Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced that LEAD Neely’s Bend has exited the priority list based on its academic performance during the 2021-22 school year. LEAD Neely’s Bend is the only state charter school in Nashville history to exit the priority list.
“This milestone is a remarkable achievement and hugely validates the work of our staff and the LEAD Public Schools model,” said Dwayne Tucker, CEO at LEAD Public Schools. “The vast majority of students enter LEAD Neely’s Bend two to three years behind, and our team’s commitment to improving academic outcomes has made a transformational impact on these students. I look forward to seeing their continued progress as they enter this new era of LEAD Neely’s Bend.”
In 2015, LEAD Public Schools partnered with the state-run Achievement School District (ASD) to turnaround Neely’s Bend, a zone-enrolled school in Madison, after it fell in the bottom five percent of all Tennessee schools for academic performance. LEAD brought Neely’s Bend from a Level 1 to a Level 5 on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS), which is the highest possible level of academic growth. In the ASD, LEAD Neely’s Bend is the only school to remain a Level 5 school since 2017.
“I am beyond proud of the commitment of our staff and the discipline of our students to accomplish our goal of exiting the priority list,” said Dominique Torres, principal at LEAD Neely’s Bend. “By prioritizing delivering high-quality instruction to our students, we have transformed the culture of our school where high expectations have become the Neely’s Bend way. We’ve created an environment where students feel proud to be at school, and they are focused on how they can improve their academic achievement and positively contribute to a strong school culture. This is just the beginning in our mission to exponentially grow our students.”
LEAD Neely’s Bend has used several key strategies to turn around their student performance. The school established robust processes and structures to support teachers, including feedback protocols, lesson plan protocols, and interim assessments. Neely’s Bend also made strategic decisions to grow their students including expanding elective offerings, strengthening community partnerships, and establishing a strong student accountability system.