School and Community Newsletter

Monday, April 18, 2022

Every student, new or existing, needs to register for the 22-23 School Year. Please register before April 30, 2022. Registering will help our schools know their staffing needs and ensure we have the correct contact information.

Online Registration and Out of Zone

View important information regarding online registration and out of zone for the 2022-2023 school year HERE:

Important Dates

BOE April Work Session and Special Called Meeting at HO Porter

Tuesday, April 19 at 6:00 pm

BOE May Regular Board Meeting at HO Porter

Tuesday, May 3 at 6:00 pm

BOE May Work Session at HO Porter

Tuesday, May 17 at 6:00 pm


Friday, May 20 (full day)

Strive to Drive IN PERSON High School Senior Car Giveaway from CDJR!

Saturday, May 21, 5 pm at Columbia Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at 106 S. James Campbell Blvd

Strive to Drive

One Lucky Senior will win!

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Columbia and Culleoka Proms

Saturday, April 23

Hampshire, Santa Fe, and Spring Hill Proms

Saturday, April 30

Mt. Pleasant Prom

Saturday, May 7


Northfield - Virtual Academy Graduation

Saturday, May 7, at 10 am in the HO Porter Gymnasium

Mount Pleasant High School Graduation

Thursday, May 12, 7 pm in the School Gymnasium

Spring Hill High School Graduation

Friday, May 13, 7 pm at the Football Stadium

Columbia Central High School Graduation

Monday, May 16, 7 pm at Lindsey Nelson Football Stadium

Santa Fe Graduation

Tuesday, May 17, 6 pm in the Gymnasium

Hampshire Graduation

Thursday, May 19 at 6 pm in the Gymnasium

Culleoka Graduation

Friday, May 20, at 7 pm in the Gymnasium

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration

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April 18 is Adult Autism Awareness Day

Adult Autism Awareness Day is observed by autistic adults and their loved ones each year on April 18. Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (A.S.D.), can be identified as a broad range of conditions that are characterized by challenges pertaining to social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Statistics show that in the United States, autism affects an estimated one in 54 children today. It is important to realize that there’s no one type of autism — these conditions are often individualistic. Adults with autism are also significant contributors to fields of arts, commerce, science, and more. The day hopes to make life more convenient for autistic adults.

A person may show the signs of autism as early as the age of two or three years old. However, some may show associated development challenges at an even earlier age. Research shows that early medical intervention in such cases leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism. Caretakers must remember that several factors influence the development of autism. Along with autism, the person may also suffer from sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and attention disorders.

Despite what many think, there is no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism may develop from both genetic and environmental influences. The symptoms of autism in adults can display differently from those in children. Many adults have learned to cope with their symptoms over time. A.S.D. is one of the most common neurological development disorders. In most cases, autistic people get a diagnosis as children, after they turn four. Some autistic adults are not diagnosed in childhood, even if their symptoms are acute.

Signs and symptoms of A.S.D. in adults are many and can include the following: difficulty with speaking to others and sustaining friendships. There could be battles with controlling their emotions, focusing interest on one specific topic, and repeatedly talking about it. The symptoms of autism deviate from one person to another. Adult Autism Awareness Day was created to make life easier for such adults and to create awareness all around.


  1. It’s not uncommon

    One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism every year.

  2. It affects the sexes disproportionately

    Boys are five times more likely to be diagnosed with A.S.D. than girls.

  3. It strikes at an early age

    A.S.D. is a developmental disability that generally appears before the age of three.

  4. The treatment is expensive

    A.S.D. costs a family $60,000 a year on average.

  5. Famous people who were possibly autistic

    Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Andy Warhol, and Bill Gates might be on the autism spectrum.

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Multilingual Family Night

On Thursday, April 7, a few Spanish Club and Spanish 3 students volunteered at Maury County Public School’s Multilingual Family Night at Riverside Elementary from 5 pm to 7 pm! There was a GREAT turnout, and our students learned a lot from the families that attended. The Culleoka Unit School students were able to practice their Spanish and teach children how to weave “Ojos de Dios.” It was a great night of mutual learning/sharing/encouraging, and we are grateful to Mrs. Nuber for organizing it and allowing us to attend.
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College Bound for Academics and Athletics

Congratulations to CHS Basketball Players Omari Franklin, who signed to attend Welch College, and Q Martin and Bubba Perkins, who signed to attend Columbia State! Congratulations to all three who signed up to continue their academic and basketball careers at the college level! Coach Campbell stated on the CHS Facebook, "Special day for these three guys, myself, and our basketball program. They all 3 signed today to continue their academic and basketball careers at the college level! Thankful for them and their families! #GoLions"
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Columbia FFA

A girls team consisting of Emelia Peery, Kara Preston, Kyrston Dwinell, Campbell Pollard, Ciara Todd, and Mckenna Brown from the Columbia Central FFA attended an open horse judging contest and did great. They finished second and third in Halter and Performance classes.

