Parents Have High Hopes For New Metro Charter School - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Parents Have High Hopes For New Metro Charter School

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Charter schools are slowly becoming a more popular choice among families with Metro Schools looking for an alternative approach to education.

For Art Fuller, the end of summer marks the start of something new. In two weeks his school, Knowledge Academies, will officially open its doors.

"If you're going to pass the test you've got to study hard," Fuller explained. "We've studied hard for a long, long time and we're ready."

The charter school is putting the finishing touches retrofitting its building on Hickory Hollow Parkway in Antioch to welcome 140 fifth and sixth graders. Without a prior track record or name recognition, Fuller and his team did everything including stand in front of Kroger stores to inform families about his vision.

"(I'm) excited," incoming sixth grader Damien Crum said, "(about) the teachers, meeting new kids, the classes (and) the schedules."

Damien's father, Wayne Robinson, is putting all of his faith into the new school saying it's a necessary alternative to traditional Metro schools.

"I'm proud of him," Robinson said. "I thank the Lord and I thank these people for picking him out of this lottery."

He's sold on the concept that involves smaller classes, collaboration with outside agencies and an increased focus on parental involvement.

"Not only are there going to be excellent teaching during the day but in the evenings we actually have programs for parents," Fuller explained.

"I can't wait to start me some Zumba classes in here," Robinson added.

By 2014 Knowledge Academies will serve fifth through eighth grade students. Fuller hopes to eventually expand to high school.

For now Robinson has high expectations for the school, one he hopes will provide new opportunities and fulfill a long standing dream he has for his son.

"That's my boy," he said. "Be better than your daddy. That's all I can say."

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