Monday, April 23, 2007

Recap of the Community Forum Held at Farragut Tonight

School Board Member Thomas Deakins opened the meeting promptly at 6:00 p.m. Superintendent Roy Mullins presented the reason it has become neccesary. Member of the Media in attendance – WBIR photog, WATE photog, KNS Photog, FPress photog, Lola Alapo KNS reporter. Members of the School System present were – Russ Oaks, Mr. Robert Thomas, Dr. Rick Grubb, Kathy Simms, Sallie Reynolds, HVHS Principal, Doug Dillingham, Mike Reynolds, FHS Principal, Walter Mencer. The meeting began with 195 persons in attendance and swelled to 238.

A new document was handed out at this meeting. the six subdivisons in area 1 to be rezoned from Farragut High to Hardin Valley High School asked 55 questions and the questions and answers were suplied to the public in a 9 page document.

A father began with concern about traffic safety – we heard it said that Pellissippi is not safe. bus travel on Campbell Station unsafe, Everett Rd is safe. Have traffic engineers reviewed the routes? RM – No we have not traffic enginners look at the routes. All roads in Knox Co. are controlled by Traffic Enginneering and Law Enforcement inform them when they can not use a road.

A Father asked Walk us through the process in identifying the plan, why 6 subdivisions in Farragut. RO – went through the plan and said that the population and infrastructure are not located in a grid and are distributed equally. The whole plan is transportation friendly.

A mother said we believe that all feeder schools should be kept together. Clich├ęs and Parental support Cliches form in middle school. The parent indicated that she driven from Karen Carson’s neighborhood to HVHS using similar back road routes and it is 7.2 miles to HVHS RM – FHS has an enrollment issue, you live in a growing area and rezoning will have to be done again.

Another maother said my family moved into our home last February to prepare for my son that is in 5th grade and never thought that I would be in this kind of situation. Why disrupt so many lives and families for such a small number? RM – We have to decrease the numbers at FHS. How many people if a task force is formed and we asked who wants to go to HVHS would say take me. No hands will go up

Another mother asked about open enrollment? RM – any person can request a transfer and it would be up to the principal to accept with space available. With the 90/10 split, the plan is a 10 year plan there are students from FMS to KHS 33 students. There is an increase in the number of students going from FHS to HVHS.

A father said I have a daughter that has been here since 1st grade. It has always been my intent to keep her here. Your not solving the problem to have everyone relocate their homes.

A mother said I have a daughter that we recently relocated here. I spent a week talking to Principals at all the West Knox area schools. I have a daughter with an interest in Art. A son in 7th grade and we liked what FMS had to offer, athletics is his big thing. Varisty sports. I am total ignorant of sport classification but HVHS will not be the same. You can not guarantee that all these students will have the same opportunity. We don’t understand why you don’t get it? RM - We do understand. I went to school. Corryton, Ritta, Gibbs and Halls and they all made up our high school. You make up a community with 6 subdivisions. Band together and make HVHS a great school. I opened a high school, I got to select the colors and mascot.

Roy Mullins said that this would be an appropriate time to hear from Sallie Reynolds, the appointed Principal for Hardin Valley High School. Those in attendance yelled. "No, we don't"

A mother said I don’t think we have anything against Mrs. Reynolds. Farragut is a small community it really is. She stated her concern is 16 year olds flying down these small roads to and from HVHS.

A father asked about expected enrollment at FHS if implemented? RM – 1500 – 1600 with no grandfathering . Estimated HVHS enrollment opens at 600. The parent said We don’t want to go, you need us leave us alone (audience applause)

A father asked Thomas Deakins about his subdivision Ridgeland. He quoted froma copy of letter sent to Thomas from the 6 subdivisions. All of the things in this letter also applies to our subdivision. There is 1 bus for middle school and high school. The 6 subdivisions require 3 middle school buses and 3 high school buses. TD – I can create a special amendment or include it in my ammendment. The parent said We want it included with teh 6 subdivisions.

A Male Student aske dhow much land does the school board own at Hardin Valley? RM -Elementary and H.S. combined 100 plus acres. The student asked if the board were to sell the property, would it be a conflict of interest? RM – It isn’t a conflict of interest for the board to sell the property. the student said that once 200 homes are built and the school is filled up in 4 or 5 wouldn’t you have to rezone them out. If that happens what would you do? RM – we would have to zone East. RM – MPC numbers do not reveal that.

A man said in the document of 55 questions and answers #23 proposed bus route Everett rd. You said that we currently run these route. What are the bus numbers. Have any of the points thus point warranted changing the 7 subdivisions. RM – We will listen to all the concerns, write them down and review the concerns before making a final reccomendation.

A mother said obviously some body will have to go. Why the 6 subdivisions that are integral to Farragut and not Fox Rd and Lovell Heights that are outside the two lines of Farragut. You are tearing apart the community and family. What will it take to change your mind. RM – it is not easy to rezone with existing schools and existing roads. You say rezone someone else and not me. FHS will continue to grow.

