Four Nashville elementary and middle schools will be expanding their academic programs to better serve Black and Hispanic students.
Metro Nashville Public Schools has received nearly $15 million in federal funding to invest over the next five years.
The U.S. Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant will create and strengthened existing magnet programs at Isaiah T. Creswell Middle and Carter-Lawrence, Alex Green and Tom Joy Elementary schools.
The stated purpose is to diversify segregated schools that have a higher percentage of minority students than the district average. Metro Schools received similar funding to desegregate other buildings in 2017.
“The two cohorts are going to work together. They’re going to collaborate together. They’re going to share stories and plan together,” says John Wren, manager of the magnet schools assistance program at Metro Schools.
Wren says the programs will include performing arts, engineering, leadership and design technology themes that will be used to guide school operations and shape student curriculum.
The goal, says Wren, is to provide an equal education to students in under-resourced communities.
“The magnet grant provides for a variety of different things,” he says. “It provides funds for increased teacher training, resourcing and theme development.”
School leaders may also use the grant to purchase furniture and upgrade the “physical space” of their buildings. There will also be an allotment of funds for branding, student recruitment and marketing initiatives.