MLK News: Dec. 12 - 16, 2022

From Executive Principal, Dr. Angela McShepard-Ray

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it including you.

Big picture

Focus on what you want to finish. Finish what you focus on.

Exams will take place December 13 – 16. We will dismiss at 11:20 am each day for all grade levels. This includes 7th and 8th grades. Please ensure your child has transportation set up to be picked up at 11:20 am each day after exams.

Do you ride the We Go bus? The We Go buses will be pick up students at the 11:20 am dismissal time after exams are concluded each day.

In grades 9-12, for a course with no State end-of-course exam or the first semester of a course with a State end-of-course exam: the semester grade shall be determined by each nine-week grade counting 40% and the teacher-administered examination grade counting 20% (40/40/20).

During exams, breakfast will not be served. Brunch will be served. What does this mean?

Between exams, students will have the opportunity to receive a brunch meal from 9:30 am until 9:45 am at no cost. An announcement will be made each day brunch is served.

Students cannot be picked up during exams. How can I pick up my child if needed?

MNPS policy states students cannot be picked-up during the exam time period. This means parents can pick up their child between exams at 9:30 am until 9:45 am or after exams end at 11:20 am.

All holiday spirit store orders must be placed by 9:00am 12/12 for fulfillment before exams.

Dear Royal Families,

As a token of our appreciation, the MLK PTSA would like to give gift cards as holiday gifts to all MLK teachers, faculty and staff. We are relaunching the INVEST campaign to raise money to purchase 107 gift cards.

Here's how you can help:

Make an online donation in the spirit store by choosing the Holiday Gift Card Option: MLK Spirit Store

Teacher gift giving made easy: You make a donation; we purchase and deliver the gift cards, and you check teacher gifts off your list!

Thank you so much for INVESTING in our fabulous teachers and staff!

P.S. Don't forget to purchase spirit store items for holiday gifts as well! Loyal Royal White Out shirts available to purchase and available for pickup at the end of the day Monday 12/12. All holiday orders must be placed by 9:00am 12/12 for fulfillment before exams.

2022 MLK December Exam Schedule

MLK gives exams to all students enrolled (7th – 12th grade). We follow the high school schedule in which we dismiss at 11:20 am when exams are given. This means middle school students will be dismissed at 11:20 am along with high school students.

Semester Examinations

Final semester examinations are to be given in all 9-12 courses during the regular school year. The Chief Academic Officer or his/her designee must approve exceptions to this rule. Exams may not be given more than one time. Students may not type, grade, or handle other students’ exams. Students may not be dismissed from class during exams. Cheating on an exam will result in the lowest possible grade, according to the grading policy, being given for the final exam grade (see IM 4.144). Students may not take exams early. If a student must miss an exam, the principal may give permission for the student to make up the exam at a later time.

The 2022 December Exam schedule is below. All students 7th – 12th grade will follow this exam schedule. We will dismiss at 11:20 am each day. Please make the needed provisions for transportation.

Big picture

Tour Tuesdays are Back at MLK

MLK Tour Tuesdays run through March 21st. If you know someone who is interested in applying to MLK for the 2023-2024 school year, please direct them to our website Visit MLK - Martin Luther King Jr. School ( or send them this link to sign up for a tour.

MLK Tour Sign-Ups

MLK's Firebirds Football Players Honored with Luncheon

Our MLK football players who play with the Pearl Cohn Firebird's team were honored for placing Runner Up in the State Championship game last week. Congratulations, Firebirds!
Big picture

MLK High School Boys' Basketball Team Meets Author

The MLK boys basketball team attended the Vanderbilt vs. Pittsburgh basketball game on December, 7. Vanderbilt won the game by one point, 75-74. The atmosphere and game was very entertaining. Before the game, Andrew Maraniss spent 30 minutes with the team answering questions and sharing the story of Perry Wallace. Andrew is the author of the New York Times best seller, Strong Inside, a story on Perry Wallace and the collision of race and sports in the South. It was a special night for the players!
Big picture

MLK Choir Kicks off the Holiday Season with Winter Chorus Concert

If you missed our Winter Chorus Concert, you missed a treat. The choir sang songs including, “Oh Hanukkah”, “Slow Dancing in the Snow”, and “Let it Snow!” They highlighted the musical talent of the entire chorus department.

