Archives for November 2014

Students Get A Backstage Pass

Saturday, November 1, 2014,  Jason Spence of J Sound Services gave three Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School students, John G., Jawan M., Matthew R., and a teacher, Linda Sun, a special backstage tour of the CMA show setup at Bridgestone Arena. The group spent two hours with Jason seeing the mixing stations, audio and video broadcast trucks, all the electrical and networking sites, and the front of house areas as well. They left understanding it takes hundreds of people, some of whom work year round, to put on one three hour live music television awards show. Another takeaway was the knowledge that there are multiple back up systems, so if one thing goes wrong during the telecast, it get’s covered immediately! There is no room for error in a live show.

Finally, they saw lots of equipment they have access to learn to use at Pearl-Cohn. Everything is recorded and mixed in ProTools – the platform they can become certified in as seniors. The live sound mixing consoles are basically versions of the digital networked console in the auditorium that Jason’s company installed, their master control truck has much of the same equipment as our broadcasting studio master control, and the television sound truck has a mixing console that works like the one in our recording studio.

It was all really impressive and rejuvenating for our students.

The Haslam’s Host Stratford Students in their Home

Haslam 1On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 the Biotechnology II students from Statford STEM Magnet High School visited the Governor’s Mansion where Governor Haslam and his wife, First Lady Chrissy Haslam reside. We were invited to tour the vegetable gardens with U.T. Agricultural Extension’s David Cook and a few Master Gardeners. Mr. Cook prepared an excellent workshop for us to learn about heirloom crops, hybrid crops, and genetically-modified crops. Our food crops have changed considerably since the days of wild food crops and in more recent years, scientists have learned to insert specific genes from one DNA source into another DNA source allowing for specific traits in the modified plants, such as Bt-corn, which kills the corn borer that destroys the crop.  As he explained these variations in our food sources, he provided a Mendel’s skit of participation for students. It was very informative and several ate peppers and beans from the garden.

Next, First Lady Haslam gave us a tour of the Governor’s Mansion and enlightened us with several historical stories about paintings, punch bowls, shuffle boards (Elvis played on this shuffle board) and other pertinent facts relative to the mansion. Last, but not least, we visited the kitchen where the Chef Stephen Ward prepared a plate of sea bass and fresh vegetables in about 10 minutes, while explaining different herbs and sauces that bring a meal to life. Each student was able to sample the dish and take plenty of pictures.

The First Lady posed for pictures with the group and with individual students. It was an inspirational and educational trip, which was prepared especially for our curriculum in cooperation with U.T. Agricultural Extension. Field trips are among the First Lady’s priorities as stated on her website, https://news.tn.gov/node/12874.

Haslam 2Therein she states, “We hope to provide a variety of learning opportunities at the Tennessee Residence,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Students and teachers have visited our Kitchen and Cutting Garden to become more familiar with where their food comes from and how to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet.”  We am very grateful to her and her excellent staff for making this possible.

 

Darlene Gunther
Biotechnology Teacher
Stratford STEM Magnet High School

Metro Schools Graduation Rate Rises 20 Points in 10 Year

2013-2014 graduation rate hits 78.7%

Nashville has reason to celebrate its public schools as the official graduation rate at Metro Schools reaches new heights, rising more than 20 percentage points in the last 10 years. The 2013-14 graduation rate hit 78.7%, up from 76.6% in 2012-13 and 58.2% in 2003-04.

These dramatic gains point to long-term improvements district-wide in all tiers. Ten years ago, last year’s graduates were in second grade. As they moved through elementary, middle and into high school, they experienced firsthand major educational changes like the move to higher standards, increased focused on social and emotional learning and a seismic shift in educational technology. Teaching and learning in Metro Schools are wholly different enterprises than they were 10 years ago, and those changes were clearly for the better.

 

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“This news is welcome, and it is due to the hard work of the teachers and students of Metro Schools. They are to all be commended for reaching this milestone,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register.

Year over year, the graduation rate at Metro Schools grew twice as quickly as Tennessee as a whole last year, rising 2.1 percentage point versus the state average of 0.9 percentage points.

“The changes we’ve seen in our high schools in the last 10 years are remarkable. They are completely different schools reaching students in completely different ways,” Dr. Register said. “Students are finding ways to learn that work for them. Through high school innovations like the Academies of Nashville, our magnet schools, Virtual School, Middle College and Big Picture, as well as the Academy schools at Old Cockrill, Opry Mills and Hickory Hollow, there are choices to fit every student’s needs.”

There are 24 high school options in Metro Schools, and nearly all of them are open for application to any student in the county entering grades nine through 12. The Optional Schools Application period opens Monday, Nov. 3, and every student will be able to choose the school that offers his or her best chance for success.

