Celebrating Hattie Cotton Elementary

Hattie Cotton Elementary: Preparing Students for Life in the 21st Century
Posted on 03/28/2022
teacher high fiving student in class

Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary School is a “hidden gem” tucked away in the heart of historic East Nashville.  

Hattie Cotton’s story is ingrained in Nashville’s civil rights history. After opening in 1950, it became one of the first six Nashville schools to integrate in 1957. Named for Hattie Reeder Cotton, a Nashville teacher who taught for 49 years, the school was bombed late one night during the desegregation battle but quickly reopened and was fully repaired within a few months, a symbol of the resilience of the city's schools, students and staff.  students doing robotics in class

Today the school has a powerful vision statement: “Hattie Cotton will be a model school by empowering every student to become lifelong learners, problem solvers and productive citizens.”

Hattie Cotton became the first elementary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) school in MNPS in 2011, with an intense focus on those subjects. All students, from kindergarten up, learn to code at Hattie Cotton, which was awarded the Apple/Tennessee State University Coding Partnership Grant.  

“As a science, technology, engineering and mathematics school, we recognize that students must be prepared to meet the challenges and demands of the 21st century,” Principal Jocelyn Adams says. 

Hattie Cotton focuses on Every Student Known by placing an emphasis on social-emotional and academic learning practices that develop the whole child. The school puts families first and builds relationships by greeting all students and families at daily arrival and dismissal. This starts on the first day of school when students and families are treated like VIPs and walk a red carpet as photos of each family are taken. students holding up a colorful parachute

Students engage in personalized learning during Colts Hour, when students receive enrichment and remediation daily, based on individual student needs. They use academic and non-academic data to inform and address every student’s learning needs. Students receive positive behavior referrals and incentives along with academic and attendance celebrations.

The experienced faculty includes two teachers who have each spent more than 20 years at the school. 

Hattie Cotton students represent their student body in their school colors of blue and white and take pride in having the colts as their school mascot.

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