New school a breath of fresh air to Nashville students
Nature isn’t just a part of the name of the Tennessee Nature Academy or even just a component of the new public charter school’s curriculum. When the academy opens in August, students will have a true nature-based classroom in the woods next to their school in Nashville’s Caine Ridge community. The school will open with an initial class of 81 fifth-graders and 81 sixth-graders. The plan is to eventually grow to serve high school students as well.
“Whenever possible we try to make it inquiry or project based. So, it’s connected to something that’s in the real world, it doesn’t just end in a worksheet or a test. It goes beyond the standards to get the kids outside of the classroom.” Said Executive Director Jay Renfro. “The goal is that during a unit, there are multiple touch points with problems related to sustainability, or agriculture, or natural resource management, or conservation. Something real that the kids can really engage with.”