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March 16, 2014

Halfway there at Clarksville's Renaissance Academy

District's newest schools hosts initial enrollment event

CLARKSVILLE — Nearly half of the first 75 seats for the Renaissance Academy were filled Saturday morning at Clarksville Community School’s initial enrollment event.

Even with the district’s high school boys basketball team on the way to regionals, parents lined up early to get their students signed up for the New Tech concept high school, set to open next school year.

Brian Allred, principal of the high school and incoming director for the new academy, said it was good to see so many people interested in the school.

“We’re ecstatic, we’re so pleased,” Allred said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but we’re pleased with what we’ve had. I think it speaks to the excitement from the community and what they’re looking for as far as education opportunities for their kids.”

He said the school’s first freshman class will have room for 100 students. The first 75 seats are open enrollment and the district will award the last 25 in a lottery process.

Rose Hill, a parent in the district, said she got to the school’s administration building 15 minutes before the enrollment event began. She said her daughter, Mallory Foote, could really benefit from the style of education offered at Renaissance Academy.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for kids to work in groups and bring out their own talents,” Hill said. “It gives them a chance to really work as a team. That’s what they’re going to run into when they get out into the workforce.”

She said after attending some of the community meetings and information sessions on New Tech, she was exited about the prospect of enrolling her daughter.

“It’s not just sitting in a classroom,” Hill said. “Some kids do better in a group setting and I feel like that’s something kind of geared toward my daughter.”

Pam Cooper, just hired as the special education facilitator for the school, said in her 26 years with the district, she’s glad to see so many long-time parents and community members buy into the concept.

“What I was really happy to see was that the people who were in line were long-time residents,” Cooper said. “They’ve been here for years and they’re behind this idea.”

She said the parents who are interested in the concept think it will benefit their kids, but she also said she thinks it will help the district.

“I think it’s exciting to enough people that they realize that the world of work has changed,” Cooper said. “Students will need different skills out of high school than they did years ago.”

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