NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Charter school students will now have the opportunity to play organized sports this fall, thanks to the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association.
At the end of May, charter school students in Nashville were notified by Metro Nashville Public Schools that they were no longer able to participate in the MNPS Middle School Sports League. This left many students and parents feeling frustrated due to the lack of after-school activities offered.
With the partnership with TMSAA, charter schools can offer the same sports programs as in previous years but as members of a different organization.
“Access to athletics and sports teams during these formative years helps students build self-confidence, resilience, work ethic, and positive social connections, so it was essential for us to find a way to keep these programs accessible to students enrolled in charter public schools this fall,” said Laurie Brown, Senior Vice President of Nashville Advocacy for the Tennessee Charter School Center. “We are grateful to TMSAA for opening their arms to our students, and we are excited for a great school year ahead.”
TMSAA said each charter school organization serves the most economically disadvantaged students and students of color. Starting in the new school year this fall, athletic directors at these schools will work together to share sports facilities and practice space so that each school can continue offering the sports programs they have in the past.
“While we had to move quickly to form a new partnership with a different organization, we can expand the number of schools we partner with as a result, including surrounding county schools, giving our students more competition to improve their skills,” Brown said. “Because TMSAA is managed directly by the TSSAA, our students will also receive exposure to and an increased alignment with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), the organization they will play in when they get to high school.”
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