Wed
Oct 17 2007
10:55:am

Last night the Maryville City School Board voted to accept Director Mike Dalton's recommendations for the schools. Here's the Daily Times story, which according to my wife who was at the meeting, accurately reflects what went down.

(link...)

In short, they're expanding the high school, but there's no indication yet as to which expansion plan they'll use. Will they plow down houses up to Mountain View Avenue? Much of the drama of the evening centered on neighborhood opposition to school expansion. As a resident of the neighborhood (though not close enough to be directly affected) I think the school needs to consider removing some of the parking lot if necessary to make it fit within the current space. The elephant in the room has always been the football team - they won't split into two high schools for fear of breaking up the football dynasty. But I think cost is as much an issue as anything else. High schools are VERY expensive to build. The plan now calls for construction of a new high school after 2020.

The other major decision - and of more interest to me as a parent of a kindergartener and pre-schooler - is to construct a new intermediate school. Under the new system, the intermediate schools will include 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Supposedly, this was the result of a Fourth Grade Task Force decision. My wife, who has a background in education, thinks this is BS and that the decision is all about zoning (where would a new elementary school go?), money and property sites, and not about the educational needs of children. 4th graders are not mature enough to go from teacher to teacher the way middle and high school kids are. So will the 4th graders be completely separated from the 5th and 6th graders? Also, where will the zoning line lie between MIS and the new intermediate school? In five years they will begin planning for a new elementary school.

Anyway, these are the major issues decided. Fort Craig will take in the preschool program to relieve overcrowding at Foothills Elementary. Though I'm a Fort Craig parent I'm sympathetic to the charge that Fort Craig hasn't picked up its share of overcrowding.

Any other thoughts on the Maryville City Schools expansion plan? The school system is a point of pride for the City of Maryville. It's one of the best in the state, if not THE best. The reason is not wealth per se but parental involvement. But the system is at a crossroads of sort, as thousands of new people from the Knoxville area and elsewhere in the country move to Maryville.

Ana

I have children in the school system as well and now intend to move or homeschool, as I cannot afford private school. Maryville City Schools has an inflated opintion of itself anyway, as of course they are a good system compared to the rest of the state. Tennessee schools are notoriously some of the worst. MCS does not compare very well with other top schools in the nation. I hate to see this school system destroyed, which is exactly what they are doing. And you are right, these decisions are not being made based on what is best for the students. To my knowlege, very little research has been done into what is best for the kids. More is being done into cost and zoning. You've summed it up well. And though the school board has voted, city council has yet to grant the funds so its not too late to contact council members!

Blount County has a thriving

Blount County has a thriving and ever-increasing homeschooling group. Looks us up at (link...). You DO have a voice and a choice in your child's education!

The Last Resort

Isn't it ironic that the very qualities that draw people to a place are often destroyed in the process?

Like the Don Henley song says, "you call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye."

write!

Not sure if it will do any good. I went to several of the school board meetings and got the feeling they will do what they want and not what is in the best interest of our children, but I just mailed the city council a letter with my concerns. I hope everyone will do the same.

I am new to this site, thanks to, I forgot your name- sorry, from Southland books. I will for sure pass this site along as well as encourage people to contact the city council.

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