New Model Academies in Nashville!

National Career Academy Coalition moving to Nashvilleto be closer to Metro academies

Nashville has a long list of recent national titles, from “It City” to “Friendliest” and more. Now Metro Schools and the Academies of Nashville are adding another: hub for high school improvement.

Four more high school academies have received accreditation from the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) and been designated as national models, the highest honor that group can give. This brings the total to eleven accredited academies in six Metro high schools, including nine national models.

“We find the academies extremely strong and the business partnerships with the schools are outstanding,” said Jan Struebing, Executive Director of NCAC.

“Our efforts to improve and redesign high schools have been significant,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Clearly they are working. We’re honored to serve as the national example of how high school redesign should be done. The Academies of Nashville are due a lot of the credit for the increasing academic performance and student engagement we see.”

The newest model academies are:

The McGavock academies received perfect scores of exceeding evaluation criteria in ten out of ten categories. Only six  academies in the nation have achieved this honor, and three of them are at McGavock. The third perfect score academy is McGavock’s Gaylord Entertainment Academy of Hospitality / U.S. Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance.  These academies not only met but exceeded the requirements for each of the standards.

“My teachers and staff are just good and make coming to work easy,” said Robbin Wall, executive principal at McGavock. “The amount of work that goes into this process is so time consuming and requires a lot of extra work after hours for our staff, but this just shows the work ethic that is McGavock. On top of that there are no better kids in Nashville than we have at McGavock. I am proud of our accomplishments and grateful the community supports McGavock High School.”

Last summer, academies at McGavock, Hillwood, Glencliff and Antioch were accredited by NCAC. All three of Hillwood’s academies were designated as model academies. McGavock now joins Hillwood in achieving “wall-to-wall” model status in all school academies.

“Nashville is on the map as the premier location for the country’s best academies, magnets, and non-traditional schools,” said Jay Steele, chief academic officer. “I know from experience the tremendous amount of work that goes into this evaluation process. It’s incredible to see the hard work our educators are doing for our students.

“The Academies of Nashville, combined with advanced academic programs like International BaccalaureateAdvanced Placement and Cambridge AICE, give Nashville families outstanding high school choices to meet every need,” said Steele.

Accreditation and model status comes after rigorous evaluation according to ten criteria, ranging from academy structure and faculty to curriculum and community support. Academies judged to exceed all ten criteria are certified as national models to be replicated in other districts across the country.

The new NCAC HQ will be in the middle of the action, housed in Metro Schools’ own Cohn School (4805 Park Avenue). The move is expected to be complete by July 1.

National Career Academy Coalition NCAC is a 17 year-old, membership-based, non-profit organization that has as its mission “to create and support a national network of existing and emerging career academies.” Core values of NCAC are:  student-centered focus of career academies; NSOP for academies through assessment and review; professional development of educators and academy partners; diversity of people, ideas and experiences; and business, economic and workforce development partnerships.  NCAC has a diversified Board, offers opportunities for networking, fosters support systems and training and provides an outstanding yearly national conference.

NCAC will be moving to Nashville as of July 1, 2013 where we will have the ability to provide staff development opportunities to our network from across the country.