Inaugural graduation for STEM Preparatory Academy celebrates student body diversity, valedictorian calls on classmates to ‘shatter’ the glass ceilings for minorities

Members of STEM Preparatory Academy’s 2011 founding fifth-grade class recorded another first by receiving their high school diplomas and becoming the school’s inaugural graduating class. The ceremony highlighted and celebrated the diversity of the students, the vast majority of whom are students of color. Every graduate will be going on to attend a college, university or post-secondary technical program.

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Janel Lacy
Breaking the school-to-prison pipeline with ‘windows and mirrors’ for black boys

Not long ago, many educators thought of kids’ minds as blank pages that they were tasked to fill with information. But there’s a growing volume of research on the connection between emotions and learning that validates taking the time to build real relationships with our students. Like all of us, kids bring their backgrounds and life experiences into the classroom. Their minds are more like books already partially written, and when you connect their school experiences with their existing stories, that’s when the best learning can take place. It’s why our “windows and mirrors” approach works.

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Janel Lacy
Helping Kids Fall in Love with Reading

Every school strives for kids to read on grade level. At RePublic Schools, we strive for our scholars to fall in love with reading. Scholars who love reading are kids who look for any opportunity to read. And scholars who love reading become adults who love reading.

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Kelli Gauthier
Purpose Prep Changed the Course of My Daughter’s Life

I grew up in an extremely big family, and we lived in public housing. I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time, but my neighborhood limited us in many ways, by dictating what we could do, where we could go, and, most importantly, the schools we could attend. It didn’t matter if the school I was zoned for was poor performing, or just wasn’t a good fit for me. Choosing another option just wasn’t available for me or my siblings. There were no other options.

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Kelli Gauthier
How Nashville Classical Increases Parent Involvement

Nashville Classical News is a student-run print and digital newspaper at Nashville Classical Charter School. Scholar reporters in grades 1-5 write on topics ranging from investigations into cafeteria food to the secret lives of teachers. You can follow their stories on Instagram @nashvilleclassicalnews. For this story, they interviewed a collection of staff and parents to better understand how schools can increase parent involvement.

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Kelli Gauthier
Why I Teach at STRIVE Collegiate Academy

The innovative environments of public charter schools make their instructional practices and school cultures unique. This environment is what draws many families to choose a public charter school, and the same is true for teachers. We asked some of the teachers at STRIVE Collegiate Academy why they chose to teach there, and this is what they said.

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Kelli Gauthier
At KIPP Nashville, My Daughters Feel Seen

Thanks to the vision of KNCPE’s school leader, Christa Thomas, Azizah can be herself and feels genuinely seen and appreciated for who she is, right down to her hair. My daughter has black teachers who look like her and know how to pronounce her name. It may seem like a small thing, but in a world where many children feel like they have to disappear to fit into the main stream culture, my seven-year-old has a life inside and outside our home where she feels significant – as significant as any child should feel growing up. 

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