September 12, 2016

Brentwood Home Page
by Emily West

With Williamson County Schools increasing more by 1,836 students this year, several of the districts’ schools sit at more than 100 percent overcapacity.

Williamson has 38,240 students enrolled in the district, equaling to 126 more than projected. In the next five years, Superintendent Mike Looney has emphasized that number could grow to 10,000 new students in WCS.

Six elementary schools – Allendale, College Grove, Kenrose, Longview, Oak View and Scales – have enrollment at more than 100 percent capacity. Some even teeter towards 111 percent.

“At the elementary school level, we have state mandatory maximum classroom size,” Deputy Superintendent Jason Golden said. “All of our budgeting is to maximize our capacity. At the elementary level, we might take what was historically a computer room and transform it. We also have portables.”

At the middle school level, a similar pattern has developed out of the nine schools in the county. At least 30 percent are bursting at the seams, with Page Middle School enduring 117 percent capacity. The other two – Brentwood and Spring Station – also face the same amount of an increased population.

“At the middle and high school level, we have a little bit more flexibility because of the design of building for capacity has different standards,” Golden said. “The sixth-graders have a lower teacher-pupil ratio than the seventh-graders because of the state regulations.”

High schools in the county are facing the same situation, even with the opening of Nolensville High School alleviating some of the pressure. As of this year, Brentwood, Franklin, Independence, Page and Renaissance High Schools are at 100 percent or higher.

“At the high school level, we have teachers on carts, kind of along the college structure,” he said. “It’s kind of where the teacher will come to them, and when that class is over the teacher will relocate somewhere else.”

Starting in October, the district will talk about restructuring both Brentwood and Franklin High Schools. In their master plans, they would allow for more capacity and room for students. The district will next start having conversations about Page High School.