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Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MALS: Interdisciplinary Studies

Directing Professor

William Krause


The mission of the McLeod Family Foundation is to assist children and families living in poverty in Roanoke, Virginia. In 2018 the Foundation opened a private school, The Academy, at 2619 Belle Ave in SE Roanoke. The Academy’s mission is to provide a free private school education that focuses on assisting families in breaking the barriers of generational poverty. In this packet you will find a Parent/Guardian and Student Handbook that outlines the policies and procedures for The Academy.

Generational poverty occurs when at least two generations have been born into poverty. Families living in this type of situation are often not equipped with the tools and financial skills needed to move out of their current situations. Children who are born into poverty encounter obstacles at school, at home and in their communities. Research has indicated that quantifiable income related gaps in academic achievement start as early as kindergarten.

The Academy empowers families to break the cycle of generational poverty through an innovative multi-generational approach that teaches the skills necessary to forge new ground. Students accepted into The Academy receive full scholarships for the entire time they are enrolled. In the classroom, our focus is on small class sizes, growth mindset, hands on experiential learning and life skills.

Each parent or guardian receives support through family coaching which includes resources and assistance with housing, transportation, job training, education and basic financial and life skills training. They are required to take an active roll in their child’s education and to complete certain steps towards greater self-sufficiency. The Academy also offers parents free childcare in the early morning and evening hours as well as throughout the summer so that all children have year-round access to nutritious meals in a safe environment while their parents or guardians work or attend school. During the summer, students continue the continuity of learning through play, music, field trips and activities.

Families are required to take an active part in their child’s education and to complete certain steps towards greater self-sufficiency, which means that we don’t just enroll students, we enroll entire families. The purpose of this handbook is to document our unique policies and procedures in regard to this intergenerational approach.