Rising juniors in Wilson County Schools who are rezoned for a new high school will not be able to stay at their current school unless their parent applies for a “hardship” request beginning Feb. 1.
The application can be found at www.wcschools.com.
“If a parent would like their student to remain at their current school and it’s not on the open enrollment list, then they can submit a student transfer application along with letter or email describing the reasons why they would like their student to remain at that school,” WCS Spokesman Bart Barker said. “Wilson County Schools considers this a ‘hardship request.’”
According to Stan Moss, attendance director for WCS, siblings have the option of applying to stay at the same school as a sibling, “as long as space is available.”
Parents who want to request an “out of zone” transfer for their children for the 2020-21 school year will also be able to apply for the transfer beginning Feb. 1. That application will also be on the WCS website from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28.
There are eight schools which are eligible for an open transfer. The schools are: Carroll-Oakland, Southside School, Springdale Elementary, Tuckers Crossroads School, Watertown Elementary, Watertown Middle School, Gladeville Middle School and Green Hill High School.
Bus service for those students will not be provided.
The issue of rising juniors staying at Mt. Juliet High School and Wilson Central High School for the next school year came up at the WCS board workshop and meeting this month.
“I’m concerned about certain student athletes that may get left behind in some areas,” WCS board member Wayne McNeese said about football players. “I know for a fact that their junior year and their senior year, they’re still being recruited (for a college scholarship). Recruiting doesn’t stop after your sophomore year or junior year.”
He asked if the WCHS students could come to MJHS during the school day for strength training, but Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright said It would be difficult because there would be travel time involved.
McNeese made a motion that the school system “extend the offer to current sophomores and current juniors, to-be juniors and seniors next year, the option to stay at the school that they have. From an athletic standpoint, from extracurricular activities, to band and drama, I’d like to see those students stay at their school.”
Director of Secondary Schools Mickey Hall asked the board to delay voting about the issue until the February school board meeting because, “I think you’re opening up a lot of legal issues that you’re discriminating one class over another and allow us to meet with (WCS board attorney Mike Jennings) to discuss that. The motion I heard was that all current sophomores and juniors stay at their current schools. They can’t handle that in their new zones.”
He said that if the motion passed and the students were allowed to remain at their current schools, “you’d have some schools with no students in them. And there are legal issues with other groups who ask what you’re talking about for football players.”
McNeese’s motion failed 4-2, with McNeese and Kim McGee voting “yes.” Board member Linda Armistead was not in attendance.
Board member Larry Tomlinson asked that Wright meet with School Health Sciences Supervisor Chuck Whitlock, the coaches and the principals to see if “they could come with a plan (for student rezoning) that would be acceptable to all the coaches. This isn’t just the athletes. This is the arts and everything else that is involved in it too.”
MJHS football Coach Trey Perry spoke to the board during the group’s workshop. He asked that the rising juniors from WCHS who have been rezoned to MJHS be allowed to join his offseason workout program.
He said that when Nolensville High School in Williamson County was successful in its first year with a TSSAA schedule, “it played (junior varsity) only. They played freshmen and sophomores.”
A number of students came to Nolensville from Ravenwood and both teams were successful after the move of students, Perry said.