District Highlights Germantown Municipal schools

Germantown Municipal School District has a long tradition of academic excellence, coupled with a strong commitment to continuous improvement. Whether improvement comes in the form of capital projects, expansion of course and curriculum offerings, or providing the best supports for our exemplary teachers—we are dedicated to reinforcing the culture of excellence at each one of our five schools. Student-focused and unique, each school offers families a rich, multi-faceted environment.

With a 2020 enrollment of approximately 6,000 students, the district has seen huge increases in over 1,100 students since opening its doors in 2014.

The district inherited buildings that had $23 million dollars in deferred maintenance and 27 portable classrooms. In the fall of 2017, Germantown Municipal Schools opened a $12 million addition to Riverdale K-8 School. The 64,000 square foot add-on houses the school's middle school population and exemplifies the district's brand. As enrollment numbers in the elementary school grade bands grew, the district re-zoned, planned, and built Forest Hill Elementary School, a brand new state of the art 105,780 square foot project that opened in the Fall of 2019. The high school also saw two additions in its first year—a state-of-the-art television studio and a new turf field. A new athletic field house project and a new band addition broke ground in the Spring of 2019 and were completed in the summer of 2020.

Here is an overview of some of the completed projects in Operations and Finance:

• Opened a state-of-the-art Forest Hill Elementary School, 105,780 square feet

• Completed state of the art facility at Riverdale, 64,000 square feet, $12 million

64,000 sq. foot addition

• Re-roofed, added new HVAC and energy management system at Houston High School and Dogwood Elementary

• Added an artificial turf field and a jumbo-tron at Houston High

• Replaced all windows, added new HVAC and energy management system, replaced ceiling grid and tile, added LED lighting at Farmington Elementary

• Upgraded technology infrastructure to support wireless devices at all schools

• Completed library, office, and several makeovers at every school

• Added new pre-school playground at Dogwood Elementary and Riverdale Elementary; added a new playground and outside basketball court at Dogwood Elementary

• Added state of the art television studio at Houston High

The Germantown Municipal Television Studio at Houston High offers industry grade equipment and professional practice to our film and television students.

• Two state-of-the-art classrooms installed in our Classroom Crashers contest

• Michael Robinson won the 2016 Classroom Crasher contest: classroom received $40,000 in upgrades

• Moved main entrance at Dogwood Elementary increasing school security

• Expanded modular classrooms and bathroom renovations at Dogwood Elementary and Farmington Elementary

• Enhanced audio, visual and sound systems in the Houston High Auditorium

• Added sidewalks at Houston High and Riverdale Elementary for increased walkability

• Re-modeled Houston High cafeteria to reflect food court setting

Café manager and barista Sandra Miller (center) helps students with their order at Houston High’s coffee bar. Aramark has taken over the food service in Germantown municipal schools which is one of 2 high schools served by Aramark in Tennessee to have coffee bar in high school. (Stan Carroll/The Commercial Appeal)

• Installed new water bottle filling stations at all schools

• Full-size Scoreboard moved to Houston Middle

• Added and upgraded new exterior LED lights at Farmington Elementary and Houston High

• Completed guidance office and choral room makeovers at Houston High

• Replaced ceiling grid, and tile, added LED lighting at Dogwood Elementary

Two state-of-the-art classrooms installed in our contest, Classroom Crashers
Michael Robinson won the 2016 Classroom Crasher contest. His classroom received $40 thousand dollars in upgrades.

• Painted all interior and exterior spaces at Farmington, Dogwood, and Riverdale

• Purchased classroom recycling bins at all schools

New energy management systems added at Houston Middle and Farmington Elementary

Replaced carpeting in Dogwood Elementary, Houston Middle, and Farmington Elementary

• Upgraded to wooden floor gym at Houston Middle

Increased school funding for staff morale, supplies, school-level professional development, and furniture upgrades to promote 21st Century learning

• Invested in security camera upgrades and networks at every school

• Boiler/ Chiller Renovation project at Riverdale, which included transitioning from a boiler/ chiller system to new transitional rooftop HVAC units and all associated work: window replacement, replaced ceiling grid, added LED lighting, and installation of a new sprinkler system

In addition to numerous facilities' upgrades, Germantown Municipal Schools has also added several programs/offerings to its curriculum:

• Received district wide AdvancED Accreditation

• Increased early post-secondary opportunities to include over 60 EPSO offerings; including 28 AP courses with 258 sections offered in 2017

• Added the AP Capstone Course series (one of seventeen schools to offer these courses in Tennessee)

Technology rich environment supported by over 5,100 provided student devices (laptops and tablets) in a four-year-roll-out 1:1 Blending Learning Initiative
Blended Learning includes infrastructure and instructional commitments from our staff as traditional teaching methods are blended with cutting edge technologies and students are provided with personal devices during the school year.

