Frequently Asked Questions

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR OPTIONAL SCHOOLS?
Any student whose parent or guardian is a Davidson County resident at the time of application may apply for an optional school.

DOES MY CHILD NEED A STUDENT ID NUMBER TO APPLY?
Yes. Every child enrolled in Metro Schools is required to have a nine-digit student ID number that begins with 190. The student ID number for current students can be found on the child’s report card or requested at the child’s school. An ID number for a new student can be acquired at one of the district’s 10 enrollment centers by presenting the child’s birth certificate along with parent/guardian’s proof of residency and a copy of your driver’s license.

HOW DO I APPLY?
Families are encouraged to apply online at www.mnpsschoolchoice.org. Free internet access is available at your nearest Nashville Public Library or the Metro Schools Family Information Center, located at 2601 Bransford Ave., Nashville, TN 37204. After you apply online, you will have the option of printing a confirmation or having one emailed to you. Paper applications can be submitted in person or by mail. If mailing your application, obtain a “Return Receipt Requested” form from the U.S. Postal Service. It is the responsibility of parents to make sure that the Office of School Options receives the application. If mailed Frequently Asked Questions without a return receipt, the district cannot verify receipt of the application. Faxed applications will not be accepted.

Those interested in being included in the random selection process, must apply online by 11:59 p.m. CST or submit an application to the Family Information Center, located at 2601 Bransford Ave., Nashville, TN 37204 (Berry Road entrance), by 4:30 p.m. CST, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.

HOW DOES THE SELECTION PROCESS WORK?
A random drawing will be held to fill available seats in schools listed in this application. Only applications submitted and completed by the deadline of Feb. 1, 2019, will be included in the random selection process.

Results from the random selection process will be available on Selection Day, Feb. 22, 2019. Selection Day results will be posted online at www.mnps.org and also available by contacting the Metro Schools Family Information Center at (615) 259-INFO (4636). Your child’s Selection Day results will be mailed Feb. 27, 2019, to the address provided on the application.

School choices must be prioritized on the application from 1 (highest priority) to 7 (lowest priority). If your child is selected for a seat at a school, you will receive an acceptance letter in the mail, which must be returned by March 22, 2019. You may also accept your child’s seat online and receive confirmation.

If your child is not selected for a particular school, he or she will be placed on a waitlist for the 2019-2020 school year, unless the school was listed lower on your priority list than a school where your child was offered a seat. Your child will be “opted out” of any schools that were listed lower on your priority list than a school that your child was selected to attend. This process is designed to give families the option of attending their highest-ranked school where space is available.

Once a student has accepted a seat at an optional school, his or her name will be removed from any currently attended or previously accepted school for the 2019-2020 school year. Students must attend school on the first day or they will be considered a “no-show,” and their seat will be filled by another student.

Applicants in the 11th and 12th grade go through a transcript review process for admission to available seats. The random selection results will be available on March 29, 2019. All completed applications with transcript review documentation must be received on or before March 1, 2019, to be part of the random selection process. A separate random selection process will be held for PreKindergarten seats in spring 2019.

A separate application is required to apply for a preschool and Pre-K seat in all schools, including Stanford Montessori and Hull-Jackson Montessori.

DO I NEED TO RE-APPLY EVERY YEAR TO STAY IN AN OPTIONAL SCHOOL?
No. Current K-12 students do not have to re-apply to remain enrolled in your current optional school. In May, your child will receive a verification/continuation letter from his or her school to confirm his or her seat assignment for the 2019-2020 school year. No action is needed if your child is moving from one grade to the next in the same school. Do not complete a new application. Current Pre-K students must re-apply for kindergarten even if they have been placed by Exceptional Education or through the Pre-K lottery process. Students attending Hull-Jackson Montessori and Stanford Montessori DO NOT have to re-apply.

DOES MY CHILD HAVE A GUARANTEED PATHWAY ON TO MIDDLE / HIGH SCHOOL IF HE OR SHE ATTENDS AN OPTIONAL SCHOOL?
All Metro Schools’ students have a guaranteed pathway to their zoned school. For students attending an optional school outside their zone, there are some additional guaranteed pathways (see list in following question below). However, due to capacity constraints, the district cannot guarantee pathways into all of the zoned middle and high schools for out-of-zone students who attend those schools through open enrollment. If your child is out-of-zone attending an optional elementary or middle school that is not listed as having a pathway, then your child will need to apply for the zoned feeder school and will be provided priority based on space availability. This is defined as “cluster preference.” If the zoned feeder school is not listed in this Optional Schools Application, this indicates the school does not have the capacity to accept out-of-zone students and you will not be able to continue to this school.

