John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep

Where hands-on experiences    create minds-on learning

Where hands-on experiences

create minds-on learning

At a Glance

  • Serves grades 5-8
  • Pearl Cohn Cluster
  • Open Enrollment
  • Offers bus transportation
  • Offers before or aftercare
  • Community Achieves school

Welcome From the Principal

Dr. Darwin Mason, Jr.   Principal

Dr. Darwin Mason, Jr.

John Early Museum Magnet Middle is a Metro Nashville Public School where students in fifth through eighth grades are nurtured and respected as individuals, challenged to become life-long learners, and inspired to be active contributors to any community of which they are a part.

John Early Middle School believes that experiential education fosters a deeper understanding of self and others. Our students are encouraged to explore, think, create, and be authentic as they pursue excellence.  John Early Museum Magnet Middle has the only accredited museum in a school building in North America. As a result, John Early has the freedom to provide learning rooted in best practices and fostered by high yield instructional strategies. We believe our school mission and vision encompasses and exemplifies the districts’ vision to “Exceed Great Expectations”.

We also believe in celebration. We celebrate a community of committed teachers. We celebrate our diverse student body of students. We celebrate the fact that John Early is loved and is a prize jewel of the North Nashville Community!

Come, visit us, and see for yourself. See our state of the art museum, experience our Creative Arts program, and visit one of our athletic games and you too will see why John Early Museum Magnet Middle School is second to none.


Contact Information

1000 Cass Street
Nashville, TN 37208 (map)


Contact Emails:
Executive Principal: Dr. Darwin Mason, Jr.
Assistant Principal: Joseph Gilkes
Assistant Principal: Dr. Deatrice Swett
Museum Design Specialist: Lyndell Edmonson
School Board Representative: Sharon Gentry

John Early Museum



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School Description

At John Early Museum Magnet Middle, learning is about more than just rote memorization. Here, learning is brought to life and made more meaningful. Students engage in object-based, inquiry-based and project-based learning as they work as museum curators, designers and docents in our in-house museum. Students have the opportunity to truly take ownership of the museum while working directly with more than 8,000 artifacts. The students employ museum strategies and skills including artifact analysis, exhibit design, interpretation and storytelling. Each quarter, the school hosts an exhibit night to showcase our students’ museum-quality, curriculum-based projects. 

Our daily instruction also includes expeditions to area museums where our students experience even more hands-on learning and engage in discussion with museum professionals. Geometry lessons take on new meaning when the instruction takes place inside the Parthenon with students observing the use of optical illusion and perfect proportion. Language arts students learn how to conduct research and write biographical sketches as they analyze the photographs of the lunch counter sit-ins from the Nashville Banner collection housed in the Civil Rights Room at the public library. Meanwhile, cultural diversity and traditions serve as the subjects of social studies classes as students interpret artwork in the cultural art exhibits at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

At John Early, students receive more than 75 hours a week of extended learning programming, including remediation, enrichment, mentor opportunities with local businesses and colleges, as well as internships. Our school also boasts an award-winning music department. In addition to museum-themed learning, John Early also offers blended learning and STEM instruction, in which science, technology, engineering and math are weaved into classroom discussions and activities. We also practice the Paideia philosophy of education, which is focused on critical thinking, collaborative dialogue and open-ended questioning. We also offer the Encore program for gifted and talented students. 


School Hours

9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

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A Typical Day at School

  • 45 minutes of Response to Intervention

  • 75 minutes of Core Content classes

  • 60 minutes of Related Arts

  • 30 minutes for lunch


School Details & Links


Standard School Attire

Tops: Collar and short or long sleeves in any solid color; any emblem must be two inches or smaller.

Bottoms: Navy blue, black or any shade of khaki; denim and skinny jeans are not allowed. Belts must be worn with SSA pants, except those with an elastic waistband. 

Outerwear: A single blazer, suit jacket, vest, sweater or cardigan is permitted as a garment that may be worn over an appropriate SSA top; hoodies are not allowed.



  • Basketball

  • Boys' Soccer

  • Cheerleading / Dance

  • Football

  • Girls' Soccer

  • Girls' Volleyball

  • Wrestling

  • Track and Field

Extracurricular activities:

  • Art

  • Art2STEM

  • Band

  • Beta Club

  • Book Club

  • Cheerleading

  • Chess Club

  • Creative Writing

  • Code Ignite

  • Culinary Club

  • Dance Club

  • Debate/Speech

  • FCA

  • Girl Scouts

  • Girls Who Code

  • History Club

  • Intramurals

  • Intramural Sports

  • InteraXon

  • Junior Curators

  • Poetry

  • Recycling Club

  • Robotics

  • Science Club

  • Technology Student Association