Thurman Francis Arts Academy/Magnet School for the Arts Named ‘One of The Best’

Thurman Francis Arts Academy

Publisher’s Note: I recently had the opportunity to visit Thurman Francis Arts Academy and Magnet School—my former school. Thurman Francis Arts Academy It was while back when I attended in 1979-81. ‘Back in the day’ the school was known as Thurman Francis Junior High School. The school mascot were the Rams.

WGNS radio host Bryan Barrett and I recently broadcasted ‘Rutherford Issues’ radio program from the school’s front office on two occasions. Our radio guests included my MTSU intern who’s also a Thurman Francis alum Sarah Schnieder, Principal Jeff McCann and student council officers Kaylee Herndin, Sophie Randol and Cullen Surles. (Link to podcast below)

Related: WGNS ‘Rutherford Issues Radio program airs live from Thurman Francis Arts Academy.

A few months ago Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed and I were invited to Thurman Francis Arts Academy and visit with the fifth grade students who created the Tennessee Living History Museum as part of a civics project.Thurman Francis Arts Academy
Their museum exhibited the three branches of government and the history of music in Tennessee. 

Related: Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed Visits Tennessee Living History Museum


Thurman Francis Arts Academy/Magnet School for the Arts was named ‘One of The Best.’


Thurmand Francis Arts Academy and Magnet School students perform the Pledger of Allegiance Sept, 6, 2020. Image courtesy of WKRN News 2

Recently U.S. News rankings show the top K-8 schools, including magnets and charters, nationwide and in Tennessee. Thurman Francis Arts Academy/Magnet School for the Arts was named ‘One of The Best.’


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Thurman Francis Arts Academy is a PK-8 magnet school in Smyrna, Tennessee, with about 680 students, 28% of whom are students of color. The student-to-teacher ratio is 14-to-1; 80% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math; and 71% did so for reading.


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The school’s minority student enrollment is 29%. The student-teacher ratio is 17:1, which is worse than that of the district.The student population is made up of 57% female students and 43% male students. There are 41 equivalent full-time teachers and 2 full-time school counselors.

The U.S. News rankings were conducted as part of a nationwide ranking effort of more than 61,000 schools across the nation using performance on state tests. The result is a set of comprehensive rankings for K-8 public schools that include information on school size, student-to-teacher ratios and other important data.

The Tennessee rankings included more than 1,300 public elementary and middle schools.

All Rankings

* Rated #2 Rutherford County Middle School

* Rated #3 in Tennessee Magnet Schools

* Rated #2 Rutherford County Elementary Schools

* Rated #3 Rutherford County Middle Schools 

To read the full story visit U.S. News