Rocketship to Open 8 Blended Learning Schools in Nashville

Rocketship Education announces its plan to open and operate eight public charter schools in Nashville, starting in the fall of 2014, under its charter authorized by the Achievement School District (ASD). Rocketship has been approved by the ASD to open an additional eight schools in Memphis.
Nashville native and former Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools teacher Adam Nadeau has been chosen as the first school leader for Rocketship Nashville. He is excited to return home to bring excellent educational options to the children and families of Nashville.
For more, following are a few of the Getting Smart features on Rocketship:

The full press release is below.
Rocketship Education Expands To Nashville
Leading K-5 Public Charter Network to Partner with Achievement School District to Open Eight High-Performing Schools Over Five Years, Beginning in Fall 2014
Redwood City, CA – Rocketship Education, the highest performing low-income elementary school system in California, announced today that it has approved plans to open and operate eight public charter schools in Nashville, starting in the fall of 2014. This decision marks the second national expansion city for Rocketship schools beyond California. Rocketship will open its first school in Milwaukee in the fall of 2013. Rocketship is recognized nationally for rethinking elementary school from the ground up, and for working to eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetime.
“We are honored to become part of the Nashville community,” said Preston Smith, CEO of Rocketship. “Our first Rocketship school opened six years ago in San Jose, to meet low-income families’ urgent needs for high-quality public education options. We remain committed to bringing great schools to every under-served community, so that all children can receive the personalized learning and excellent instruction that they deserve. Over the next 18 months, we look forward to collaborating with the Nashville community, so that together we can eliminate the achievement gap in Nashville.”
The first Rocketship Nashville school will be founded by Nashville native Adam Nadeau, currently the principal at Rocketship Mosaic in San Jose. Nadeau grew up in Nashville and is excited to return home, ready to do “whatever it takes” to bring excellent educational options to each child and family in Nashville. Nadeau earned his master’s degree in elementary education from Vanderbilt University and began his teaching career in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). He taught at MNPS for six years, including four years with KIPP Nashville before joining Rocketship. With Rocketship, Nadeau taught fourth and fifth grades before being promoted to school leader. Last year, Nadeau’s school was ranked among the top new schools serving primarily low-income students in California. Nadeau is looking forward to leading similar academic success at Rocketship Nashville.
Rocketship’s charter, approved in June 2012 by the Achievement School District, allows Rocketship to operate a network of eight K-5 public charter schools in Nashville. The first school will open in the fall of 2014 and will enroll approximately 500 students. Over the next five years, Rocketship will open additional schools each year, contingent upon performance, eventually serving more than 4,000 Nashville students.
“We authorized Rocketship as a charter school operator because of its successful track record of academic gains with low-income students and its ability to engage with parents and community members,” said Chris Barbic, Superintendent of the Achievement School District. “We welcome the network to Nashville, and are confident that Rocketship will prove what’s possible for our students.”
Rocketship’s expansion to Nashville validates the city’s commitment to improving public school options for underserved students. Over the last year, Rocketship has received overwhelming support from local education advocates throughout Tennessee. Among them, the Tennessee Charter School Incubator (TCSI) was an invaluable partner in introducing Rocketship to the local education community, in order to understand how to best serve Nashville families. 
“Rocketship schools display exactly the type of innovation and commitment that Nashville needs to take our education system to the next level,” said Greg Thompson, CEO of TCSI. “We’re thrilled to continue supporting Rocketship in our shared goal to close the achievement gap that exists for low-income and minority children in Tennessee.”
About Rocketship Education
Rocketship Education ( was founded in 2006 as the first elementary blended school model in the country, and has become both the highest growth charter school system in the country and the highest performing low-income school system in California. Rocketship creates transformative schools using the Rocketship Model, which combines teacher development, parent engagement and personalized learning to improve student achievement. Rocketship is rethinking elementary school from the ground up, with the bold mission to eliminate the achievement gap across the United States within our lifetime. Rocketship currently serves over 3,800 students across seven schools in San Jose, and plans to open two new schools in San Jose and Rocketship’s first school in Milwaukee in the fall of 2013.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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