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Nashville Among Top Cities Recognized With Gold Medal Status for Pre-K Programs

Nashville, Tennessee – (January 25, 2019) – A new report on quality and access to early education programs across the country recognizes Nashville with its highest designation of gold medal status for meeting both standards. Metro Schools, which currently offers Pre-K capacity at 3,305 seats in 187 Pre-K classrooms throughout Davidson County, is excited about the report’s findings and the city’s strong commitment to high-quality Pre-K and the benefits it offers its youngest citizens.

“Children who enter Pre-K programs get a jump-start on learning success,” said Phyllis Phillips, MNPS director of Pre-K Program. “Not only do Pre-K programs encourage project-based learning, opportunities for outdoor learning, and active engagement in meaningful experiences and hands-on work, but research shows long-term benefits that significantly close achievement gaps, improve social-emotional well-being and physical health.”

In the report, produced by CityHealth, a policy advocacy group, in partnership with the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education, an authority on Pre-K research, Nashville met all criteria for accessibility, classroom size, teacher-child ratio, teacher education level, local funding, and professional development as well as standards for salary equity when compared with K-12 teachers. The report examined the nation’s 40 largest cities in each nine key areas based on the quantity and quality of their policies and programs. Nashville was one of only five cities awarded gold.

“Pre-K is a proven policy every city should employ to ensure all children get a strong and healthy start,” said Shelley Hearne, DrPH, president of CityHealth, in a prepared statement. “In order to fully reap the benefits of Pre-K, city leaders need to design high quality programs that children and families can readily access.”

In 2016, Nashville introduced the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success, a city-wide framework focused on doubling the number of third-graders reading on grade level by the year 2025. As part of this collaborative effort, an emphasis on increasing access to high-quality, developmentally appropriate Pre-K programming based on 21 standards was identified.

MNPS will open the application process for Pre-K seats in the 2019-2020 school year from March 1 through March 29, 2019 (3:30 p.m.). Families may apply for Pre-K during this time period to be included in the initial Pre-K selection process. Additionally, families may also apply for Pre-K at the district’s Kindergarten Readiness Fair on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Lentz Public Health Center, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Visit https://www.mnps.org/early-childhood-education/ for services offered at each Pre-K site. For more information or questions, contact Phyllis Phillips, director of Pre-Kindergarten Programs, at (615) 298-6766 or Phyllis.Phillips@mnps.org.



Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the nation’s top 50 largest school districts, preparing more than 85,000 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/news, or follow us on Twitter @MetroSchools or Facebook /MetroSchools.