Dr. Joseph's End of Year Message to Employees
Dear Metro Schools' Employees,
What a year it has been and what an honor it has been to spend it with you.
Together this year, we have accomplished so much – taking great strides in improving literacy, ensuring equitable access to programs, providing more services and supports for all students, improving the quality of our Pre-K programs, transforming middle schools through STEAM-based teaching and learning and working to offer additional professional development, compensation and voice for our employees.
You have helped steer the focus back to our highest priority: our students. Every single one of us is focused on our students, their achievement and helping them define and achieve their limitless possibility.
And it shows.
Our students are not just Exceeding Great Expectations, they’re exceeding national averages. All students in grades 2-8 surpassed the national average for growth for reading and math, excluding fifth grade math. Our eighth graders (reading) and second graders (math), showed results better than the national average.
We know smart kids can live in any zip code – and this year, our increased focus on access to advanced academics led to more than 13,000 students taking advanced academic exams and certifications and more than 1,000 new students taking the ACT, with ACT scores improving among students who face traditional barriers to success.
We have placed an inherent focus on STEAM in middle school – an approach to teaching and learning that will help to develop soft skills employers are looking for: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, while providing students with an engaging classroom experience during a pivotal time in their educational journey.
We secured more than $15 million in grant funding to create five new STEAM magnet schools at the elementary level. Students can’t be what they can’t see and this grant will help Metro Schools expose our youngest learners to the possibilities the world presents.
Our community partners are standing with us and are equally as committed to a strong public education for every single student in Nashville. This year, with the partnership of the Nashville Public Education Foundation, Nashville committed to liberating all of our students and supporting our literacy work.
Student achievement is critical – and obviously what we strive for – but none of this work would be possible without you and the tireless hours you pour into our students’ lives each and every day.
Every day, you model excellence for our students. Our students must overcome unique obstacles and you support them not just through the educational lessons, but also through the love, care and respect you show to each student. This district – and the work that we do – would not be possible without the work that you do in support of your colleagues and our students.
To those of you who will enjoy a few weeks away from work, I hope you can take this time for a rejuvenating break – one that is certainly well-deserved. Take time to reflect on the successes of this year as you begin to prepare for the next.
Your work and commitment to our district is the most important and valuable asset we have. All of the add-ons in the world can’t compare to the value you bring to our organization.
I thank each of you for your dedication to your craft and to our students’ futures, and look forward to picking right back up where we have left off this August.
Thank you for all you do,