, the Middle Tennessee STEM Hub, and other MNPS initiatives, visit our website or read more from the Army Corp of Engineers report.