Choosing your pathway in Metro Schools: High School Choice Day
High School Choice Day is only a few days away for eighth-grade students in Metro Schools who are choosing their academic pathway for high school. Thursday, November 5 is High School Choice Day. This is the second year that 8th grade students will be able to select their top seven preferred academic pathways, whether at their zoned school or another school with open enrollment of their families’ choice.
"You have those who are straddling between what they want to do - whether they want to stay in their zoned school or go out in other schools," said Tasia Thompson, School Counselor for Joelton Middle Prep. "Ultimately, I try to help them decide on what they want to do after high school. We try to find schools that gear towards their interest."
And finding out what interests you means knowing your options, Thompson said. Last week, on October 26, Joelton Middle Prep, eighth graders visited Whites Creek High School. On Nov. 17, representatives from Big Picture High School will be at Joelton Middle Prep to speak with students about the high school's academic programs.
"A lot of the students like the hands-on pathways, like alternative energy. A lot of them are like, 'I want to make this!'" Thompson said. "We just like to let them know there are other options."
High School Choice Day encourages students to return completed applications signed by their parents to their schools. It's also a day when students receive help from counselors in getting the application information submitted into Metro Schools’ online system. At Joelton, students will be selecting pathways during social studies and science courses.
At Apollo Middle Prep, teachers spent time speaking with students about the school in their zone, Antioch High School. Eighth graders have taken personality tests and interest inventories to help further determine what they are interested in.
Automotive technology, design communications, business and finance are all popular choices this year, according to Ashley Smith, 7th and 8th grade counselor at Apollo Middle Prep.
"Most of the students I spoke with know which academy they want to apply to," Smith said. The morning of High School Choice Day, students at Apollo Middle will be selecting their pathway on the Optional Schools application during homeroom or during their first or second period classes.
Students are strongly encouraged to use the Optional Schools application to make their academic pathway selection even if they are planning to attend their zoned school to ensure they are placed in an academic pathway of interest to them.
At Metro Schools, students also have access to Magnet Schools, Charter High Schools, and Non-Traditional High Schools, each with their own unique programming and pathways to graduation that may fit students' individual needs.
Learning about Pathways
The process of learning about academic programs in Metro Schools and the 75 different pathways available through the Academies of Nashville begins early on. Students not only complete "High School 101" modules through Blackboard, but go on school visits.
Students can also visit the Academies of Nashville site, myacademyblog.com, for more information about Academy pathways. Additionally, there are videos about the pathways in the 12 zoned schools available on the MNPS YouTube Channel Playlist Academies of Nashville Virtual Tours below:
- Learn about the 8th Grader High School Choice Process
- Choose your pathway on the 2016-2017 Optional Schools Application
- Frequently Asked Questions: 8th Grade Pathway Selection Process
The Metro Schools Customer Service Center is available to provide any additional information you may need. You can contact Customer Service by calling (615) 259-INFO (4636).