Congratulations to each student who participated as well as Mrs. Spencer!

Middle School and High School Bands' Winter Concert a Big Success!

The 7th and 8th grade students played holiday pieces that caused you to remember days when you were a child like “Christmas Time With Charlie Brown.”

The high school students played familiar pieces and more integral pieces that showcased their playing endurance, talent, musical work ethic like “Russian Christmas Music.”

Congratulations to both the middle and high school band students as well as Mr. Womack and Ms. Chavez on their work this semester that produced a superior concert.

Middle School and High School Orchestra Winter Concert a Great Culminating Concert!

The middle school and high school orchestras held their concerts Thursday night. This was the culminating concert for this semester.

“Momentum” was a favorite selection of middle school students and Mrs. Wulf of the pieces played by the middle school orchestra.

As part of the high school concert, members of the Orchestra Council gave the audience background knowledge on each musical piece before it was played. “Country Wedding” and “Palladio” were wonderfully played pieces.

Congratulations on a concert well-orchestrated by the orchestra and Mrs. Wulf.

Mr. Norton's Field Trip

Mr. Norton took all personal finance students on a field trip this week to Junior Achievement to do a financial simulation to learn financial literacy. Check out the student-created summary video below.

How will you celebrate the holiday season?

“Happy Holidays” is a phrase we often hear around this time of year but what does it really mean? The truth is it means something different to everyone. To some, it may mean “Merry Christmas”, to others it may mean “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanzaa.”

While many of us celebrate winter holidays meaningful to us, it is important to respect and acknowledge the importance of other holidays during this time, as well. All winter holidays are significant and deserve recognition.

What are the different winter holidays celebrated around the world?

Learning about the traditions of the different holidays we don’t celebrate is a great way to learn more about the diversity of our communities. In addition, it fosters an inclusive environment where individuals and groups feel represented. Here are a handful of different winter holidays and traditions celebrated around the world!


Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Shortly following the Maccabean Revolt, where the Greek/Syrian army was defeated by the Jewish people they had oppressed, the temple was rededicated to God. The menorah in the temple had one day’s supply of oil and managed to burn for eight days. This was viewed as a miracle and a holiday was dedicated to the triumphant event–Hanukkah.

Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration that begins on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and falls anywhere from late November to December. Each night during Hanukkah, one candle on the menorah is lit by the Shamash candle—the ninth candle used to light the other candles. In addition to lighting the menorah, families eat traditional food, sing Hanukkah songs, retell the origin story and exchange gifts, just to name a few traditions.

Las Posadas

Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration that takes place from Dec. 16 - Dec. 24. It is dedicated to Mary and Joseph’s trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem prior to the birth of Jesus. Las Posadas is primarily celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala and in some Southwestern parts of the U.S.

Each night, a small child dressed as an angel leads a procession of followers through towns and cities. The procession goes door to door asking for lodging and, true to the origin story, they are refused. While they are refused lodging, they sing Christmas carols together and read passages from the Bible. The procession usually ends each night by attending Mass and breaking a piñata.


Yule is one of the earliest recorded celebrations during the winter holiday seasons. Germany and Scandinavia are the birthplaces of Yule. Yule, now commonly referred to as Christmastide, is a celebration of rebirth and the longer days of sunshine ahead. It is traditionally celebrated by chopping down a tree on the winter solstice and feeding the whole log into the fire. That same log is then burned for 12 continuous days.

Yule decorations have traditionally included ivy, holly, berries and mistletoe. Yule celebrations today usually include placing a much smaller Yule log on the mantle and decorating it with berries, candles and holly and then exchanging gifts, and meditation.


Every year, during the winter solstice, the Hopi and Zuni native tribes celebrate the new life and new beginnings that will come in the new year with a cherished ceremony known as Soyal. During the ceremony, rituals are performed to wake up the sun from its hibernation.

Soyal lasts 16 days and is filled with rituals, food, gifts and stories. Members of the Hopi and Zuni native tribes put on masks and costumes to represent the Kachina spirits. Kachina spirits are said to be the tribes’ guardian spirits. Children are usually given Kachina dolls and elders pass down stories during the celebration.


