Metro Nashville Public Schools Adopts Alternative High School Program


Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee this week announced that it's adopting an alternative high school program. The district voted to contract with Educational Services of America for its technology-assisted educational program, Ombudsman, as part of its goal of reaching 100 percent graduation by 2014.

ESA's Ombudsman program provides alternative education to middle and high school students off campus for credit recovery, remediation, and intervention for at-risk students. For the Nashville program, ESA will open eight Ombudsman centers in the fall, which will serve students in grades 7 through 12 and with the aim of being located within easy reach of all of the high schools in the district. ESA reported that MNPS purchased 480 Ombudsman seats for the program. Individual seats can be rotated between students as they enter and leave the program.

"This is a good opportunity for the district to intervene early when we see a student struggling," said Ralph Thompson, MNPS assistant superintendent of student services, in a statement released Monday. "We are optimistic that this new program will give students a chance to get on track before they fall so far behind they feel helpless."

Last month, Ombudsman was also expanded in Georgia with nine new districts adopting the service, bringing the total number of Georgia districts using it to 17.

ESA reported that its Ombudsman program has an 85 percent success rate among its student body, which includes students who "graduate from Ombudsman or their home school district, improve their academic standing, or earn necessary academic credits." ESA has partnerships with about 120 districts across the country. Further information can be found here.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at

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David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

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