McFadden School of Excellence

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The deadline to complete an application for the 2022-2023 school-year ended January 31st at 3:00pm. However, we will maintain a list of interested applicants in our Phase II file.  In the event an opening occurs, we will contact you about how to apply.  PHASE II Contact Form

Frequently Asked Questions
Is McFadden a county or city school?
McFadden School of Excellence is a Rutherford County Academic Magnet School of choice for K – 5 students. Any student living in Rutherford County (including Murfreesboro City, Smyrna, LaVergne, Eagleville) can apply. Proof of residence is required in August. 
How many students applied this year?
How is McFadden different from a traditional public school?
McFadden is an academic magnet school for high achievers that works at an accelerated pace.
Is McFadden a charter school?
No, we are an academic magnet school within the Rutherford County School System.
Where do I get an application?
The application deadline closed on January 31, 2022.
How many seats are available for each grade?
We will adjust the number of seats as we are notified of student transfers throughout the year and summer. Known openings each year are in kindergarten (60) and in 4th grade (15).
How does the enrollment process work?
It is imperative that the completed application is submitted between December 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022. Upon completion of your application, you will be directed to choose a screening date and time. We will contact you if there are any application or recommendation submission issues.
What if there is inclement weather on the day of your screening and schools are closed, delayed, or if my child is ill?
Delete your old slot and sign up for a new slot using the signup on the admissions webpage.
What type of screening is used for incoming students?
The screening instrument is a cognitive assessment that predicts a child’s ability for academic success in our program. Each grade level has an added component relative to their curriculum standards in the screening. The assessment instrument has been updated to secure the validity of the test. Screening slots must be selected from available dates and times – we cannot work around pre-school, dance lessons, etc. All applicants will be screened.
Can my child be screened via Zoom?
What is Phase Two?
Applications received after January 31, 2022 are placed in the Phase Two application pool and are only screened in the event we do not have enough eligible students from Phase One.

 What are the steps to being accepted?

Upon completion of all screenings, student applications are ranked from highest to lowest screening score. In order to be accepted or placed on the waiting list, students must meet the minimum score. Students that have the same score are pooled together and drawn randomly to be placed in order. The exception is the sibling policy (see next question). Example for kindergarten: Three hundred students are screened and 200 meet the minimum score. The top sixty scores are offered a spot at McFadden. The remaining 140 are placed in order of their score on the waiting list. As students decline slots, families are contacted and offered a spot.


What is the sibling policy?

Siblings of students attending McFadden for the 2022-2023 school year get priority entrance if they score a 118 or higher on the screening instrument. Siblings not scoring 118 are placed in the waiting list with all other applicants that meet the minimum score.


What do students typically score on the screening?

Based on averages of past screenings, students typically score between 100 and 130.


When will we be notified of our entrance status?

It generally takes us the entire month of February to review/screen applicants. Letters will be mailed by the second week in March, possibly sooner.


Can I get a copy of my child’s scores from the screening?

Due to the volume of screenings, we do not send out individual scoring information.


If my child did not gain entrance, must I reapply the following year?

Yes, students must reapply each year if still interested in our program.


Does my child have to be retested or maintain a level of achievement to remain in the program once accepted?

No, a formal test is not given each year to remain in the program. However, academics and good behavior are important. Students can be removed if academic success or good behavior does not occur.


 What if I plan to apply at Thurman Francis Arts Academy as well?

TFAA and McFadden School of Excellence use the same screening tool for applicants. Students wishing to apply at both schools may only screen one time. Scores will be shared between the schools. Applicants are asked to choose their screening location on the application itself. Students are not permitted to screen at both schools.

Applications must be completed at both schools if you intend to apply at both schools.


Additional Information:

  • Transportation is the responsibility of the parent; There are no bus services at McFadden.
  • School hours are 7:45 to 2:45. Doors open at 7:00am. All students must be picked up by 3:00pm.
  • The date the application is received in our office, standardized scores, or gifted status does not increase your acceptance opportunity.
  • To qualify for sibling status, the family must have a student already enrolled for 2022-2023.
  • We do not offer any before or after school care other than the YMCA Fun Company. There are other local programs/companies that provide afterschool care and/or transportation.
  • Kindergarten students must turn five on or before August 15 to apply for kindergarten.
Still have questions?  Email our Assistant Principal, Andy Roach ([email protected])