• The Work-Based Learning Duel Enrollment course has expanded to multiple sections giving students the opportunity to engage in real-world work experience for college credit

• Added RTI Coaches and Interventionists at each of the schools

• Developed Leadership and Fine Arts Academies at the high school level as well as middle school versions of both Honors and Leadership Academies.

• All three high school academies have added practicum requirements (internships, service/ academic project, and job shadowing)

• GMSD routinely hires three students in the world-based learning program as public relations interns

• Recent partnership with local vendor and departments to hire several students part time to assist with the Nutrition program at our schools

• Both STEM and Health Sciences have grown to include a four-year pathway with culminating EPSO experiences

• The STEM Lab and Mechatronics Lab are both currently being renovated for upgraded functioning and lab equipment for both four-year pathways

Scenes shot from our Houston High School courses; STEM I, STEM II, STEM III, STEM IV, and CyberPatriots Organization

• Participant of a four-year Special Education Development Grant with TDOE to promote access to Tier One instruction of all learners

• Expanded transitional experience for students with disabilities through community based instruction and transition coach

• Established community based instruction partnership at Baptist Women’s Hospital for students with disabilities

Baylee Davis cleans a cafeteria table inside of Baptist Women's Hospital while volunteering with other classmates from Houston High School at the hospital. Special Education students from Houston High School volunteer at Baptist Women's Hospital every Thursday helping in the kitchen, cleaning the cafeteria, and selling candy among other duties while volunteering. Photo: Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal

• Acquired two vans including one that is handicapped accessible to increase access and convenience to work based learning sites

• Named a District of Distinction in 2017 for work on ESE Transitional Experience

• Awarded grants in the Department of Exceptional Children for assistive devices for our special needs children; increasing exposure to devices before an IEP team decides on which a child needs

GMSD currently serves 95 preschool-aged students across 6 general education preschool classrooms, each with at least 50% positive peer enrollment.

Preschool program for students with disabilities redistributed to each elementary school

Expanded dual Enrollment Opportunities for all high school students, including Work Based Learning, through partnerships with the local universities

• The Health Sciences Pathway now includes a Clinical Internship through a partnership with Methodist Germantown Hospital and results in CNA certification

• Healthy Schools Coordination has added heart rate monitors, defibrillators, CPR training (for freshmen at Houston High School), built sidewalks, expanded a Walk-to-School program district wide, planned a community wide 5k race, and delivered incentives and professional development to get our kids moving inside of the regular classroom day with Go Noodle

Dogwood Elementary kindergartner Garland White clears the rope with space to spare while jumping rope for charity Tuesday morning during the school’s 23rd annual Jump Rope for Heart to raise money for the American Heart Association. (Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal)

• Addition of a school psychologist at the high school to provide assessments and assist with Social Emotional Learning across the district

• Availability of multiple curriculums to support both virtual and in-person learning in identified areas of deficit

• The School Counseling Department has added Naviance as a college admissions tool, career pathfinder for all students

• The Department of School Counselors with Students Services have implemented the prestigious Olweus Bullying Prevention Program district-wide in 2019

• The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force also launched in 2020--a partnership between Human Resources and Student Services to promote opportunities in the district.

Defining Personal Excellence in the Arts and Athletics

• 23 TSSAA sports; 101 Total State Championships

90% of our athletic programs won District and/or Regional Championships in 2019

• Record 19 Consecutive Years Earned Best of The Preps by the Commercial Appeal

Former Grizzlies player Mike Miller was hired as the HHS Boys Basketball Coach in 2020

Coach David Wolf (Girls Soccer) recognized as USA Today's Coach of the Year

Parents watch as the full GMSD Orchestra takes the stage at Germantown Performing Arts Center.
Germantown Municipal School District has received the NAMM's Best Communities for Music Distinction for two consecutive years.

