Celebrating Shwab Elementary

“I just wish I could be here forever”- Shwab Elementary is a Neighborhood Fixture in East Nashville
Posted on 02/23/2022
shwab elementary red stairs with math problems on them.

After only a few conversations with the teachers and staff at Shwab Elementary School, a vibrant MNPS school in East Nashville, it’s easy to see just how dedicated the entire team is to knowing each and every one of their 340 students.  Shwab bee logo

Shwab is a true fixture in its neighborhood, where students learn together during the school day and play together after the final bell has rung.

“Our teachers go out of their way to make sure they know all students as the people they are,” says Cassandra Cosgrove, an English language teacher at Shwab. “Even if a student isn’t in their class, teachers know our students by name.”  

Cosgrove is in her seventh year of teaching – and has spent all seven of those years at Shwab. Her colleague Sara Morrison, a third-grade teacher who is also in her seventh year of teaching at the school, agreed.  

“Our parents know that a student at Shwab may have only one teacher, but that doesn’t mean they have just one person who cares about their success – they have dozens,” Morrison says.  

“Our staff and students really care about each other, and that really helps to make it easier for academics to thrive,” says Cosgrove.  

This family feeling among students and staff is made possible through a positive culture among teachers and staff. Morrison describes the collaborative teaching environment as an ideal situation that is supportive, encouraging and beneficial to all student learning.  

“Kids pick up on emotion more than we realize, and when we can support each other as colleagues, we’re able to be more enjoyable [and effective] in doing our jobs,” she said. “It helps me have more brain space and capacity to really connect with my kids and make that extra effort.”   red stairs with math problems on them

Shwab teachers use a team-based “Village” approach to learning, which further encourages individualizing the support and services students receive through vertical planning for teachers and by creating greater community and connection among each different grade level. Alongside a strong emphasis on core learning, Shwab also provides personalized student learning time, known as Hive Thrive, which is a space for students to work with teachers and coaches on enrichment and supports.

In 2018 and 2019, Shwab was designated a Tennessee Reward School, a designation that indicates an increase in student achievement and student growth. Shwab is a diverse school, where you can often hear a GoNoodle video played in both English and Spanish in the same classroom.  

“Faculty and staff work collaboratively every day to provide our scholars with the academic and social and emotional skills necessary to write their own future stories in middle school, high school and beyond,” says Executive Principal Cheryl Bowman.  

“We all have a goal to help students harness their academic skills to more effectively use their voice and express themselves,” Cosgrove adds. “We are preparing them to be actual people.” 

The Shwab experience can be summed up by one of Cosgrove’s fifth-grade students, who said: “I just wish I could be here forever, and that Shwab could be our school forever.”  

Learn More about Shwab

  • It’s a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention Support) school, which means students are immersed in practices and activities that teach self-regulation, belonging and relationship development.   
  • Their mascot is the Shwabee (a bee), and the school colors are yellow, blue and red.  
  • The school’s motto is “Learning is our lifestyle and failure is not an option,” the vision is “Empowering ALL to BEE multi-talented lifelong learners” and the school mission is “Shwab Elementary provides a respectful, engaging environment that fosters relationships, personal growth and academic achievement through data-informed decisions.” 
  • The school is named after Emanuel Shwab, who donated the land for the original Shwab Elementary School, which opened in 1890.  


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