Overall Creek Elementarywas named a Tennessee Designated STEM School by the State of Tennessee during the STEM Innovation Summit in Nashville on May 8. 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. Overall Creek was one of only 15 schools to receive this designation by the Tennessee Department of Education.
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 students and staff members,” says Don Bartch, Overall Creek Principal. “This designation took the vision and hard work of a dedicated group of teachers. They worked tirelessly to complete the process and tell the Overall Creek STEM story.”
Overall Creek integrates STEM curriculum with project-based learning across all subject areas and programs both inside and outside the classroom. To receive this momentous designation, Overall Creek 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 15 schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation.
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 Overall Creek STEM team is led by Principal Don Bartch, Assistant Principal Raeshon Torres, Assistant Principal and teacher leaders Cathrine Gordon, Mallory Eaton, Katie Nanney, Erin Nunley, Cherry Ross, Tara Hatchell, Shelby Jones, Elizabeth Owens and Lea Bartch.
“I am very excited about Overall Creek receiving this well-deserved honor. The school is engaged in experiential, real-world learning, with full connections across content areas, linking today’s STEAM learning to tomorrow’s workforce,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools. “STEM learning at Overall Creek extends to each child from kindergarten through sixth grade, fully integrating project-based learning into all subjects throughout the day, and allowing students to be exposed to different STEM professions at an early age so they can see all possibilities.”
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. Schools that receives the Tennessee STEM School Designation are recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education for their use of STEM teaching and learning strategies and serve as a model from which other schools may visit and learn. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.
Overall Creek opened in 2014-15 school year and boasts over 1,000 kindergarten through 6th grade students. With its unique location, adjacent to a creek and woodland area, Overall Creek features two outdoor classrooms and a successful Farm to School program. Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of twelve schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.
Dr. Linda Gilbert has been named the 2018 Mid-Cumberland Superintendent of the Year by her colleagues. Sixteen school districts from the following counties make up the Mid-Cumberland region: Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson.
Murfreesboro City Schools is a state-identified Exemplary School District, the highest designation available in Tennessee, based on high academic achievement. In addition, the district is noted for its approach to the whole child, with its Farm to School and Nutrition programs, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) initiatives, gifted programs, community partnerships, early childhood practices, Extended School Program, and teacher and principal leadership development. In the past three years, the district has produced two Mid-Cumberland Teachers of the Year and a Middle Tennessee Principal of the Year.
This year, Murfreesboro’s Cheer Team, in its first year, ranked fourth nationally, Siegel’s Invention Convention team received the top national award, Discovery’s robotics team placed regionally, Mitchell-Neilson acquired Lighthouse Leader In Me School status, nine schools were cited for excellence by the state for their approach to social/emotional/behavioral learning, and an employee daycare was begun. Additionally, a Book Bus will hit the road this summer.
Currently, Dr. Gilbert is a member of the State Educator Effectiveness Advisory Council, Rutherford Works Executive Council, Business Education Partnership Executive Board, Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Commission, Wellness Council of Rutherford County, Manufacturing Leadership Council, Mental Health Action Initiative, Child Advocacy Center Board, Project Transformation Board, Red Cross Board, and United Way Board.
In April, she was named a Tennessee Trailblazer by the MTSU Chapter of American Association of University Women. She was the first person featured in Murfreesboro Post’s series about Remarkable Rutherford Women, was showcased in the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents’ Spotlight, received a 2016 Child Advocacy Center Hometown Hero Award and the Four Star Individual Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and was a member of Murfreesboro Magazine’s Women in Business class of 2015.
Prior to being appointed superintendent in 2010, she was an Associate Professor in MTSU’s Educational Leadership Department, where she organized the Middle Tennessee P-16 Council, co-authored the MTeach grant to expand science and math teachers, received the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Outstanding Public Service Award and the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award, was the university’s first Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellow, was the first recipient of the True Blue Citation of Distinction in Education Award from the MTSU Alumni Association, and was elected to the Band of Blue Hall of Fame. She also received the Rutherford County NAACP Freedom Fund Humanitarian Award, Read To Succeed’s Karen Claud Award for Literacy for Rutherford County, TEA Distinguished Higher Education Professional, Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center Honoree for Public Service to Youth, and was president of the Tennessee Association of School Supervision and Administration (TASSA).
Before going to MTSU, she was Associate Director for Instruction in Murfreesboro City Schools. While in that role, she co-founded the St. Thomas Rutherford Mobile Health Unit, Read To Succeed, the Prevention Coalition for Success (CADCOR), the Patterson Park and Franklin Heights community coalitions, and co-authored the original grants for Rutherford County Books from Birth and Steel de Boro.
Prior to becoming Associate Director, she was a general and instrumental music teacher at Black Fox, private flute and piano instructor, the first recipient of WSMV Television’s “Apple for the Teacher Award,” the 1998 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, and was named an innovator in the NEA Today publication.