“Every student is different. They all have different interests, needs and styles of learning,” said Chief Academic Officer Jay Steele. “Our high school options give every student an individual path to graduation. That’s one of the biggest reasons why there has been such an enormous increase in the graduation rate. When students are more connected to what they are learning and are empowered to make their own decisions about learning, they can find their path and see it through to graduation.”

While district officials are proud of the increase in the graduation rate, they recognize it is still behind the national average and well below where it needs to be.

Steele said, “We continue making improvements to our high schools. The Middle Preps are working hard to keep students on track and focused during the key middle school years. The StrIDe program with MTA now makes it possible for high school students to have more transportation access to optional schools. As a district we are intensely focused on serving the whole child and giving all students the best chance for success at every level. All of these and many more strategies added together can lead to even bigger gains in the graduation rate. Now it’s up to us to keep working hard and make sure that happens.”

Ford Hub awards $37,000 in grants

Every year, the Academies of Nashville has visitors from all across the country who are interested in learning about the career academy model. These visitors come from all over the country and spend three days learning about all aspects of our schools. Over the years, these visits have generated thousands of dollar for our schools. One way this money is distributed is through the Starr Awards. This week, 22 programs were awarded more than $37,000 in grants to implement projects this year, attend experiential learning opportunities, and a number of other initiatives. Congratulations to all of our Academies and Teachers who received a Starr Award this year!

Antioch High School  "Big Blue Goes Green"Antioch High School
All Academies”Big Blue Goes Green”
Cane Ridge High School Academy of Health Management "Ridge Run 5K/1 Mile Fun Run"Cane Ridge High School
Academy of Health Management
“Ridge Run 5K/1 Mile Fun Run”
 Glen cliff High School Academy of Medical Science and Research "Be In the Zone. Turn Off Your Phone"Glencliff High School
Academy of Medical Science and Research
“Be In the Zone. Turn Off Your Phone”
 Glencliff High School Academy of Medical Science and Research "Restrictive Diets- Who Needs Them? Not Me!"Glencliff High School
Academy of Medical Science and Research
“Restrictive Diets- Who Needs Them? Not Me!”
 Glencliff High School  Freshman Academy "Honey of Education"Glencliff High School
Freshman Academy
“Honey of Education”
 Hillsboro High School Academy of Global Health and Science "Saving Our Lives"Hillsboro High School
Academy of Global Health and Science
“Saving Our Lives”
 Maplewood High School Academy of Sports Medicine and Wellness "Professional Certifications"Maplewood High School
Academy of Sports Medicine and Wellness
“Professional Certifications”
 McGavock High School Academy of Aviation and Transportation "College Visits"McGavock High School
Academy of Aviation and Transportation
“College Visits”
McGavock High School CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communications "21st Century DDC Graduates"McGavock High School
CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communications
“21st Century DDC Graduates”
McGavock High School Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Health Science and Law "Read Three to a White Coat"McGavock High School
Aegis Sciences Corporation Academy of Health
Science and Law
“Read Three to a White Coat”
 Overton High School Academy of Health Sciences "First Aid and CPR Certifications"Overton High School
Academy of Health Sciences
“First Aid and CPR Certifications”
 Overton High School Academy of Engineering "Chicks in the City"Overton High School
Academy of Engineering
“Chicks in the City”
 Overton High School Academy of Health Sciences "First Aid Certification"Overton High School
Academy of Health Sciences
“First Aid Certification”
 Overton High School Academy of Health Sciences "R UR Teeth Rotten"Overton High School
Academy of Health Sciences
“R UR Teeth Rotten”
 Overton High School Academy of Engineering "Urban Agriculture Pathway PBL Trip"Overton High School
Academy of Engineering
“Urban Agriculture Pathway PBL Trip”
 Overton High School Academy of Engineering "Understanding LP Corp. Products and Processing"Overton High School
Academy of Engineering
“Understanding LP Corp. Products and Processing”
Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School Academy of Entertainment Communication "Spread the Word to End the Word"Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School
Academy of Entertainment Communication
“Spread the Word to End the Word”
 Whites Creek High School Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, and Logistics "Sustainable for Life"Whites Creek High School
Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability, and Logistics
“Sustainable for Life”
 Whites Creek High School Academy of Community Health "Tag You're Sick"Whites Creek High School
Academy of Community Health
“Tag You’re Sick”
 Whites Creek High School Academy of Education and Law "Murder She Wrote. An Evening Murder Mystery"Whites Creek High School
Academy of Education and Law
“Murder She Wrote. An Evening Murder Mystery”
 Whites Creek High School Academy of Education and Law "When Will I Use This? To Catch the Bad Guys!"Whites Creek High School
Academy of Education and Law
“When Will I Use This? To Catch the Bad Guys!”
 Whites Creek High School Freshman Academy "How Does HIV Affect Me and My Community?"Whites Creek High School
Freshman Academy
“How Does HIV Affect Me and My Community?”