Two team members scored in the top five; Kyrston Dwinell placed second in Performance Classes, and Ciara Todd placed fifth in Halter Classes.

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Gold Medal for Matthew Holden

From Mt. Pleasant High School, Matthew Holden competed in the State of TN SkillsUSA Champion. He won a Gold Medal for the cabinet-making competition, qualifying him for the national championship in Atlanta. Matthew is a rising Senior at Mount Pleasant High School.

MPHS Principal Dr. Ryan Jackson stated on Facebook, "A gold medal for setting the gold standard! My man Matthew Holden went to Chattanooga and put on a skilled-trades (specifically cabinet making) clinic!!! His 1st place finish in the Skills USA state competition has now qualified him for the national competition in June. Show some love to one of the humblest, hardest working students I’ve ever known."

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Hampshire's Bella Pugh Pitches MPMS Softball to Small School Championship

The Mt. Pleasant Middle School softball team won the Small School Championship on April 15 by defeating Culleoka 13-3 and Whitthorne 3-1 to win the overall championship for Maury County!! Hampshire's 7th grade Bella Pugh got the win for both games at the mound! She and 6th grader Jayden Scroggins had some greats hits!!
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Kiwanis Sporting Clays Tournament $500 First Place to Santa Fe

A four-person team from Santa Fe competed in the Kiwanis Club's Sporting Clays Tournament.

Congratulations to the Santa Fe School shooters for finishing FIRST! Santa Fe would like to give a big THANK YOU to Columbia Coatings for sponsoring the team!

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When? June 3 to 4

What time? 8 am-2 pm both days (registration on the 3 will open at 7:30 that morning.)

Where? Columbia Central Gymnasium

How much? $75.00 per camper

Can I come to watch?- on the second day of camp at 1:00 pm, you will be allowed to come to watch your athlete participate in a grade level scrimmage to show off the skills they’ve learned from camp.

Additional Information


(Make all checks out to Lady Lions Volleyball and send all money and this form to Columbia Central High School at 921 Lion Parkway, Columbia, TN 38401)

*Campers will be provided with a snack and a drink each day by the Lady Lions Volleyball team but will need to bring their own lunch BOTH DAYS.

*You may only come to watch your camper on the 4th from 1:00-2:00. The 3rd, up until 1:00 on the 4th, will be a closed camp.

*If you come late and do not register early, on the day of the camp you may still come with your $75.00, however, you will NOT be getting a camp shirt because these have to be pre-ordered a couple of months in advance.

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Beck Dental Care - Keeping Maury Smiling!

Beck Dental Care is proud to sponsor the Maury County Public Schools, Maury Smiles. Maury Smiles is a program where anyone can submit a worthy candidate. Superintendent Michael Hickman announces the monthly Maury Smiles recipients at each monthly school board meeting and presents them with a certificate of recognition.

Beck Dental will giveaway every three months by drawing a Colgate Optic White Professional Take-Home Kit valued at $250 to a previously announced Maury Smiles Recipient! Thank you to Beck Dental Care for supporting Maury County Schools!

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Spring Hill High School Wins TVA STEM Grant

Spring Hill High School has been awarded a $5000 grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc., a TVA retiree organization, to develop science, technology, engineering, and math education projects to help spark student interest in future careers in STEM-related fields.

Teachers across TVA’s seven-state region applied for funding of up to $5,000 for projects and selected 233 applications.

Schools that are awarded grants must receive their power from a local power company served by TVA. Columbia Power and Water services Spring Hill High School.

Since 2018, TVA and BVI have awarded nearly $2 million in STEM grants to support local education. A full list of grant recipients and information on how to apply for a future STEM grant can be found at

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April School Menus

ALL schools are as follows: FREE Meals for all Students until June 30, 2022

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Titans and Right Care

The Big Yellow School Bus Podcast and Radio Show

This week's BYSB podcast invited the voice of the Tennessee Titans, Mike Keith, to talk about the upcoming season. Mr. Chandler Anderson, the owner of Right Care Clinic and a community partner for MCPS, also joined the show to share details about the scholarships he has given out.

