Celebrating Donelson Middle

Donelson Middle: “Jets Taking Off” with Strong Programs for a Diverse Student Body
Posted on 04/13/2022
student playing trumpet

Donelson Middle School is the perfect example of the expression “the third time is the charm.” It was a junior high school and a high school before becoming a middle school.

Donelson Middle is a restorative practices school and is proud to support students in overcoming obstacles that create challenges for learning. Its goal is to be the school of choice for families within the communities it serves. 2 students playing flutes in class

Executive Principal Jennifer Rheinecker speaks to the culture in her school.

“At Donelson Middle School, we have a committed and caring group of teachers and staff who are proud to provide a wide range of programs, supports and opportunities to meet the needs of our diverse student body and their families,” Rheinecker says.

Donelson Middle’s academic offerings include the optional Cambridge Advanced Academics Program, which focuses on inquiry, problem-solving and next-level thinking. The school’s Every Student Known strategies include challenging its seventh-graders in English Language Arts to create blogs and participate in poetry contests, and they are currently working on newscast simulations they will perform.

Southern Word, which is the largest spoken word youth development and education organization in the Southeast, works with the school’s English Language Arts students on creative writing and poetry.

Donelson Middle’s related arts team finds unique ways to incorporate social-emotional learning into the arts. Their counseling team has brought in the Boys and Girls Clubs to mentor African American males. The art team has also taken ownership of the campus’s beautification and environmental health by planting trees and teaching students to recycle.

The Donelson Middle facility had been vacant in the late 1980s and had become a “haunted building” for city organizers to repurpose. In 2000, after a complete renovation and the addition of a new wing, Donelson Middle School reopened and was ready to take off with new school colors – purple and gold – as well as a new mascot, the Jets, and the perfect motto: “Jets Taking Off!” two students at desks in class

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