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Thoughts from Dr. Brian Bass

“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” 

Rudyard Kipling 

Renaissance Mission Statement 
We provide creative students from across Williamson County with a unique choice for their high school experience that prepares them academically and socially for successful careers in the Arts, Audio, and Film industries in a smaller, more intimate learning community.  

Renaissance Vision Statement 
All Renaissance students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and character strengths needed to pursue a unique purpose for their lives rooted in a growing understanding of what they are good at, what they love, what the world needs, and what they can get paid to do. 

Thank you for visiting Renaissance High School website! Renaissance is an out-of-zone high school choice for creative students from across Williamson County who believe they would thrive in a smaller creative community. I imagine you’re here because you’re intrigued about what Renaissance is all about and what makes us similar and unique from traditional zoned Williamson County high schools. 

Renaissance is similar to students’ zoned high schools in several ways. We are a public WCS high school that follows the same calendar, board policies, and graduation requirements as the other high schools. We are diligently focused on student academic growth and achievement to ensure our graduates are prepared for postsecondary college and career success. Renaissance adheres to a standards-based grading philosophy that ensures students’ grades accurately reflect learning while motivating them to develop a growth mindset, accountability, and resiliency. Like other WCS high schools, we want our students to graduate with a GPA, ACT score, and other scholarship criteria that will open doors of opportunity after graduation. We offer a myriad of extra-curricular activities to encourage students to connect to the school and build relationships. While Renaissance is too small to have any interscholastic sports, we do have a competitive eSports team, an outstanding theater club called the Moonlight Players, a very active student council, and lots of other clubs based on student interests.  

Despite these similarities, Renaissance exists to provide a clear and distinct school choice for high school students. Our small building in downtown Franklin can only accommodate about 170 students in our entire school, creating an intimate, tight-knit community of creative, out-of-the box thinkers impossible to replicate in a larger, traditional high school. Our students apply and are accepted into one of our three Creative Academies: Film Production, Music Industry Audio Production, and Digital Art & Animation. Students can take up to four years of coursework in each Academy, culminating in the Applied Arts Practicum, during which they create a yearlong capstone project with ongoing feedback from a panel of industry professionals. These capstone projects are an integral part of each graduating senior’s portfolio that showcases both their technical skills and the 4 C’s of 21st century skills: Creativity/Innovation, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration.  The aim of our academies is to help students go from play, to passion, to purpose over their four years at Renaissance. In addition, teachers of our core subjects try to incorporate art, film, and music into their projects and curriculum to build relevance and engagement. I want Renaissance students to graduate with an evolving understanding of what the Japanese call Ikigai, which is the confluence of four guiding questions: What am I good at? What do I love? What does the world need? and What can I get paid to do? 

Designing a school around these three Creative Academies has other benefits as well. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarizing and divisive, it allows diverse students from across our district with different backgrounds and beliefs to see past those differences and connect, build relationships, and experience community based on their mutual interests and talents. Furthermore, when students experience an accepting community, they can start to unlearn the false things they believe about themselves and walk fearlessly in their true identity. People of all ages believe false things to be true about themselves that hurt them. This false identity is rooted in a scarcity mindset that says they are “not enough” in some way or another. Fear hinders creativity and problem solving in the brain and manifests itself in anxiety and self-protection. As students experience community, they learn their identity is not based on their performance, how others see them, or any of the labels that society uses to categorize or separate people from one another. Rather, they realize their true identity stems from a deep fundamental understanding of what makes them completely unique and valuable as individuals and they begin to recognize the contributions they can offer society just by being themselves. Everything we do at Renaissance, whether it’s our monthly coffee house assemblies, our annual Renaissance Under the Stars performance and Film & Animation Festivals, or our weekly Pack Time events and advisory meetings is focused on building community and helping students discover their individual potential.  

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”  I often compare Renaissance High School to a greenhouse: a small building with lots of windows full of diverse plants (students). While these plants (students) may survive just fine in their native climate (zoned schools), they can thrive and grow in a unique climate and environment. We are proud to be part of WCS and will continue to hold ourselves accountable for growth and success on the metrics of our students’ ACT/EOC/AP scores, graduation rate, etc. to ensure that a Renaissance diploma provides the same opportunities after gradation as any other WCS school. However, equally important to us is the individual growth of each student so that when they leave our greenhouse, they can go into the world and make a difference.   

I encourage you to complete an online application or reach out to our admissions counselor for more information if you agree Renaissance could be the right choice for you. 

Feel free to contact me if I can support you in any way. I can be reached at  


Brian Bass, Ed. D.