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Wilson County school board approves plans for 2020-21 school year

The 2020-2021 education plan for storm affected schools, West Wilson Middle and Stoner Creek Elementary, was presented to the Wilson County Board of Education on Monday night. Both schools sustained extremely heavy damage following the devastating tornado on March 3. The schools immediately became displaced as a result of the damage. Reconstruction and repairs to those facilities will take a significant amount of time, which extends well beyond the scheduled August start date to begin the 2020-2021 school year.

After considering several options, which included valued feedback from administrators, teachers and parents/guardians, Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright also took numerous and complicated factors into account before presenting this viable and sustainable plan. The Wilson County School Board approved the plan across the board with a 7-0 vote.

The main points of the housing plan are as follows:

  • Mt. Juliet Middle School will be converted into a K-6 site which will house SCE K-5, 6th grade WWMS, and 6th grade MJMS
  • Green Hill High School will house MJMS 7th and 8th grade students (feeder zone), in addition to its 9-12 students
  • Mt. Juliet High School will house WWMS 7th and 8th grade students (feeder zone), in addition to its 9-12 students

According to WCS, the most vocal and persistent feedback received from the public was to avoid a split schedule format. The split schedule, which included West Wilson Middle moving to and splitting time with Mt. Juliet Middle and Stoner Creek Elementary moving to and splitting time with Springdale Elementary, was introduced following the tornado disaster. However, that plan was only intended to accommodate the remaining scheduled nine weeks of school. The post-tornado plan was never actually utilized due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns that began in March and ultimately closed schools for the remainder of the current school year. 

This latest plan not only prevents split scheduling, but also allows for unique advantages for students moving forward under these unprecedented circumstances. It also meets goals set forth by the district in creating a plan that would satisfy the following: students in same grade band/cohort to remain together along with those teachers, establish feeder school patterns, maintain school identities and help create added vertical alignment in educating students as they advance in grade bands within the district.

More general details to the educational plan include:

  • The two middle schools’ principals and two assistant principals will move to the respected locations with their 7th and 8th grade students.
  • Two 6th grade assistant principals will be assigned to MJMS to supervise 6th grade students and teachers.
  • 6th grade students will be housed in a separate wing or location away from K-5 students. 
  • Each high school will designate a wing or floor of the building to house 7th and 8th grade students to limit intermingling of students. However, 8th grade students will have the opportunity to take high school courses, if appropriate. 
  • 7th and 8th grade students will eat lunch at a designated time separate from high school students

Below is the scheduled 2020-2021 hours of operation for all schools and grades involved in this plan:

  • Stoner Creek, 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (at MJMS)
  • 6th graders, 8:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. (at MJMS)
  • GHHS (7-12), 8:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. (at GHHS)
  • MJHS (7-12), 8:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. (at MJHS)

This plan is only for the 2020-21 school year while students and staff are displaced from the two schools that were damaged. The district hopes demolition can begin on the schools this month and construction next month, and are aiming for an August 2021 reopening in time for the school year.

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