Nashville: Every Student Known

A Success Planning Community

In 2020, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) developed a districtwide strategy to respond to the pandemic, pairing students with a caring adult, called a Navigator, to ensure students feel known, cared for, respected, and supported. One of the architects of the initiative was Dr. Keri Randolph, then the executive officer of strategic investments for MNPS, who brought the concept of Navigator to the district based on an idea she had learned about during her work as a Research Assistant at EdRedesign while pursuing her Ed.L.D. at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Nashville: Every Student Known
Image courtesy of Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Nashville participated in our Institute for Success Planning learning community, joined our inaugural 2022 cohort in our Institute for Success Planning Community of Practice, and is a continuing member of our 2023 cohort.

In the 2021-22 school year, 61,000 students were paired with 5,600 navigators with a total of 700,000 check-ins. Navigators touch base one-on-one with students and families on a regular basis, providing personalized opportunities and supports, as well as connect students and families to needed services.

MNPS has created Focused Outcomes for grades Pre-K-4, 5, 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12 that families can download to understand the goals for their students. Focused Outcomes include literacy, numeracy, attendance, social-emotional learning, transition preparation, and graduation.

Along with the Focused Outcomes, MNPS has 14 signature initiatives that serve to guide the work of the district. Together, they align with four Core Tenets that center the work of the central office and district:

  • Re-envision central office as a support hub.
  • Empower and equip leaders at all levels.
  • Create and support engaging, rigorous, and personalized learning experiences for all students.
  • Identify and eliminate inequities.

MNPS has recently been highlighted at the state level for its remarkable progress in 2023: exceeding the state’s growth in 7 out of 8 categories and achieving their highest-level ELA proficiency ratings under the current state proficiency standards. MNPS’s “Every Student Known” personalized district-wide Navigator strategy currently serves 53,000 students.

Students who see the pathway to graduation will be able to get there as long as they work hard and have the support that MNPS is committed to providing. 
– Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Schools

"Every Student Known": Building Systems of Support Through Nashville's Navigator Initiative, May 2023, EdRedesign case study.