Dear friends:

Nashville is known by education leaders nationwide for the things we do right.

As I wrote this, nearly 400 visitors from other districts were attending the Academies of Nashville Study Visit to learn about the keys of high school transformation. Over the summer, more than 900 teachers and youth-serving professionals traveled here to study the integration of social-emotional learning at the Music City SEL Conference. And, each day, in every school in Nashville, exemplary educators redefine the standard of practice as they go above and beyond to ensure that all students are taught and nurtured.

The magic that happens in our district was highlighted most recently by the announcement of the Tennessee Department of Education’s 2018 Reward Schools, a list to which twenty-two Metro schools were named! Everyone at Alignment Nashville wishes to extend a heartfelt congratulations to all of the schools who made the list – we are so proud of your growth and success!

Our pride in Metro Nashville Public Schools isn’t contingent on their designation to a list – while we know that some of our schools have also joined the list of Priority Schools, we believe that every student and every school is filled with the potential to be extraordinary, and that it’s our imperative as a community to help them reach it. Improving education in Nashville isn’t a mission to be “accomplished.” It’s a movement, constructed around the vital experiences of our students, teachers, and families, that we must commit to advance by working together.

Powerful movements require both bold, invigorating sparks in addition to years of hard work that are ultimately responsible for chipping away at the factors that hold our problems in place. Every project, every initiative, every step forward is the result of a partnership between the school district and the community that has been thoughtfully designed to impact the students and schools with the greatest needs using the limited resources at our disposal – a key principlethat guides all of our work.

Through our Alignment Teams, more than 300 community organizations come together to work on our community’s most urgent needs. Our commitment now, as it has always been, is to continue to create space for open and honest discussion where individual agendas can be set aside and innovation can take place. Together, we can deconstruct generational disparities in education, health, and opportunity that face our schools and communities.

We don’t just convene leaders, we convene doers – not just those who believe in the potential of our schools, but those who are ready to put in the work to see that potential realized in quiet, daily efforts and in the sparks of big steps. Be a doer and see how you can get involved now with exciting projects like LEAF Community Nights, Exito Mentoring, and Digital Citizenship Partners. Want to discuss other opportunities for collaboration? Let’s find a time to talk.


Melissa Jaggers