Christmas is a winter holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25. The holiday is celebrated worldwide, including countries where Christianity isn’t widely practiced. While Christmas has religious origins, it has evolved throughout time to be a commercialized holiday.

Christmas decorations include nativity scenes, Christmas trees adorned with lights and ornaments, jingle bells and holly. Families usually gather on Christmas Day for a festive meal and to exchange gifts with one another.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a winter holiday that is recognized in many commonwealth countries such as Australia, Britain and Canada. It is celebrated on Dec. 26 and is a day of giving back. There isn’t a clear origin story for Boxing Day, but it’s said to have started as a day off for household employees. These individuals couldn’t celebrate Christmas with their families until the following day as they had to serve their employers and families on Christmas Day. On Dec. 26 they were given boxes of leftover food and gifts to take home.

Over time, Boxing Day has evolved into a charitable holiday. Funds are collected and given to organizations in need. Like Christmas, the holiday has evolved into a commercialized one, too. Boxing Day is also a great day to go shopping and find a good deal.


Kwanzaa is a relatively new winter holiday. In 1966, Kwanzaa was created by California State University Professor and Chairman of Africana Studies Dr. Maulana Karenga. He created Kwanzaa to unify African Americans by honoring African heritage. Dr. Karenga did extensive research on African celebrations to establish Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is celebrated from Dec. 26 - Jan. 1. There are seven core principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. In addition, Kwanzaa has seven core symbols: crops, placemats, ears of corn, the seven candles, the candleholder, the unity cup and gifts. The seven core symbols are honored by being arranged into a festive display. Families gather during Kwanzaa to reflect on the seven core principles, honor their ancestors and heritage and feast on traditional cuisine.

Big picture

News from the MLK College Center

There are no College Center events this week.

College Center News will return the first newsletter of 2023.

ACT Corner

Welcome to week 17 of the 2022-2023 ACT Corner!

This week’s practice passage comes from the Reading section of the ACT. Reading_passage_10_Dec_7_2022.pdf

Correct answers to last week’s Math passage are also included. answers_Math_passage_10_Nov_30_22.pdf

ACT and SAT Test Prep

My Test Tips, a Nashville based test prep program, is offering Fall and Winter Sessions.... private one on one virtual coaching for ACT and SAT test prep.

For more information on cost and registering for our sessions, email us:

follow us on.......mytesttips Facebook.

2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on Oct. 1 for current seniors who will begin college in the Fall of 2023. Some states and schools have limited funds, so we do not want students to delay; the sooner it is completed, the better!

Additionally, for TN Promise eligibility, the application MUST be completed and submitted by March 1. Please add this information to your weekly newsletters, callouts, and daily announcements to students and parents. The application and more information can be found here.

After School Tutoring - Monday Through Thursday

For high school students it occurs Monday-Thursday from 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. in room 2206.

For middle school the schedule is from 3:15-4:15, Monday-Thursday.

  • 8th Grade - Monday (Poston)and Tuesday (Boleyjack),
  • 7th Grade - Wednesday (Taylor) and Thursday (Ellis).

More information

Need Help with Homework?

Use the Homework Hotline! Call 615.298.6636.
Teachers are available to answer questions Mondays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is a free service to students in TN.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline), and is now active across the United States.

When you call, text, or chat 988, you will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting you, provide support, and connect you to resources if necessary.

The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

The Lifeline’s network of over 200 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005, and has been proven to be effective. It’s the counselors at these local crisis centers who answer the contacts the Lifeline receives every day. Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.

Answer the call! These centers are looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees. You will receive training, so if you are a caring person who wants to help those in crisis, apply today. Find your opportunity:

  • For ways to support your local Lifeline network crisis center, visit our Crisis Centers page here.
  • To learn about the impact of the Lifeline, visit our new By the Numbers page.
  • To learn about what happens when you call, text, or chat with the Lifeline, click here.
  • To learn more about the history of 988, visit here.
  • To learn how Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the Lifeline, has been supporting states’ implementation planning for 988 through grants, check here.

If you’re a Veteran, Service Member or loved one and want to know more about how 988 will affect the Veterans Crisis Line, click here.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School for Health Sciences and Engineering