Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.– host Leahy was joined by new all-star panelist and Thales Academy of Franklin’s principal Rachael Bradley.
At the end of the third hour, Bradley detailed the direct instruction methodology that will be used at the new Thales Academy of Franklin opening in July of this year.
Leahy: We are now joined by our very good friend. Our newest all-star panelist. The principal of Thales Academy-Franklin which is opening up in July, Rachael Bradley. Good morning Rachael.
Bradley: Good morning Mike how are you?
Leahy: I’m delighted that you are with us. And you have moved to Tennessee. You moved and have a new house in the Franklin area from North Carolina this week in the midst of this pandemic. That is intrepid and brave behavior on your part.
Bradley: We sure did. I am actually out looking for a hot cup of coffee and we are out because we don’t even have our furniture or appliances yet so. (Chuckles)
Leahy: This is commitment. I mean you are committed to bringing high-quality affordable education to Tennessee. In the midst of this national crisis, you and your family have moved from North Carolina to Franklin and we salute you. We welcome you. You are now a Volunteer and no longer a Tar Heel.
Bradley: That’s right. Sure enough. We’re so happy to be here and glad the sun is shining today. Happy to be with you and talk about Thales Academy.
Leahy: And it’s interesting because a lot of parents are trying to figure out, what are we going to do? If you want to learn about this go to thalesacademy.org/franklin. Go there. And Rachael, you will be talking to parents about what Thales Academy will be doing when it opens up in July. And of course, it will follow all the safety protocols when it opens up. Tell us a little bit about what Thales Academy is going to be doing here in Franklin when it opens up in July.
Bradley: Well, Thales Academy is an independent K-5 private school. We have 10 campuses in North Carolina. And we are so excited to come to the Nashville area and branch out into a new state. We are a classical curriculum and our mission Mike is to offer an excellent, high-quality education at an affordable price for families. We want to be able to reach as many children as possible.
Leahy: You said the keywords. Affordable price. And the numbers are just astonishing when you compare it to other private schools in the area and you are less than half. There’s a formula to it that works and has worked in North Carolina since 2007? Its been some time.
Bradley: 2007. That’s right. That was our first Thales Academy campus.
Leahy: And kids that go there this year will be K-3.
Bradley: That’s right.
Leahy: You’ll be using direct instruction that has been around for 50 years and is by far the most effective way to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. You are an expert on it. Tell us a little bit about direct instruction.
Bradley: Absolutely. Direct instruction is a teaching methodology. As you said, there are over 50 years of research behind it. It’s a data-driven mastery-based program. So all our children are achieving mastery. It allows us to skill group the children so we can meet the needs of everyone sitting in the classroom. It’s fast-paced. High time on task. And we maximize student engagement. So everybody is learning and is engaged every minute of the school day.
Leahy: I’ve been to Thales Academy Rachael. And it’s fascinating to watch how engaged the kids are. And the teachers like you lead them with very very high energy and very much engaged.
Bradley: You are absolutely correct. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. That’s why I love giving tours and seeing the smiles on the parents’ faces when they see what we’re doing. We’ve just had tremendous success with this model. And that’s why I’m so passionate about bringing it to a new area.
Leahy: If you are listening right now and your thinking well I’ve got a child who’s going to be in K, 1st, 2nd, or third grade and you are trying to figure out what you are going to do. Right now people are wondering what are we doing today. I think if you go to ThalesAcademy.org/Franklin there will be some information there that is helpful for you. You can talk to people on the phone about this. What’s the best way for people to get in touch with you Rachel.
Bradley: The best way right now is via email. You are welcome to email me at [email protected]. If you look at the contact us tab you’ll see all the information for our brand new Franklin campus.
Leahy: The other good thing about having you hear Rachael is this. You are now going to be a regular on The Tennessee Star Report as an all-star panelist every Tuesday and Thursday during this stay at home period. You’ll be calling us via phone from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
And then once we are all passed this you will be in the studio with us. And that’s a lot of fun. You’ve been here in studio a couple of times and we always have great conversations with you. I guess your entire family is here? And you have a third-grader son who is enrolling in the school as well?
Bradley: I do. My son will be in third grade. He’s happy to be here too and make some new friends. We’ve got an excellent staff of teachers already hired and ready to go.
Leahy: You guys don’t wait around, do you?
Leahy: You’ve got staff already?
Bradley: We’ve been working on this for some time. We’ll be ready in July. Like you said I’m here now locally based and I’m happy to talk with families in any way we can connect I am here and ready. I want to educate people about Thales Academy and get some students in our classrooms.
Leahy: We will have more details about this. We won’t talk about it today because we don’t have enough time. But when you are back next Tuesday at 7:15 am we’ll talk about. In these tough times people looking at saving money. If you are spending money on an expensive private school you really ought to be thinking about Thales
Listen to the third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Rachael Bradley” and Background Photo “Thales Academy School” by Thales Academy.