Students at new, all-girls Grace James Academy see school for first time

Students at new, all-girls Grace James Academy see school for first time

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s time for middle and high school students to do away with their snooze buttons, as in-person learning is back in session for JCPS students.

Nearly 16,000 middle and high school students are going back to school for the first time in more than a year. For students at Grace James Academy of Excellence, however, it’s their first time ever, since the school opened during the pandemic.

The students at Grace James saw their building, teachers and experiments without the filter of a computer screen. Sports medicine, engineering, nursing and vegetarian sciences are among the offerings at the academy, which is focused on STEAM and Afrocentric studies.

Sixth-grader Cadence Diggs said learning about her history and being surrounded by sisterhood made Grace James her only choice.

“It’s for all the men, all the women, all the people of color who haven’t really been known in history or have been erased because they didn’t write it,” Diggs said.

The girls in the Grace James desks are making their marks as the first.

“It’s exciting because I haven’t really done anything like this before,” Diggs said.

“These girls are able to be the change they want to see,” teacher Angelica Smith said. “With this Afrocentric curriculum, they can do anything they imagine.”

They no longer have to imagine what it’s like to feel, see and respect someone else’s crown, one of the school’s logos and themes.

“(It means) respect the women in power and women doing important things, not just the men,” Diggs said. “It also means everyone can do everything.”

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