New charter middle school set for Hickory Hollow Mall for 2012-13

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 11:37pm

A new charter school is set to open in 2012-13 inside Antioch’s Hickory Hollow Mall, under one of three charter proposals the Metro Nashville Board of Education unanimously approved Tuesday night.

Knowledge Academy, a middle school start-up charter pitched by founder Art Fuller, will initially locate in 15,000 square feet of space near Electronic Express at the south end of the struggling mall, with the school’s physical size expected to grow as more grades are ushered in. The new charter school will join The Academy of Hickory Hollow as Metro schools that operate out of the shopping center.

“We’re very excited about it,” Fuller said, adding that he and others are beginning an aggressive outreach to southeast Davidson County students and families. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves.”

“Number 1, we want the school to be personalized,” Fuller said. “We’re having a 20-1 pupil-to-teacher ratio, so students will have individualized attention. It’s going to be more collaborative. Students, teachers and parents will collaborate with a lot of things going on in the school.”

Tuesday’s board meeting was just the latest chapter in Nashville’s charter boom, as the approval of three schools will eventually bring Metro’s total number of publicly financed, privately run schools to 14. All votes were unanimous and came at the recommendations of a charter review committee.

For the first time, charter schools are coming to the southeast part of the county, a focus several board members have strongly advocated. 

Besides southeast-based Knowledge Academy, the school board approved LEAD Academy founder Jeremy Kane’s proposal for a new LEAD fifth- through 12th-grade school in the Antioch area. A building hasn’t been identified, yet the school is set to open in 2012.

With approval of LEAD’s southeast school, Kane’s organization will be the operator of four Metro charter schools. Existing schools include LEAD Academy’s middle school, its high school and a revamped Cameron Middle charter school, opening this fall.

In addition, the school board voted Tuesday for East Nashville’s KIPP Academy to expand with the creation of a new high school.

KIPP’s upper school will go in a soon-to-be renovated portion of the Highland Heights building on Douglas Avenue, adjacent to KIPP’s existing middle school. Metro dollars have been set aside for the renovation. The KIPP high school will open in 2013.

Meanwhile, the school board voted to disapprove six charter applicants, at the recommendations of the review committee. Under state law, all six have opportunities to appeal the decisions.  

20 Comments on this post:

By: Cookie47 on 5/25/11 at 11:09

Since this school is in the Hickry Hollow/Antioch area, here's a list of possible classes:

How to Identify a Gang Banger While Running for Your Life

The Ins and Outs of Teenage Pregnancy

Know the Identity of Your Baby Daddy

How To Deny Your Paternity

Changing Your Identity Through the Witness Relocation Program

You Can Run but You Can't Hide
(Prerequisite: Changing Your Identity Through the Witness Relocation Program)

The Road To a Better Life: Getting Out of Antioch Successfully

Making That Bullet-Proof Vest Into A Fashion Statement

By: Cookie47 on 5/25/11 at 11:47

Here's some more:
GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY: Coping with Illegal Immigrants Inability to Drive
This is the new name, changed from Witnessing Vehicular Crainiousrectumus

Don't Be A Victim: Getting to your Vehicle and Keeping What Is Rightfully Yours

The Proper Use of Mace

English as Your ONLY Language
Better known as Hey, Speak English or Go Home!!!

Antioch and Walmart - Should the Two Mix?

The History of Antioch - The Fall of a Once Decent Part of Town
Better known as Flush and Start Over for a Brighter Future

By: missadvocate on 5/25/11 at 11:48

@ Cookie47
So this is supposed to be funny?

Comments like this are what is keeping this City from moving forward in a positive way, and perpetuates the negative perception of such areas when residents and leaders are working to improve the image of their community.

Your comment is immature and unnecessary, and has a racist tone that I am not going to tolerate as a citizen in this city and a RESIDENT of the Antioch Community. Cookie47, next use your time and CityPaper readers’ time more productively and write something that is uplifting and that does not degrade our City and the image of the Antioch – Hickory Hollow Community.

