Her father, Tim Clo, was asked if he would send her to a public school in East Nashville, a working-class neighborhood that over the past decade has attracted legions of young professionals and their families.
The oddity was that East Nashville parents and neighbors seemed as interested in Kenya’s education as her parents, Clo said. Parents were adamant that Clo should send his daughter to Lockeland Design Center elementary school.
“It was word of mouth more than anything,” Clo said, as he waited for Kenya, now 5, outside the school. “We had these conversations in parks, by the pool, with people asking where we were going to go for kindergarten. In general, at first, what we heard was that public schools were not that good. We thought about private school.”
For years, many white parents like Clo would choose private schools over Metro public schools for their children.
Lockeland enrollment figures show that parents of white students have bucked that trend.
The student population is 60 percent white and 35 percent African-American, with the rest divided between Asians and Hispanics. The removal of two pre-kindergarten classes, which were predominantly black, helped boost the numbers.