Denver’s Top Leaders Learn from Music City

Excerpts taken from News Channel 9- Denver

 

Last month, 160 of Denver’s top business and civic leaders traveled to Nashville, Tenn. as a part of the 25th annual Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Leadership Exchange (LEX). This group travels annually to another city to exchange ideas and learn best practices to be implemented back in Denver.

One of the breakout sessions that generated  the most excitement among the delegation was a trip to Pearl-Cohn, a local high school with a focus on preparing students to work in the entertainment industry. Nashville’s approach to public education, referred to as the Academies of Nashville, has a strong tie to workforce development. High School students have the opportunity to open enroll in one of 12 zoned high schools that offer 41 different career options. The business community is deeply invested in the Academies of Nashville, with more than 240 community partners involved. Since this model was introduced, graduation rates have increase by almost 21 percent. 

“(The students) proved the success of this education model that clearly evoked a sense of self-pride,” said Tasha Jones, Leadership Exchange delegate and director of marketing for Forest City Stapleton. “The reported improvements in their attendance and graduation and engagement rates are an indication of success as well.” 

Hillwood HS assists with Disaster Exercise

Pic 1Tri-Star Hendersonville Medical Center conducted a disaster exercise in conjunction with The Great American ShakeOut on October 16, 2014. TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center responded to an imagined impact from an earthquake by experiencing structural damage, medical gas failure and a large amount of patients coming into the Emergency Department seeking treatment. While patients were being evaluated within the facility and the Critical Care Unit was determined to be evacuated, the Emergency room began receiving ambulance patients and walk-in patients that quickly overwhelmed the system. The total of 26 patients, who attend Hillwood High School, were given tags with their complaints, injuries or other information that they needed to provide the medical providers.

Pic 2The students did a great job acting the parts that they were given and even had one student that had to play “dead” during a cardiac arrest situation. Several other students participated as patients that were evacuated down the stairs from the Critical Care Unit via an Evacuation Chair along with the MedSled evacuation devices. The presence of actual patients has a significant impact on the nurses and medical facility creating an increased stress level that simulates a real disaster. These exercises help the facilities develop and adjust plans and procedures on how to manage large groups of patients that come into their Emergency Departments and this would not have been as successful without the participation of these Hillwood students. The event concluded after an hour and the students were released to enjoy a boxed lunch in the cafeteria.

 

Nashville 9th Graders Chart Path to College and Careers

6th Annual My Future. My Way. Career Exploration Fair Helps High School Freshmen Learn Firsthand from Future Employers

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The exhibit floor of the Music City Center buzzed with excitement and nervous energy last week as more than 7,000 Davidson County 9th graders jammed the convention hall to ask questions of business and technology companies, public utilities, police and fire agencies, and dozens of potential employers about the skills necessary to make it to college or a good career. The 6th annual My Future. My Way. Career Exploration Fair was hosted by Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and was sponsored for the 4th consecutive year by Shoney’s and included participation by Shoney’s Chairman and CEO David Davoudpour.

“Shoney’s has made giving back to the community a hallmark of our company’s culture,” said Mr. Davoudpour. “We truly believe investing our time and energy in these young people will help them see a path forward in their education and allow them to make the connection between achieving in school and success in the work.”

Nearly one hundred Middle Tennessee employers participated in the Career Exploration Fair. Mr. Davoudpour was joined by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Jesse Register in awarding the Best in Show award to those companies making up the Business, Marketing, and Information Technology sector of the exhibit hall displays.

“It takes lots of planning and coordination to make the Career Exploration Fair a true learning experience for these students,” said Mayor Dean. “We’re grateful for the commitment being made by Shoney’s, Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and dozens of companies exhibiting at the fair.”

“Throughout the day, all across the exhibit hall, we see thousands of conversations between professionals and young students which may spark an interest or cause a young person to see themselves in a new career role,” said Dr. Register. “Our hope is that these interactions will help the students understand that achieving in the classroom pays off in the long run.”

“Our research shows that Middle Tennessee could be seeing shortages of works in some business sectors as early as 2016,” said Ralph Schulz, president and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “If our region is to continue along its path of strong growth, we need to reach out to young people and let them know that viable college and career paths are waiting for them.”