By: SouthNashvillian on 5/25/11 at 11:57

Second that, @missadvocate!

By: Cookie47 on 5/25/11 at 12:20

Missadvocate,

Yes, my comments were meant to be funny and I'm sure some will think they are. Unlike you, some people try to laugh and put a sense of levity to the unbelievably stupid and criminal things we see happening on a daily basis in the Antioch area. I've worked in the Antioch area for over twenty years and in that time I have seen it do nothing but go downhill at the speed of light. It use to be a nice part of town but it's time to face facts. You can put Christmas light on a toilet but it's still a toilet.

Nothing is going to get better in Antioch until the people as a whole want them to get better. Face it, a majority of the people in Antioch are the very problem you're trying to fight. They simply don't care or to fix the problem would mean taking their criminal ways else where.

You may not like my comments but you know they're born out of facts. Antioch has become the Little Mexico part of Nashville, a pocket of illegals busting at the seams. Mix in the gangs and the thugs and you have a mixture of people that, no matter how hard you try, you simply aren't going to beat.

The problems in Antioch were left to grow too long through the complacency of it's citizens and now, when others speak of them, you want to chastise them for telling the truth. I don't like what's happened to Antioch either but it's time to face the fact you're not going to change it. It's only going to get worse. Antioch has become the laughing stock of Nashville.

By: Nitzche on 5/25/11 at 12:23

Da Truff shal set you fee!!!

By: missadvocate on 5/25/11 at 1:27

So you tell the truth by telling sterotypical jokes..? The "truth" can be told in such a way that it doesnt belittle people. And now I've already wasted too much of my time on your comments and thoughts and therefore I'm disengaging. Good luck to the charter school and I think it will be a great asset to the Hickory Hollow Mall.

By: Cookie47 on 5/25/11 at 1:54

missadvocate,

The sterotypical jokes were derived from years of working in the area. I choose to deal with the very bad situation by joking about it. You chose to deal with it by hoping things will change. At least my way makes some people laugh. I'll give you credit for trying but your choice only inspires pity for we all know Antioch is what it is and isn't going to get better any time soon.

Perhaps you were part of the group that tried to change the name of Antioch years ago. Here's an idea..... San Quentin.

Go ahead and disengage . . . . judging from how bad Antioch has gotten, you won't be the first of its residence to do so. Good luck. You'll need it. Keep your head down.

By: budlight on 5/25/11 at 2:37

missadvocate on 5/25/11 at 11:48
@ Cookie47
So this is supposed to be funny?

Comments like this are what is keeping this City from moving forward in a positive way, and perpetuates the negative perception of such areas when residents and leaders are working to improve the image of their community.

Your comment is immature and unnecessary, and has a racist tone that I am not going to tolerate as a citizen in this city and a RESIDENT of the Antioch Community. Cookie47, next use your time and CityPaper readers’ time more productively and write something that is uplifting and that does not degrade our City and the image of the Antioch – Hickory Hollow Community.

you know what misadvocate, you need to get over yourself. If you were in the Conan o'brian audience or Jay Leno, Dave Letterman, Rosie O'Donnell or some other liberal comedian, you'd be in the aisles rolliing with laughter.

Sometimes there is much truth in jest. I live in Antioch; have for 20 years and have tearfully witnessed the downfall of the "neighborhoods" and the decline of property values even before the housing bubble burst - or busted!

The drugs are rampant (deals go on in broad daylight on my street); the parking is out of control with 5 to 8 cars on a residential lot meant for 2 - max 3 cars -- because the entire klan moved in from other parts of the world where 5 families to one home is acceptable; the children in school are mostly rude, defiant and out of control; there is so much more. You can disengage all you wish, but get over yourself in the meantime.

Cookie47, you need to be on a comedy show; you're funnny. Remember there is much truth in jest. And Misadvocate advocates for what?

By: budlight on 5/25/11 at 2:47

You Can Run but You Can't Hide
(Prerequisite: Changing Your Identity Through the Witness Relocation Program)
Funny!

