Celebrating Haywood

Celebrating Haywood: Diverse, Strong Family Support and Student Engagement
Posted on 12/02/2021
Haywood students

Haywood Elementary School is a diverse school where over 20 languages are spoken. To support all their students, Haywood offers integrated reading and writing classes for non-English-speaking scholars so they can learn alongside their peers. Many classes have multiple teachers to make this possible.  

“Haywood Elementary School has a rich and diverse history that recognizes and honors the many gifts/abilities our students bring to school every day. Each cultural and ethnic group that make up our learning community matters,” says Principal Damon Cathey. “Our students matter. Our families matter. And we believe in each and every student there is hope and a future that we are compelled to support, because dreams and potential matter as well.” 

Haywood opened in 1959 and was named for 19th-century Tennessee Supreme Court Justice John Haywood, also known as the father of Tennessee history. He earned this title as the founder of the state’s first historical society, the Antiquarian Society, and as the author of the basic histories of the state. Haywood Students Dress For Sucdess

Haywood students can explore their artistic abilities through the school’s very own music and art studios, complete with a kiln for firing art sculptures. Blended instructional strategies are used to engage learners and prepare them for the next level of work. Social and emotional needs are addressed through a counseling program and extra-curricular activities.

Extracurriculars include EL Reading Club, Haywood Scholars, a student book club sponsored by Book'em, and Urban Promise Nashville’s offsite afterschool tutoring program for refugee and immigrant students. 

Haywood takes an Every Family Known approach to make learning and resources accessible to each family across diverse cultural, socioeconomic, and educational backgrounds. They accommodate the needs of families in the constantly changing environment in order to maintain access to all the school has to offer. Haywood has adapted programming and gatherings to a virtual format when necessary, outdoors when possible, and in person with safety protocols in place. 

Haywood hosts monthly family and student engagement activities such as:


  • Parent Academy - a workshop for parents in collaboration with community partners to support learning at home. 
  • Family Nights - schoolwide events to connect families with the school. Past themes have included Science Night with Mr. Bond's Science Guys and Literacy Night with Nashville Public Library. 
  • Imagination Train: a twice-a-month read-aloud with a Haywood staff member or community partner that is recorded and posted online on the school’s YouTube channel.  
  • Tuesday LEAF Nights in partnership with the EL Office: Haywood families are served dinner from The Nashville Food Project and attend adult English as a second language (ESL) classes while their children participate in activities led by Haywood staff.  

Haywood focuses on supporting their families weekly through weekend food bags provided by Bridge Ministry and Bridges Nashville church. More than 100 students receive free diapers through a partnership with The Nashville Food Project, a Comfort Closet full of clothes, shoes, coats, underwear, socks, hats, gloves, backpacks, school supplies, and more. Haywood provides a Community Room for families to use that includes 10 laptops for parents and partners to access. Haywood has also been approved to be a new Second Harvest Food Pantry site. 

Fun Facts and School Successes

  • Haywood staff members partnered with Angel Tree to provide 109 families with gifts for the holidays.  
  • The Haywood Giving Store - a shop of both new and gently used items for students to choose gifts for their family members.  
  • Haywood partners with CereCore (an HCA affiliate) via Book'em to provide five books to each student to add to their home library collection. 
  • Haywood hosted a COVID-19 vaccination event for the community in October at which 39 vaccine doses were administered, 17 of which were first doses. 

Celebration of Schools

Learn more about the MNPS Celebration of Schools and celebrate Metro Schools with us.

Haywood STEAM class

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