Thurman Francis Arts Academy

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Applications for the 2022-2023 school year will be available  December 1, 2021. 
Please join us at TFAA  November 30 @ 6pm for a
prospective parent orientation.  In-person tours will be offered beginning in January.

Frequently Asked Questions 



Q. How is TFAA different from a traditional public school? 

TFAA is an academically accelerated school with many opportunities to explore the arts. 


Q. Is bus transportation provided for students? 

Transportation is not provided for our students.  Parents must provide their own transportation.  There are after-school options at local childcare facilities, dance, or karate studios if needed. 


Q. How many positions are available for 1st through 8th grade? 

The number of positions available varies from year to year.  Openings depend on the number of students who return in subsequent years.  We encourage applying even if there are no current openings as students may move away throughout the summer. 


Q. How does the enrollment process work?

Applications may be submitted online between December 12021 and January 31, 2022.  COMPLETED applicationinclude online application submission with upload of report cards and test scores, plus an uploaded teacher recommendation form submitted by 3:00 p.m. on January 31, 2022.  Anything received after that date and time will be considered late 


Every attempt is made to notify parents, via email, when a child’s completed application has been received.  If you do not receive notification, then assume your application is INCOMPLETEIt is likely we are missing the teacher recommendation.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher to confirm they have submitted the formIncomplete applications are NOT processedIt is the parents’ responsibility to make sure that the COMPLETED application is submitted by 3:00 p.m. on January 31, 2022 


Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 2nd Grade Applicants 

A completed application for kindergarten consists of an application and an uploaded teacher recommendation form from your child’s current teacher1st and 2nd grade applicants must submit their most recent report card as well.  All Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade applicants will be scheduled via a SignUpGenius link for a 15-20 minute screening session.  minimum qualifying score is required. Students will be ranked according to their screening scores and recommendation score. 



3rd and 4th Grade Applicants 

A completed application consists of: an application, a copy of the most recent report card, Cognitive Abilities Test scores, an uploaded teacher recommendation form from a current teacher, and results of any gifted screenings, if availableStudents in 3rd and 4th grade qualify based on CogAT scores, grades, and recommendations. The CogAT is the Cognitive Abilities Test given to all 2nd grade students in Rutherford CountyYou may get a copy of the results from your child’s schoolAll sections of the CogAT will be consideredminimum qualifying score is required. Students will be ranked according to their combined scores and recommendation score. 


5th6th7th, and 8th Grade Applicants 

A completed application consists of: an application, a copy of the most recent report card, most recent standardized test scores (CogAT, TN Ready, SAT-10, etc.) an uploaded teacher recommendation form from a current teacherminimum qualifying score is required. Students will be ranked according to their combined scores and recommendation score. 


Q. What if my child, applying for the 3rd grade or higher, did not take the Cognitive Abilities Test or TNReady 

Students can qualify based on TNReady test scores, 2nd grade CogAT scores, or appropriate “Gifted” screening tests.  If no such scores are available, scores from other nationally normed tests (for example, Stanford Achievement Test-10) may be considered.  


Q. Are siblings given priority consideration? 

Qualifying siblings of current students are given priority consideration.  To qualify for sibling priority status, the family must have a student already enrolled at TFAA for the 2022-2023 school year. 


Q. Is my current Kindergarten student allowed to repeat Kindergarten at TFAA?

No, current Kindergarten students must apply for 1st grade. 


Q. What if we are unavailable when screenings are doneCan I come at a later date 

All kindergarten, first and second grade applicants will be screenedScreenings are scheduled in January and early February Due to the number of screenings, we must complete, we cannot work around preschool schedules, vacations, etc.  


Q. When will we be notified of our entrance status?

It generally takes us the entire month of February to review applicants.  Letters stating entrance status will be mailed before the end of March.  


Q. What type of screening tool is used?

The screening instrument is a cognitive assessment that predicts a child’s ability for academic success in our program. 


Q. Can I get a copy of my child’s screening score?

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


Q. If my child is not accepted into the program, must I reapply the following year?

Yes, students must reapply if still interested in the magnet program 


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

A formal test is not given each year to remain in the program. However, strong academics, good behavior, and punctuality and attendance are importantStudents may be removed from the program if these traits are not priorities. 


Q. How do I schedule a tour of Thurman Francis? 

In-person tours will be available beginning in January.  Visit our website to sign-up.  You may also visit our website for a virtual tour. 


Q. What if I plan to apply at McFadden School of Excellence 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 schoolsApplicants are asked to choose their screening location on the application itselfStudents 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: 

~  All completed applicationsubmitted by 3:00 p.m. on January 312022, are equally considered 

~  Please check your email account periodically throughout the application process.  Email is our primary form of communication. 

 If there is inclement weather on the day of your screening and schools are closed or delayed, your missed appointment will be rescheduled. 

~  School hours are 7:30-2:30. Doors open at 6:45.  All students must be picked up by 3:00. 

~  Students outside of Rutherford County will not be considered. When addresses are questionable, they will be checked for validity.  

~  Students who move outside Rutherford County are required to transfer to their zoned school. 

FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW TO APPLY. Items listed are required for admissions consideration. A recommendation link will be emailed to your child's current teacher.  Please ask the teacher to check his/her email for the link. 




(applicants must turn 5 prior to August 15, 2022)

~ Submit online application

~ Teacher-submitted Student  Recommendation Form


1st & 2nd Grades:

~ Submit online application

~ Upload current report card

~ Teacher-submitted Student  Recommendation Form




3rd & 4th Grades:

~ Submit online application

~ Upload current report card

~ Upload CogAT scores *

~ Teacher-submitted Student  Recommendation Form


*Rising 3rd graders are required to upload 2nd grade CogAT scores. Rising 4th graders were not given a CogAT test. 4th grade applicants should upload a document/picture that says, "CogAT test not given." 



5th – 8th Grades:

~ Submit online application

~ Upload current report card

~ Upload standardized test scores from the 2020-2021 school year or most recent scores * (CogAT, TN Ready, SAT-10, etc.)

~ Teacher-submitted Student  Recommendation Form


* Standardized test scores may be downloaded at If you are unable to access them, you may request test scores from your child's school.


Questions?  Send email to