By RACHAEL LONG
In 2020, Brentwood’s Currey Ingram Academy will become the Nashville area’s first high school to offer a boarding program since 1951. The private school is uniquely designed for college track students with learning differences.
The program is the result of a $15 million capital campaign called, “It’s Possible: The Campaign for Currey Ingram Academy.” The academy will begin enrolling students with the opening of the 2020-2021 school year, according to a Tuesday press release.
The last boarding program in the area was at the women’s institution Ward-Belmont College Preparatory School, which would later become co-educational Belmont College in 1951.
Now, Currey Ingram Academy says the boarding option will provide families with another institutional option for kids with learning differences.
“Effectively educating students with learning differences is complex and challenging but Currey Ingram Academy has shown it’s possible,” Head of School Jeffrey Mitchell stated in a press release. “From the inception of Westminster School of Nashville in 1968 and continuing with Currey Ingram Academy 50 years later, we have always believed that it’s possible for all students to learn and to achieve their fullest potential.”
The campus of Currey Ingram Academy sits on 83 acres off of Murray Lane on the west side of Brentwood. Construction on the building of a three-story residential dormitory will begin this summer, according to the school.
The school says families move from across the country and abroad so their children can attend the academy. Adding a boarding program will help accommodate those families.
Currey Ingram Academy serves nearly 300 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to the school, but the campus was designed for as many as 450 students. The academy called the boarding program “a wonderful opportunity” to fulfill its enrollment potential.
The academy was founded in 1968 as Westminster School of Nashville and was housed in Westminster Presbyterian Church for 34 years. An alumni gift from parents Stephanie Currey Ingram and John Rivers Ingram allowed the school to move to its current campus in 2002.
According to the academy’s website, students have enrolled from more than 33 states and eight foreign countries, and their families cited Currey Ingram Academy as a major reason for their move to Middle Tennessee.
Mitchell said the academy uses an evidence-based, individualized, structured and multi-sensory instructional approach. He also said class sizes are between two and ten students, depending on the grade level and subject.
“At Currey Ingram, the core of our DNA is truly understanding that students learn differently,” Mitchell stated in a press release. “Our students experience the joy of academic success, often for the first time in their lives.”
Though it will be the only school in the area to offer boarding to high school students, it wasn’t long ago that a Franklin school was considered a male boarding academy.
Franklin-based Battle Ground Academy (BGA) offered dormitory boarding to male students, a feature of the school until the mid-1970s. The housing option began in 1929, but the school began phasing out the boarding students and admitting female students again by 1979.
Currey Ingram Academy is located at 6544 Murray Lane in, Brentwood.