Discovery School, a Murfreesboro City School, was named a Tennessee Designated STEM School during the STEM Innovation Summit in Nashville. Discovery was one of only eleven schools to receive this designation in 2019. This honor was developed with the guidance of the Tennessee Department of Education and the STEM Leadership Council to identify and recognize schools in their commitment to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and integrating strategies that ultimately prepare for success in the 21st century.
“I am delighted about Discovery School receiving this well-deserved honor. The school is engaged in experiential, real-world learning, with full connections across content areas, linking today’s STEM learning to tomorrow’s workforce,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools.
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. The designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.
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 analysis skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them.
“I’m extremely proud of our school and the team that led this application process,” says Kristina Maddux, Principal. “This designation affirms the diligent work of our educators and students.”
Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities and lessons that are tied to the real world. It is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum where activities in one class complement those in other classes.
The Discovery STEM team is led by Principal Kristina Maddux, Assistant Principal Sia Phillips and teacher leaders Karen Cook, Kimberly Kahle, Amy London, Kristy Mall, Elizabeth Shepherd, Kelly Holman, and April Greene along with parents Scott Campbell and Kathie Elfersy.
The Tennessee State Board of Education also recognized Discovery School in 2018 as a National Blue Ribbon School. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.
Discovery School, founded in 2005, was created to serve high achieving students. Discovery is one of thirteen Murfreesboro City Schools and the second MCS school to receive the Tennessee STEM Designation.
MCS has two distinct Pre-K programs. Both are now accepting applications.
Applications are accepted at the Murfreesboro City Schools central office, 2552 South Church Street during business hours. The MCS Pre-K program is funded by a grant for low income or at-risk children who are zoned for a city school. Students must be 4 years old, but not yet 5, by August 15, 2019 to qualify.
Comprehensive instructions and applications can be found at http://www.cityschools.net/departments/preschool.
MCS is also accepting applications for peer models in the MCS Integrated Preschool Program – a separate program from Pre-K. These classes are special education classes for children ages 3-5. Peer models serve as role models and peer helpers to children with special needs. The integrated preschool classroom is a structured teaching environment where special needs children and peer models learn together. For further information regarding the Integrated Preschool contact the Special Education Department.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization), and Murfreesboro Electric awarded Bradley Academy and Mitchell- Neilson Elementary almost $10,000 for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education projects.
“We are thrilled to bring this new STEM project to our students,” said Jenny Ortiz, Bradley Academy Principal. “It’s crucial for science education to include hands-on learning projects and outside the box thinking.”
Bradley Academy’s grant, Augmented Reality Sandbox, written by Abbey Sanders and teammates, allows students to create topography models by shaping sand, which is then augmented in real time by an elevation color map, topographic contour lines, and simulated water. It will be used for various lessons including Water Cycle, Geography and Earth Science.
The grant award is a part of $580,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to 161 schools across TVA’s seven-state service territory.
“Students learn by doing and exploring,” says Robin Newell, Principal, Mitchell-Neilson. “To paraphrase Edwin Powell Hubble, ‘students are equipped with five senses, they explore the universe and we call the adventure Science’. It is vital to allow students to see possibilities beyond the school day and explore our universe.”
Mitchell-Neilson’s grant, Catching Wind and Other Alarming Ideas, created by Robyn Trowbridge, allows third grade students to investigate conductors and insulators, schematic diagrams, and circuits in a system and then plan, create, and improve their own alarm circuits. Fourth grade students will study mechanical engineering systems such as mechanical pencils and egg beaters. Students will use their mechanical engineering knowledge to design windmills and sailboats.
The competitive grant program provided teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to $5,000 and preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development and community problem solving. Bradley Academy and Mitchell-Neilson are controlled choice schools for students and parents. Controlled choice schools have a limited number of openings. Applications will be accepted through April 26th.
Murfreesboro City Schools Director Dr. Linda Gilbert who has shaped generations of children and educators in Murfreesboro has been named the recipient of the 2019 ATHENA Leadership Award.
Nominated by United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties, Gilbert was honored at the ATHENA Award ceremony, which celebrated the accomplishments of all 16 ATHENA nominees and seven Young Professional nominees from the Rutherford County community. The luncheon ceremony was held Friday, April 12 at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro.