Know the Identity of Your Baby Daddy How To Deny Your Paternity Funnier

and

Funniest:: Making That Bullet-Proof Vest Into A Fashion Statement

Last week at Walmart a drug deal went bad in the parking lot at midnight and shots were fired. I have not shopped at Walmart for over 8 years. To much stuff from China - and I don't mean the shoppers.

Hey you, Advocate, am I a racist for NOT buying goods (or services) made in a country where they want to kill me? Did you see where they caught Chinease farmers adding too much insect killer to our food they ship us? Or the adding of too much growth hormones (fertilizer) to watermelons and the melons were exploding in the fields?

When you liberals do not wish to answer the tough questions or address real reality issues, you always play the race card. Don't you have any better material than that? You're not to be taken seriously nor are you funny!

By: bartsdad on 5/25/11 at 5:06

Second that, @missadvocate!

I live in the Antioch area for five years now and I love my neighbors, love my neighborhood...and while the Hickory Hollow Mall may not be fully populated and may not have the classiest shops left, I still support the shops I like there with my business. I think this is a great idea to make use of the wasted space and provide a comfortable, roomy place for the kids to learn.
As for the ignorant responses on other parts of this post...well, I doubt people that feel this way have either 1. learned another language than English (probably don't know that one all that well) 2. visited any country outside the US to be exposed to different cultures and societies to realize we are all one.

I am a US citizen engaged to a person of Hispanic descent...the strength of the family bond in my partner's family is so strong it should be praised...he and his family members are hard-working and kind US citizens.

If people had any true idea of the overwhelming difficulty of the immigration process in the US, they would support amnesty or some form of major immigration reform.

Basically, if you don't marry a US citizen or you're not a minor child of a US citizen there's no way you're going to be allowed citizenship.
Immigration reform is needed to make the process more fair and less complicated.
In the meantime, I love living in Antioch and I enjoy living in a culturally diverse place...I've lived in Chicago before as well so I'm not SHOCKED to shop next to people of other ethnicity or races.
I'd highly recommend these ignorant citizens who make these foolish remarks move to a larger city to see how the rest of the world interacts...it's not always perfect, but you realize people are different, but deep down we all want the same things.
I look forward to seeing Antioch improve and I think this school taking this space is a great way to get it started.

By: Cookie47 on 5/25/11 at 6:34

bartsdad,

Those immigration hurtles are there for a reason and amnesty is like letting someone who broke into your house stay then paying for their food and medical bills. I agree the process needs to be streamlined but it shouldn't begin with the breaking of a law. Illegal Immigrants are just that - ILLEGAL - and should be treated as such, the criminals they are.

I wish you luck, Bart's Dad, with your partner. I'm sure your boyfriend's family are great people but, if they're here illegally, they're criminals, plain and simple, and should be deported as such.

As for the school, Hickory Hollow, and Antioch, I wish the school luck but, given that area of town in which it is, there's no way I would let my kids go there. It simply isn't safe enough. I hope you can turn Antioch around but I'll believe it when I see it. Good luck and keep your head down.

P.S. I've been in all but five states and traveled Europe extensively twice. It doesn't change the fact illegal immigration is a crime - PERIOD.

By: Houston on 5/26/11 at 8:47

Charters are the next best thing to a fully funded voucher system. They allow experimentation and give parents more choices. I fully support them, and just wish that they were also available to middle class families.

Location in Hickory Hollow Mall is a great idea--easily accessible, good parking, and no doubt the rent is low.

As other posters have noted, Antioch has problems. But this is a step in the right direction, and it is a step that is being taken with private initiative, and using existing assets.

By: pswindle on 5/26/11 at 1:06

Dean's friend the owner of Hickory Hollow Mall needs to have Metro money some way, since the fairgrounds deal fell through. I thought it was funny Cookie47, sadly but true.

By: Cookie47 on 5/26/11 at 2:22

I'm glad you liked them, pswindle. Simply put, they were jokes and, as budlight put it, humor is born out of some truth.