A special guest not captured in the picture below was Tee Willey with Tee Willie's MuleTown Mix radio show that airs Mon through Friday on WKOM 103.7 FM. Thanks, Tee Willey, for the cameo appearance!
Top left: Chandler Anderson - Bottom Left: Mike Keith - Top Right: Jack Cobb - Bottom Right WKRM
If you would like to be on the Big Yellow School Bus podcast and radio show, email Jack Cobb with your request and details that you would like to share on the show.

The radio show airs on 101.7 FM WKOM, Monday's at 4 pm. Podcasts are published after the radio broadcast. Listen to the podcast on

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Call 615-298-6636 or 901-416-1234

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Coordinated School Health

This week we are highlighting…

There are plenty of easy food-related actions to lighten your carbon footprint while eating healthier.

Buy Locally and in Season

Eating locally grown fruits and vegetables saves fossil fuel, but the food is also likely fresher, tastes better, costs less, and retains more nutrients. Plus, it supports local farmers and keeps dollars in the community. Look for options at the grocery store from local farms. When possible, check out local farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture organizations with the USDA's Local Food Directories.

Eat More Plant-based Foods

Eating more plant-based protein foods such as beans, lentils, and tofu in place of animal-based protein foods is one way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Reduce Packaging

Buying in bulk reduces the amount of plastic, paper, metal, and energy that goes into manufacturing the packaging. If bulk isn't available, buy in larger packages such as "family sizes" rather than individual sizes. If you can, choose reusable materials like glass, metal, and paper packaging over plastic packaging that may be thrown away.

BYOB to the Grocery

Bring your own bags. Even reusing paper or plastic supermarket bags from previous visits can lessen the impact of the petroleum-based plastic bags used each year in the U.S., which often end up as litter, in landfills, and as a pollutant of our freshwaters and oceans.

Conserve Energy in the Kitchen

Purchase energy-efficient appliances when possible. Other energy-saving tips:

  • Know what you need before you open the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Cover the pot to heat food more quickly or use a pressure cooker.
  • During the summer months, run the hood fan to keep gas and heat out of your kitchen, so you require less air conditioning to cool the house.
  • Cook larger quantities and freeze in single meal portion sizes, which saves energy and gets you almost instant home-cooked meals on other days.

Save Water

It is predicted that water, not fuel, will be our scarcest commodity in the not-to-distant future. So, don't let the sink faucet run.

  • Soak dishes in a hot, soapy water sink to loosen food, wash, and rinse all at once.
  • If you use a dishwasher, don't bother rinsing the dishes (scrape them) and run the dishwasher only when it is full.
  • Repair leaks and drips.
  • Install aerators in faucets to make less water more efficient.
  • Don't use running water to defrost frozen food; instead, thaw it in advance in the refrigerator.

Decrease Garbage

In addition to reducing the packaging, you bring home, compost your food waste. Rather than filling the trash can, your food waste — such as fruit and vegetable scraps — can nourish your garden. Use any container by the sink and haul it outside when it's full. Some municipalities offer free, or reduced-price composting bins or bins can be purchased at local garden shops.

Use ceramic dishes, real silverware, and reusable plastic cups. Avoid using disposable products. Use disposables that are accepted as part of your neighborhood recycling program or can be composted.

A community’s highest commitment is to the health and education of its children. If we do not do both, we will not accomplish either.

Upcoming Community Events and Services

  • The Well Mobile Food Pantry April 23 - Central High School Distribution begins at 9:00 AM
  • The Well Mobile Food Pantry May 7th - Spring Hill High School. Distribution begins at 9:00 AM
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TN Department of Education Weekly News

Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) Updates

The Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) Act (SB2396/HB2143) would transition Tennessee’s K-12 public schools to a student-based funding approach and would invest an estimated $9 billion in education funding for the state, including state and local funds, which would include an additional recurring state investment of $1 billion starting in the 2023-24 school year. The TISA proposal is designed to empower each student to read proficiently by third grade, prepare each high school graduate for postsecondary success, and provide resources needed for all students to ensure they succeed.

The Tennessee General Assembly is continuing to consider the TISA proposal. The amendments below were adopted by the House Education Administration Committee. These were not administration amendments but were brought by individual legislators.