183 students selected for All-West Band, Choir, and Orchestra in 2019

• Nationally recognized fine arts programs; Prestigious performance venues include The Orpheum, Carnegie Hall, Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica, USS Missouri and Walt Disney World

• TV/Film and Video program focused on student production in a professional TV studio on campus


• Record setting $40 million in scholarships for the Class of 2020

Highest District ACT average in the state for the sixth consecutive year

• GMSD offers over 200 extra-curricular activities for students at all ages

Sixteen students earned status as National Merit Semifinalists in 2020, GMSD highest number in history

• Each year, new records for students in the HHS 30+ ACT club; through the use of additional ACT programming, Naviance, and tutoring

• Memphis Business Journal Building Memphis Award Recipient (Riverdale Addition) and Finalist (Forest Hill Elementary School)

GMSD was ranked the #1 school system in TN by Niche.com, and in the top 2% of districts nationally.
Memphis Business Journal recognized HHS as both the Most Challenging High School and the #1 Best Public High School.
The Memphis Flyer recently recognized Houston High School ad Best Public High School in the Best of Memphis 2020 competition.

Our district is most proud of the growth our students are achieving from year-to-year in each category. It is noteworthy that since 2015, the percentage of students scoring college and career ready in all four subject areas has grown from 44% to 87%.

• Received district wide AdvancED Accreditation

• Most highly rated curriculums adopted to support new state standards; professional development to support staff and community for new curriculums

• Added RTI Coaches and Interventionists at each of the schools.

• Added lead teachers for music, art, PE, and sciences.

• Developed Honors, Leadership, Health Sciences, and Fine Arts Academies at the high school level as well as middle school version of Honors and Leadership Academies.

• Implemented local benchmark assessment system to provide progress and monitoring and remediation

This Fall, TN Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn cited GMSD as a national model for reopening schools safely and effectively.

• Expanded recognition ceremonies; Tenure Celebration, Student-Teacher Recognition, Blue Chip (New Teacher) Pinning Ceremony, Retiree Luncheon

New teachers are "pinned" upon completing their first year with GMSD.

• Recruited of over 127 potential certificated staff on college visits

• Created School Recruitment Events for prospective teachers—over 400 participants

• Created day long tours for prospective teachers in hard to fill areas

• Moved to a more rigorous hiring software, Applitrack, increasing teacher-fit

• Increased relationships with universities for teacher recruiting and student teacher placement

Increased survey and teacher guidance for professional development; plans implemented to address specific areas

• Four teachers won the SouthWest Core Teacher of the Year; Two teachers were awarded the PAEMST recognition

Our teaching staff serve as exemplars across the state.

• Through community sponsorships, provided an additional $100 for discretionary funds per teacher

• Earned the Arc Tennessee’s Inclusive Employer Award, the Partners in Progress Award, and the Step Up For Down Syndrome Employer Award

• Awarded Commercial Appeal’s Top Places to Work two years in a row

The use of stakeholder input and committee work (group process) has been exemplary in Germantown schools.

Germantown Schools Superintendent Jason Manuel (standing, second from right) talks with participants during a public discussion at Houston High's library on the proposed site of a new school.

School Facilities Town Hall Discussions : five public forums

School Start Times : two community surveys, one district wide survey, five forums, and three committee meetings

From controversy to collaboration and compromise, the citizens of Germantown worked together to reach a consensus.

School Site Selection : two district wide surveys, two forums, and three committee meetings

School Calendar : two district wide surveys and two committee meetings

School Design : one district wide survey and two committee meetings * more in future

Community Conversations : multiple stakeholders gathered to discuss increasing employable outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities

Fine Arts Academy Development : two committee meetings

K-8 Foreign Language : three committee meetings, one community survey

Custodial RFP : two full-day committee meetings

Riverdale Furniture and Technology : one survey, three meetings

Attendance Zone Focus Group : work in progress

The availability of all the documents online for these committee meetings is a testament to the transparency of our district.

The district also hosts regular meetings with multiple stakeholder groups

Monthly Principal Meetings / Monthly Assistant Principal Meetings / Monthly PTO Presidents Meetings
The PTO Presidential Summit Series brings district leadership directly in touch with parents as well as other community partners.

GMSD has the ability to collaborate with special interest groups

Our annual Back to the Hill Breakfast event puts the municipal school boards in direct contact with state legislators as they head into session.

Senior Citizens Go Back to School Bus Tour focuses on helping our seniors plug into their local schools