She has been organist of Bethel United Methodist Church since she was 12, and has written and received grants totaling more than $17 million. She is married to Steve Gilbert and has two children, Cherry, who is an academic coach in Murfreesboro City Schools, and Brian, who is a United Methodist minister in Princeton, Illinois.
Twenty-nine teachers and staff members recently graduated the MCS Spring 2018 Leadership Academy. Leadership Academy is held in the Fall and Spring and is part of MCS’s commitment to supporting leadership development and growth opportunities.
Graduates included: Amy Baltimore, Beth Hurst, Kenecia Sullivan, Mary Beth Young, Macari Harrison, Tiara Vance, Amy Sanders, Dana Stem, Heather Knox, Kim Fischer, Morgan Jones, Theresa Witsman, Angela Pope, Emily Casey, Jenifer Scott, Rhonda Gore, Roxana Dove, Rachel Bjork, Charlotte Young, Emily Jameson, Kacey Landreth, Nicolette Sanders, Mallory Eaton, Stephanie Turner, Corynn Moore, Ginger Hazelbaker, Karen Cook, Shae Miga and Whitley Troutman.
Kindergarten registration is May 3 and 4 for the 2018-19 school year at your zoned school. All children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before August 15, 2018.
For an overview of registering your child for kindergarten, please visit http://www.cityschools.net/student-info/registration or search ‘New Student Registration’ in the search bar.
If you have questions about your child’s zoned school, please click on EDULOG and enter your current address.
To register new students parents should bring:
- 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 your name and address on it. (Example: Water, Electric, Gas).
Kindercamp will be held July 16-20th at all Murfreesboro City Schools. Additional details and registration information regarding Kindercamp is available during Kindergarten Preview Days and Kindergarten Registration.
A great resource for helping your child prepare for kindergarten can be found at KidCentralTN.com.
Thirty-three teachers from Murfreesboro City Schools received their Tennessee Employment Standard for Gifted Teaching after completing the MTSU/MCS Gifted Academy.
The Gifted Academy, sponsored by The Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation, aims to expand Murfreesboro City Schools Gifted Education program by equipping teachers with tools to identify and engage gifted students.
The Gifted Academy training presents teachers with numerous tools to assist in planning higher level thinking activities and detailed tasks for gifted learners. MCS currently has over 100 teachers that have received additional training specifically related to gifted education.
“We want to provide stimulating learning environments for our gifted students allowing them to be challenged and to succeed. With that goal in mind, MCS provides The Gifted Academy for our teachers and has developed the Scholars’ Program for students along with other programs,” says Lea Bartch, Gifted Services Specialist.
The 2017-18 graduation class of the Gifted Academy includes:
Courtney Baker, Nichole Bell, Sam Bolden, Anna Buchholz, Chase Carter, Emily Casey, Erica Crabtree, Lindsay Crawford, Leatha Fielder, Laura Gavin, Mark Gibson, Spring Harris, Macari Harrison, Tara Hatchell, Whitney Heckert, Shelby Jones, Kaycie Jones, Kimberly Kahle, Iliana Maccagnano, Jennifer Marlatt, Danielle Montanaro, Christy Moore, Anita Morton, Danya Pace, Cheri Purdie, Amberly Sandberg, Rachel Slough, Sondra Smith, Alison Stovall, Patric Thomas, Tiara Vance, Maria Webb, and Jennifer Whitlow.
The Scholars’ Program for students began in 2015 and offers varied 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. Scholars work with Gifted Specialists throughout the school year on unique projects and learning tasks.
MCS students from Black Fox, Cason Lane, Erma Siegel, Northfield, Reeves-Rogers, and Scales joined nearly 500 student athletes from across Rutherford County to compete in a day of running, jumping, throwing and overall good spirited competition. This year marks the 30th year for the local games, which are held at Middle Tennessee State University’s Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium.
Area 16 Special Olympics was founded in 1968.
Bradley students and families participated in an interactive drum circle finale led by Giving Tree Music. The drum circle was an interactive circle of children and parents, drumming together and holding a common pulse. Bradley students participated in drum circles throughout the week learning to focus on tasks while weaving rhythms into a cohesive, musical experience. Bradley has hosted the drum circle for two years.
Murfreesboro City Schools is a proud sponsor of the 2018 Murfreesboro Earth Day Celebration. Students across Murfreesboro and Rutherford County are invited to participate in the Student Video Contest as part of the 2018 Murfreesboro Earth Day Celebration.
Do you have an idea on how to stay aware in extreme weather? Want to help others be prepared? Form a team and complete a PSA that encompasses the theme “Extreme Weather: Stay Aware & Be Prepared”.
For additional details, click on the link below. Winners will be announced during the Earth Day Celebration on April 21.