The ATHENA Award recognizes an individual who excels in her profession, gives back to the community, and helps raise up other leaders, especially women.
Throughout her career, Gilbert has embodied the spirit of the ATHENA Award by creating positive change in the community.
“In any life or organization, each new experience, new responsibility, new proficiency we encounter creates change. And while change is inevitable, growth is not. In fact, positive change that moves us forward will only occur in an environment authentic enough to encourage change,” Gilbert said.
Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to create an environment for positive change by helping establish Read To Succeed, Saint Thomas Health’s Ministry in Motion, Prevention Coalition for Success Rutherford County and Rutherford County’s Books from Birth. In all, she has written and received more than $16 million in grants for schools and nonprofits.
Since she was appointed in 2010, MCS was named 2018 Exemplary ACCESS District for providing all students with high quality instruction and intervention. MCS has also implemented programs to improve student nutrition both in and out of school.
Gilbert was honored along with the other Athena nominees who were Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, American Association of University Women of Tennessee; Kristin Coile Demos, Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation Ambassadors; Judge Lynn England Alexander, Middle Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women; Cherillyn A. Maddox, Goco Center for Aesthetics; Betsy Maples Taylor, MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business; Elizabeth McPhee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Pi Nu Omega Chapter; Celeste Middleton, Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County; Dr. Mary T. Moss, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro; Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Junior League of Murfreesboro; Sharon Seibert, Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club; Nancy Skinner, Guaranty Trust Company; Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women & June Anderson • Center for Women & Nontraditional Studies; Gina W. Urban, RUTHERFORD Cable, and Mary M. Wade, Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP.
Murfreesboro City Schools in conjunction with the Murfreesboro Police Department launched a public service announcement (PSA) campaign to create awareness of the school bus stop arm laws. The campaign is designed to protect students and create awareness of safe driving practices in school zones.
The initial PSAs consists of a safety video designed to make parents think before passing a stopped bus and an electronic flyer highlighting the Tennessee laws on stopping for school buses.
“MPD is taking a proactive approach to the safety of children especially in relation to school buses,” said Murfreesboro Police Chief Michael Bowen. “This PSA is just one way of conveying the message to drivers how dangerous passing a stopped school bus can be.”
The PSAs, titled Student Travel Outreach Program (S.T.O.P.), are designed to inform drivers and urge them to take extra caution whenever a school bus is stopped with its lights on and stop arm extended.
Murfreesboro City Schools will host the fifth annual Boro Book Battle on Thursday, April 11 as part of School Library Month. The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the Hobgood Elementary gymnasium. Students from across the district will compete against one another in a quiz-bowl-style tournament to test their knowledge of books on the Volunteer State Book Award list.
Librarians from the MCS work with the student teams throughout the school year to prepare for this friendly competition. Teams were formed from 4th-6thgrade students who expressed interest in being a part of this core group of readers.
Four team members will compete in each tournament category and each series will consist of multiple choice and matching questions. Students are responsible for individually reading each of the books and school librarians help prep the students for the competition.
The winning school will proudly display the Boro Book Battle Trophy and claim bragging rights for a year until the trophy is up for grabs next year.
Murfreesboro City Schools’ Extended School Program (ESP) has planned an amazing summer filled with activities including science, art and technology camps. These camps enable students to continue their learning adventures as they work with certified teachers to conduct science experiments, create art projects and experience a variety of technology tasks. All Murfreesboro City School (MCS) students can enroll in any ESP Summer Camps.
- KinderCamp (July 15-19) is open to children pre-registered for kindergarten at MCS and focuses on preparing upcoming kindergarteners for the transition to elementary school. Students attending KinderCamp will get the full ESP experience during the week of camp.
- Archery Camp (June 24-28) will be hosted at Black Fox and features two certified archery instructors. Students enrolled will learn the basics of archery including how to handle a bow and arrow and shooting techniques.
- Edible Education (July 8-12 at Mitchell-Neilson) (July 15-19 at Northfield) focuses on providing age appropriate hands-on cooking instruction for students.
- Makerspace Camp (June 24-28) hosted at Discovery School allows students to use their imagination to build, design and create. This camp includes a trip to the Adventure Science Center in Nashville.
