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School Board approves rezoning of Wilson, Walter Hill elementaries and Oakland Middle, Siegel Middle

January 16, 2020

 

Rutherford County Schools

 

After several months of review, the Rutherford County School Board has approved new zone lines for Wilson Elementary School and Walter Hill Elementary School, which will move approximately 150 students to Walter Hill beginning in August 2020. 

 

You can view the new approved zone lines HERE.

 

In addition, the School Board has approved a small rezoning between Siegel Middle School and Oakland Middle School. An area in the vicinity of E. McKnight Drive and E. Main Street. The change will only affect new students rising to sixth-grade from an elementary school. Those students will now attend Oakland Middle School instead of Siegel. 

 

You can view the new approved zone lines HERE.

 

 

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Reported Previously

 

 

Walter Hill / Wilson Rezoning Proposals

 

In the fall, Rutherford County Schools began the process of analyzing a proposed rezoning of approximately 150 students from Wilson Elementary to Walter Hill Elementary to help balance enrollment at both schools and avoid the need for portable classrooms. Two meetings were held at the schools to gather input from parents. 

 

Overcrowding and Growth driving need for rezoning

 

Rutherford County Schools has faced overcrowding issues more and more over the past two decades, which has resulted in the opening of several new schools and facilities. It has also required the need for rezoning.

 

The district, which has seen an increased enrollment of at least 1,000 students in seven of the past eight years, recently underwent a large-scale rezoning with the opening of a new elementary school in Smyrna and a high school in Rockvale.

 

“Those affected thousands of children,” said Shane Morgan, coordinator of enrollment forecasting and boundary planning.

 

The forthcoming displacement is relatively small by comparison, according to Morgan, who added, “When you are talking about families, it still affects each of them on a personal level. The hardest part of this job is making the transition from statistical analysis to the feelings of a family.”

 

Based on the current rezoning proposal, the final sums would leave Wilson with approximately 735 students and 555 at Walter Hill.

 

The projected figures are based on the current enrollment of K–5 students residing in those zones. 

 

Walter Hill was opened in 1976 and underwent additions and renovations in 1980, 1986 and again in 1990, while Wilson opened in 2001.

 

Neither school utilizes portables to house classrooms and the proposed rezoning is in an effort to proactively ward off any issues that will be caused by construction projects planned in both zones.

 

The current proposal would impact five or six subdivisions in which all the students in each subdivision would attend the same elementary school together.

 

“Every child matters,” said Morgan, who explained the right decision is often a tough decision. “It may seem like numbers to parents, but we’re looking at programs, the kids and what they have going on to make sure there’s a good fit for where they’re going.”

 

PHOTO / KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT