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Middle College High embarks upon redesign, new name

Kerri Bartlett
Principal Dr. Brian Bass envisions a creative and innovative environment for the future of Middle College High School, which will soon be renamed.

The moniker—Middle College High School—prominently displayed across the façade of a school noted for creative students with a bent towards innovation, could be renamed next month.
Principal Dr. Brian Bass has a vision to redesign the school with a new name that better reflects the learning that’s taking place inside its walls and its direction for the future. 
Beyond the guise of a name, Bass recently described the schools’ current focus at the Williamson County school board’s work session this month, which includes enhancing students’ potential by creating an environment of creativity and innovation – the traits in demand for 21st century workers. 
“I applaud what you are doing,” WCS Board member Tim McLaughlin, District 4, told Bass at the work session. “This is an extremely necessary school with a unique environment for kids to fit-in and excel.” 
During Bass’s second year leading the school, he has diligently worked to create an environment where students’ creativity is supported, innovation is encouraged and the capacity for learning is pushed to the limits.
The new principal describes the school as previously an “outlier,” which is now becoming an “innovator” during the presentation at the work session. 
The school once met at the Nashville State Community College campus during its establishment in 1998. However in 2006, the school moved to its current location, Everbright Avenue in Franklin off Columbia Avenue.
The school has provided a unique environment for students, who benefit from an experience different from what large traditional high schools can provide.   
“Some students might feel like they don’t fit in for a variety of reasons,” Bass previously said. “Our students may have diverse passions or interests that aren’t being cultivated, may feel disconnected or disengaged from traditional learning, or may must feel like they need a smaller, supportive environment where they can grow and be accepted.”
However, Bass says that it’s now time to reach even further and unleash students’ full potential, reflected in his plan for the redesign.
The school already offers Project Based Learning (PBL), a form of experiential learning that involves students in hands-on learning that even benefits the community. Last year, students organized a 5k run raising about $3,200 to benefit the Oasis Center in Nashville.
His vision of the redesign also includes three elective academies built into the school schedule including an Apps Academy, Art Academy and Audio Academy, which will provide students outlets for their interests and passions.
The elective academies could include technology-focused learning such as building websites, creating digital art, and programming apps as well as providing a music audio recording program.
“I want students to think, ‘I have a voice, and I am valuable in the world,’” Bass said.
He said a new name for the school will be announced in March.  

Posted on: 2/27/2014


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