Optional Schools Application Deadline Extended to January 13, 2017

More time needed to identify students who qualify for academic magnet schools


Read this announcement in: Amharic | Arabic | Burmese | English | Kurdish | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Vietnamese

Read Frequently Asked Questions: Amharic | Arabic | Burmese | English | Kurdish | Nepali | Somali Spanish | Vietnamese


The deadline for submitting the Optional Schools Application has been extended to Friday, January 13, 2017. The reasons for this extension are varied, but they all come back to a point of equity. District staff need additional time to ensure that all children who qualify to apply for academic magnet schools are identified and given the opportunity to do so. The district’s magnet schools with academic entrance requirements are Meigs Middle Magnet, Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet and Hume-Fogg Magnet High.

The extension applies to all families and all schools included on the application. Any families who wish to apply or make changes to their existing applications have until Friday, January 13, 2017, to do so. Parents will be able to continue to apply online or submit a paper application.

This extension changes nothing for students who already qualified to apply for Meigs, MLK or Hume-Fogg. The result of this extension will be that more students will qualify to apply for these schools, not fewer. No one will lose qualification status who already has it.

For parents, this extension has the following impacts on families:

·      For families who have already applied for optional schools and do not wish to change their choices:

o   The extension changes nothing, and no action is needed.

·      For families who have already applied for optional schools but wish to change their choices – whether or not those choices include the academic magnet schools:

o   They will now have until Friday, January 13 to do so.

·      For families who have received letters stating their children qualify to apply for an academic magnet school:

o   This extension will not affect qualification status.

o   If they wish to make changes to their applications, they have until Friday, January 13 to do so.

·      For families who have received letters stating their children do not qualify to apply for an academic magnet school:

o   They may receive updated letters in the mail if there has been a change to their qualifying status.

o   Note: This change is expected to happen only for a small number of families.

·      For families who have received letters stating that their children’s qualifying status is still unknown:

o   They may receive updated letters in the mail soon that will give a definite qualifying status.

Starting very soon, families will also be able to contact the Family Information Center to see if their children qualify. When that list is finalized, families and the public will be notified.

Because the application deadline has been extended, there will be additional changes to the Optional Schools Application calendar. Selection Day, the acceptance letter deadline and all waitlist pulls will now occur on later dates.

A fully updated calendar of Optional Schools’ Application dates is available. The deadline extension also means there will be three pulls from school waitlists between now and the first day of school in 2017 rather than four.


The deadline extension is necessary in part because the process for qualifying for magnet schools with academic entrance requirements was much more complicated this year. Eligibility for Meigs, MLK and Hume-Fogg is determined using two criteria: state test scores and classroom grades.

In previous years, students who scored proficient or advanced on state tests like TCAP could be eligible to apply for one of these schools. Because state testing was canceled last year, and there were no scores to use for eligibility purposes, other tests given by the district had to be used instead. Because many test options and test administration dates could be used for qualifying, it will take additional time to ensure all students who meet this criterion have been identified.

For the grading qualification, students must maintain an average of 85 or above, with no failing grades in any individual classes, for the spring of the 2015-16 school year and the first nine weeks of the 2016-17 school year. Missing grade data from the current semester made determining that qualification difficult for many students.

Read more about the academic magnet qualifying criteria online.

Teams have been working for the last several weeks to comb through testing and grade data to ensure all students who qualify can be identified, but additional time is needed to complete the job. In the end, district leaders felt that the need to give all students eligible for academic magnets a fair chance to apply outweighed the need to keep a deadline.

The district believes strongly that no child should be denied the opportunity to apply for one of these schools because of missing data.

More information, including a list of frequently asked questions and updated calendars, is available at MNPS.org. Families can also reach out to the Family Information Center using any of the methods below.

