To Assure Academic and Personal Success For Each Child

News

Ralph Ringstaff

Ralph Ringstaff Appointed Interim Director

The MCS School Board has appointed Ralph Ringstaff to serve as the interim director of schools until a new director is appointed. Ralph Ringstaff will work with the current leadership team to ensure a smooth transition into the new school year. Mr. Ringstaff currently serves as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and ESP.

A search for the new director will begin immediately.

Northfield Principals Mark Gonyea and M'Lisa Bryant Miffleton

MCS Announces Northfield Administrators

Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS), is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark Gonyea and Mrs. M’Lisa Bryant Miffleton as principal and assistant principal of Northfield Elementary respectively. These appointments come following the retirement of the current leadership team of Dr. Gene Loyd and Mrs. Julia Williams.
Gonyea and Bryant most recently served as administrators with Rutherford County Schools. Gonyea has over twenty-five years of experience in education and Miffleton joins the team with over 20 years of experience.
“I am honored to be named the new principal at Northfield Elementary,” says Gonyea. “Northfield is a school with strong traditions, an enthusiastic faculty, and a rich history in Murfreesboro.”
Gonyea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Literacy from Middle Tennessee State University, and Education Specialist and Doctorate of Education degrees from Carson Newman University. He is a member of the 2019 Governor’s Academy for School Leaders Cohort.
“As an administrator, my goal is to inspire faculty and staff to do their jobs with the highest levels of excellence and enthusiasm. This journey is one of constant learning and a realization that mistakes will be made, and things may not always go as planned. However, if the primary lens is on what’s best for students, we will not falter,” says Gonyea.
Gonyea believes that all students can learn at high levels given the proper supports and motivation. “As educators, it is our job to meet the needs of the students where they are and take them to where they have never been. Education is more than imparting knowledge to students, it is igniting a passion in them to desire life-long learning,” says Gonyea.
Miffleton joins MCS with a wealth of classroom and administrative experience. Miffleton holds her Master’s and Educational Specialists degrees from Middle Tennessee State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Martin Methodist College.
“I believe in building strong relationships while encouraging others to focus on their passions and strengths,” says Miffleton. “I look forward to continuing the strong collaborations that are part of the Northfield experience and working with students, staff, parents and the community.”
These leaders will join the existing leadership team of Murfreesboro City Schools as the district moves forward in creating an environment of success for each of our 9,200 school children. Murfreesboro City Schools is an exemplary district of thirteen schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.

M'Lisa Miffleton

Mark Gonyea

Bradley and Erma Siegel Earn STEM School Status

Bradley and Erma Siegel Elementary Earn Tennessee Designated STEM School Status

Bradley Academy and Erma Siegel Elementary have been named Tennessee Designated STEM Schools by the Tennessee Department of Education in partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. The Tennessee STEM School Designation denotes that a school meets the highest standards of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) instruction and is a model for schools across the state.

“We are thrilled to receive this designation,” says Emily Spencer, Erma Siegel Principal. “This designation took the vision, leadership and hard work of a dedicated group of teachers. I am privileged to work with this outstanding faculty and staff.”

STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. STEM is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analytical skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them.

“As an Arts Integrated School, I am extremely proud of our team embracing the STEM model while keeping arts in the forefront,” says Raeshon Torres, Bradley Academy Principal. “This designation is the result of years of hard work. We truly are a STEAM team working tirelessly for the Bradley students.”

STEM designated schools integrate STEM curriculum with project-based learning across all subject areas and programs both inside and outside the classroom. To receive this momentous designation, Bradley and Erma Siegel successfully completed the designation rubric including five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and post-secondary partnerships. As a part of the process, schools were required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. From this process, a total of twenty-two schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation.

This is the fourth STEM designation received by Murfreesboro City Schools including Overall Creek in 2018 and Discovery School in 2019. Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities. It is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum where activities in one class complement those in other classes.

