MNPS Proposes Putting East High and East Middle Back at Same Site
Plan is part of the ongoing MNPS Next effort to match student needs with system resources
Pending approval of the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education, the schools would rejoin at the 110 Gallatin Road campus in the 2019-2020 school year. In 2016, middle school students were moved 1.5 miles away to the former Bailey Middle School building at 2000 Greenwood Avenue, with the expectation that expanding student populations would require the extra space.
That student growth has not occurred. Meanwhile, school families, faculty and staff have expressed a desire to return to a single facility. Many families have children at both schools, and teaching students in one location would generate significant savings in facilities and operating costs.
“It just makes sense,” said MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph. “We’ve heard the community. We’ve listened to the faculty and the staff. We need to use our resources wisely, and we believe it’s time to take this step.”
The high school currently has 711 students and 58 staff members, including administrators, counselors, teachers, paraprofessionals, clerks and campus supervisors. The middle school has 361 students and 36 staff members.
The East Nashville plan is part of MNPS Next, an initiative to assess and improve student access to high-quality instruction and efficient use of resources (including people, buildings and other operational costs). The MNPS Next team is looking at short- and long-term needs.
“MNPS Next is about making sure that every student can attend a school that opens doors to her success. That means having qualified teachers in every classroom, an excellent instructional program, and an inviting learning environment. Getting there requires us to use our resources efficiently and to stay responsive to Nashville’s patterns of growth,” said MNPS Chief of Staff Marcy Singer-Gabella, who leads MNPS Next.
MNPS Next takes several big-picture issues into account, including student achievement, staffing, building usage and the ongoing maintenance and renovation needs of its schools. It also considers the needs of its neighborhoods and families.
“Children need the same shot at a good education, no matter where they live,” said Singer-Gabella.
Ensuring equity is a top priority, and the school district is particularly aware that school consolidations can create special hardships for children in low-income neighborhoods. In some instances, it can mean loss of access to neighborhood schools, longer bus rides, and a disruption to after-school activities, which can be especially tough on parents.
As MNPS Next continues its work, the district invites the continued involvement of families and neighborhood partners. In coming months, look for more information about how MNPS Next will be working with parent groups, community organizations and local businesses to make long-term decisions.
MNPS is committed to matching its students’ needs with the right mix of teachers, instructional programs and facilities to exceed great expectations for all of our schools and students.
METRO NASHVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the nation’s top 50 largest school districts, preparing 86,000 students for higher education, work and life. With the goal of being the first choice for Nashville families, Metro Schools is committed to #ExceedingGreatExpectations with the mission of delivering a great public education to every student, every day. The district is earning a national reputation for urban school reform, social and emotional learning and rising academic achievement. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit MNPS.org, or follow us on Twitter @MetroSchools or Facebook /MetroSchools.