Advanced learning is taking a step forward in Metro Schools

Let’s take a step back and look at some of the ways Metro Schools serves its highest achieving students: Encore, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and the new AICE program, among others. They are all powerful programs that help thousands of students realize their full potential in school. And they’re all about to be even stronger than before. Little girl doing an experiment

To strengthen our advanced offerings and to make sure we’re reaching every student who needs them, we’re proud to announce the promotion of Dr. Sharon Chaney to Director of Advanced Academics and Talent Development.

So why should you care about a central office promotion? It’s much more than that. This is a brand new position that brings all of our advanced academic programs under one umbrella. It means creating a strong and diverse path for our brightest students to get the education they need at every level, from prekindergarten to graduation.

It starts very early, with better identification of gifted learners in Pre-K. Encore has served these students for decades with great success, but we need to be better and more vigilant about finding students all over the district who can benefit from this program.

Throughout the time those students are in Encore, they will get the very best instruction to meet their intellectual needs – in both Encore classes and their regular classrooms. Encore teachers will learn more about what’s happening in regular school classes and bring their lessons in line with them. At the same time, general education teachers will learn more about gifted learners and how to reach them at the level they need. No matter where these students are, they will receive gifted services.

Helping with this will be our brand new Coordinator of Gifted Services, Matt Nelson. Matt was hired just last week and starts work this summer. He comes from Collierville, TN, and understands the connections between teachers, parents and curriculum with gifted students.

When it’s time for these students to move out of Encore and into high school, they will have their pick of advanced programs: AP Scholars (Hillwood, Hume-Fogg, MLK and NSA), IB (Hillsboro, Hunters Lane and coming soon to Antioch) or AICE (Cane Ridge, McGavock, Overton and Whites Creek).

How do we find these students? That’s the key. We’re calling it “Talent Development,” which I think has a great ring to it. We want to find and develop the academic talent in all students so we can meet it. We can do that by finding more of our gifted learners and opening up access to our other advanced programs. If students can succeed these environments, we want them to be there.

This is the goal. It’s a complete vision for us to find all of the high achievers in our district and give them the challenges and enrichment they deserve.