NASHVILLE, Tenn. – LEAD Academy opened its doors in Nashville in 2007 as Nashville's third charter school.
Since then, it has expanded grade by grade into a full middle school with 225 students, 24 staff members and a complete school building to call its own.
The students come from the north Nashville area, and more than 90% of them are considered to be “at risk”, qualifying for free or reduced lunch.
If you ask a LEAD student their name, they will likely tell you their name, grade, and where they plan to go to college.
Now LEAD plans to take its academy one step further, by adding a high school.
An added boost is coming in the form of a $320,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
LEAD plans to spend this year developing its curriculum for a high school and finding a location and staff while still focusing on project based, hands on learning, the hallmark of the current school.
Then, in 2010, it will open for the freshman class and build from there as it did with the middle school.