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Dear Families,

Since opening our doors in 2004, Northwest School of the Arts has provided school choice and an award-winning program to families throughout the Edgewater, Cudell, Detroit Shoreway, and Lakewood neighborhoods.  

As our name suggests, we offer a unique Arts education where students discover and develop a love and aptitude in Fine, Visual, Musical, and Performing Arts. Beginning in Kindergarten, students participate in regular Art, Music & Writing instruction. In Grades 4+ students choose an Arts emphasis for deeper study such as Fine Art, Visual Art, Creative Writing, Band, Choir, Dance, or Theatre. Students also participate in clubs, sports, and educational field trips and activities throughout the school year. 

Our well-rounded program is Cognia™ accredited and features project-based learning. In addition to Arts, we emphasize STEM and Black History & Cultural Studies. We are proud of our passionate teachers, student support services, and small class sizes that keep NWSOTA one of the top-performing schools in Cleveland! Recent academic successes include: 

  • Performed over 10% higher than neighboring public and charter schools 
  • Scored in Top 20% of Ohio charter schools 
  • Rated 4 stars in Progress for exceeding state expectations in student academic growth 
  • Rated 4 stars in Gap Closing for exceeding state expectations in closing educational gaps 
  • 19% increase in Performance Index score 
  • 100% of students met the state reading requirements for promotion to Grade 4 

At NWSOTA, we provide a school experience that emphasizes academic achievement, creative exploration, self-expression, and social-emotional wellbeing. We look forward to serving your child this school year.


Principal Lockett
Northwest School of the Arts (formerly Hope Academy)


Derrick Lockett Sr., Principal

Derrick Lockett Sr. joined ACCEL Schools in 2021 as principal of Northwest School of the Arts. He brings strong leadership experience in PK-12 education with seven years spent as an administrator for Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Before pursuing a career in education, Mr. Lockett served as a social worker for Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. He received his BS in Psychology and M. Ed. from Cleveland State University. Mr. Lockett is passionate about working with teachers, parents, students, and the wider community to provide children with the very best educational opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom.

Sherree Dillions, Regional Vice President

Mrs. Dillions joined ACCEL Schools in 2018 with over 25 years of experience as a K-12 educator and principal. Prior to joining ACCEL Schools, Mrs. Dillions worked for Cleveland Municipal School District where she served as Head Principal for over 10 years and systematically turned-around low-performing schools into schools of academic success and achievement. Mrs. Dillions holds a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education, Master’s degree in Education – Adult Learning & Development, and completed the post graduate Educational Administration Program, all from Cleveland State University. She has also completed the post graduate Urban Superintendents Program at Harvard University. In February 2020, Mrs. Dillions was awarded by Radio One as a “Future History Maker of the City of Cleveland.”

Staff Directory

Community School

Northwest School of the Arts is a public charter school. We are our own school district sponsored by the Ohio Council of Community Schools (OCCS) which provides oversight and enforces academic, fiscal, and legal accountability. We are managed by ACCEL Schools, a high performing network of over 80 charter schools located throughout the United States.

Community Schools (Charter Schools) offer families an alternative to the local public school. Community schools are tuition-free, open to all students in the county, and focused on meeting student needs for success. Community schools are among the top-performing schools in the nation. Read more about charter schools.

Founded in 2014, ACCEL Schools is a K-12 public charter school management organization (CMO) serving students across the United States in brick-and-mortar, virtual, and hybrid school settings. We focus on improving academic outcomes of students regardless of geographic location or socioeconomic factors. The leadership team at ACCEL Schools has a combined 1000+ years of experience as global school management operators with expertise in curriculum research and design, assessment, student support services, and education consulting. Our entire team fundamentally believes that all children deserve a great education and students should be supported as they pursue a wide variety of post-secondary options. Our robust technology increases engagement, access to resources, efficiencies, and academic results helping our students become productive global citizens.