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New online course helps Metro students excel in high school

High School 101 gives support, helps students know what to expect

Metro Nashville Public Schools students now have a well-supported bridge as they make the important transition from middle to high school. A new class in Metro’s Middle Preps gives students a preview of what’s ahead so they can be better prepared for high school.

High School 101 is a new required course for all eighth grade students in Metro Schools. It is an online course students complete with the help of their teachers that will familiarize them with new terminology, class structures, expectations and the importance of the ninth grade year.

“High School 101 erases the mystery that middle school students sometimes have around high school,” said Chief Academic Officer Jay Steele. “It helps them know exactly what to expect on the first day of school.”

All eighth graders will complete 20 30-minute lessons at school, working through each of them with one of their current teachers at middle school. Lessons are perfectly designed to fit within the advisory period middle school students have every day. It does not count for a grade, but teachers will work with students to ensure they understand and complete each lesson.

Metro Schools administrators and teachers developed the curriculum in-house. This being the first year of implementation, they will all come back together with even more teachers later this semester to refine and make any necessary changes.

“This course is the pathway to a smooth transition into high school,” said Sonya Brooks, assistant principal at Antioch High School and co-developer of the curriculum. “Having taught both middle and high school, I see that this course will help both students and families. It was designed intentionally to put every eighth grade student on a course for success in high school.

This effort is one of many within the district’s Middle Preps Action Plan, which stresses K-12 alignment and a particular focus on transitions from elementary to middle school and middle to high school.

"The ninth grade year is extremely important in a high school student's life,” said Steele. “Choices made in the ninth grade may affect which high school courses students take and to which colleges they are accepted. High School 101 will prepare eighth grade students to make better informed choices."