Oliver Middle School parents frustrated with teacher retention

Posted at 10:03 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 23:18:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Parents say they're concerned about safety, teacher morale and quality of education at one Nashville school.

"By our count we've lost 29 teachers in just the last 14 months," said parent Christi Mayo, who is concerned about Oliver Middle School.

Metro Nashville Public Schools said the meeting was supposed to be a productive conversation to share recent changes the administration made.

But after the first 20 minutes parents were split into 3 different break-out sessions. A format that parents said wasn't what they signed up for.

"We were told that the whole entire meeting would be a question-and-answer session and it has not been," said parent Cheri Drummond.

After making disruptive comments, two people were asked to leave.

Eventually, the administration did take some questions.

"What do you plan to do differently this coming school year to regain the trust of parents and b regain the trust of teachers?" Mayo asked.

"As a team, we are committed to providing a safe and learning environment characterized by student center instruction, academic excellence, trust respect, and integrity," principal Hawaya Wilson replied.

Wilson said concerns are being taken seriously.

"I hear you and tonight's meeting, it is our time to inform you of the procedures and protocols and share the changes we are making based on your feedback," Wilson said.

MNPS said while the session in the cafeteria had many tense moments, the other 2 sessions were productive.

The district says in regards to turnover, there have been 25 teaching positions since August of 2021.
MNPS says, 7 of those positions were intentionally reduced. Oliver Middle School had maintained low teacher/student ratios during the pandemic when the district maintained all school funds. When the district returned to normal funding procedures it was necessary that Oliver staffing be reduced.

OMS administration says they hope to work alongside the community to keep improving.