Glencliff Elementary Honored

Glencliff Elementary Named National Magnet School of Distinction
Posted on 02/22/2023
Educator and two students working in class

Principal working with students

The MNPS Experience looks a little different every day at Glencliff Entrepreneurship STEAM Magnet Elementary School. From a student-run news broadcast to a yearly Shark Tank invention competition, Glencliff shows how relevant and engaging lessons and activities keep students interested in learning - leading to happy and successful students.

In 2017, Glencliff and four other MNPS elementary schools (joined by another four schools in 2021) were awarded the federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) Grant, put in place to provide vision, leadership, and support of innovative programs that promote choice, equity, diversity, access, and excellence for all students.

Since then, Glencliff staff have worked tirelessly to implement the entrepreneurship STEAM theme — and their hard work is now recognized nationally.

Glencliff has been named a National Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America, the national association for magnet and theme-based schools. The award was given based on the South Nashville school’s demonstrated ability to raise academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.

Glencliff’s motto is "We See (C) the Light," a slogan that supports the 4 C's of 21st-century skills: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication. The 4 C’s, combined with MNPS curriculum-aligned Project Based Lessons (PBL), improve students' comprehension of the required skills. student speaking into a microphone

The magnet theme has become embedded in every Glencliff classroom through tactful professional development, community partnerships, and strategic use of resources provided by grant funding. Students use the Entrepreneurial Design Process across all subjects to ask questions, imagine, plan, create, improve, and share solutions. Through that lens, classrooms use hands-on and inquiry-based learning.

An emphasis on building student leaders allows students to share their ideas and their voice through opportunities like the W-GES News Broadcast and the Student Council. All students can access the innovation station, incubator lab, and state-of-the-art broadcasting studio.

One of the many theme-focused projects the future entrepreneurs participate in is the annual Shark Tank. Students pitch their ideas and inventions to a panel of “Sharks.”

“The MSAP grant has afforded our students the opportunities to dream big,” Glencliff Principal Dr. Julie Hopkins said. “They have been exposed to STEAM field trip excursions, professional broadcasting equipment, and entrepreneurial partnerships.”

Hopkins will be recognized and receive a National Magnet School of Distinction Award on behalf of the school during an awards ceremony at Magnet Schools of America’s 40th national conference, hosted by Dallas Independent School District, in April.

“We are proud and pleased to be recognized as Magnet Schools of America National School of Distinction,” Hopkins said. “The evidence of entrepreneurship has been confirmed when our students prepare business plans for the businesses that they believe will make a global impact.”

Learn at a STEAM Magnet School

Learn more about the district's MSAP magnet schools and apply for a seat at a STEAM Magnet school.

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