In Featured, Press


February 11, 2019


Diverse Charter Schools Coalition Recognizes Two Member Schools

Valor Collegiate Academies and Larchmont Charter School Receive the Coalition’s School of the Year Awards


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition Board, members, staff, and partners honored two schools during the DCSC Annual Convening on Thursday January 31. The Coalition selected amongst its 49 members Valor Collegiate Academies and Larchmont Charter School as School of the Year for best exemplifying the Coalition’s values.

Valor Collegiate Academies was founded in 2014 and is the first free, public college preparatory charter school in Nashville to serve a truly diverse background of students. Since inception, Valor has ranked in the top 5% for overall student achievement and student growth in Tennessee. More notably, Valor’s achievement and growth scores are consistent across diverse subgroups of non-economically disadvantaged, economically disadvantaged, English language learners and students with disabilities. Valor has also created and is sharing their comprehensive human development model called “Compass,” that teaches students, families, and teachers how to leverage the power of their diverse relationships in their school and wider community. Circle, a relationship-based Compass practice, is now being practiced by over 18,000 students around the country. Valor’s goal is to reach 300 schools and 150,000 students through Compass Camp by 2021. Valor’s Founder & CEO, Todd Dickson, added, “We are honored to receive the DCSC School of the Year Award. We are proud to combine a top 1% academic program with a strong comprehensive human development program in a diverse community in a way that positively impacts our students’ life trajectories.”

Larchmont Charter Schools, based in Los Angeles, is a constructivist, inquiry-based K-12 public school that strives to build a creative, academically challenging and emotionally nurturing environment for children. The mission of Larchmont Charter School is to provide a socio-economically, culturally and racially diverse community of students with an exceptional public education. Students learn with and from each other in an experience-centered, inquiry-based learning environment. With participation from the  entire community, we strive to instill in each student a dedication to improving the world we inhabit. “We are so honored to have been named Diverse Charter School of the Year by The DCSC. We feel the importance of this work every day,” said Larchmont Executive Director, Amy Held. “The diversity of our school community and our program are how learning happens at Larchmont.  Integrated schools are key to creating a more just world by disrupting the harms of racial and economic isolation. They’re also how we nurture curiosity, compassion, critical thinking, and creativity in the next generation to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. Thank you much for this recognition.”

“I want to congratulate our member schools for their commitment to excellence and being role models in our coalition” said the DCSC’s Executive Director Sonia Park. “They exemplify the idea of ‘laboratories of innovation” that charter schools were founded to be.”


About the Coalition:

The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition is a charter advocacy and membership group that seeks to support the creation and expansion of high-quality, racially and economically diverse public charter schools. Founded in summer 2014, the coalition has grown from 14 founding charter schools and networks to include more than 100 member schools located in 18 different states and the District of Columbia.

For more information please see our website, or contact the coalition by email at

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