LEAD Public Schools plans to file amended applications with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) Office of Charter Schools within the 30-day window of appeal in light of Tuesday night's (June 27) Board of Education vote to deny the opening of LEAD Academy North High School and LEAD Southeast Elementary School.

LEAD’s plans are to pursue opening a charter high school in the North Nashville and Madison region to provide a high-quality, college-preparatory option for families, including the network’s current LEAD Brick Church and LEAD Neely’s Bend students. Additionally, the network hopes to open a K-8 school in the Southeast Nashville/Antioch region as part of an effort to provide high-quality seats in one of the city’s most overcrowded areas. 

LEAD is home to six schools and more than 2,400 students across the city. Three of the network’s schools are Reward Schools for Growth and the first four graduating classes at LEAD Academy have all earned 100 percent acceptance to college. 

“We filed these applications in hopes that the district would continue to partner with us to provide high-quality options for families in both the north and southeast regions of the city,” LEAD CEO Chris Reynolds said. “That is our continued goal. We plan to amend our applications in the 30-day window prescribed by MNPS and hope to gain approval in August.”

Just five months ago, the Board of Education voted 5-0 to renew LEAD Academy High School for another 10-year charter contract. The Board’s action was based on the recommendation for approval by the district’s Office of Charter Schools. In its January recommendation report, the MNPS office praised LEAD’s operations as follows:

  • “Analysis of the academic performance framework for the past three years leaves little room for doubt that LEAD High School is an academic success, rated excelling overall and being named a Reward School by the State of Tennessee.”
  • “LEAD’s organizational effectiveness is strong, and both organizational and financial performance are positively linked to academic effectiveness. As such, the operational and financial policies support and sustain the academic progress of students, as evidenced by their annual report card results.”
  • “The team commends this continuous improvement and also the strong desire of LEAD to be a true partner with the district as we tackle the large issues facing us as an urban district. In these and many other important discussions surrounding issues of student academic achievement and the operational and financial policies and procedures needed to support such achievement, the team believes continued collaboration with LEAD can benefit all.”

Beginning on page 15, (https://tinyurl.com/yd5vxy85), the recommendation cited comparison information for other high schools across the city. This information included: 2016 TVAAS Composite Scores, ACT Scores 21+ and LEAD Academy’s Status on the Academic Performance Framework.

(Credit: MNPS Board of Ed. presentation on Jan. 24, 2017). 

(Credit: MNPS Board of Ed. presentation on Jan. 24, 2017). 

(Credit: MNPS Board of Ed. presentation on Jan. 24, 2017).

The Board action this evening came at the conclusion of each of the presentations given by Mr. Dennis Queen, the MNPS Executive Officer for the Office of Charter Schools, on behalf of the review committee. It also came just two weeks after more than two dozen supporters, including parents, alumni, a student and other community supporters spoke in favor of LEAD’s mission and impact (to view that night’s public comment, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/2sW4NIW).