Classes & Grades

Academic Opportunities



Marshall is an official Cambridge School. All students have the opportunity to take Cambridge Math and Literacy classes. 

In addition, each year all students will have the opportunity to complete an Independent Study/PBL Project of their choosing. In the Spring, students will  present their projects and receive feedback and awards from judges.

In 8th grade, qualified students will have the opportunity to earn the following High School credits:

  • Integrated Math 1 
  • Spanish 1

Career Arts

Marshall gives students the opportunity to choose their Career Arts classes and offers the following Career Arts classes to all students:

  • Band (all year)
  • Chorus (9 weeks)
  • Dance (9 weeks)
  • Physical Education (9 weeks)
  • STEM (9 weeks)
  • Art (9 weeks)
  • Computer Technology (9 weeks)



Inquiry-Based Learning

Thurgood Marshall is committed to unlocking the potential of all students. To this end, all of our students will participate in the Inquiry Based Learning Project (IBL).  This project allows students the opportunity to explore a topic of interest from eight broad categories of the Cambridge Global Perspectives curriculum. To maximize integration with Science & Social Studies content and standards, Marshall Science and Social Studies teachers selected the following eight categories:

  • Sustainability
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem loss
  • Changing communities
  • Belief systems
  • Family
  • Humans and other species
  • Migration
  • Tradition, culture and identity
After picking a topic, students will then conduct research using online databases (ex. GALE).  Students will use their research information to develop a topic proposal where they take a position regarding a problem relevant to their topic of interest. An example of this progression would be the following: Category: “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Loss”; Problem: “How do we stop the harmful impact of plastic waste on the environment?”; and Position: To reduce the negative impact of plastic on the environment, restaurants should not use plastic straws. Students will also develop a works cited page/bibliography.

Students will then use information gathered about their topic and position to write an argumentative essay. Students’ argumentative essays will be completed under the guidance of their Literacy teachers and will count as their culminating task for the 3rd nine weeks. During the 4th nine weeks, students will have the opportunity to break into groups of 2-3 to develop a poster board and presentation around one of the argumentative essay topics. Homeroom teachers will serve as advisers and will assist students with forming groups, setting goals, and giving project feedback.  Groups will then present their projects in their homerooms between the end of April and the first week of May. Homeroom teachers will score student projects.  The top projects will have the opportunity to compete for special awards, but all student projects will be scored and have the opportunity to be displayed at our IBL Expo in May.

The IBL project is aligned with TN Ready Literacy Standards for Reading (RI.1), Writing (W.1, W.6, W.7, W.9) and Speaking & Listening (SL.4, SL.5, S.6), the MNPS Instructional Framework (Ambitious & Equitable Pedagogy), and 21st Century Skills (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Creativity, Communication).  It is our goal to expose all of our students to high-level thinking, researching, writing, and collaborating, so they are well prepared for the challenges of high school, college, and career.  Although the IBL process will be challenging and will require a significant amount of work outside of the classroom, we believe all students can be successful. As we embark on this journey together, our teachers,