We know that transitioning to a new school can be stressful. We also know that there will are a lot of terms you will hear in the coming days and weeks that you won’t quite get. We have made this list to help you along. If we have missed anything, or if you have other questions, please feel free to leave a comment below! Welcome!
Big Bluey: Our school mascot is a blue jay and his name is Big Bluey. You will see him at school events, sporting events, and sometimes just around the halls.
Big Bluey News: Our daily, student-run newscast. It has its own YouTube channel.
Blue Jay Bulletin: The PTSO’s weekly email newsletter. A great way to get important school-wide news and announcements. Sign up here.
Blue Jay Line Up: The weekly call-out from the West End principal about upcoming news and events. The text of the call is also sent in email format.
Clever: The Metro Nashville Public Schools online platform that students use to access Office 365, Powerpoint, their school email account, and other online programs and learning tools. All students have been given a login and password.
Community Project: A capstone experience within the Middle Years Programme of IB. Completed in eighth grade, the Community Project is an independent or small-group service learning activity that encourages students to engage with a community (global or local) and take action to address a need within that community. (See “Middle Years Programme (MYP)” below.)
Day of Discovery: A middle school science enrichment partnership between the Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach and MNPS. Open, by application, for 7th and 8th graders. Learn more here.
Encore/Gifted & Talented Education (GATE): Encore has historically been the name for the program for gifted and talented students in MNPS. The Encore/gifted and talented teacher for West End for the 2022-23 school year is Ms. Coleen Nelson-Schafer.
Global Context: IB recognizes six global contexts that are used to develop concepts and make relevant connections through teaching and learning. The first is Identities and Relationships in August and continue in the following order: Orientation in Space and Time, Personal and Cultural Expression, Scientific and Technical Innovation, Globalization and Sustainability, and Fairness and Development. (See “International Baccalaureate/IB” below.”)
House System: Students across all grade levels will be separated into one of 4 “houses” within the school. These houses will participate in events and challenges throughout the year and when students earn Birdie Bills, those will also be assigned to their house. The house system also provides the opportunity for mentoring and community across grade levels within the school.
Infinite Campus/Family Portal: Your Metro Nashville Public Schools online portal to access all your child’s school-related data, including grades, class assignments, schedules, and more. You should have been mailed login information last spring. Learn more at https://www.mnps.org/infinite-campus/. If you have questions about accessing the family portal, please contact Ms. Patricia Ketchum (email@example.com) in the main office.
IB Focus Days: An enrichment opportunity for students and teachers alike which happen periodically throughout the school year. Students participate in intramurals, activities, and incentives built around our current Global Context and Learner Profile attributes, while teachers have professional development to further hone their craft. (See “Global Context,” “Learner Profile,” and “International Baccalaureate/IB.”)
International Baccalaureate/IB: The International Baccalaureate, or IB, is a global nonprofit foundation that aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. West End is proud to be an IB World School. Learn more about the IB’s educational programs at ibo.org.
Learner Profile: A compilation of 10 attributes that IB programs work to develop in learners. At West End, there is one Learner Profile focus per month beginning in August and in the following order: Open-minded, Inquirer, Communicator, Principled, Caring, Knowledgeable, Thinker, Risk-taker, Balanced, and Reflective.
Middle Years Programme (MYP): This is IB’s educational program for ages 11-16. All West End students are part of MYP and benefit from its unique approach to learning and teaching. The MYP continues at Hillsboro High School, helping ease the transition from middle school and providing a solid foundation for success in the academically rigorous IB Diploma Programme (DP) and IB Career-related Programme (CP) in the final two years of high school.
Personalized Learning Time (called PLT, RTII, MTSS or Enrichment Time): In Tennessee, all schools are required to have 45 minutes each day to provide students with targeted intervention for any gaps in their skills. The formal name for this at the state level is “Response to Instruction and Intervention,” or “RTII”. (Learn more about RTII at https://www.tn.gov/…/educa…/rti2/attachments/rti2_manual.pdf.) Students in Tier 2 or 3 of RTII (students with gaps in skills) receive personalized instruction and intervention for these 45 minutes each day. Students in Tier 1 and Advanced students (students with no gaps in skills) use this 45 minute time to enrich their learning through a variety of activities. In Metro Nashville Public Schools, RTII time is incorporated into a framework called “Multi-Tier System Support,” or “MTSS.” At West End, we call RTII time “Personalized Learning Time,” “PLT,” or “Enrichment Time.” We know this is complicated, but don’t worry, our administration will be sending home more information to explain it all to you! If you have a question about what RTII tier your child is in, please inquire at parent conferences.
Related Arts: This year West End will feature PE, American Sign Language, and Multimedia Arts. Students who are not in Band attend these classes for one period a day on a 3-day rotating schedule. Band students meet in the band room each day during the Related Arts period.
Schoology: A secure, online learning management platform used to enhance student engagement with the curriculum. Students can engage in a variety of activities at school and from home, such as submitting homework assignments, participating in interactive discussions, and receiving announcements and feedback from teachers. Teachers can join groups to collaborate and share resources, ask questions, and interact with their colleagues, among other things like creating and sharing content, making assignments, and sharing events.
SEL/Social Emotional Learning: An important aspect of teaching the whole child focuses on five characteristics–self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management, and relationship skills.
Tremont: A several-day field trip that some 5th and 6th grade students take. Registration typically opens in the fall and fills up very quickly. Formally known as The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Learn more at gsmit.org. Call the West End office for more information about this trip or to register.
Unicycle: Drop off “outgrown, not worn out” standard school attire in the laundry basket in the West End Office and it will be redistributed to students who need them across our district. Families needing clothes should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Wear: Our school spirit T-shirts that students may wear to school each day. West Wear is available for purchase during some school events and whenever the school store in the lobby is open. Prices and styles vary.
WEXP: West End Extended Program is a parent-operated, private, nonprofit, licensed extended care program serving students before and after school, on teacher in-service days, during most school holidays, and on snow days as applicable. Designed to serve students from West End Middle School, but open to other middle school children in the Metropolitan Nashville Area. Learn more at www.westendxp.org.
Yondr Pouch: Students lock up their cell phones in Yondr pouches upon entering the building. They keep their pouched phones with them all day and then unlock them at dismissal.