BBQ & Blended Learning: Second Nashville Rocketship School Approved

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by Shaka Mitchell
Regional Director, Tennessee

In California our Rocketeers just finished another awesome year, but across the country in Nashville, we are ramping up for Rocketship’s inaugural year in Music City. As over 400 families prepare to begin the school year later this month, we are also paving the way to add another school to the Tennessee region.

That path is all the more clear after last week’s meeting of the Metro Nashville Public School board during which board members voted to approve a second Rocketship school. Half a dozen Rocketship faculty members were in attendance to hear MNPS school board members discuss a full slate of charter school applicants. Four other charters were also approved. Notably, Valor Collegiate, a cousin of Summit Prep in Redwood City, CA, was approved to open another middle school in Nashville.

Our charter met or exceeded every criterion established by the school board. Board member Will Pinkston noted, “it’s clear there are some charter school operators [like Rocketship] that actually do want to partner with the district.”

Nashville Blueprints

Architectural renderings of the new Nashville Elementary school, which will open in this brand new facility on Dickerson Pike on July 31, 2014.

We are now part of a growing movement in Nashville — and the greater-Tennessee region — to create a network of high-quality schools that students of all backgrounds can access freely. Likewise we are all excited to join the Rocketship team as we rethink elementary school from the ground up.

We hope other Rocketeers from around the nation will visit our schools in Nashville and get a helping of barbeque with your blended learning. You don’t have to wait long – Rocketship Nashville Northeast Elementary opens on July 31.

Our second Nashville school will open in the 2015-16 school year; the admissions process — open to all Nashville elementary students — will begin this fall.


Shaka is Rocketship’s Regional Director for Tennessee. Growing up, he split his time between the North and South and eventually landed in Nashville where he attended Belmont University. He then earned his law degree at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Shaka spent the next years advancing education reform around the country while based in Washington, D.C. When not growing schools in Tennessee he is busy raising two daughters with his wife Stephanie. 

Follow Shaka on Twitter: @shakamitchell

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