Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center

Preparing students to    be critical thinkers

Preparing students to

be critical thinkers

At a Glance

  • Serves grades K-4
  • Hillsboro Cluster
  • Open Enrollment
  • Offers bus transportation
  • Offers before and aftercare

Welcome From the Principal

Robin Elder  Principal

Robin Elder

Welcome to Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center, where we are student-centered and focused on the whole child. We are truly preparing students to be critical thinkers through the use of civil dialogue and real-world projects. Our teachers work collaboratively to plan engaging units of study for the students, and our parents, teachers, community and students work together to create a wonderful learning environment.

If you are interested in Sylvan Park, please feel free to call and schedule a tour. We are happy to show you all the great things happening inside our walls!

Ms. Elder has served as a classroom teacher, elementary school guidance counselor and assistant principal of an elementary school in College Park, GA. In her role as an assistant principal she served more than 1,100 students, and the school was recognized as a Distinguished Title 1 School for being the highest performing school in South Fulton County, GA. Her experiences in teaching, school counseling, and administration bring the best of all worlds and understanding on how to merge these attributes to produce successful students. As the instructional leader of Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center, it is Ms. Elder’s goal to create positive relationships with all stakeholders and to be intentional in supporting student needs academically, socially, and emotionally. Learn more about Principal Elder's background here


Contact Information

4801 Utah Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209 (map)


Contact Emails:
Principal: Robin Elder
Instructional Coach: Rae Finnie
Librarian: Laura Calverley
School Counselor: Marvetta Smith
School Board Representative: Amy Frogge



School Description

Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center practices the Paideia teaching philosophy, a three-column approach that uses facts, skills and goals to achieve recall, performance and understanding. The ultimate outcome is the best education for every student. In individual and group settings, students learn in an environment that provides safety and respect, one that nurtures growth and development for all fellow students, as well as teachers and staff. 

Our curriculum is based on the Tennessee State Standards but is enhanced by seminars, research and project-based learning. Because all faculty members are trained in the Paideia philosophy, they are experts at encouraging students to talk about what they're learning and use questioning to learn how to solve complex problems. On top of our Paideia focus, Sylvan Park offers blended learning, as well as Encore, our program for gifted and talented learners. 

Sylvan Park boasts a makerspace and a newly renovated library led by a knowledgeable and approachable librarian who has received recognition from the district. Our students have access to materials in every public library in Nashville, thanks to our Limitless Libraries program.

After-school activities abound at Sylvan Park. We host book fairs and movie nights, as well as give students the opportunity to participate in clubs like Chess, Scouts, Rock Star, Chef Star, Pen and Paper, Odyssey of the Mind, Soccer and the Panthers Marathon Club. Ours is also one of only a few schools in Nashville that holds an annual Disney musical production.

We believe that our students’ success depends on strong parent and community involvement, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Sylvan Park. In addition to having a well-organized and active PTO, we also have the WatchD.O.G.S. program for our dads, and a parent mixer. 

School Hours

8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

A Typical Day at School

  • Breakfast: 7:30 a.m.
  • Morning Meeting
  • Literacy Instruction
  • Numeracy Instruction
  • Lunch
  • Recess
  • Panther Time (Personalized Learning Time)
  • Related Arts (Art, Music, Spanish, Computer and PE)

School Details & Links


Standard School Attire (SSA)

Bottoms: Pants, shorts, Capri pants, skirts, skorts or jumpers in navy blue, black or any shade of khaki; no denim with the exception of Fridays and no cargo pants or shorts.

Tops: Short or long sleeves and a collar in solid colors; properly buttoned, sized and tucked. Sylvan Park spirit wear is permitted with SSA bottoms. 

No hoodies are allowed.

Shoes should have a closed toe, closed back and rubber bottom. 


  • Band
  • Chess Club
  • Creative Writing
  • Culinary
  • Drama
  • Foreign Language Clubs
  • Girls on the Run

  • Belle Meade Kroger
  • Preston Taylor Ministries
  • McCabe Community Center