The Erma Siegel team is led by Principal Emily Spencer, Assistant Principal Crystal Farris, and teacher leaders Emily Clark, Kim Taylor, Devontae Kelley, Jenifer Scott, Amberly Sandberg, Brandy Cheatham, Rachel Pepper, Leigh Ann Weaver, and Gretchen Campbell.

The Bradley team is led by Principal Raeshon Torres, Assistant Principal Kennye Holt, Dana Stem, Abbey Sanders, Ginger Hazelbaker, Billie Jo Thompson, Taylor Witsaman, Regan Clark, and Evelyn Burnett.

“I am delighted that Bradley and Erma Siegel are receiving this well-deserved recognition. The schools are engaged in experiential, real-world learning, linking today’s STEM learning to tomorrow’s workforce,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools. “Both schools have worked tirelessly to expand the teaching and learning of STEM in their classrooms.”

The Tennessee STEM School Designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. The Tennessee Department of Education and Tennessee STEM Innovation Network developed tools and resources to define the attributes of a comprehensive STEM learning environment for students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions & Other Information –

Online Education:
Activities for each grade level will be posted on your school’s webpage each Monday. The location will be on the right side of the webpage heading bar under your school’s initials and the words “at Home.” Information about Lexia and iReady as well as much more can be found at www.cityschools.net/home-school-information

Paper copies:
Crates are also placed outside your school’s front door on Mondays. Crates will include paper copies of the same information that is posted online, arranged by grade level. As with the online access materials, there will be ongoing activities as well as week-specific activities. The crates will remain in place Monday through Thursday. Additionally, each Monday and Tuesday, volunteers will follow the CHOW buses and hand out copies of the online activities.

On-air instruction:
MCS teachers are presenting lessons Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on CityTV. These lessons can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXjPQW-GeBG7NVNVk3YdQZoQ76JYtuX55.
Teaching Tennessee airs on PBS on Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tennessee teachers provide a virtual classroom lesson on English Language Arts or Math for grades 1-8. Four hours of content is also streamed overnight, which viewers can watch live or record.

ZONE WAIVERS
The zone waiver deadline has been extended to June 15. Waivers can be found at www.cityschools.net/student-info. Parents wishing to submit a waiver can print and mail a completed waiver to the MCS Central Office or scan and e-mail completed waivers to kim.fischer@cityschools.net. Parents who do not have the capability of printing a zone waiver at home can call 615-893-2313 and ask for a zone waiver to be mailed to them.

GRADES
No grades will be given for the 4th nine weeks.

LIBRARY BOOKS
During the week of the April 27th – a library bin will be placed outside the front door of each school for dropping off library books that you may currently have at your home.

REGISTRATION OF CURRENT STUDENTS
Families of current students should register online using the Skyward Parent Portal. If families have difficulty registering online, please contact your teacher or the attendance secretary at your current school.

PRE-K REGISTRATION
Pre-K registration applications can be found at www.cityschools.net/departments/preschool. Applications can be downloaded and printed, or paper copies can be found at the front of each school. Completed applications should be mailed to the MCS Central Office – Attn: Pre-K, 2552 S. Church St., Murfreesboro, TN 37127.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION OF NEW STUDENTS
Kindergarten registration will begin May 7. Additional details will be coming soon. Current MCS Pre-K students can register online for kindergarten using the MCS Skyward Parent Portal.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COUNTY REGISTRATION
Parents should contact the principal of their zoned middle school or contact Rutherford County Schools at 615-893-5812 and ask to speak to Barbara Powers, Middle School Coordinator. There is not a form needed from Murfreesboro City Schools. All student records will be transferred electronically to the middle school.

STUDENT COLLECTION OF MATERIALS
Parents will be contacted by their school to coordinate a date in May to pick up student personal materials. This may include yearbooks and photos. This will be the time to drop any additional school items that are still at your home including library books, band instruments, etc.

ESP OPENS
Decisions about Murfreesboro City Schools must consider the natural actions of children as well as the contagion associated with COVID-19. Therefore, the Extended School Program (ESP) will remain closed until July 20.

