State Board of Education Approves Innovative New School in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS (January 11, 2022) – Today, the Missouri State Board of Education approved an innovative new public charter school to provide a high-quality educational option in north St. Louis. St. Louis Voices Academy of Media Arts will enroll kindergarteners and first graders in its first year and add one grade level a year through fifth grade, and is free and open to all via lottery.
The school’s mission is to leverage media arts and storytelling to equip students to excel academically, author their own futures, and make meaningful contributions in their communities. St. Louis Voices Academy is governed by a community-based non-profit board and is led by Dr. Hollie Russell-West, who is the founder and executive director. Dr. Russell-West brings more than 20 years of experience in urban education in St. Louis. She started her career as a substitute teacher, then went on to serve as a special education teacher, a high school assistant principal, and an elementary school principal in St. Louis Public Schools. Two years ago, Dr. Russell-West applied for and was admitted to the Entrepreneur-In-Residence fellowship at The Opportunity Trust. The fellowship provides support for future school founders to design and launch new schools.
“As an educator and life-long St. Louisan, I’m looking forward to working with our families to open a school that will be responsive and rigorous for our children,” Dr. Russell-West said. “We will create a school with a culture of excellence. I’m committed to raising the bar for children in our city and the individuals who serve them.”
Parents in the community, such as Iris Fitzpatrick, are excited to have a new public school option in their neighborhood. “I’m really excited about sending my daughter to St. Louis Voices Academy,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick. “She needs a school that will let her personality shine. St. Louis Voices Academy will be a great fit for her.”
St. Louis Voices Academy will enroll up to 121 students in kindergarten through first grade and then grow to serve approximately 505 students in grades K-5. The school is in the process of securing a site.
St. Louis Voices Academy of Media Arts is a public charter school that aims to nurture a generation of leaders who bring a critical eye to the world around them, uplift important and diverse stories, and chart their own course. By the end of fifth grade, students will be self-directed scholars, powerful communicators, effective collaborators, and compassionate changemakers. For more information, visit www.stlouisvoicesacademy.org. For media interviews or inquiries, contact Dr. Hollie Russell-West at email@example.com or 314-755-7139.