By Marcela Garcia on December 10, 2021

Student Oreo Washington, 8, inspects plants in a hydroponics room at the Jean Charles Academy in Lynn on Dec. 9.

Nakia Navarro always had a social justice streak. But she is not one of those idealistic people who dreamed of opening an affordable school for underserved families in an effort to reimagine and disrupt the traditional education system.

Yet that’s exactly what Navarro is trying to do.

Once you meet her, it’s not hard to see how Navarro, who is Black, ended up launching the Jean Charles Academy, a new independent school in Lynn that she named after her parents. Navarro comes across as intensely smart and dynamic, the kind of person who commands instant leadership and makes you wonder if they’re getting enough sleep at night. JCA is a small school aimed at filling the gaps left by public school districts in Lynn and surrounding communities. While private, it’s also affordable, because it provides grants to low-income families.

JCA has a dual-language model and a curriculum and pedagogy that center the experiences and assets of Black and Latino students, Navarro said. At a time when parents are increasingly frustrated with public education, and are demanding more of a say in it, JCA is emerging as a paradigm-shifting approach.

Read the full story via the Boston Globe >>