Celebrating the Academy at Opry Mills

The Academy at Opry Mills: Helping Students Get What They Need to Graduate
Posted on 03/25/2022
opry mills graduates with principal

Making Every Student Known comes naturally to the faculty and staff of The Academy at Opry Mills.

The Academy at Opry Mills is one of MNPS’s three non-traditional high schools that work with students ages 17 to 21 who may need a different school experience, either through scheduling needs or learning needs, to complete their high school credits and earn their diploma.  Academy at Opry Mills graduates in caps and gowns

Students are known by every adult in the building — a process that begins the moment the student and their family are scheduled for an interview. 

Teachers and staff members spend every day meeting students where they are both academically as well as outside the classroom. Faculty and staff walk with each student, step by step, until they reach their high school graduation commencement ceremony, providing flexible and creative ways to meet that important milestone. 

“All students have a story to share,” Executive Principal Carmon Brown says. “It’s up to the adults in the school to listen and help that student uncloak their story in a way that allows them to express and understand their full potential.

“The Academy at Opry Mills wants each student to be accepted, recognized and celebrated for who they are," he added.  

The Academy at Opry Mills is operated in partnership with the Simon Youth Foundation, a non-profit organization associated with Simon Mall Properties. The Academy at Hickory Hollow and The Academy at Old Cockrill are also non-traditional high schools operated in partnership with SYF. 

Facts about the Academy at Opry Mills

  • The school opened in the 2009-10 school year, only to finish the year in the library of McGavock High School due to the 2010 floods. The school re-opened at its original location at Opry Mills mall in August 2012 and has been there for the last decade.  
  • The school’s colors are orange and white.  
  • Its mission is “to produce a safe environment in which all students are inspired to achieve success through an individualized plan that leads to graduation.”  
  • The school celebrated the 20,000th Simon Youth Foundation graduate in December 2019. 

principal and student at graduation

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