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September 28, 2023
July 25, 2023

Northwest Wins Four 2023 ACCELY Awards

Congratulations to Northwest School of the Arts for winning four Accely awards at the annual leadership summit held this July. The school was recognized for outstanding leadership, student attendance, teacher retention, and academic performance – taking home coveted awards including Gold School and Rising Star Leader. 

Recognizing the hard work and success of our schools and school leaders is an important tradition at ACCEL Schools. While schools across the country are still recovering from challenges related to the pandemic, we have seen a surge in success from schools serving historically underrecognized communities. 

“We are mission driven to make quality education available to all children regardless of geographic location or life circumstances,” said ACCEL Schools CEO Ron Packard who presented the awards on July 17. “It is an honor to recognize the staff and leadership who are putting ACCEL’s ideals into action and creating positive change in the lives of the students and communities who need it most.” 

Northwest School of the Arts received the following 2023 ACCELY awards: 

Outstanding Student Attendance 
Northwest was one of 10 schools across the ACCEL network that achieved an Average Daily Attendance (ADA) of 92% or higher – no small feat in a year where schools nationwide reported high rates of pandemic-related absenteeism. 

100% Teacher Retention 
Despite an ongoing shortage of teachers nationwide, Northwest was one of 12 schools recognized for creating a thriving workplace that retains talented and engaged teachers. The school was one of seven across the network of schools that achieved 100% teacher retention in 2023. 

Gold School Award 
The Gold School Award recognizes the highest achieving schools in the ACCEL network. This prestigious award went to 10 schools in 2023 that demonstrated strong academic outcomes as well as positive enrollment growth. 

Rising Star Leader Award 
Principal Derrick Lockett was recognized for creating a strong sense of community and inclusiveness across his staff and school. With incredible responsiveness to the community, Principal Lockett oversaw the rebranding of Hope Academy Northwest to the Northwest School of the Arts and has led the school to achieve exceptional academic and operational results this year. 

Congratulations to every member of our Northwest community for contributing to our success in 2023. We are honored to accept these Accely awards on behalf of our entire team and look forward to another extraordinary school year. 

Ready to take the next step and join us?
December 1, 2022

Meet our Mascot: The Phoenix

Standing atop an 18-year history providing school choice to families in Northwest Cleveland, we are pleased to rebrand this December as Northwest School of the Arts (NWSOTA). Over the past several months, we have expanded our arts programming and specialized faculty to more clearly emphasize Fine, Visual, Musical & Performing Arts instruction. At NWSOTA we lead students on a path to discover the Arts and to gain confidence in their unique creative expression.  

Our new mascot is the Phoenix, a creature from ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology that symbolizes hope, renewal, and progress. We hope the story of the Phoenix inspires our students to believe that they can overcome challenges and achieve great things in their lives. At NWSOTA, we believe the Phoenix symbolizes the way an Arts education can transform lives and give students hope for a bright future. We look forward to showcasing our powerful and inspiring new mascot throughout campus as our rebranding effort continues this year. 

In case you missed it, we’ve added Dance, Theater, and Visual Arts to our arts offerings. We also expanded our afterschool program to include Lego® Club, Culinary Club, and Cosmetology. These programs help students of all abilities and interests develop creativity, collaboration, and leadership skills that are vital to their success as 21st century learners.  

Thank you for believing in the bright future of Northwest School of the Arts! 

Benefits of an Arts Education

The arts are essential to life, learning, and happiness. They teach students innumerable lessons—practice makes perfect, small differences can have large effects, collaboration leads to creativity. The arts also teach children that there a several paths to take when approaching problems and that all problems can have more than one solution. 

Research has also shown impressive benefits of arts education on entire school culture—especially student motivation, attitudes, and attendance. Numerous reports discuss the ways that increased access and involvement in arts education encourage students to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in life, and succeed in work. Get your family involved in the arts with these great resources

Source: Americans for the Arts 

Top-Performing Academics

NWSOTA is one of the top-performing public schools in Cleveland and scores in the Top 20% of all Ohio charter schools.  

In September 2022, we received multiple 4-star ratings from the Ohio Department of Education. Highlights include: 

  • Performs over 10% higher than neighboring public and 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 

Read our 2021-22 Annual Report (PDF) to learn more about the success of NWSOTA (previously Hope Academy Northwest). 

November 18, 2022

Join the Wellness Committee!

The Local Wellness Policy is a written document that guides a local educational agency’s (LEA) or school district’s efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn. The Wellness Policy Committee has been created as an effort to manage and develop our school’s healthy habits.

» A Wellness Committee will be appointed to each school

» The committee may include parents and guardians, students, representatives of the school nutrition program, physical education teachers, or any other interested stakeholder that is aligned with the goals of the policy

» The committee shall meet a minimum of four times per year

This is a great opportunity to help promote and support student health and wellness, and create a positive, safe, and health-promoting learning environment. Please contact mealcounts@accelschools.com for more information.

