NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – A Nashville educator wants a community in the middle of the state to have more school opportunities.
Brenda Jones is trying to design, build and open her own charter school in Nashville. Currently, Metro Nashville Public Schools has 28 charter schools under its jurisdiction.
Jones wants to add another school. She is a former charter school teacher, assistant principal and MNPS graduate, and she said her vision is to open her own school.
It is in the opening phase Invictus Nashville for autumn 2024.
“It’s time to do something different and while there are things about traditional classrooms that I keep and love and would highlight, there are things we need to change so we can continue to grow.” said Jones. “It’s about doing what’s best for the kids. It’s not about whether it’s charter or traditional or not, it’s about what your family does…”
Jones is already speaking out and wants to set up her school in the Hermitage and Donelson area, where there is only one charter school.
“This is an area that I feel is underserved in a charter-like world. And I think they could use something else,” she said.
Invictus Nashville would be built like a Montessori for kindergarten through fifth grade students, according to Jones.
She said this allows students some autonomy and empowerment in the classroom in terms of activities and community service.
Jones said that’s why she’s collecting parent and community contributions to include her ideas in her application to charter a school, which is due by February 1, 2023.
“I want a way for parents to authentically participate in what we are preparing for. So unlike other schools, I have a full year before I submit an application, and I’m out in the community and I’m like, ‘What do you want? Does it make sense?’ What can we do better before I’ve even put it down on paper and said, ‘Here: love it, like it; come to my school,’” Jones said.
The Metro Nashville School Board must review five applications submitted by three different charter operators to open new schools in Davidson County.
The first step is for a charter operator to provide MNPS with a letter of intent outlining their overall plan to submit a new charter school application. The letter of intent includes the number of places they wish to authorize by grade level, the timeline, and a general description of their application.
The MNPS Board of Education must vote on this use within the time limits established by the State of Tennessee.