  • 016571 (Haston): Summary: Technical correction to ensure that language remains in the code that LEAs must include who will serve as the school health coordinator as part of their Coordinated School Health plans that they submit.
  • · 016572 (Cepicky): Summary: Encourages LEAs to fund 1 full-time nurse for every 750 students, 1 full-time counselor for every 250 students, and 1 full-time RtI2 position for every 500 students.
  • 016574 (Cepicky): Summary: This amendment requires that the 3 school directors that would serve on the group to advise the commissioner on outcome incentive goals would include an urban, suburban, and rural director of schools.
  • 016705 (Ragan): Summary:
    - The amendment added a goal to the bill that each LEA will have their students achieve proficiency on the ELA portion of the 3rd grade TCAP.
    - The amendment would create a new progress review board that would consist of: the commissioner of education, executive director of the state board, 2 members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, and 2 members appointed by the Speaker. Members would serve a 2-year term.
    - The progress review board shall set each LEA’s minimum goal to increase 3rd-grade performance to a level of proficiency on ELA TCAP by 15% of the LEA’s gap from their current score to 70% in three years beginning with the results of the 2022-2023 TCAP test. This would not apply to an LEA that has already achieved 70% 3rd grade ELA proficiency. The board will annually review each accountability report card to determine if LEA is taking proper steps toward their goal.
    - If at the end of 3 years, the board determines that the LEA has not met their established goal, they will determine if further action is necessary, and may recommend to the commissioner of education to require the LEA to complete additional professional development training on how to budget to increase student achievement. The only further action prescribed in the amendment is additional professional development.

Many helpful resources to explain the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) are available at, including social media graphics. Follow #TNEduFunding on social media for updates and additional resources. Learn more here.

Two Middle Tennessee Teachers Receive National Recognition as Milken Educators

On Thursday, April 7, the Tennessee Department of Education announced two Tennessee teachers—Raeven Brooks, 2nd grade teacher at Black Fox Elementary School in Murfreesboro City Schools and Tyler Hallstedt, 8th grade social studies teacher at Mt. Juliet Middle School in Wilson County Schools— have been named recipients of the prestigious Milken Educator Award, one of the highest honors in education that has been dubbed the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine. In addition to the honor of being a Milken Educator Award winner, these teachers have also received $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation.

Established in 1987, the Milken National Educator Awards were created to attract, reward and retain the highest caliber professionals in the education profession. The award targets early-to-mid career teachers and principals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future. Recipients are honored with $25,000 in unrestricted awards. Since Tennessee joined the Milken Educator Award program in 1992, sixty-six Tennessee educators have been awarded a total of $1.65 million.

Each of these educators are part of the 2021 Milken Educators Award class, awarded in the 2021-22 school year due to the pandemic. Click here for more information about the Milken Educator Awards. Learn more here.

Three Tennessee Teachers Named 2022 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

Three Tennessee teachers have been named state finalists for the prestigious 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest honor for K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers.

PAEMST recognizes awardees for their contributions to teaching and learning, along with their ability to help students make progress in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science and is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the awards program is to showcase the highest standards of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teaching.

The 2022 Tennessee state finalists are:

· Samantha Carroll, Mathematics, Union Heights Elementary, Hamblen County Schools

· Neven Holland, Mathematics, Treadwell Elementary, Memphis-Shelby County Schools

· Erin Nunley, Science, Overall Creek Elementary, Murfreesboro City Schools

Each of the state finalists will now move on to the national selection committee, who will identify up to two teachers—one in mathematics and one in science—from each state.

Learn more about the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST), including eligibility requirements and how to nominate a teacher, here. For more information about the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, or to make a nomination for an outstanding STEM educator, please visit the PAEMST website.

$50M Grant Opportunity for Community Partners Announced to Expand TN ALL Corps High-Dosage, Low-Ratio Tutoring Program

The Tennessee Department of Education released a $50 million grant opportunity available for community partners to help expand the state’s TN ALL Corps high-dosage, low-ratio tutoring program to support students. Through the collaboration between school districts and regional community partners, these grant funds will provide an additional 30,000 at-risk students in 1st through 8th grades with access to one-on-one tutoring support to improve academic outcomes.

The TN ALL Corps Community Partner Grant opportunity will award eight grants, ranging from $4.5 million to $9 million, to an average of one awardee per CORE region, which will be responsible for recruiting and hiring tutors as well as coordinating with regional districts for student selection and design of the local tutoring program.

Leveraging federal ESSER dollars, 83 Tennessee school districts opted to participate in the state’s TN ALL Corps program to receive matching grants from the department to further implement and strengthen tutoring services they could provide to students.

