Shuffling the decks

Maryville City School Board considers moving grades to deal with overcrowding

In the not too distant future, freshman in the Maryville City School system may be attending classes at the middle school instead of the high school.

The idea Maryville City School board members are considering would alleviate overcrowding at the high school without adding the expense of building a new wing, according to Maryville City Schools director Stephanie Thompson.

The proposal under consideration would put ninth graders into the middle schools and move seventh grades into intermediate schools, Thompson explained.

“We would move the seventh grade out of the middle school into the intermediate school, which would then be fourth through seventh grades,” she said. “We’re already building Coulter Grove Intermediate School, and the plan was to move fourth grade out of the elementary schools and into the two intermediate schools. Elementary schools would be kindergarten through third grade; intermediate school would be fourth through seventh grades; middle school would be eighth and ninth grades; and the high school would have 10th through 12th grades.”

Maryville City School board members will hold a public hearing and information session at 6:30 p.m. today, Monday, Nov. 29, at Maryville High School regarding these plans for the school system’s infrastructure.

There also will be a joint session of the school board and the Maryville City Council on Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Maryville Municipal Building to update council members on the “Master Plan” for dealing with overcrowding. The Maryville School Board will discuss the reconfiguration at their regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 13, and it is possible a vote could take place then, Thompson said.

Thompson said the idea for reconfiguring grades came about during a recent work session where board members were tackling the issue of overcrowding. “The very first option I presented to the board was to install portables at Maryville High School, but that was not an option the board wanted to consider,” she said.

Thompson said the board members didn’t vote on the proposal because it was discussed in a work session.

“All this is contingent on opening Coulter Grove Intermediate School in 2012 when we are scheduled to open it. That will mean additional operating expenses to open that school, so we’ll be working with city administration and city council on that,” she said.

The system’s Master Planning process began in 2004. Lawler-Wood worked with the system and recommended building a new intermediate school and renovating John Sevier and Sam Houston elementary schools and adding a new wing to Maryville High School.

Coulter Grove Intermediate School is being built with federal stimulus funds and major renovations have been made at Fort Craig School of Dynamic Learning and Sam Houston Elementary, John Sevier Elementary and Maryville Middle schools.

“In response to not having additional funding to expand Maryville High School, we are proposing a change in grade configuration to the board,” Thompson said.

For more information regarding the grade reconfiguration, contact the Maryville City School Central Office at mcs@ci.maryville.tn.us or call 865-982-7121.

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