Metro Schools Family Information Center

615-259-INFO (4636)


Live Chat at MNPS.org

2601 Bransford Avenue, 37204

(Back entrance on Berry Road)


School Choice: Giving Our Students Options

Metro Nashville Public Schools is a diverse, vibrant urban school district that strives for excellence throughout the entire system. Our mission is to help families find the right schools for their children and to put them on a track for success. We understand that every student is unique and has different needs, and we cater to students at all levels. 

What's New

  • We've adjusted the academic entrance requirements.
  • Parents can choose a high school instead of a career pathway.
  • Pre-school and pre-K seats for Stanford and Hull Jackson are not on the application and will instead be offered as part of the pre-K application period next spring.
  • Eleventh and twelfth grade applications have to be reviewed first by the principal before being turned in to Student Assignment Services.

Families in Nashville have 167 public schools available to them, meaning that we have a school that's just right for your child. Metro Schools will help ensure your child has a great educational experience and graduates are prepared for college, careers and life.

Every year, the Optional Schools Application allows you to choose among open enrollment schools, and your child can always attend his or her zoned school. To family members who have great expectations for their children, our promise is to work hard not only to meet your expectations, but to exceed them.


The below documents can provide you with more information on how the school choice process works. 

School Choice Overview & Frequently Asked Questions PDF Translations

Arabic | Burmese | English | Kurdish | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Vietnamese


Arabic | Burmese | English | Kurdish | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Vietnamese

The Application Booklet

This booklet contains the school choice overview, a list of frequently asked questions and an abundance of other information pertaining to school choice. A copy of the booklet should have been sent home with each student on October 31.

Optional School Application Booklet PDF: Arabic | English | Kurdish | Somali | Spanish

Applying for Academic Magnet Schools

Three Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child

1) Explore Your Options

Already have a school in mind? Look at school websites.

Need to know what schools are in you zone? Find out your zoned school(s).

Want to see all of your options? Use our school finder. 

2) Visit schools during Walk-Through Tuesdays

Touring a school is the best way to see if it is the right fit for your family. To participate in Walk-Through Tuesdays, visit your preferred school on the designated day and time or call the school to schedule an appointment for a different time.

Walk Through Tuesday Fliers: Arabic | Burmese | English | Kurdish | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Vietnamese

3) Apply by January 13

Students will be sent home with an application booklet on October 31. You can fill out the paper application at the back of the booklet or apply online at www.mnpsschoolchoice.org. Paper applications must be received by 5:30 p.m. on January 13, and online applications will close at 11:59 p.m. This deadline includes all pathway continuation forms, but does not apply to applications for pre-K, 11th or 12th grade. 


School Choice Presentations

Families have the option to send their children to schools across the district through an application. Come to one of our presentations to learn about the choice application process and your public school options. 

Date | Time | Location

October 24 | 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. | Oasis Center (Room Turner A)

October 26 | 6 - 7 p.m. | Midtown Hills Police Precinct

October 27 | 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. | Northwest YMCA

November 2 | 6 - 7 p.m. | East Park Community Center

November 3 | 6 p.m. | Southeast Community Center

November 7 | 6 - 7 p.m. | Coleman Community Center

November 7 | 6 - 7 p.m. | Pennington Elementary School

November 9 | 6 - 7 p.m. | Madison Library

Presentation PowerPoint

Arabic | Burmese | English | Farsi | Kurdish | Nepali | Somali | Spanish


Pre-K Presentations

We want your child to exceed great expectations at every level in their education. These presentations are for the families of children who will be transitioning from pre-K into kindergarten. Pre-K families who cannot attend these presentations can get their questions answered at the regular school choice presentations.

Date | Time(s) | Location

October 20 | 8:15 a.m. / 1 p.m / 5:30 p.m. | Davis Early Learning Center 

October 20 | 1 p.m. / 4:30 p.m. | Ross Early Learning Center

October 26 | 3 p.m. | Cambridge Early Learning Center

October 28 | 8 a.m. | Cambridge Early Learning Center