Back to School…might have you thinking harder than your kids.

We have two sons in middle school.  They attend Metro Nashville Public Schools. The schools in Nashville have been great to us and we continue to be impressed. When we left elementary last year we noticed other parents with kids deciding to sell their houses and move their families into other counties. One of the reasons is Davidson County middle schools are 5th-8th grade and middle schools in Wilson, Williamson and Sumner Counties are 6th-8th.

When our younger son left elementary at a MNPS magnet montessori school  there was no feeder montessori middle school.  Our choices were to either be automatically placed in our zoned school OR to consider the options we had in Metro.  I noticed an almost frantic scramble by parents to find the next and best choice for their soon to be middle schooler…and we all began that search a year earlier. Let me explain the way MNPS works.  You have choices. You can either attend your zoned school, a charter school, a magnet (enhanced option or specialty schools) or just a regular school with  “open enrollment”. The way this works is through a lottery system that allows you to place your child in a lottery for an open spot in the school of your choice.  Every November – December parents of Pre-K, 4th graders, and 8th graders all over Nashville put their name in the hat for various schools instead of their zoned schools. You can actually put your name in the hat every year if you wanted to….trying for your favorite school.

One of the main obstacles to most of the open enrollment schools and magnet schools is transportation.  If you elect a non-zoned school you will not be provided bus service. But some charter schools offer bus services from central locations. Another factor some of my mom friends talk about is location of friends…when you are enrolled in magnet schools – friends live everywhere… so you may find yourself driving across town for a weekend hang out – instead of next door with a zoned school.

If you find yourself looking at the “greener grass” in other counties and are considering a move…give us a call.  We can research current market values in your area and areas you would consider moving.  We know that the quality of the schools in a neighborhood is one of the most influencing factors when choosing a neighborhood….but in Nashville that is not always the case with all the school choices.