As Metro Schools welcome a record 81,000 students to class this week, they'll have the unique responsibility of educating a large group of students who are new to the English language.
In the last three years, Metro's Hispanic population has grown from 13.3% of their student body to 16.6%.
"We have more immigrant students than a lot of other districts," said Meredith Libbey with MNPS.
She said because of the increase, the district is focusing on hiring teachers with an English Language Endorsement.
Cesar Muedas, a MNPS parent and former ESL student, says he thinks Metro is doing a good job at dealing with the growing Hispanic population, but adds, "They should have a five year plan for ESL students, a 10 year plan for ESL students. I would challenge all of them to start very meticulous long term planning."
Libbey says part of the school systems long term plan is to make sure teachers are prepared to deal with the influx of immigrant students.
"We're looking for teachers with [an English Language Endorsement]," she explained. "Lipscomb University in fact has a new program where their expectation is that Lipscomb trained teachers will have that endorsement."
Muedas said, "The amount of time in the classroom is important, but the quality of the teacher is too, the quality of the after school programs is too."
Besides dealing with a large population of English language learners, Metro will have another challenge because of new state mandate that says ESL students must also graduate in four years as opposed to five.