CAFETERIA ACCOUNTS
Money left in cafeteria accounts will be rolled over to the 2020-21 school year. However, a refund request can be obtained through School Cafe or by visiting http://www.cityschools.net/departments/school-nutrition for the account refund form. Accounts with outstanding charges should be paid in full by May 20. Questions can be sent to sandy.scheele@cityschools.net.

If you have additional questions that are not covered in this overview, please email your teacher or principal. (Questions about an individual student should be sent first to the grade level teacher.)

Murfreesboro City Schools – 2552 South Church Street – Murfreesboro, TN 37127 – 615-893-2313

Home to School Information

Home to School Info & CityTV

Learning Resources

Click this link for instructional resources for families and children to use at home – Resources for Families. This information will be updated by the school district regularly.  Students have utilized Lexia and iReady throughout the school year and should be able to login and utilize these resources easily.

Watch CityTV weekdays at 9:30 a.m or the rebroadcast at 4 p.m. for fun and educational classes presented by MCS teachers.

CityTV can be viewed on: Comcast Xfinity channel 3 & 1094 | AT&T Uverse channel 99 | Roku | Apple TV via Cablecast Screenweave | YouTube

Visit the City of Murfreesboro YouTube Channel and click on the MCS at Home playlists for past episodes.

Little Free Libraries at all schools have been restocked.  Please take time to grab a book and read to your child and ask your child to read to you.

We will continue to update our Home To School information.  You can also find this information on your school’s website main navigation tab.

Talking with your Children about Concerns

Below is a quick link from Child Mind Institute that may help in talking with your child about COVID-19. https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

Children act out for different reasons. The first step to dealing with tantrums, meltdowns and defiance is to understand what’s bothering a child. This link is a great resource from Childmind.org –

https://childmind.org/topics/concerns/behavior/. Childmind.org also has great ideas on the Power of Positive Attention and When Siblings won’t Stop Fighting.

CHOW buses schedule – buses will be CHOW buses plus traditional school buses

The Chow Buses will continue running through April.  However, beginning, April 6, buses will run one time per day delivering both lunch and breakfast for the following day.  We will not be feeding on the buses, we will be distributing meals as pick up and go options.

The Food Service Program is funded by the USDA and is open to any child birth to eighteen.

Please note the times and locations as well as the type of bus that will be used at each site in the information below. Sites may change slightly, please be sure to view the Feeding Site list weekly.

You can view the current CHOW buses schedule at the following link. (Download the MCS Feeding Sites Flyer)

Donate!

Accepting Donations

Donations:
Support our schools through The City Schools Foundation.




The Foundation is a 501(c)3 supporting Murfreesboro City Schools and can accept these donations. The Foundation will then utilize those dollars for relief purposes. Donations can be made by check, credit card or PayPal.

Checks should be mailed to The City Schools Foundation, Attn: Lisa Trail, 2552 South Church Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37127 or simply click the button above for credit card donations.

Backpack Food:
Backpack food will be sent for weekend distribution on the CHOW buses. The list of items for the backpack program is below. We will limit our food distribution to the items listed. This list has been child and family tested for the past several years. We have the ability to store, pack and distribute. These items can be brought to the MCS Central Office.

  • Chili with beans, Beef & Macaroni, Beef Stew, Beans & Franks, Spaghetti & Meatballs (single serving, pop top cans) 7.5 oz.
  • Single serve microwavable Mac & Cheese
  • Single serve fruit cups
  • Juice box / pouch – 6.75 oz
  • Single serve cereal – .75 oz.
  • Snack Cracker Packages
  • Granola Bars

 

Books:

We are happy to accept new and gently used children’s books for distribution to our students at CHOW bus sites.  All books accepted will be quarantined for a period of 7 days prior to being distributed to students. Books can range from toddler to chapter books.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for Murfreesboro City Schools will be held May 7 through May 15 for students entering kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year. All children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before August 15, 2020.

Families of incoming kindergartners have two options for registering for the upcoming school year. Online registration can be accessed at Kindergarten Registration beginning Thursday, May 7 through Friday, May 15.  Simply follow the instructions on the kindergarten registration page.

