NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a new school calendar planned for next year, Metro Nashville Public School officials would like the community to help find ways to make the intersession beneficial to all students.
For the first time, Davidson County's school board has been learning what intersession will look like. It's the three-day break in the fall and five-day break in the spring built into the 2012-2013 balanced calendar.
During past discussions regarding the calendar options, critics said intersession was not necessary for students who do not need remedial help. Now school leaders have been looking for new ways to make it attractive to all students.
"We want all of our students to have access to programs that really fit their recreational and civic and creative interests," said Tony Majors, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services.
That's why Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) has launched its new initiative called, "Be More Nashville."
"We want to do more than the standard curriculum," Majors said. "We want our students to really be able to explore based on their interest, as well as receiving the instructional support that they need."
The slogan indicates students will learn more, do more and experience more depth in their education.
Each school will gear programing towards the needs of their students.
Administration officials have called on community partners like Hands on Nashville to assist them in providing unique opportunities outside the classroom.
"You can teach about some particular issue or topic and then go out and experience that in the real world through volunteerism," said Brian Williams, Hands on Nashville Executive Director.
"We hope that intersession will look like an extension of the school day, with a high rate of participation by our students, but not 100 percent housed at the school level," said Majors.
Attendance would not be not mandatory, so MNPS hopes – with the community's help – to provide offerings that will entice students to participate.
MNPS has not determined if transportation or meals would be provided during intersession.
Majors said those two factors will likely affect attendance. Another factor is the cost. While many of the programs will be free, some may have a participation fee. However, Metro school leaders stressed the program was still very early in the planning process.
Organizations that would like to participate in the intersession planning process can contact MNPS customer service at 615-259-4636 through Friday, November 4. Participants will be asked to leave a contact name, phone number and e-mail address.
At a later date parents and students will also be asked to provide input on what programs should be offered. MNPS leaders hope to finalize the plan in the spring.