Community partners that apply for and win the community partner grant will follow the state’s low-dosage, high-ratio tutoring model for tutoring within their local program, which means English Language Arts (ELA) and math tutoring will be provided in small groups at a 1:3 adult to student ratio in grades 1-5, and 1:4 adult to student ratio in grades 6-8.

Applicants are welcome to apply for a grant for more than one region. Here are the full details of the grant opportunity, and grant applications are due April 22 at 5 p.m. CT. Learn more here.

Tennessee Educator Survey Launched; Open Until April 29

The Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) at Vanderbilt University have launched the 2022 Tennessee Educator Survey statewide. All educators, administrators, and certified school staff in Tennessee are invited to take the survey and share their perspectives and expertise on education issues affecting their classrooms and schools, to inform strategies and goals at the state, district, and local school levels.

Tennessee educators have received an email with a personalized survey invitation link. The survey is voluntary and confidential, and is open through April 29. To learn more about this year’s survey, click here.

Schools with strong participation in the survey can earn grant funding for their school. Last year, more than 40,000 educators across the state participated in the survey.

The survey measures key topics that district and school leaders monitor year after year, including school climate, educator evaluations, instructional practice, professional learning, and specific state initiatives. There are also specific questions around the challenges educators have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information about the survey, including troubleshooting information for teachers, is available here. Any further questions about the survey can be directed to

TDOE Recognizes 67 Best for All Districts for Strategic Spending on Student Achievement

The Tennessee Department of Education announced 67 districts have received statewide recognition as Best for All Districts for significantly investing federal COVID-19 stimulus funding to drive student achievement and improving academic outcomes.

On Friday, February 11th, the department celebrated these districts on #BestforAllDay through a statewide livestream event. Access the recording here.

Best for All Districts will receive financial, operational, celebratory, and resource benefits in appreciation for districts' planned investments to spend their share of the $3.58 billion in federal COVID-19 relief and stimulus funding directly on services, resources and supports that will help students achieve academically. Each Best for All district was awarded grant funds from the department’s ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) funds, with the full grant funding for Best for All Districts totaling more than $15 million. The department understands the importance of rewarding investments in mission-critical initiatives that are most likely to benefit students.

Additionally, the celebratory benefits include promotion of all 67 Best for All Districts on the department’s social media platforms. In addition to social media promotion throughout the year, each #BestforAllDistrict will be featured for a full week on the department’s social media pages.

Access the full list of Best for All Districts here and the list of individual grant allocations here. Learn more here.

PBS Programming Continues During April Statewide: Featuring Starting with Sounds

During the month of April, the department is continuing to provide academic instructional videos airing on PBS statewide, which provide video lessons for Pre-K-3 students and additional grade levels for science and math. Additionally, Starting with Sounds videos are airing each Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. CT, which is a Reading 360 statewide awareness campaign to help Tennessee parents and students understand the importance of reading in an engaging and fun way.

In collaboration with Tennessee PBS, the department created Starting with Sounds to highlight the importance of early literacy and how families and students can practice reading by watching and listening to national and local musicians, athletes, and champions of student success read their favorite books and sing songs to help build these critical skills.

Families can watch the instructional video lessons created specifically for Tennessee students on all six state PBS stations – WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS, and Chattanooga WTCI from 9 a.m. –11 a.m. CT each weekday.

The schedule can be found on the department’s website. PBS Teaching Tennessee classroom lessons for 1st-8th grade students can be found on the department's YouTube page. All 320 lessons have companion teacher lesson plans and student packets. Learn more here.

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School Start and End Times

Elementary Schools: 8:15 am to 3:15 pm

Middle and High Schools: 7:45 am to 2:45 pm

All Mt. Pleasant Schools: 7:45 am to 2:45 pm.

Culleoka Unit School: 7:45 am to 2:45 pm
Hampshire Unit School: 7:45 am to 2:45 pm

Santa Fe Unit School: 7:45 am to 2:45 pm

Please be careful in school zones!

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About MCPS

Maury County Public Schools (MCPS) is a pre-K through 12 school district in Southern Middle Tennessee operating 21 schools, one virtual academy, one non-traditional high school, and one alternative program. MCPS employs more than 900 teachers and 500 staff members who serve over 13,000 students. We will provide the educational instruction, tools, and environment for every child to succeed in LIFE as Life-long Learners, Independent Thinkers, Fearless Innovators, and Exemplary Citizens. Our vision: Educating every child for LIFE!

If you would like to submit an article for the MCPS News, please email here!

Location: 501 West 8th Street, Columbia, TN 38401, USA
Phone: 931-388-8403
Twitter: @MauryCoSchools