Tribal Group Works To Transform MNPS - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tribal Group Works To Transform MNPS

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Metro Schools is paying England based Tribal Group $6.3 million over five years to transform its lowest performing schools. Most of the work began in the fall and now changes are already being made.

Teachers at Napier Elementary are changing their lesson plans

"Rather than pulling resources and looking for things I can have them do at their seat I'm looking for activities we can actually do together," 3rd grade teacher Debra Bell said.

That's why for at least one hour of each day teachers can no longer rely on worksheets and textbooks.

"The biggest difference is their enthusiasm in what they're doing," Bell said.

It's just one of a handful of changes made after the UK based Tribal Group conducted teacher surveys, interviewed administrators and parents about what's working and what's not.

"It made me feel empowered like somebody is finally listening to me," teacher Mary Jane Hollingsworth said about the process.

After collecting the information, the Tribal Group issued a report. If found Napier to have a very friendly, welcoming and safe environment. The negative perception of the school is changing amongst parents and in the community. The Tribal Group suggested that teachers create more hands on opportunities to increase retention and test scores. The report also highlighted discipline as an ongoing concern.

"We've seen a decrease in our behavior problems this year," one teacher added after explaining a new program that rewards students for good behavior throughout the day.

One by one the school is tackling the problems.

"I'm only concerned about the bottom line," Dr. Powe said. "I'm only concerned about what works."

What doesn't work will end. It's all in an effort to remove negative labels.

"We do know that being a high priority school we have got to come out of the dungeon of being low performing," Dr. Powe said.

He's willing to do whatever it takes.

The report recommends that the staff socialize more outside of school. Dr. Powe says all of the focus has been on making changes in the classroom, that element has fallen through the cracks. Now outings are scheduled and the staff is sharing ideas and working more as a team.

By the second week in March, the Tribal Group will have completed assessments for nearly three dozen high priority schools. While Tribal has a track record in  Europe, Metro Schools is it's first major U.S. client.

 

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