Celebrating Casa Azafrán

Casa Azafrán: Early Learning in a Diverse and Welcoming Pre-K
Posted on 02/22/2022
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Casa Azafrán is one of Metro Schools’ early learning centers, serving more than 80 pre-kindergarten students in the heart of one of Nashville’s most international and diverse districts on Nolensville Road.   student at easel in class

“Casa Azafrán reflects Nashville’s true cultural essence, right down to the name,” says Susan McClain, a multi-classroom leader at Casa Azafrán, explaining that “azafrán” is the word for saffron in Spanish, a spice that is indigenous to Asia but has roots that span many cultures — a fitting metaphor for a diverse and welcoming early learning center.   

Metro Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten programs are creative, play-based programs, where students begin to prepare for kindergarten. At Casa Azafrán, teachers and staff ensure Every Student is Known by setting individual goals for their young learners, by reviewing detailed student data and getting to know each student and their interests and hobbies. The ultimate goal for teachers and staff at Casa Azafrán is to make sure each student is “K-Ready” before they leave Pre-K.  

During the school day, students spend their days learning through fun experiences and group work. Through the school’s social-emotional learning (SEL) emphasis, students learn how to enter social situations with confidence, work on communication skills, and practice good character traits and life skills needed before kindergarten.  

student writing on white boardOne of many unique experiences about Casa Azafrán is the Specials classes they offer students.  

“We provide fun and exciting Specials classes daily for our students that focus on science, tech, reading, engineering, art and math,” McClain says. “Elementary-based schools usually do not introduce Specials classes until their kindergarten year, and we are fortunate to be able to provide these experiences for our students in Pre-K.” 

Casa Azafrán is also home to several resident artists, who volunteer their time at the school to teach students music, science, math and engineering through creative outputs like puppetry, drumming and full-body movement.   

“We once had a musician teach students a mathematics [lesson] using only violins,” McClain says. 

Apply to Pre-K

The Pre-K application for the 2022-23 school year opens March 1. If you’d like to apply for Casa Azafrán or another Pre-K location, you can read more about the application on our Pre-K website.  

“We are honored to provide MNPS’s youngest students with a solid educational experience in an emotionally supportive environment,” says Executive Principal Lily Leffler.  

Facts about Casa Azafrán 

  • The school is located inside Casa Azafrán’s Community Center. The center houses many non-profit organizations that offer various services, like healthcare and English classes, making family resources easily accessible.
  • Its newest program initiative began in late November and is led entirely by the school’s paraprofessionals. The paraprofessionals coordinate, plan and execute weekly Spanish class for the students as their specials time on Fridays. They have invested in a full curriculum that has allowed students to learn more than eight colors, and they are presently learning body parts in Spanish. The students cannot wait until the next new Spanish word is introduced each week. Casa is very proud of the dedication of its paraprofessionals.
  • The school’s mission is: “Casa Azafrán Early Learning Center is invested in empowering students and families through authentic interactions and innovative experiences that prepare them for success in school and life.” 
  • Before-care and after-care services are available each day, starting as early as 6:30 a.m.  
  • The school’s mascot is the Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala. The Quetzal, which is native to northern Columbia and northern Venezuela, is said to represent never giving up.


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