Nashville Classical Charter School began as the brainstorm of dedicated community activists and experienced urban educators. As they studied the city’s public schools, they realized that 75% of Nashville third graders were behind in reading. Knowing that elementary literacy predicts college performance, their vision was a school—free, public, and open to all children—that would achieve a different result. Today, for 550 children, our vision is a reality.
Everything about our culture and curriculum prepares scholars for school and life. Nashville Classical Charter Schools offer families, staff, and scholars an education based on our five unique pillars, each of which is proven to pave a college path in kindergarten.
We believe “Diversity is like fresh air: it benefits everybody who experiences it.”
-Diversity Makes You Brighter, New York Times, 12/9/15
First and foremost, Nashville Classical Charter Schools are diverse communities. Research study after research study show diverse school communities benefit EVERYBODY. We believe our schools’ racial, geographic, economic, and ethnic diversity is at the core of who we are, how we succeed, and why families choose us.
Our diversity is also why we are committed to thoughtful, intentional policies and procedures. We believe in building a welcoming community for everyone, especially the students and families that were historically excluded from and denied educational opportunities.
When we say we educate all scholars, we mean it. A belief in the potential of every child is non-negotiable at Nashville Classical Charter Schools.
We believe in “whistling while you work.”
Content is joy.
In our classrooms, scholars study facts by singing, chanting, and cheering; by quizzing themselves; and by talking to their peers. Thinking critically, scholars process through focused writing and share their learnings with other scholars. This is EXACTLY how we learn new things!
Our curriculum is rigorous. Research shows that the brain is a muscle and like any muscle, it gets bigger as you use it. Our children read great books, write essays, and grapple with real world problems in new and interesting ways.
We believe structure is about purpose – not power – and can unlock safety and creativity.
We dedicate time to teaching procedures and routines – from school uniforms to classroom layouts to daily closing circles. Andwe believe structure unlocks safety and creativity. Our intentional classrooms lead scholars to feel like part of a team, where everyone is included, seen and recognized. Our structured classrooms create the psychological safety scholars need to step outside of their comfort zone and take risks.
We believe in closing “the knowledge gap” through social studies, science, and great books. In our curriculum, scholars build background and contextual knowledge. Scholars express knowledge through writing and use knowledge to unlock opportunity and understand the world.
Ultimately, we want scholars to use their foundation of knowledge to analyze, problem solve, and affect change.
We believe “excellence is a habit” and habits are key to future success and self-actualization. In other words, We believe school is preparation for life and should foster personal excellence alongside academic success.
Habits - such as listening with understanding and empathy; responding with wonder and awe; and being open to continuous learning - prepare scholars for life beyond the classroom. We believe these habits will continue to benefit scholars throughout high school, college, and life.
At Nashville Classical Charter Schools our day-to-day aligns with our mission and our values. Ultimately, our entire school boils down to three simple statements that guide everything we do.
Read the Classics and Write the Future.
There is no better time for classical education than now. Today, literacy is everything. Literacy is the ability to read, to think and to discuss. Literacy is the spine of all subjects—from foreign language to physical science—and the foundation of every scholar’s education. Frederick Douglass said “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Indeed, today, literacy means we have the power to read another’s life story and the power to write our own.
Every Scholar College Bound.
We believe every scholar deserves the option of a college future. In the words of the philosopher Plato, “The direction in which education starts a man determines his future in life.” At Nashville Classical, scholars build the knowledge, skills, and character essential to being on the path to college. With this start, their futures are limitless.
Character and Academics Both Come F.I.R.S.T.
What does college preparation look like in a K-8 school? At Nashville Classical Charter Schools, it means we put both character and academics first. Our classical values—Focus, Integrity, Resilience, Scholarship, and Team—teach scholars to set goals, to live honestly, to show determination, to learn with joy, and to care for others. To call Nashville Classical a college prep school only scratches the surface of what we do. We take the Chinese proverb, “Educating people is the only way to plan for a lifetime” to heart.