Reinventing Our Middle Schools

Preparing our students for high school, college and career with relevant, hands-on classwork.


 A middle school student is studying slope in her math class and the classroom conversation centers around the relationship between predators and prey, a topic she is reviewing in her science class, to further explain the trends shown on the graph. Another student – in a visual arts class – is displaying his artwork: a piece that illustrates the beauty of the inner parts of a cell.

These examples – and more – are real experiences Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) middle school students will have daily throughout all of their classes.

Middle school is a pivotal time in a child’s education – a time when students need a high-quality, interdisciplinary education that sparks their curiosity and challenges their thinking. Just like any career a student will find after school, students need experiences that let them merge traditionally independent subject areas and skillsets, like math and science and art, into one comprehensive learning experience.

That’s why MNPS is undertaking a teaching and learning transformation in each of our middle schools. Starting this year, MNPS will begin implementing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum into all middle schools.

Educators will break down the traditional subject-based classroom barriers and purposefully integrate all areas of STEAM curriculum into their classroom. Through a collaborative planning approach, educators will challenge students to think critically, be creative, communicate and collaborate with their peers while empowering them to better understand how their skills fit into our complex world.

There is no better place for this to happen than in Nashville – where technology, arts and science blend together throughout our community to create a vibrant and thriving economy. And now the middle school classroom will reflect that environment.

Three-year plan

Over the course of three years, MNPS will shift its teaching and learning by implementing a multi-disciplinary STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum that includes intensive professional development for staff, extracurricular activities and summer camps for the community, and intentional local and national partnerships that illustrate purposeful career opportunities for all students.

Students at 18 schools across the city will be directly impacted in the first year of this three-year transformation. By the end of the 2019-2020 school year, all 26,000 middle school students will be in a STEAM learning environment.

2017-2018 Phase 1 School List:

With this phased approach, the district will transform teaching and learning in 18 schools in the 2017-2018 school year; 10 schools in the 2018-2019 school year, and five schools in the 2019-2020 school year to round out all of the district’s middle schools.

Community Partnerships

Transforming our middle school experience is no easy task – which is why MNPS is committed to engaging with a variety of local and national partners to design this curriculum offered in the district’s middle schools.

Creating a sustainable STEAM teaching and learning environment takes a community of invested stakeholders, willing to visualize and help create pathways for students that intentionally connect to future careers.  Our schools need STEAM partners who can show students how their coursework connects to real jobs. We are looking for partners who can:

  • Provide job shadowing opportunities
  • Work in the classroom with students
  • Provide content expertise to educators
  • And more!

Click here to learn more about how you or your organization can help us with STEAM.