On November 11, 2015, Project Renaissance kicked off the Discover Great Schools tour series in Nashville. What is a Discover Great Schools tour? Held every other month, a Discover Great Schools tour features a visit to both a high-performing district-run and a high performing public charter school. During the tour, policymakers, faith leaders, neighborhood leaders and other engaged members of the community have the opportunity to learn about the every day inner workings of each school, their community partnerships and supports, and the work they are doing to ensure that every child reaches his or her full potential.
You may be thinking: “This sounds great, but, why? Why are school tours needed?”
The “why” of Discover Great Schools tours is embedded in three main goals.
1. Discover Great Schools tours highlight best practices happening in schools with the hope that attendees will take these ideas with them and spread them to other schools across Davidson County.
There are a lot of exciting things happening in schools across Davidson county. At the same time, many of our schools face similar challenges, and Nashville’s best schools are coming up with creative ways to overcome those challenges. Whether attendees hear about an innovative community partnership or a unique reading program, we hope they will take these ideas with them to share with school leaders, staff and parents at other Nashville schools. There is no need to always recreate the wheel when it comes to ensuring that all children have access to a high-quality education. Instead, we can make great progress if we just watch, listen and learn from one another!
2. Discover Great Schools tours bring elected officials and other policymakers into our city’s best schools, so they can develop relationships with school leaders and learn more about how they can support educational excellence across Nashville.
There is no substitute for spending time on the ground, in schools, with the people who work every day to educate Nashville’s children. Our city and state have made improving education a high priority, and connecting our policymakers to school leaders is a great way for those policymakers to get a clearer understanding of how they can continue to support the work happening in great schools and how they can help struggling schools improve.
3. Discover Great Schools encourages collaboration between school leaders who represent different school types.
School leaders are busy people! With so much to do every day, the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other school leaders isn’t always possible. The Discover Great Schools tours bring together the school leaders and staffs of two schools to both learn from each other and hopefully to also collaborate on future projects.