Charter School Fair Allows Families To Explore More Options
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Charter schools are gaining popularity in the Metro area, but like traditional schools, they're all not created equal.
Charters are Metro schools that provide different options to students.
"What makes KIPP different is that we're a high performing free public charter school," School Leader Laura Miguez-Howarth said.
Charter schools are not managed by the district, but instead by a private board. It allows principals have more flexibility to be creative in meeting the specific needs of their students.
"We open our doors at 7:30 a.m. and we go until 4 p.m. every day," Miguez-Howarth explained. "We have Saturday school once per month."
Unlike traditional schools, charters have to recruit their students to enter a lottery.
"We get addresses of students and go knock on their doors and say hey have you ever heard of a charter school? Have you ever heard of KIPP," Miguez-Howarth said about recruitment that also involves informational sessions at the school.
On Saturday, the Tennessee Charter Schools Association is providing a one stop shop for families at the first ever charter school fair. Eighteen schools will be present from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Floyd Payne Campus Center at Tennessee State University.
"This gives us an opportunity to re brand or provide more information on what charter schools are," John Little, Tennessee Charter Schools Association Community Organizer, said.
Not all charters produce the same results. While most outperform traditional Metro Schools, others lag behind. The difference is that if a charter school fails for consecutive years the Metro school board will shut it down.
"It just keeps us on our toes because the minute [parents] say that this school is not servicing my child they're allowed to send them back to the zoned school," Little added.
KIPP Nashville is one of the more established high performing charters in the district, with a mission to ensure that each child attends college.
"Get in a visit. See what's actually happening in the classroom," Miguez-Howarth advises. "That's where the magic happens."
It's about providing as many options as possible that could allow your child to be successful.
To apply, you have to submit an individual application to each school. Any student living in Davidson County is eligible and is chosen at random from a lottery.