Miss Advocate didn't find them funny. Oh, well!!! I have a feeling she doesn't think anything is funny. She wouldn't have gotten her sizable drawers in a wad if she didn't silently know my jokes were born out of the truth.

I use to run a soft drink route in Antioch and loved it. I wouldn't do the same now for love nor money given how crime ridden it's gotten.

I hope it makes a comeback but I also hope I win the lottery Saturday night. Either way, I have a better chance of getting hit by lightning.

By: briggslcp on 5/26/11 at 8:10

My name is Laura Briggs. I teach at The Academy at Hickory Hollow. I have lived in Antioch since 2000. I do know that there is truth to the bad; I'm no Pollyanna. However, I am hopeful. I am proud to live here. I realize that saying so may make me a laughinstock, but I will say it again: I am proud to live here. I am proud of my students who graduated today - many of them from the Antioch and Cane Ridge zones. Our school is not scary, although prior to coming over there to work at the school, I'd reached a point where I wouldn't go to the mall unless I went without my two children. Not because I had any first-hand encounters with crime at the mall, but rather more out of vigilance and an attempt to mitigate the potential to become a victim. I shop at WalMart early in the morning - not so crowded and when things are well-stocked from the overnighters. I'm not scared to shop there at night, but I want to lessen the chances of someone unseemly to take advantage of an opportunity. I am hopeful for Antioch. As a teacher, I work with students from all over the world. Most of them are, indeed, naturalized or permanent citizens. They are all worth being looked at as individuals rather than as a group of "them" who are different from "us". There is a lot of good in Antioch, and that is where I put my focus. Please stop by our school whenever you are over at the mall. I think that you will feel safe and that you will be made to feel welcome.

By: briggslcp on 5/26/11 at 8:27

(and if I'm not made out as a laughingstock for being proud to live in Antioch, I will be made one for leaving the "g" out of laughingstock from my original post.)

By: Cookie47 on 5/27/11 at 7:10

Ms. Briggs, for what it's worth, I commend you in your work as a teacher. You're truly one of the unsung heros of our time. I wish for you as well as each and every student at your school to have the greatest experience. However, I hope the administrators of your school have also taken into consideration the added security needed given that you'll now be at a public location where security hasn't been the greatest. I stopped shopping there years ago for that very reason.

You don't sound like you have your head buried in the sand as missadvocate does. The only "bad" she wanted to see was the lack of humor she saw in my jokes, not the real problems of the area known as Antioch. I, too, am hopeful for Antioch. As I've stated, I've worked in the area for over twenty years. Unfortunately, you and your school are but only a couple the bright spot in that part of town. I wish there were more but I personally don't see it happening anytime soon, not with people like missadvocate at the helm.

Good luck and God bless. (I'm sure missadvocate will not like that I wished you blessed by God but I REALLY don't care.)

By: briggslcp on 5/27/11 at 7:37

Thank you, Cookie, for your nice comments. Our school relocated to HH last year after the flood wiped out the location at Opry Mills, so we've just completed one full school year at the Hickory Hollow location, and I'm happy to report that we've enjoyed a safe environment. One of our teachers, Ms Blakely, has (along with her students) engaged in community/service learning opportunities there at the mall. In addition to the curriculum, her students have also helped plant trees and do numerous other things to help restore the mall area to help make it more attractive to shoppers. (She is a modest person and she and the students do a lot of behind-the-scenes things that I'm not fully aware of, but one of her goals is to foster a sense of community and civic responsibility in her students.)

