By Angie Mayes
Special to Mt. Juliet News
A rezoning plan for most Wilson County and Lebanon Special School District schools for students headed to middle and high schools was expected to be the main topic of discussion at Monday’s Wilson County Board of Education meeting.
The only school not part of the zoning map, created by the county’s transportation department, is Tuckers Crossroads School. There was recent controversary about plans to turn the school into a kindergarten through fifth-grade school and bus sixth- through eighth-grade students to Watertown Middle School.
But according to Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall, that will not be on the agenda Monday night. There is expected to be no further discussion of the matter, Hall said.
Hall led the discussion about the different areas of the county and where each of the schools could potentially be a feeder school for the middle and high schools. The map was created to balance out the schools in population.
For his presentation, Hall included dozens of pages with addresses and notifications of the school the respective students would attend. He said the school system did not want to separate subdivisions or streets, where students on one side of the street attend one middle school and students on the other attend another.
During his talk, Hall outlined streets that outlined an area that would be a middle school zone and explained what high school those students would attend. In some cases, the middle school and high school would change from what it is currently, he said.
Another new high school could be in the future of the county since “the city of Lebanon has told us that there could be 8,000 people living on the north side of Lebanon in the next 10-15 years,” Hall said. “The Lebanon Special School District is already proposing a new elementary school on the north side of Lebanon for Five Oaks east. That is a tremendous amount of people on the north side of Lebanon High School.”
As he explained the different high school zones, Hall said Wilson Central High School pulled students from different areas in the county.
“Wilson Central zone has always had the largest land mass of all our schools,” he said. In addition, now that the new zones have been proposed, students in the northern and southern part of the east section of the county would go to Watertown High School.
Board member Wayne McNeese was concerned about students north of Interstate 40 in the eastern part of the county traveling to Watertown High School.
“Couldn’t they be rerouted to Lebanon High School to make it shorter?” McNeese asked.
Hall said the buses would have to come to that area. Currently, the buses come to Tuckers Crossroads and then go on to the high school. If passed, all of those high school students would attend Watertown High School.
Hall said the data the county has in terms of the number of students in each high school was based on numbers as of Aug. 30. But the plan isn’t expected to take effect for two years when the new Green Hill High School opens in Mt. Juliet, he said.
Hall said with the proposed rezoning based on enrollment as of Aug. 30, there would be about 800 students at Watertown High School; 1,780 at Lebanon High School; 1,450 at both Wilson Central and Mt. Juliet high schools and 1,705 at Green Hill High School.
Hall told those who questioned the rezoning, “if you open Green Hill High School in two years, are you going to rezone Lebanon [High School] or are you going to let that fill up? What we’ve tried to do with this rezoning is to balance the schools out.”
Hall said the information was presented to the board at its request. Any changes requested during the meeting would be ready by Monday’s meeting.