DO I NEED TO APPLY IF MY CHILD IS IN AN OPTIONAL SCHOOL WITH A GUARANTEED PATHWAY TO ANOTHER OPTIONAL SCHOOL?
Yes. If this is your child’s last year to attend a school listed below and you want him/her to continue in the guaranteed pathway (shown below), you must return a pathway continuation form, which will be sent home from your child’s school. You may also confirm your pathway continuation by completing the Optional Schools Application online. The pathway continuation form or online application must be submitted by Feb. 1, 2019.

Elementary to Middle Pathways
  • Carter-Lawrence Elementary students who want to go to Rose Park Magnet Middle
  • Robert Churchwell Elementary students who want to go to John Early Museum Magnet Middle
  • Glendale Elementary students who want to go to J. T. Moore Middle
  • Hattie Cotton Elementary students who want to go to Stratford Lower Campus
  • Jones Elementary students who want to go to Haynes Middle
  • Lockeland Elementary students who want to go to East Nashville Magnet Middle
  • Sylvan Park Elementary students who want to go to Haynes Middle
Middle to High Pathways
  • Brick Church students who want to go to LEAD Academy High
  • Cameron students who want to go to LEAD Academy High
  • Isaiah T. Creswell Middle students who want to go to Nashville School of the Arts (limited to 30 seats)
  • East Nashville Middle students who want to go to East Nashville High
  • Haynes Middle students who want to go to East Nashville Magnet High
  • Head Magnet Middle current 6th or 8th students who qualify to go to MLK Magnet
  • John Early Museum Magnet Middle students who qualify to go to Hume-Fogg Magnet High
  • KIPP Academy Nashville students who want to go to KIPP Nashville Collegiate High
  • KIPP Nashville College Prep students who want to go to KIPP Nashville Collegiate High
  • Knowledge Academy @ the Crossings students who want to go to Knowledge Academy High
  • Knowledge Academy Middle students who want to go to Knowledge Academy High
  • LEAD Southeast Middle students who want to go to LEAD Southeast High MNPS OPTIONAL SCHOOLS APPLICATION 2019-2020 | 7
  • Meigs Magnet Middle students who qualify to go to Hume-Fogg Magnet High
  • Rose Park Magnet Middle students who qualify to go to MLK Magnet

There will be an additional pull from the waitlist after TNReady scores are available. This pull will be limited to the pathway to MLK Magnet and Hume-Fogg for Head, Rose Park, John Early and Meigs students who did not qualify in the fall. These dates will be posted on the website (www.mnpsschoolchoice.org) as soon as they are known.

MAY I APPLY FOR MORE THAN ONE OPTIONAL SCHOOL?
Yes, and families are encouraged to do so. You may apply for up to seven school options, prioritized in order of preference. Families who list few options or only schools in high demand may not be selected for any of the schools on their application.

WHAT IS A CHARTER SCHOOL?
Charter schools are publicly-financed, privately-operated schools. Based on current state law, all charter school operators in Tennessee must be nonprofit organizations.

CAN I APPLY TO A CHARTER SCHOOL WITH THIS APPLICATION?
Yes. You can apply any time throughout the year to the charter schools that choose to take part in the Optional Schools Application process. Some charter schools choose to use their own application process. Contact the school to apply to a charter school not included on the application.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPLICATION IS INCOMPLETE?
Incomplete applications will not be accepted online or in person. If you submit an incomplete paper application by mail, we will mail it back. We will not be responsible if your application does not get back to you in time to resubmit. If your application is received after the Feb. 1, 2019, deadline, your child will not be included in the random selection process for grades K-10.

CAN FAMILIES APPLY TO PREKINDERGARTEN WITH THIS APPLICATION?
No. A separate application is required to apply for a Pre-K seat in all schools. This will also include all Stanford Montessori and Hull-Jackson Montessori pre-school (3-year-olds) and Pre-K (4-year-olds) seats. A separate application and random selection process will be held for all Pre-K seats in the spring of 2019.

WHAT IS NEEDED TO APPLY IF I AM A RISING JUNIOR OR SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL?
All 11th and 12th grade applicants must take a complete copy of their high school transcript, latest report card and optional schools application to the principal of the high school to which they are seeking to transfer. Principals will have up to three business days to review your child’s transcript and application. Upon completion of the review, the principal will attach a signed review form to your child’s optional schools application before you may submit the application. Applications may be submitted beginning January 11, 2019. All completed applications received by March 1, 2019, will be in the random selection process for rising juniors and seniors.

