Celebrating Whitsitt Elementary

Whitsitt Elementary: Driving Academic Success with Environmental Focus
Posted on 02/02/2022
Whitsitt classroom teacher and students

John B. Whitsitt Elementary School is a welcoming school that teaches and engages students through their individual strengths. They strive to celebrate each student’s talents and build confidence in areas where they need support. This is further demonstrated in their Every Student Known daily practices of personally greeting every student each morning.

Whitsitt Elementary teacher and students
“Our open-door policy is one of the things parents love most about our school, because it lets them know we're on the same team with the same goal: their child's academic success,” Executive Principal Justin Uppinghouse said.

Whitsitt honors its students in a myriad of ways, including bold acknowledgments of student achievement and efforts on bulletin boards and flat screen monitors throughout the school. Students have incentives to earn rewards, such as winning a book from the book dispenser.  

Whitsitt is an environmental engineering STEAM magnet school that focuses on developing environmental stewards and powerful civic leaders. Whitsitt is teaching this generation of children not only to save the planet but also to excel in academics, leadership and their own purpose.

The school offers a beautiful garden space that includes an outdoor learning classroom and over 15 raised beds. Students can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, thanks to the support of their community partners.

whitsitt students in front of sun mural

The physical education class at Whitsitt is also STEAM-focused. The classes are engaging and technology-savvy. The teachers use the Lü interactive wall display, heart-rate monitors, and other technology to support the curriculum. Students have opportunities to learn how to ride bikes, learn in-line skating, and do other exciting activities.

Whitsitt successfully piloted a program with the Nashville Soccer Club called Kickstart to Reading, a reading initiative targeting third-graders. The initiative encourages and motivates students to read and achieve benchmarks that unlock prizes. The success of this partnership earned students and their families a Whitsitt Night with Nashville SC, where everyone enjoyed an exciting Major League Soccer match.  

The Whitsitt Wildcats show their pride in the three colors of blue, green and turquoise. They are also a Community Achieves School. This well-resourced community partnership provides students and families wraparound services and enrichment opportunities.

Whitsitt is a proud finalist for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Energy Right School Uplift initiative. Whitsitt hopes to get awarded the winning $400,000 grant for school building upgrades. 

Whitsitt’s history dates to the 1800s. The one-room schoolhouse, erected on Whitsitt Lane, was built with handmade bricks by Rev. James Whitsitt and was initially called Flat Rock Academy. The school’s name was later changed to honor the Civil War veteran and School Board member.  

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