When the biggest school in Metro goes back to class, they throw a big party.
“I've been in the building since 5 a.m. this morning, walking around, making sure things are ready,” Principal Robbin Wall told Nashville's News 2. “We're just ready for kids to come back!”
More than 2,200 students arrived by cars, trucks, buses, and even a limousine before school began at 7:05 a.m.
They were greeted by a handful of local business and community leaders who offered music, prizes, and directions.
The rally of support is part of a larger effort by Principal Wall to help the school find its way out of a troubled past.
“Our teachers now, with the academy process, and what we've got going on there, the collaboration, our teachers working together, that's a big difference than what it was four years ago,” he said.
Academies have turned the largest school in the district into smaller learning communities that include Digital Design & Communication, Hospitality & Finance, Aviation & Transportation, and Health Sciences & Law.
In the last three years, McGavock High School has become a nationally recognized model academy high school, with three of its academies receiving perfect scores from the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC).
“I would put my children here at the snap of a finger, and they would get a great education here,” said Dr. Jesse Register, Director of MNPS.
McGavock was one of six stops in Metro for the director on the first day of the 2013-14 school year.
“This is one of the great high schools, I think, not only in Tennessee now, but in our country,” he said.
The positive changes have also been recognized by parents with students at every level.
“I had mixed emotions until the orientation the other night, and I feel really good about it,” said Tanya Thomas, whose daughter, Brittany, will participate in Life Skills, a program that provides real-world training for students with disabilities.
“She's so excited, so excited,” Thomas added.
Students at McGavock High School and other MNPS campuses attended a half day of classes on Thursday. Students will return for a full day on Monday, August 5.