Pilot Year 2 at Jere Baxter Middle Prep


Invitation to ParticipateTM from the Alignment Nashville Behavioral Health Team


Jere Baxter Middle Prep, as part of the MNPS Innovation Zone and with the assistance of the National Center On Time & Learning, began a small-scale trial of an extended school day starting in the 2014-15 academic year, introducing six (6) 70-minute extended school days throughout the year. Jere Baxter worked with the Behavioral Health Alignment Team to engage business and community partners to provide SEL-focused enrichment classes for students and professional development for teachers with this extra learning time, calling the pilot initiative ExSEL. The pilot included the following two elements, which took place simultaneously on the extended school days:

  1. An Adult Learners (referring to teachers & administrators) partner-engagement plan, engaging partners in Nashville to provide SEL education and SEL-focused professional development free of charge to equip school staff with the tools to accurately model SEL-informed behaviors to students.
  2. A Student Enrichment partner-engagement plan, securing partners to provide academic, SEL-focused, physical fitness-focused and other enrichment programming for students free of charge.

The 2014-15 pilot was a great success! Students were engaged and enjoyed the sessions so much that the school actually experienced attendance increases from an average of 84% on normal days to 98% on designated ExSEL days. Teachers also reported positive experiences in professional development sessions and, according to Principal Miriam Harrington, are currently putting their training to use in the classroom. Principal Harrington also noted that ExSEL has become a selling point for parents and is helping to retain as well as gain new students.

In the wake of these successes, as well as keeping in mind lessons learned, the Behavioral Health Team and Jere Baxter Middle are currently planning the continuation of ExSEL in 2015-16. We need your help!



In addition to improving upon last year's pilot, the Behavioral Health Team is working to make the ExSEL initiative scalable to other middle schools intending to shift to using an extended school day schedule.  Further information on expanding the initiative will be available after the completion of this second pilot year at Jere Baxter.

Jere Baxter has identified 9 extended learning days for the 2015-16 academic year and has delineated schedule options for partners wishing to participate in this initiative. Read on to learn more!



Every 3rd Wednesday* of the month during the academic year. Partners may choose more than one date if desired, or commit to the whole year of ExSEL dates if capacity allows.

  • September 16, 2015
  • October 21, 2015
  • November 18, 2015
  • December 16, 2015
  • January 20, 2016
  • February 17, 2016
  • March 9, 2016 (*2nd Wednesday due to spring break)
  • April 20, 2016
  • May 18, 2016

Please, no cancellations within 48 hours of scheduled session(s).


Partners may choose more than one session if desired.

  • Morning student enrichment: 8:20am - 10am with 7th graders and 8th graders (in two or more small groups that will rotate; offer class twice)
  • Afternoon student enrichment: 2:26pm - 4:10pm with 5th graders and 6th graders (in two or more small groups that will rotate; offer class twice)
  • Morning professional development for teachers and staff: 8:20am - 10am
  • Afternoon professional development for teachers and staff: 2:26pm - 4:10pm




For 2015-16, Jere Baxter would like to have partners who can provide interactive/hands-on learning activities and experiences with students.  Possible sessions can include but are not limited to:

  • Literacy/reading
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation/yoga
  • Goal-setting
  • Dance, theater or other performing arts
  • Visual arts
  • Sports/physical activity
  • Sewing/knitting/crocheting
  • Ecological awareness
  • Service learning projects
  • Book club
  • Cooking class
  • Gardening/urban farming
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Architecture
  • Cosmetology
  • Robotics
  • STEM
  • Writing Lab


Teacher/staff enrichment and professional development training themes can include but are not limited to:

  • Modeling Social Emotional Learning (CASEL core competencies: self awareness, social awareness, responsible decision-making, self management, relationship skills)
  • Olweus training
  • Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) training
  • COMP training
  • Responsive Classroom training
  • Classroom Organization and Management Program (COMP) training
  • Setting shared norms
  • Cultural sensitivity and conflict
  • Creating positive school climate

Want to learn more? Attend the Community Meeting on MAY 26, 2015, at 10:30am!


Our projected outcomes for this pilot are as follows:

Increase partner engagement at JBMS
Increase knowledge and comprehension of SEL core competencies among teachers and administrators

Increase in teacher/administrator feelings of belonging and connectedness
Increase in positive student-teacher relationships
Increased reading levels
Improve college aspiration

Increase graduation rate
Improve children's health and well-being with an emphasis on SEL


ITP Release Date: Friday, May 15, 2015

Response Deadline: This ITP will remain ongoing throughout the 2015-16 academic year to accommodate cancellations, changes, and other needs that arise.



If you have any questions about this Invitation to ParticipateTM, please contact Lexi Morritt, Associate Director, at lexi@alignmentnashville.org.