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Second Lets Talk Schools covers rezoning and new schools

At the second “Let’s Talk Schools” meeting lead by Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney, parents primarily quizzed the superintendent about new rezoning proposals and the status of the new schools to be constructed in Nolensville. 
Parents issued their questions to the superintendent by Smartphone and by index cards. The majority of WCS school board members were in attendance at the meeting. 
Looney gave parents an update on the current phase of the “Northeast High School” and K-8 school to be built on 100-acres of land at Nolensville and York roads. 
The new schools are projected to relieve area overcrowded high schools especially Ravenwood as well as accommodate the residential growth in the Nolensville area.
“After meeting with architects this week, they believe that they can possibly beat the Fall 2016 timeline [for completion of the new high school],” Looney said. 
He said that the high school completion date could be pushed up to January 2016 instead. The Nolensville K-8 school is projected to open by Fall 2015. 
The county commission recently approved design plans and site construction of the new schools, which will allow the district to soon begin building roads and sewer lines. Looney plans to ask the commission for construction dollars during the spring or summer. 
Looney assured parents that rezoning for the new Nolensville schools would be announced in ample time to give families the opportunity to prepare. The K-8 school will take about 12-15 months to build, while the high school will take about 24 months.
Looney also explained that the K-8 school will most likely be modeled after the Sunset elementary and middle school campus, while the Northeast High School could be modeled after Summit High and Ravenwood High Looney said.
Rezoning from Lipscomb Elementary to Walnut Grove Elementary
The rezoning proposal announced last week will affect approximately 110 children at Lipscomb Elementary who could be rezoned. The board votes on the rezoning proposal Nov. 18, effective the 2014-15 school year.
Some parents addressed concern about the long distance between Walnut Grove Elementary and some Brentwood rezoned neighborhoods such as Gateway Village and Brentwood Pointe. 
Looney said that mileage from neighborhoods located off Moore’s Lane to each school is comparable, a distance that equals about 11.4 miles to Walnut Grove and about 11.6 miles to Lipscomb. 
However, one attendee pointed out that Brentwood residents rezoned for Walnut Grove would be attending a school in a different city, Franklin, thus separated from their home areas – “I chose to live in Brentwood for a reason and pay taxes. That’s the city we want to live in and go to school.”
He asked Looney to consider city lines during the rezoning process in the future. 
Looney responded that WCS is a county school system and previously stated that staff does not look at municipal lines when rezoning but school capacity, neighborhood density and residential growth.
He also reminded parents that pursuant to board policy, students rising to the highest grade will be grandfathered into their home school during the rezoning process. Siblings of students rising to the highest grade at the same rezoned school will also be grandfathered.
Parent Ann Curl shared her positive experiences with rezoning years ago. 
“We were rezoned from Hunter’s Bend to Walnut Grove many years ago, and it is such a wonderful school,” Curl said. “Most don’t know where it is. It is within walking distance of my home, and I didn’t know where it was.”

Posted on: 10/30/2013


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