Exploring Charter Options

A Digital Toolkit for Families


Getting Started

Before you begin exploring schools, it’s important to consider what matters to your family and your child about their educational experience. Use the following checklist to consider what would be offered at your ideal school and also those things that are “must haves.”

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are public schools. They are part of the MNPS school district. Like other public schools, they are free and open to all children in Metro Nashville. But unlike zoned schools, they are open for enrollment regardless of where you live.

Public charter schools are also different from selective public schools—like academic magnet schools—because there are no special entrance requirements, such as test scores. Also, many charter schools offer free transportation to students, whereas most other optional public schools in Metro Nashville do not.

Is a charter school the right choice for my family?

A charter school may be the right choice for your family if you’re interested in a school setting where teachers and school leaders embrace innovative approaches for instruction and school culture.

The main difference between public charter schools and traditional public schools is how they are operated. Charter schools are managed by nonprofit organizations, while traditional public schools are managed by the school district. Because they are independently operated by nonprofits, public charter schools have the flexibility to innovate and to design their school to best meet the needs of the students they serve.

This is why charter schools were created—to incubate innovative practices that can benefit all students and to serve students whose needs aren’t being met in a traditional school setting.

Can I tour a charter school to learn more about it?

Yes! All charter organizations in Nashville welcome families for school tours on a regular basis. View our list of member schools to read more about each charter organization and how to schedule a visit.

How do I enroll my child in a charter school?

Most charter schools in Nashville participate in the Optional Schools Application process offered by Metro Schools. The timeline and process for the application is set by the school district. However, the following public charter school organizations have their own application and random selection process for enrollment:

Do you have other questions?

Please send us an email at info@nashvillechartercollaborative.org.