Families with limited access to the internet may choose to register via paper registration. These registration applications and instructions can be found outside each school in a learning bin labeled “Kindergarten Registration”.

Early registration allows schools to prepare for the upcoming school year. It also allows families to receive resources and updates throughout the summer.

A complete registration includes:

  • * Your child’s Official Birth Certificate
  • * Tennessee Dept. of Health Certification of Immunization
  • * Proof of Physical within the last year
  • * Verification of Your Address. This must be a current utility bill with name and address.  (Example: Water, Electric, Gas).

Parents are urged to register their children online or through a paper application even if they do not have all of their required forms or certificates.  Missing forms may be turned in prior to the first day of school.

MCS News Update

MCS closed through May 22

Note to Parents from the Director of Schools –

To continue supporting your children during the time we are apart, Murfreesboro City’s teachers have prepared optional activities for student learning. 

Beginning after Spring Break, on Monday April 6, learning activities can be accessed via:

  • Online:  Activities for each grade level will be posted on your school’s webpage by 8:00 each Monday.  The location will be on the right side of the webpage heading bar under your school’s initials and the word “Home.”  For example, Black Fox parents will go to the Black Fox webpage and look for BF Home; Cason Lane parents will go to the CLA website and look for CLA Home, etc.  There will be ongoing activities that can be done at any time.  Also, there will be week-specific activities for individual schools and grade levels.  So check the website each Monday for new grade-specific activities.
  • Paper copies in crate at school: Each Monday by 8:00, a crate will be placed outside your school’s front door.  Inside will be paper copies of what is posted online, arranged by grade level.  As with the online access materials, there will be ongoing activities as well as week-specific activities.  If all copies have been taken when you stop by, call the school’s office, and additional paper copies will be available the next day.  The crates will remain in place Monday through Thursday.
  • CHOW bus:  Each Monday at lunch, volunteers will follow the CHOW buses and hand out copies of the online activities.  If all copies have been distributed, the volunteers will take the student’s name and grade level and have copies available on Tuesday.

Beginning Monday, the 6th, under the Home to School heading, on the right side of the district website www.cityschools.net and on each school website, you will find a link to Resources for Families.  These will include:

  • Online websites/resources per content area
  • Activities that can be done without a computer
  • Weekly teacher read-alouds of books
  • Access to the Internet–Comcast and Xfinity are offering free access for a period of time; after that period ends, there will be a cost associated with the service.

Also, beginning on the 6th, watch instruction via MCS teachers each day at 9:30 and 4:00 on CityTV or visit the City’s YouTube channel and click on the MCS playlist, MCS at Home.  New instruction will be added on an ongoing basis. https://www.youtube.com/user/cityofmurfreesboro/playlists

Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m, Teaching Tennessee will air on PBS.  Tennessee teachers will provide a virtual classroom lesson on English Language Arts or Math for grades 1-8.  Four hours of content will also be streamed overnight, which viewers can watch live or record.

Books are available at the Little Free Libraries that are located on each campus.  In addition, books are being distributed by the SROs at CHOW bus locations.

The CHOW buses will continue to roll with free breakfasts and lunches to anyone 18 and under.  Please check www.cityschools.net for the locations and times.  Beginning on the 6th, we will be serving lunch and sending home the next morning’s breakfast each day.

Thank you for your support of this school district and for caring about your children.  It is our goal to serve your children in the best way possible.  You have our commitment to work with you to meet that goal.

Respectfully,

Linda Arms Gilbert, Ed.D.

Director of Schools 

PBS to deliver daily instruction

As of April 6, NPT will incorporate instructional programming from the Tennessee Department of Education. Here’s an overview of NPT’s “At Home Learning” programming schedule (a searchable version of the station’s schedule is available at wnpt.org/schedule):

6 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Children’s programming with favorites such as “Sesame Street,” which offers literacy skills and social emotional learning; and “Molly of Denali,” a show that stresses using and understanding informational texts. “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” also provides social emotional learning. “Let’s Go Luna” has a social-studies based curriculum, and “Nature Cat” and “Wild Kratts” help children explore the natural sciences. Note: children’s programming resumes each weekday from 2 to 5 p.m. In addition, NPT3 PBS Kids will continue to offer 24/7 children’s programming at 8.3 over-the-air, Comcast 242, Charter 189 or 192 (depending on area) and Google Fiber 87 and online at wnpt.org/npt3.

