Metro Schools ReimaginED

An Initiative to Improve Academic Outcomes for All Students

Metro Schools is a diverse, vibrant school system, committed to finding innovative solutions that provide students with the best possible Pre-K-12 experience.

Through Metro Schools' ReimaginED initiative, a comprehensive planning process that seeks to thoroughly review many different types of information - including student academic achievement, current and projected enrollment, building use, programs and staffing - and take that information to reimagine how to best improve academic outcomes for all students, the district is exploring new systems of supports, rebranded and strengthened academic pathways and a focus on cluster climate and culture.

In addition, ReimaginED includes studying new ways to use community partnerships and wrap-around services to strengthen school communities, as well as provide more training and professional development for leaders and teachers.

Metro Schools ReimaginED is an evolution of the MNPS Next conversation led in 2017 about improving student outcomes, making our district more efficient and increasing enrollment to provide a high-quality education to all students.


Reimagining 5th Grade at MNPS

As a part of the latest phase of ReimaginED, 5th grade will be moving from middle schools to elementary schools starting in the 2021-22 school year with the Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood and Whites Creek clusters.

MNPS data shows 5th-grade students who remain in the elementary setting outperform their peers who are in a middle school setting, and this change would better align MNPS grade levels with state grade band curriculum standards. Additionally, previous engagement efforts show that MNPS parents would like their 5th-grade students to remain in the elementary setting.

The following elementary schools will have 5th grade in their buildings next year:

  • Cockrill Elementary

  • Park Avenue Elementary

  • Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary

  • Jones Paideia Elementary Magnet

  • Ida B. Wells Elementary

  • Shwab Elementary

  • Tom Joy Elementary

  • Chadwell Elementary

  • Hattie Cotton Elementary

  • Joelton Elementary

  • Cumberland Elementary

  • Alex Green Elementary

Nothing is required on the part of families enrolled in one of these schools, as students will be automatically enrolled in 5th grade at their current elementary next year unless they choose an optional school. The next three clusters to see 5th grade moved to elementary schools will be the Hunters Lane, McGavock, and Stratford clusters. 


2020-21 Consolidations and Closings

In May 2020, the Board of Education approved a ReimaginED proposal for consolidations and one school closure in two different clusters. Our schools are important cornerstones of our communities, and consolidating and closing schools are difficult decisions. Each proposal was the result of significant research and analysis, made by weighing the immediate impact on students, staff, and communities with the long-term benefits.

The recommendations below were designed to better serve our students by creating supportive, engaging learning environments. Studying enrollment and capacity at these specific schools, and consolidating where possible, will let us focus our attention on improving academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students in these clusters.

The Board of Education approved the proposal, and these consolidations went into effect for the 2020-2021 school year.

First phase of consolidations and closures:

  1. Joelton Middle consolidating into Haynes Middle (Whites Creek Cluster),
  2. Robert E. Lillard Elementary consolidating into Alex Green Elementary and Cumberland Elementary (Whites Creek Cluster, including this proposed rezoning),
  3. Buena Vista Elementary consolidating into Jones Paideia Elementary (Pearl-Cohn Cluster),
  4. Closing The Cohn Learning Center, which helps students with credit recovery prior to graduation. Students would return to their zoned high schools to do the work. Other programs, such as the MNPS Virtual School, will continue as they currently are in the Cohn School building, which MNPS will still own and operate.

This proposal goes beyond only consolidating facilities. ReimaginED also includes redesigning what academic programming and student supports will look like in each cluster, unifying instruction and experiences for students as they progress from elementary school to middle school and to high school.

Under this proposal, the Maplewood Cluster would become an AVID-programmed cluster, with an emphasis on advanced academics and STEAM; the Pearl-Cohn Cluster would become a Music City Arts and Health Sciences cluster with an emphasis on advanced academics; and the Whites Creek Cluster would become an Early College/STEAM Academic Cluster, where students will be able to earn dual credits and graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree.

Metro Schools' focus on making the best decisions to improve student success would not be possible without our teachers' and support staff's commitment and dedication. We are equally as invested in helping our employees find success. All teachers with positive evaluations (tenured and non-tenured) will be offered a teaching assignment for the 2020-21 school year. Any support employee whose position is affected can also apply for other vacancies within the district. We stand ready to support students, teachers and other staff in making this important transition.

Learn More 

Download the MNPS ReimaginED presentation.