Libertas School Earns Highest Possible Score on Tennessee Measure of Student Growth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) awards Libertas with level 5 designation, showing that students and teachers are performing “above expectations”.

Frayser, Memphis, TN (Thursday, August 15, 2019)

Libertas School of Memphis is transforming the historically under-performing Brookmeade Elementary in the Frayser neighborhood. Last Monday, Libertas began its 5th year as the only free public charter school in Tennessee offering the Montessori curriculum. With multi-age classrooms, and materials designed for students to work independently toward mastery, this unique type of learning environment is usually only available in private schools. And it’s working.

Today the Tennessee Department of Education releases scores for the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS). Most parents know that TNReady is the new version of TCAP — the exam that every student takes at the end of each school year to assess student proficiency compared to state expectations in subject areas like math, English language arts, science, and social studies. TVAAS is not a separate test; it takes TNReady data and looks at each student’s growth over time. Rather than comparing student knowledge to an average, TVAAS tracks how each individual child progresses compared to his or her predicted performance. 

Libertas was one of three schools in the Achievement School District (ASD) in Memphis to receive the highest possible TVAAS score of 5, meaning that the state is confident that Libertas students and teachers have grown above expectations. 

Libertas Executive Director, Bob Nardo, says “When we started this school 4 years ago, we were met with skepticism that this unique method would work in a priority school. We now know that our school is not only working — it is thriving.” 

Nardo attributes the successful score to a number of factors. “Through our Montessori curriculum, we offer rich and personalized learning, starting in early childhood” Libertas also has 94% family engagement, totalling 3,000 parent involvement hours annually. And Libertas teachers average 10 years of experience, with 90% of teachers returning each year.

TVAAS is just one promising indicator that Libertas is exceeding expectations. This winter, the school was awarded one of only 10 School Improvement Grants in Tennessee for the “most promising” priority school transformations. Enrollment in the former Brookmeade school has nearly doubled over four years, while suspensions have been dramatically reduced by over 75% through restorative practices. Libertas serves one of the largest PreK populations in the district. And Libertas was named a “program of excellence” for special education; academic growth among its 24% students with disabilities has outpaced general education peers. Overall, Libertas students averaged over 100% of their individual growth goals on the national Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test.

The school is using all of this data to inform continuous growth under its School Improvement Plan. Nardo says, “We are not stopping here. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that every child has the opportunity to truly flourish and fulfill their potential in our community.”

Families and community members alike are excited about the success of this special neighborhood charter school. Vinessa Brown, Libertas Board Chair, parent, and Frayser community leader, comments, “We want to congratulate children and families on their hard work.”

More information on TVAAS can be found at www.tn.gov/education/data/tvaas.html.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Nardo
Executive Director | Founding Head of Libertas School of Memphis

Phone: (901) 654-7788

Email: bob.nardo@LibertasMemphis.org

Website: http://www.libertasmemphis.org/

Documentary short profile of Libertas: A Little Piece of Something - Youtube

Libertas awarded competitive priority school grant

Dear Families of Libertas School at Brookmeade: 

I am delighted to inform you that Libertas School at Brookmeade has been awarded a competitive priority school grant. This will support school improvement in alignment with the plans of the ASD and the state under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  In announcing the grant, Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen emphasized the department’s focus on “investing in schools that show the most promise for improving student outcomes” in the grant’s key areas of strong leadership, talent management, effective instruction, and student support. 

You should be proud given that Libertas School at Brookmeade was 1 of only 10 schools awarded from across the state.  We are also proud that 4 of the 10 schools named are a part of the Achievement School District. 

The overall award of $8.25 million for 10 schools will be spread out over three years, with each school receiving $275,000 each year. This additional $825,000 will help each school strengthen leadership, talent management, effective instruction, and student support.

Your voice is needed.  We invite you to be part of the ASD Parent Congress, to weigh in on decisions and share ideas. Please contact your school’s office if interested. 

Thank you again for all you do to support Libertas School at Brookmeade.  We will get better together, and we appreciate your commitment. With children ALWAYS in mind,

Sharon Griffin, Ed.D.

Assistant Commissioner of School Turnaround & Chief of the Achievement School District

Now hiring part-time after school program assistant

Do you know someone with great teamwork skills who is available and interested in a part-time position working with children in our after school academic / enrichment program?

The schedule is between 3 to 5 days per week from 3-6pm Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri and/or 2-5 pm Wednesdays. Pay is $18/hour. The position will continue through the semester in December or the whole school year in May. Interested applicants should send their resume, a brief cover letter, 2 references, and the days available to work to  kathy.zhou@libertasmemphis.org

The full job description is available here. Please share with anyone that might be interested!

Opening on board grievance committee

The Libertas Board of Trustees has an opening on the committee that hears grievances. We are fortunate to not have received any grievances to date, but our by-laws outline a structure and policy to ensure that any grievances are appropriately resolved. If you are interested in the position, please contact Head of School Bob Nardo by Monday, Mar. 21, and he will walk you through the process prior to a final election to be made by the Board. bob.nardo at Libertas Memphis dot org

8/27/15 Back to School Night & annual Title 1 meeting

Thanks to the over half of our families that were able to attend our inaugural back to school night! Families got to share their hopes and dreams for their children, know their teachers and children's classmates, and about our curriculum and school culture,. In addition, we presented some information about our school for our annual title 1 meeting - click here to see the presentation.

2015/16 Board and committee meeting schedule

Our 2015/16 schedule of standing meetings for the Board of Trustees and its committees is listed below, and can be downloaded here.

Board of Trustees meetings - 5:30 PM at 3777 Edenburg Dr:

  • 7/6

  • 8/24

  • 9/28

  • 10/26

  • 11/23

  • No December meeting

  • 1/25/16

  • 2/22

  • 3/28

  • 4/25

  • 5/23

  • 6/27 (Annual meeting)

Finance Committee meetings - at 11:30 via conference call (information made available to anyone upon request)

  • 7/16

  • 8/20

  • 9/17

  • 10/15

  • 11/19

  • 12/17

  • 1/21

  • 2/18

  • 3/17

  • 4/21

  • 5/19

  • 6/16

Performance Review Committee

  • TBA in January and June, 2016