In an 11-1 vote, The Williamson County School Board approved a rezoning plan to take effect August 2020 that would accommodate the district's growing number of students and the construction of two new schools next year.
“This is largely to create a new zone for our middle school that is being built on Henpeck Lane, but also to give relief to Spring Station middle school with some impacts on elementary schools as well,” WCS Superintendent Jason Golden said.
The new Central East Middle School—which is not yet named—will move 239 students from Heritage Middle School and 185 students from Thompson’s Station Middle School, while Spring Station Middle School, which is already over its capacity, will send 172 students to Heritage and 58 to Thompson’s Station.
The new middle school’s geographical zone will include a portion of Carters Creek Pike, Coleman Road, Kittrell Road, West Harpeth Road, Columbia Pike to I-840 and Lewisburg Pike south.
Eliot Mitchell, the school board member representing the county’s third district, proposed an amendment to the rezoning plan that would allow rising seventh graders at Spring Station Middle School to be allowed to stay and not be moved to another school until high school, but the amendment was voted down in an 8-4 vote by the board.
With the new Creekside Elementary School building opening in January 2020, the new zoning plan would also divert 55 students from College Grove Elementary School and 78 from Trinity Elementary School by August in order to offset the projected growth.
According to school board policy, rising 5th, 8th, 11th and 12th-grade students can request to be grandfathered in and not be required to be rezoned. The same rule applies to out-of-zone siblings attending the same school, with the deadline to submit an out-of-zone request for the 2020-21 school year set on May 15.
The school board also approved a motion to provide about $367,000 in startup costs for the new middle school, pay incentives to address the county’s substitute teacher shortage and a 5-year capital plan that would plan for the construction of new schools and expansions to existing schools to accommodate for projected growth in the county.