- Soccer Camp in conjunction with Murfreesboro Soccer Club (June 3-7 and June 10-14) is a unique opportunity for students to learn the fundamentals of soccer while actively improving foot skills, speed and agility. This camp is hosted at Overall Creek.
- Camp Big Shots (June 10-21) is a two-week summer camp organized specifically for active adventures. Certified teachers are involved with the two-week camp and teach a variety of skills including archery, woodworking, coding, and robotics. Campers also enjoy field trips to Nashville Shores and canoeing the Harpeth River. Mitchell-Neilson will serve as the host site.
- Drone Coding and Aerial Photography (June 24-28) hosted at Overall Creek will teach students to write the code that controls a drone and the fundamentals of drone photography.
- Girl Scout Camp with the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee (July 15-19) features outdoor activities and teaches students how to earn badges while learning about the origin of Girl Scouts. Girl Scout Camp will be hosted at Discovery School.
For detailed information about the summer camps including appropriate ages and grade levels associated with individual camps and costs per program, please visitwww.cityschoolsesp.netor contact the School-based ESP Site Director or Central Office ESP at 615 893-2313.
Transportation to and from camp is not provided. However, payment plans are available for all camps.
The ESP program is open from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. during summer months.
Nineteen teachers from Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS) received their Tennessee Employment Standard for Gifted Teaching on Saturday, March 16.
The Middle Tennessee State University/Murfreesboro City Schools Gifted Academy, sponsored by The Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation, aims to expand the MCS Gifted Education program by equipping teachers with tools to identify and engage gifted students. Over one hundred MCS teachers have received the Tennessee Employment Standard for Gifted Education.
The 2018-19 graduation class of the Gifted Academy includes: Lauren Moore, Jessica Piety, Luke Dickerson, Hannah Blanks, Luke Hill, Melissa Horn, Taylor Witsaman, Shawntessa Wilson, Elizabeth Evans, Teresa McCarthy, Amanda McBryar, Rachel Matthews, Jessica Jacobs, Gabrielle Howell, Laura Payne, Traci West, Heather Konyar, Jacquese Johnson, and Taylor Thornton.
Additionally, the Scholars’ Program, for high achieving students, was introduced in 2015 as a part of the gifted program. Scholars offers various learning opportunities that specifically target the social, emotional, and academic needs of gifted and high achieving students. Students are paired with like-peers to optimize opportunities that focus on developing the students’ ability to collaborate, communicate, think critically and creatively. Scholar students work with Gifted Specialists throughout the school year on unique projects and learning tasks.
For additional information on The Scholars’ Program, visit cityschools.net and use the search word “gifted”. Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of twelve schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.
Parents zoned to Salem Elementary are encouraged to get to know more about their school, meet the principal, and ask questions during upcoming parent meetings.
Neighborhoods zoned to Salem Elementary include, but are not limited to: Barfield Downs, Belle Haven, Barfield Commons, Belle Rive, Chaney Ridge, Charleston South, Cliffview Estates, Green Meadows, Hawthorne Park South, Indian Hills, Innsbrooke, Kimbro Woods, Marymont Springs, Retreat at Charleston South, Riverdale Estates, River Trace Apartments, Salem Creek, Savannah Ridge, Sheffield Park, Southern Meadows, Stevens Bend, Stones River Apartments, Summerlake Apartments, The Banks at West Fork, The Woodlands, The Crossings at Indian Hills, Three Rivers, Villas at Baskinwood, Vintage at the Park, Waterford at Innsbrooke, Westin Park and Westwind.
Murfreesboro City Schools is a proud sponsor of the 2019 Murfreesboro Earth Day Celebration. Students across Murfreesboro and Rutherford County are invited to participate in the Student Poster Contest as part of the 2019 Murfreesboro Earth Day Celebration.
Do you have an idea on how to protect TN wildlife?? Want to help others be informed about the endangered species?? Form a team or work alone and complete a poster that encompasses the theme “S.OS. Save Our Species: Protect, Don’t Neglect TN Wildlife”.
Submissions should focus on the theme “S.O.S. SAVE OUR SPECIES” and include the slogan “PROTECT, DON’T NEGLECT TN WILDLIFE”. Focusing on the endangered species: the Nashville Crayfish, the Leafy Prairie-Clover and the Gray Bat.
For additional details, click on the link below. Winners will be announced during the Earth Day Celebration on April 27.