10 a.m. to 12 p.m, Teaching Tennessee will air on PBS.  Tennessee teachers will provide a virtual classroom lesson on English Language Arts or Math for grades 1-8.  Four hours of content will also be streamed overnight, which viewers can watch live or record.

Click PBS schedule.
Original Release:
Nashville, TN—The Tennessee Department of Education secured a partnership with the state’s PBS stations to deliver daily instructional content for Tennessee students during COVID-19 school closures. This partnership will provide all students with access to daily learning opportunities right in their own homes. 
 
Staring April 6, Tennessee’s six PBS stations— WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS, and Chattanooga WTCI— will deliver two hours of programming with high-quality instructional content from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CST. Four hours of content will also be streamed overnight, which viewers can watch live or record. 
 
The content will be developed and provided by Tennessee educators in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and meets a critical need to ensure all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities, regardless if their home has internet connectivity or capable devices. 
 
“This is an incredible example of Tennesseans coming together to support kids,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We are so thrilled to be partnering with PBS stations across the state to make high-quality instructional content available to all students so they can continue learning during school closures. Families and students are hungry for content right now, and we are grateful our local stations have stepped up to help fill this need.” 
 
This statewide partnership builds on the work many of Tennessee’s public TV stations have already been doing with local districts to provide instructional programming during school closures.  
 
“Tennessee’s Public Television Stations are committed to serving the citizens of Tennessee and look forward to working with the Tennessee Department of Education during this challenging time to provide instructional educational programs to the students of our state,” said Vickie Lawson, Chairman of Tennessee Public Television Council and President of East Tennessee PBS. “This partnership is another example of Tennessee’s Public Television Stations willingness to serve when needed.” 
 
“This new partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education will work to meet our shared mission of ensuring every child is inspired and educated, regardless of their circumstances.” said Becky Magura, President & CEO, WCTE Cookeville. “This programming will help ensure students without access to the internet or other instructional materials will still have access to high quality instruction during these school closures. For decades, we have been committed to inspiring and educating students for decades, and now more than ever, those services are critical.”  
 
For additional Tennessee Department of Education guidance related to COVID-19, visit https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus.html.   
Teacher recipients of the gifted endorsement.

MCS Teachers Receive Gifted Endorsement

Twenty-seven teachers from Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS) received their Tennessee Employment Standard for Gifted Teaching on March 7 after completing the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and MCS Gifted Academy. Since its inception in 2015, 167 teachers have graduated from the academy.

The Gifted Academy, sponsored by The Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation, MTSU and MCS, aims to expand gifted education programs by equipping teachers with tools to identify and engage gifted students. The program presents teachers with advanced training to assist in planning higher level thinking activities and detailed tasks for gifted learners.

The 2019-20 Gifted Academy Cohort Graduates are: Hollie Berry, Olivia Outland, Allison Cole, Olivia Cowan, Jennifer Defere, Mary Dobbs, Neely James Embree, Kristen Goodman, Alison Harris, Elizabether Hurst, Carla Vandygriff Jackson, Donna Karrh, Jacqueline Keller, Devontae Kelley, Kasey Landreth, Erin Nunley, Sarah Primm, Kayla Richards, Kelsey Rone, Bailey Rose, Taylor Sams, Dana Stem, Kirstyn Tackett, Brittney Tate, Robyn Clifford Trowbridge, and Stephanie West.

The Academy allows classroom teachers to participate in professional development to learn additional approaches of delivering instruction to address the unique needs of advanced students. Additionally, MCS has four Gifted Specialists working in the schools with teachers and parents to assure that gifted and talented students are connecting to thought-provoking learning experiences.

Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of thirteen schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.

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