Emerald Academy gets state award

John CrooksDowntown, Our Town Students

Emerald Academy was named “Charter School of the Year” by the Tennessee Charter School Center at the 2021 Charter Champion Awards which took place on Nov. 15.


“We are incredibly impressed by the strong academic growth and excellent student success taking place at Emerald Academy,” said Tennessee Charter School Center CEO Maya Bugg.

“Each year, we aim to draw attention to and celebrate the public charter schools that are truly exceeding expectations for children, parents and the community. … Emerald Academy is breaking new ground and raising the bar on public education in East Tennessee.”

Across the state, charter schools serve more than 44,000 students in four cities: Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville. Emerald Academy is Knox County’s only public charter school.

Located in the historic Moses School Building at 220 Carrick Street in Old Mechanicsville, Emerald Academy’s mission is to prepare urban scholars for the college of their choice and community leadership. Emerald Academy recently celebrated the release of new statewide testing data that confirmed the public charter school is changing the trajectory of learning outcomes for urban youth and supporting dramatic academic gains among students.

According to the testing results released in September, Emerald Academy earned the highest possible level of growth in literacy, in numeracy and in the composite score of all tested areas. This resulted in scoring a Level 5 – the highest Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System score – across every single category during the 2020-2021 school year.

Any Knox County resident with a rising kindergarten through eighth grade student is eligible to apply to Emerald Academy, a tuition-free, public, college preparatory school. There are no additional criteria for admittance, and if interest outnumbers available seats, a blind lottery is conducted to determine admission. Applications are being accepted immediately for the current school year. Info here or call 865-249-7223 weekdays between 7:45 a.m. and 4 p.m.

John Crooks is director of communications for Emerald Youth Foundation.

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