Academic Schools
Schools with academic entrance requirements
Academies of Nashville
College and career prep program at neighborhood high schools offering a practical, hands-on approach to learning in fields of interest ranging from engineering to health care with over 300 business and community partners. All Academy pathways are aligned with early college credit opportunity and have the opportunity to earn industry certifications.
Acceptance letter
Letters sent to families informing that their student has been selected to a school of their choice through the optional school application.
Advanced academics
A continuum of advanced academic programs for students Pre-K through 12th grade that builds upon students’ individual strengths and maximizes the academic potential for all learners. Programs include: Advanced Placement (AP), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Cambridge International, Dual Enrollment, The Gifted and Talented Program, and International Baccalaureate (IB).
Advanced placements
AP focuses on college-level instruction and assessment, with an opportunity to dig deeper into subjects that interest them, develop advanced research, and communication skills, learn creative problem-solving and engage in rigorous college-level work.
Available seats
An open available seat at a school, which will receive an automatic approval upon submitting an application.
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
AVID’s mission to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. AVID’s one guiding principle is to hold students accountable to the highest standards while providing academic and social support.
Cambridge International
Cambridge students build more than just a deep understanding of their subject. They also develop higher order thinking skills so they can apply what they’ve learned. Cambridge students will be asked to think critically, to learn how to construct an argument and evaluate evidence. Students will also develop an international outlook and become confident, global citizens.
Charter Schools
Charter schools are publicly-financed, privately-operated schools. Based on current state law, all charter school operators in Tennessee must be a nonprofit organization.
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 next tier zoned feeder school as an optional school students must apply and will receive cluster preference. This is not a guaranteed seat. This means your child will receive preference coming from the feeder tier before a seat is given to a student not currently attending a school in the feeder pattern. an optional school. Parents must apply before the application deadline in order to receive cluster preference. This is not a guarenteed seat. This means your child will receive preference coming from the feeder tier before a seat is given to a student not currently attending a school in the feeder pattern.
The option to continue at the current school you are attending until the exiting that tier.
Career and Technical Education (CTE)
In Metro Nashville Public Schools, Career and Technical Education (CTE) is learning that works, preparing students for high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers through rigorous programs organized among 16 career clusters.
Dual enrollment
provides an opportunity for students to earn college credit while enrolled in high school. This may include on campus, off campus, virtual/online and summertime work. To register for dual enrollment courses, students must apply to the post-secondary institution.
Early College program
In the Early College Program at Middle College High School, admitted students can fast track their college plans or begin building a career by simultaneously earning a high school diploma and college associate’s degree in just four years — and at no cost to families. The program offers a rigorous curriculum providing higher education and industry partnership experiences for students.
EL students
English Learners- programs that provide our international students with the help they need in order to progress through each grade level while simultaneously improving their English language skills. We work with our EL students in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Typically consists of grade levels KG-4th. Some sites may have PS, PK, or 5th grade.
A person who is employed within the MNPS district.
Enrollment center
Hubs placed throughout the district that assist in enrollment and registration.
Gifted and Talented program
offers an instructional experience designed specifically for intellectually gifted and academically talented learners. The curriculum is hands-on, interactive and problem-based with a focus on developing students’ critical and creative thinking abilities.
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.
High School
Typically consists of grade levels 9th-12th.
International Baccalaureate- IB emphasizes a constructivist approach based on inquiry and focused on conceptual understanding. Learning is contextualized, collaborative and differentiated to meet the needs of learners. Through deliberate strategies and attitudes, students will explore thinking, communication, social, self-management and research skills.
KG Readiness
Students eligible for kindergarten must be 5 years of age on or before August 15th. If your child will turn 5 years of age between August 16th and September 30th you may contact Metro Schools to ask about Kindergarten Readiness testing.
Legal Guardian
A person who has legal rights/guardianship of student.
Magnet schools are visionary, innovative schools where students are attracted by the unique themes such as STEM, Arts, IB and more. Magnet schools seek to attract a diverse student body where highly engaging learning occurs. Soft skills, teamwork, acceptance, innovation, and engagement make magnet schools a vibrant environment to develop children prepared for future careers and successful community engagement. This real-life preparation has students not only interacting with peers from all backgrounds but with hands-on experience working with businesses, cultural institutions, universities, and community organizations.
5th – 8th grade
The Montessori learning environment fosters respect for others and independent learning while also supporting children as they gain an intrinsic pleasure from learning. The multi-aged classrooms are designed to support a child’s natural development through a carefully designed and nurturing environment that is aesthetically pleasing and enticing. The Montessori educator is dedicated to ensuring children are recognized and supported as individuals and encouraged to grow through enriching and engaging experiences that guide students to explore and interact with the Montessori learning materials, artifacts and resources.
National stanine
(Standard NINE) is a method of scaling test scores on a nine-point standard scale with a mean of five and a standard deviation of two.
Nationally norm achievement test
A standardized test administered to students in a consistent format that is used to measure achievement and evaluates a student's understanding, comprehension, knowledge and/or skills in a particular area. Standardized tests yield norm-referenced scores and are generally reported as a percentile ranking, which indicates the percentage of students in the norm or comparison group that scored below the student being reported.
Opted out
removed from a certain school selection
Optional schools
a school that overs enrollment through the lottery
Paideia schools center learning around the understanding that education serves to prepare students for citizenship, self-development and livelihood. The Paideia experience focuses on the understanding of ideas and values, Socratic Seminar and active participation, and the discussion of books and art performances.
a seat offered to students to continue on the path of a similar or specific program from one tier to another in an optional school
MNPS 4-year-old program
the order rank (1-7) of your selection (1 being the higher rank)
Private testing
nationally norm achievement test administered by a third (accredited) party
additional pulls from waitlist due to vacant seats
Random selection process
Computerized random drawing
Selection day
Results from the random selection process is made available on this day
Sibling Preference
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 attending the same school for the year in which the application is being made and not attending Pre-K at the time of application
Specialty Schools
Students are placed at Specialty Schools by auditions or interview
An instructional approach to learning that utilizes science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics as access points for promoting the 4Cs: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication
Student ID number
The nine-digit number that begins with 190 and is acquired at one of the district's ten (10) enrollment centers
Tour Tuesdays
Tour Tuesdays provide opportunities for families to tour schools on designated Tuesdays and meet teachers and principals, observe classrooms, ask questions and learn about academic programming.
Transcript Review
11th and 12th grade applicants seeking to transfer high school must have their high school transcript reviewed by the principle which they are seeking to transfer to ensure grades and courses are aligned with graduation requirements.
Students in grades K-12 are kept on waitlists through the fifth day of school of the new school year if not selected. After the fifth day, the waitlists are eliminated.
Zoned School
School-based on the physical address of the residence of his or her parent or legal guardian
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.