MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A new option for students to learn can be found off Manson Pike in Murfreesboro.

Rutherford Collegiate Prep will officially become the first charter school to open its doors in Rutherford County.

“There’s a relentless commitment to serving kids,” said Eve Carney.

Carney is the executive vice president of Noble Education Initiative Tennessee.

The Florida-based nonprofit will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Rutherford Collegiate Prep.

The school will be governed by ReThink Forward, a nonprofit organization comprised of board members with decades of educational experience in public and charter school settings.

Getting to this point, however, wasn’t an easy one.

The charter school’s application was initially denied by Rutherford County Schools back in 2021.

ReThink Forward appealed the decision where Tennessee’s Public Charter School Commission voted in January of 2022 to overturn the school district’s decision.

“Change is hard and sometimes it’s very hard to be first, but what we know is that we continue to push forward on behalf of kids and families,” said Carney. “Because every parent regardless of where they live deserves high quality choice options for their kids.”

The ability to make a choice is something Gov. Bill Lee is in favor of when it comes to the education of children here in Tennessee.

“Whenever you give a parent a choice about what’s best for their kid, then it’s a good move,” he said.

Rutherford Collegiate Prep will be a tuition free public charter school serving over 700 students in grades K-8, where Carney said they will focus on a college prep system.

“We have different learning opportunities and opportunities for individualized learning plans for all students to learn and recognize what kids are good at and areas they may need additional support,” she said.

After a rocky start and struggling to find land, school leaders are excited about what’s to come and how they can now be part of Rutherford County.

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“We hope to partner and continue to partner with the school board to have Rutherford Collegiate Prep be a part of the fabric of this community,” said Carney.

ReThink Forward currently operates Nashville Collegiate Prep in Davidson County.

School leaders said the school will be built and ready for students by August 2024.