Celebrating The Academy at Hickory Hollow

student and teacher in Hickory Hollow class
Academy at Hickory Hollow, a non-traditional high school
Posted on 08/27/2021
Lab class at Academy at Hickory Hollow
The Academy at Hickory Hollow is one of three Metro Nashville Public Schools non-traditional high schools that provide students with an alternative path to graduation. Hickory Hollow English class

Since the program’s founding in 2009, MNPS students have been able to work toward accredited high school diplomas in flexible learning environments. Students are allowed to attend school around family or work needs when a traditional learning environment is not ideal.

The Academy at Hickory Hollow moved into its current location, the Global Mall in Antioch, after the 2010 flood. Originally designed to be a temporary home for the displaced Academy at Opry Mills, Hickory Hollow remained open and continued serving students of south Nashville after Opry Mills re-opened in 2012.

“Every student is known, in large part due to our small number of students,” said Billy Fellman, the principal of The Academy at Hickory Hollow. “We interview each student and get to know why they’re here; our teachers are their advisors, and I meet every student at the door each day when they enter the building.”

The emphasis on a smaller setting with one-on-one learning and personalized supports is an important strategy for non-traditional high schools. Since opening in 2011, the Academy at Hickory Hollow has graduated more than 2,300 students. MNPS has two other non-traditional academies in the district. All three academies are supported by the Simon Youth Foundation.

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