WHAT ARE THE ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ACADEMIC MAGNET SCHOOLS?
A student must meet two requirements to qualify for entrance into an academic magnet school: academic grades and standardized test scores. Please see pages 9 and 10 for complete details on the 2019-2020 requirements

WHAT IS THE SELECTION PROCESS FOR SPECIALTY SCHOOLS?
Nashville School of the Arts (NSA) and Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts require students to audition. NSA and Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts will notify all applicants about times for auditions. NSA will hold 30 seats for qualifying students who will transition from Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts.

The Early College Program at Middle College High School, MNPS Virtual School and Nashville Big Picture High School require students to interview. The schools will contact applicants to arrange interviews. The Early College Program at Middle College High School also has academic requirements (see page 10).

HOW DOES SIBLING PREFERENCE WORK?
Sibling preference is given to students who have a sibling attending the school to which they are applying, as long as the sibling will still be at the school in the 2019-2020 school year and the currently enrolled sibling is not attending Pre-K.

Additionally, when two siblings apply to the same school and only one sibling is selected, if the parent accepts the seat, the sibling that did not get selected will be moved to the sibling priority waitlist. Sibling preference will be given in the next waitlist pull for all available seats.

The following schools do not have sibling preference: East Nashville Magnet High School, East Nashville Magnet Middle School, Head Magnet Middle School, Haynes Middle School, Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School of the Arts, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School, Meigs Magnet Middle School, the Early College Program at Middle College High School, MNPS Virtual School, Nashville School of the Arts and Rose Park Magnet Middle School. All other schools, including charter schools, do have sibling preference.

WHAT IS A GEOGRAPHIC PRIORITY ZONE (GPZ)?
A geographic priority zone (GPZ) gives admission preference to families who live in a defined geographic area around an optional school. Admission is not guaranteed for families located in a GPZ. However, they do receive priority placement during the random selection process. Use the Zone Finder tool online at www.mnpsschoolchoice.org or call (615) 259-INFO (4636) to determine if you are located in a GPZ for a school.

WHAT IS CLUSTER PREFERENCE?
Some optional schools offer admission preference to families living within a geographic high school cluster. Additionally, out-of-zone students attending an optional school who wish to continue in the zoned feeder pathway will receive admission preference if the feeder school is an optional school. Parents must apply before the application deadline in order to receive cluster preference.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION INTO KINDERGARTEN?
Students eligible for kindergarten must be 5 years of age on or before Aug. 15, 2019. If your child will turn 5 years of age between Aug. 16, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2019, you may contact Metro Schools to ask about Kindergarten Readiness testing by calling (615) 259-INFO (4636). You must provide a letter from the Pre-Kindergarten Education Department, which will be provided by the school if your child qualifies. This letter must be attached to the student’s application before the deadline of Feb. 1, 2019, to be considered for the random selection process.

Early admission into kindergarten is available for students who qualify for gifted/talented services. If your child is already enrolled in Encore, a verification letter must be attached to your child’s Optional Schools application. If your child is not in Encore, families may request an evaluation by the MNPS Psychology Department to determine if he or she qualifies for gifted services.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR GLENDALE SPANISH IMMERSION?
  • Any student entering kindergarten or 1st grade may apply for Glendale.
  • 2nd and 3rd grade applicants will be required to pass a language proficiency test before being accepted to the school.
  • No applications will be accepted for 4th grade.

HOW LONG CAN A STUDENT REMAIN ON A WAITLIST?
Students in grades K-12 are kept on waitlists through the fifth day of school in the 2019-2020 school year. After the fifth day, the waitlists are eliminated with the exception of charter schools. Charter school waitlists continue throughout the entire school year.

IS THERE TRANSPORTATION FOR OPTIONAL SCHOOLS?
In most cases, school bus transportation is not provided to schools offered in the Optional Schools Application. Transportation is provided to students living in the geographic priority zone (GPZ) for Glendale Elementary Spanish Immersion School. In addition, several charter schools provide transportation. Contact individual schools to determine transportation availability.

Public bus transportation through WeGo Public Transit (formerly Nashville MTA) is provided at no cost to all high school students through a program called StrIDe where student ID cards double as city bus passes. The same program is available to middle school students attending an optional school with the exception of charter middle schools. Parent permission for middle school students is required in order to receive a StrIDe bus pass. Parents may contact WeGo customer service by calling (615) 862-5960 or visit www.nashvillemta.org to plan a route and view WeGo availability.

You Have Options!

Families living in the Nashville metropolitan area have more than 160 public schools available to them in their neighborhoods and nearby communities. Metro Schools offer a wide variety of unique academic programs, supports, and extracurricular activities in locations that span the city so that every student has access to the tools they need to be successful.