After a long debate during Thursday’s work session, the Williamson County Schools Board of Education decided to approve parameters for the zoning of the new middle school on Henpeck Lane in Franklin.
The school board meeting was commenced by Superintendent Jason Golden Monday at the Williamson County Administrative Complex, as the September meeting is used for the reappointment of the board’s chairman and vice chairman. The members were quick to re-elect Gary Anderson, District 5, and Nancy Garrett, District 12, respectively.
“I appreciate the confidence you have in me, and as you know, Williamson County Schools are my passion, as is evidenced from my hoarse voice from my Williamson County Schools class reunion this weekend,” Garrett said. “I love our district. I love what we’ve tried to do for all students. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Gary, and since we’re ending this policy review cycle this year, I’d really like to help us work on our teamwork.”
In the normal business of the meeting, the board voted to accept the $52,500 LEAP Grant, which funds an afterschool program, and then they came around to the zoning parameters.
Promising to continue conversations with the board about feeding patterns, walkability and impact on families — sticking points at Thursday’s work session — Golden explained his decision to move forward with the parameters originally presented in the memorandum:
Minimize the impact on families as much as reasonably possible
Maintain consistent feeder patterns as much as reasonably possible
When possible, zone planned developments prior to construction to optimize school capacities
“The reality is that many of you have made suggestions that are very valuable, and as I processed through that, one of the things I concluded was that each one of your suggestions are items that we are going to consider administratively whether or not they are parameters,” Golden said.
The board voted in favor 12-0.
In other business, one citizen, Fred Reinfelder, raised some safety concerns about Fairview Middle School, explaining that students who wish to take French or geometry classes have to walk over a quarter mile to Fairview High School with incomplete video surveillance over their journey. He also shared his daughter’s fear of taking classes in the performing arts building at the middle school, separated from the main building by a breezeway.
“When the school goes under lockdown, the students have been instructed that, if they are in that breezeway under a lockdown, they are not allowed back in the building,” Reinfelder said. “The anxiety that has created with my daughter and others is that they don’t want to take classes in the performing arts center, because psychologically, they’re afraid that, if they get caught on the outside and the perpetrator’s outside, the bulletproof doors will help, but they’ve got to run for their lives.”
The board is scheduled to meet again for a work session on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. in the WCS Professional Development Center.