Handbook Introduction

Purpose | Principles | School Culture & Climate


Handbook Purpose

The Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Student-Parent Handbook reflects the policies of the MNPS Board of Public Education and the regulations of the Tennessee Department of Education.

The Student-Parent Handbook includes the rights and responsibilities of the school community, a range of disciplinary responses, and policies of MNPS. All members of the school community, including students, parents and guardians, principals, school staff, and the district office have rights and responsibilities that support a strong school community. Disciplinary responses focus on promoting positive responses, intervention strategies and the use of suspensions only as a disciplinary measure of last resort.


Handbook Principles

The Student-Parent Handbook is based on these five principles:

Five Guiding Principles

  1. My words, actions and attitudes demonstrate respect for myself and others at all times.
  2. I seek to correct harm that I have caused to others in the school community.
  3. I demonstrate pride in myself, in my future and in my school by arriving on time, dressed appropriately and prepared to focus on my studies.
  4. I always seek the most peaceful means of resolving conflict and obtain the assistance of teachers, administrators or school staff when I am unable to resolve conflicts on my own.
  5. I take pride in promoting a safe and clean learning environment at my school.

These principles provide an important foundation to guide behavior, both individually and in interpersonal relationships. If students follow these principles, it will strengthen the learning environments of our schools.

The Student-Parent Handbook applies to students at all times while they are on MNPS property during school hours, before and after school while traveling in MNPS-sponsored transportation, and at any school-sponsored event, including field trips. Students may be subject to disciplinary action by the school if their actions off-campus create an unsafe or disruptive school environment, interfere with educational purpose or constitute a threat to the health, safety or welfare of a student or students and/or school personnel.

If it is determined students have engaged in cyberbullying during non-school hours and the behavior seriously affects the climate and safety of other students in the school, MNPS may implement intervention or disciplinary responses included in its Student-Parent Handbook.

MNPS recognizes additional steps must be taken when students with disabilities are disciplined. The Student-Parent Handbook requires principals and school staff to follow Board of Education policies, the administrative regulations of the director of schools, and state and federal laws concerning the discipline of students with disabilities, including procedures for determining manifestation (that is, whether the behavior is linked to a student’s disability), conducting Functional Behavioral Assessments and developing Behavior Intervention Plans. MNPS is also committed to using this code fairly and without discrimination based on a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Plan, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or religion.


School Culture and Climate

MNPS defines school climate as the elements in a school associated with relationships, teaching and learning, physical environment and safety. Positive relationships are critical to creating a positive school climate. School leaders set the tone and expectations for the entire school community, paving the way for all members of that community to take simple, yet meaningful, steps to improve school climate.

Schools with a positive climate and culture have:

  • Positive relationships with all stakeholders, parents and guardians, students, teachers and school staff.
  • Training and resources to resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully, with suspensions only as a disciplinary measure of last resort.
  • Supports for students who are experiencing emotional crisis, trauma or serious challenges in their homes and communities.
  • Increasingly intensive interventions and supports for students with that need.
  • Engaging academic and extracurricular activities for students that meet behavioral and academic needs.
  • Effective communication among schools, parents and communities.
  • Clean and well-maintained environments that clearly demonstrate school pride and love of learning.
  • A learning environment where students and staff feel physically and emotionally safe.