8/17/2019 • Memphis, TN • “We’re confident that fully implemented Montessori has played a major part in our success”—Bob Nardo, Executive Director, Libertas School of Memphis.
Libertas, a public charter Montessori school in a historically under-served neighborhood in Memphis, is entering its fifth year with another distinction to its track record of transformation and growth.
Libertas was among just three of Tennessee’s 30 “Achievement District” schools to score at the highest level on the state’s academic growth measure (TVAAS).
The Achievement District is a “takeover” district of low-performing schools, and many states use growth scores as an ESSA-required accountability measure to identify successful models even if proficiency scores are still low.
Other markers of success for the school:
- doubled enrollment in the four years since the takeover
- averaged over 100% of individual growth goals on the national Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test
- reduced suspensions by over 75% through restorative practices.
- awarded one of ten School Improvement Grants for the “most promising” priority school transformations.
- named a “program of excellence” for special education
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” And, Libertas has strong family engagement and teachers with an average of ten years of experience.