Metro Nashville Public Schools is replacing five head principals at 12 of its lowest-performing schools, district officials announced Wednesday.

The decision follows an “extensive diagnostic evaluation” conducted last fall and represents “the first major step in the next phase of the turnaround process for these schools,” according to a news release from the district.

Of the five principals being replaced, one is retiring and another will take another position within the district.

The move is part of the district’s plan to address its growing list of priority schools, which represent the state’s lowest-performing 5 percent of public schools. During a two-year period, the list of priority schools in Nashville has more than doubled – from six schools in 2012 to 15 in 2014 – while Shelby County Schools in Memphis saw a decrease – from 69 to 59 priority schools – during the same period.

The new principals will begin developing multi-year turnaround plans in the coming months, and take the reigns at their new schools in the fall. “Each of the leaders we’ve chosen is the right fit for that school,” said Director of Schools Jesse Register.