School Zone: Vaping and flowers and late starts, oh my!

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Students are now nearly a month into school, and schools in Williamson County are searching for volunteer help, sending out health PSAs and selling flowers to raise money.

The passing of Labor Day means schools are about a month in, getting into the swing of things. However, there are still plenty of new things coming and ways for parents to get involved.

Williamson County Schools

WCS Superintendent Jason Golden is holding the second session in the second leg of his “Let’s Meet” series. WCS Communications Director Carol Birdsong will join Golden at Centennial High School Thursday at 6 p.m. to meet with parents in person and answer their questions.

For those wanting to stay up-to-date with administrative decisions, the WCS Board of Education will meet for a work session on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at the WCS Professional Development Center and for a full board meeting on Monday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Williamson County Administrative Complex.

Additionally, parents can mark their calendars for presentations on internet safety throughout the district.

This is a parents-only event led by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Dennis Fetting, who will discuss social media, online predators, sharing private information and cyberbullying.

“WCS is hosting these online safety presentations across the district to partner with parents to teach our children to use the internet safely and responsibly,” said WCS Elementary Counseling Specialist Molly O’Neal. “The internet world is constantly changing, and we must remain current in social media trends, online predatory practices and cyberbullying tactics.”

Presentations will be held at the following locations:

  • Grassland Middle on Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.
  • Woodland Middle on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m.
  • Hillsboro Middle on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
  • Page Middle on Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunset Middle on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m.
  • Heritage Middle on Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Brentwood Middle on Nov. 4 at 6 p.m.

Speaking of safety, WCS has been working with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to produce public service announcements (PSAs) concerning vaping.

While the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are still a bit of a question mark, several news outlets have recently shared stories about two deaths possibly linked to vaping. Investigators have found that inhaling oil derived from vitamin E, common in many cannabis products including THC vape cartridges, can lead to major illness.

School Safety and Security Director Mike Fletcher recently expressed concern about the amount of a drug vaping allows one to take in during a short duration of time.

“A vape device contains the same amount of nicotine that’s in a pack of cigarettes,” he said at a school board retreat Aug. 28. “So, the problem is kids don’t do anything in moderation. If it’s good, they want it all, and they’re using these cartridges with a pack’s worth of nicotine in 15 minutes.”

However, nicotine is not the only concern with these devices.

“Parents, it’s important to take the time to understand what vaping is and its impact on your child’s health,” Fletcher said. “The danger of vaping is not only associated with nicotine but other substances, including THC. We are taking an aggressive stance in WCS both in the prevention and detection of these substances in our buildings. If we discover this contraband in our schools, parents need to know that students will be disciplined by the district and the court system.”

The district recently released its first PSA, in which School Resource Officer Jonathan Couey said students caught vaping on school grounds will be ticketed and face possible suspension. Additionally, each SRO will have a cannabis test kit on-hand.

“This will allow the SRO to instantly test for the presence of marijuana, or cannabis, on any vaping device, food product or anything else suspected of containing THC,” he said. “If caught, the student will face charges.”

WCS also announced that the SafeStop app used to track school buses is now sending push notifications instead of text messages, addressing pricing concerns related to SMS. Parents wishing to receive notifications should download the app and enable notifications, but the app does not need to be open to receive alerts.

Additionally, for families needing a little extra help with their young ones, Summit High School is accepting applications for childcare for 3- to 4-year-olds. The program operates on the district’s calendar and costs $180 per week.

For more information on Williamson County Schools, visit

Franklin Special School District

Stakeholders in the Franklin Special School District can keep up with changes in the district at the next FSSD Board of Education meeting, Monday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Franklin Elementary School.

The district is also on the lookout for an interim first-grade teacher to work the rest of the year.

To learn more about Franklin Special School District, visit

Battle Ground Academy

Battle Ground Academy is continuing to sell three-gallon pots of chrysanthemums to support graduation for the class of 2022. The school is selling red, yellow, orange and purple flowers for $20 per pot.

For more information on BGA, visit

Franklin Christian Academy

In order to support a collaborative culture among staff members, Franklin Christian Academy has scheduled four late-starts throughout the year. School will start at 10:15 a.m. on the following Mondays:

  • Sept. 16
  • Oct. 28
  • Feb. 3
  • April 13

FCA is also looking for parent volunteers to assist the football and volleyball coaches.

To learn more about FCA, visit

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