We want to hear from you. Please contact us at: mealcounts@accelschools.com


Download Wellness Committee Flyer (PDF) »

September 20, 2022

Meet Our Arts Teachers

Courtney Hamlett
Visual Arts

My name is Courtney Hamlett (Miss C). I’m an alum of the Cleveland School of the Arts and have studied at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. I’m teaching Visual Arts this year at NWSOTA. The Visual Arts program will be working with students to strengthen their skills as young, growing artists. They will be taught different drawing and painting techniques, how to build their portfolio, and also how to critique their artwork. The children will also learn some fashion design and jewelry design, and we’re going to incorporate different tools using technology to learn more ways to create art. Some of the benefits of Visual Arts are improving artistic abilities, portfolio building, building confidence skills and freedom to visually express their selves, and to possibly continue their artistic growth at Cleveland School of the Arts and other art-based schools in the future.

Kenneth Manns

The Band Program at NWSOTA provides a professional, uplifting, and fun environment for students to experience music and develop as a musician. A positive and supportive environment is key to a student’s development as a musician, so we maintain a fully inclusive environment that provides an opportunity for students’ self-expression and personality. We strive for artistic and academic excellence for all members.

Frederick Taylor
Vocal music

My name is Frederick Taylor. A little background on myself. I am a graduate of Central State University, with a perforce degree in voice. I have traveled the world singing on many different stages, with many different orchestras.

NWSOTA choir is a choral ensemble that will focus on the development of comprehensive choral musicianship through performance experience. Students will be exposed to different musical genres, literature, and practices. The goal of this course is to help develop the students’ voice, foster their love of music, become confident singers/performers, and develop an appreciation for music from many areas. This will not only give them a sense of responsibility but also improve their self-esteem while teaching them how to work as a team.

Nehemiah Spencer

The purpose for this class is to develop cognitive, intuitive, physical and performance skills. To move to the next level, you must achieve the objectives listed

  1. Coordination: The ability to efficiently link movement patterning.
  2. Alignment: The Ability to maintain correct muscle skeletal positioning in movement
    or stillness.
  3. Conditioning: The ability to demonstrate balanced flexibility, strength and endurance.
  4. Clarity: The ability to accurately and consistently execute intended movements.
  5. Adaptability: The ability to employ physical and performance skills for a variety of
    choreographic intentions.
  6. Artistry: The ability to integrate technical skills with intuition and personal presence.

Austin Hopson
Theatre / Performing Arts

Students learn all aspects of theatre from the actors on stage to the technicians that bring it all together. Theatre helps students learn the social skills needed in many aspects of life including confidence, organization, and creativity.

April 22, 2022

Welcome to Our Dance Teacher!

Meet Nehemiah Spencer, our dance teacher at Northwest School of the Arts!

Mr. Spencer is a Cleveland Native, where he trained at the Cleveland School of the Arts. It was at Cleveland School of the Arts where Mr. Spencer discovered his passion for dance and pursued it as a career choice.

Mr. Spencer is a Juilliard School graduate where he received a wide range of classical ballet, modern dance, and contemporary dance training. He had the privilege to perform works by Dwight Rhoden, Antonio Brown, Robert Battle, Paul Taylor, Jose Limon and Kyle Abraham.

In the summer of 2012 Mr. Spencer created a summer arts enrichment program called the Nehemiah Project. With this project he wants to share the new awareness that he has gained while studying at The Juilliard School with other aspiring artists who are not afraid to dream big. Mr. Spencer plans on restoring the dance community in the city of Cleveland by creating a positive environment for young people to learn from teaching artists who are evolving in their practice.

Mr. Spencer is excited to share his talents with his community while giving back to the inner city youth. He has taught in various places such as Foluke Cultural Arts Center, an after school program for at-risk youth in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, as well as guest teaching at Cleveland School of the Arts, Onaway Elementary School, Ohio Conservatory of Ballet and Verb Ballets.

We are so excited to have Mr. Spencer at our school!!

July 6, 2021

The ACCEL Schools Difference

We are a proud member of ACCEL Schools—a public charter school network serving thousands of PK-12 students throughout the United States. ACCEL was founded in 2012 by the early pioneers of online learning. Our leadership believes that all children, regardless of location or socio-economic background, deserve a quality education that prepares them to succeed in school and become productive global citizens.  

ACCEL Schools Instructional Model provides: 

  • Aligned Academics meet or exceed state standards ensuring your child is on track for rigorous college and career opportunities.    
  • Certified, Licensed Teachers and a student-centered staff are united in executing our mission to make a difference in the life trajectory of each student.    
  • More Time on Task and double the instructional minutes for ELA and Math maximizes learning in your child’s school day.   
  • Short Cycle Assessments keep track of how students are progressing in the program, giving teachers ongoing feedback so they can tailor instruction to your student’s needs.    
  • Individualized Instruction driven by assessment data means we are familiar with the needs of each child and set students up for success in each course of study.    
  • State Testing Preparation reduces the anxiety often associated with high stakes tests, helping our teachers and students feel confident with the structure and methodology of state exams.    
  • Academic Support including education technology, interventional specialists, and instructional aides assist students during the school day. After school tutoring, summer school, and Saturday school programs extend support services beyond the traditional school day and year.   
  • Extracurricular Courses & Activities round out our educational offerings providing students social-emotional learning, athletics, arts, service learning & more.   
May 11, 2021

Free School Meals

We offer free breakfast and lunch to students through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), a federally-assisted meal program that provides nutritionally balanced, USDA-compliant meals to students each school day.