In order for us to be at the HH location, it actually involved two competing companies coming together for the benefit of the students. Opry Mills is managed by the Simon Corporation and HH is managed by CBL. Simon has a Youth Foundation that offers scholarships for students in ERCs (ed resource centers - that is what they call schools like ours - and we do fall under metro schools, but are blessed with this generous Simon Youth Foundation as a partner). They didn't want the students to suffer as a result of no longer having a site at Opry Mills, so CBL agreed to lend us the space (and, I may be mistaken, but I think that the HH site was leased to us for something nominal - like a dollar!), so both companies have really worked together in the best interests of the kids, and it's been a true blessing. Angie Carter, the mall manager, has been so welcoming to us. The "mall walkers" who gather in the mornings cheered and applauded the new graduates just as heartily as if they were applauding the graduate of their own grandchildren. Last semester a lady who worked with FEMA/TEMA (they were using the old JCPenney site to meet) struck up a conversation with one of our students and the lady asked her why the student wasn't wearing a coat on such a cold day. Turns out the student didn't have anything other than a denim jacket. About two hours later, the lady came by our school with a NICE, brand new winter coat that she purchased at the Macy's to give to this student. (And don't you know this little girl wore that coat so proudly that you'd see her bundled up in it even on mild days?) So we get to see a lot of kindness and generosity here in Antioch that doesn't make the headlines.

To be fair, our school has an option that schools like Antioch and Cane Ridge don't: students apply to us, come to us by choice, and are not allowed to stay if they cause trouble. We say that we don't deal with discipline; we do dismissals. Thankfully, not many students are dismissed. They realize that our school may very well be their last chance. The zone high schools don't have the same luxury we do.

And we do have some students who are affliated with gangs and are involved in activity that they shouldn't be; however, that "stuff" is left at the door. The school feels like a safe haven for them where they can focus on their learning. One teacher had told me that student X had come to the school new and was trying to talk smack and stir things up, and student Y said, "Oh, no. You're gonna have to go. We don't do that here," and student X accepted that and "got in line". It is, without a doubt, my favorite teaching experience of my career.

I appreciate being called an unsung hero, but I don't feel worthy of that. I still say that working with kids is the BEST way to make a living. They are fun. They help you see things from a new perspective. And many times, they can teach you PATIENCE lol.

So, I'm hopeful that the reputation that our school has made there will help to continue moving the area in a positive direction. I know that our school and our kids are just one drop in a bucket, but a bucket will be filled if you get enough drops in it. I hope that the new middle school there will have much success, and I hope that they will feel safe and be able to enjoy their learning experience over there.

Thank you again for your kind words.

By: WOOTWOOT2011 on 7/24/11 at 5:43

FIRST OF ALL I WANT TO SAY YOU GUYS HAVE NO LIFE WHATSOEVER I MEAN WHAT THE F ARE YOU TALKING SHIT ABOUT. SOME COMMENTING ON THIS ARE A BUNCH OF CLOSED MINDED IGNORANT PEOPLE. THIS SCHOOL IS LIKE ANY OTHER LEARNING CENTER . A SCHOOL IS NOT DEFINED BY THE PEOPLE WHO GO HERE,BUT BY THEIR SUCCESS & QUIT TRYING TALK SHIT ABOUT THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE YOU GUYS AREN'T BRINGING US DOWN. SOMEDAY YOU'LL SEE A CHANGE BUT WITH PEOPLE SO STUPID LIKE YOU FAGS IT WONT BE POSSIBLE SOON . BTW I GO TO THE ACADEMY THERE AT HICKORY HOLLOW AND YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED TO SEE THE KIDS THAT GO THERE. SOME ARE THERE TO GRADUATE EARLIER THAN THE REST I WOULDN'T CALL THAT BAD. ALL WE WANT TO DO IS DO THE BEST WE CAN GET A DIPLOMA AND MAKE SOMETHING WITH OUR LIVES SO DON'T BE SAYING THAT ITS GANG MEMBERS OR HIGH SCHOOL DROP OUTS AND EVEN IF THEY ARE IT'S GOOD THAT THEY DECIDED TO FINISH THEIR EDUCATION GOES TO SHOW THAT THEY WANT SOMETHING BETTER FOR THEMSELVES AND MAY I SAY ITS OUR CHOICE AND WE DECIDE HOW FAR WE WANT TO GET WITH OUR SCHOOL.