A Parent in audience shouted out Fox Rd. is going to FHS. RM – we will address middle school area in the future.
The mother said You can take the rest of those on Fox Rd and leave us alone. Will rising Fresh/Soph to grandfather. She also desires siblings to grandfather. RM – that is board discussion.

A father said Dr. Lindsey had a long history of building new schools. The parent told RM that you do not have history to do this. The parent sited Hillary Clinton "it takes a village" RM – The phsycologist that was refrenched eralier is given thier opinion. RM – If you work at it, you can make HVHS the great school it is.

A father said that his next door neighbor was School Board Chair from Clarksville/Montgomery County where Lindsey had served as Superintendent. Those three schools filled up quickly as Lindsey said that HVHS would. The school should have been in Choto or Pellissippi/Northshore. What will it take to sell the property and build the school where it needs to be. RM – it would take board action to walk away from it.

A father said 4 or 5 people ago it was said that Why are the subdivisions on Fox Rd not being rezoned to HVHS when its neighbors are? Why was that subdivision left at FHS and these are not. RM – I can’t give you an answer. RM – I am not trying to debate you, I do not remember debate on that issue. Rick Grubb said if the growth projection is accurate, that area will have to be moved. The area you are mentioning will have to move. Will it be HVHS or BHS we do not know. Keep options open. Citizen: will you look to removing all WVMS students and keep the 7 subdivisions in FHS.

A mother said that a school bus arrives at Saddle Ridge subdivision currentlyat 6:52 a.m. FPS/FIS, and 7:40 a.m. for FMS/FHS 1 bus – we should be thinking green and safety. Take the areas closer. Will you look into the safety and routes. RM – Yes, there will be other areas where you can be safe. I have been involved in every rezoning since 1994. The schools are operating 51 fewer buses than we had in 2002. School transportation travels 3.5 million miles the bus safety record in Knox Counnty is impeccable. Your children are 57 times greater that your child will be hurt in a parents car. The typical route in Knox County is 13 miles average distance and travel time is 41 minutes.

A Male student – What will you actually do for us. Will we have the clubs, sports, classes? RM – introduces Sallie Reynolds. She said I am all about the students, if we have faculty sponsors we will have every club, I am a former coach and want a strong athletic sports program. We will build a tradition together. The student said You are taking FHS students out and moving them to BHS. We are rivals, how is that? RM we are transitioning over 4 years beginning in 08/09

A father said the toughest job is being a parent. This is a small section of Farragut schools. He asked how many here have volunteered in Farragut schools. You are losing that. 16 -17 year olds led the death statistics. How do you get them back for sports/jobs. RM – parents are responsible. My two sons did that. 3 wrecks with one. 2 wrecks with the other.

A father from teh Bearden to West rezoning proposal asked if HVHS on schedule. If we do not make that a staggered schedule, it will not work. Elected officials did not have any input. RM – we shared in general terms with the School Board individually they had the opportunity to remark. If we had said we are thinking this or that about a particular zone, there would be a lot of misinformation out there. In 1992 Knox County did rezoning by committee and it didn’t work. We had to rezone the new elementary within 2 years. This is not about rezoning anybody or somebody. The need to rezone West to East is to move high school students to where there are seats and capacity.

A father said if we were not overcrowded would we be rezoning this school? RM – That is correct. The parent asked What is your confidence level that PEFA projections are accurate? RG said the model the used was a hybrid.

A father said that on 12/4/06 there was one proposal and it was tabled. Why was it tabled? RM – In December the proposal was KHS – FHS and on 1/24/07 the school board had an all day workshop. Supt. Lindsey was directed to look at countywide comprehensive rezoning. They began the process in Jnauary.

A mother and psychologist commented that you (RM) said that kids will adjust, not all kids adjust She stated that she has 20 years of clinical experience. Please consider mental health and community integration.

A mother said Our hearts and prayers are with Mr. & Mrs. Reynolds. To Roy Mullins I want you to look into the eyes of a child that you are rezoning. He is a 6th grader. Active in Pilot sports and then CBFO. He is 1 of 2 middle school students to be associated with the High School baseball team. She indicated that she had been informed by a school board member that there were an additional $9 - $12 million and that a third of it is to fund athletic facilities. Thomas Deakins indicated that it was $6.0 million that was approved by Commission some time ago, it is to address softball/parking and Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment.

A mother said What is the goal for feeder schools? RM – That is a perfect situation that we do not have. There have been some questions about the MPC numbers In a document released by Mayor Ragsdale’s office back sometime ago it said that the overcrowding numbers were necessary due to overcrowding at FHS/BHS/KHS and WHS and now we here it is Farragut's fault. If you were to move all WVMS students to BHS where will the growth be?

A father said This comes down to seven areas –vs- the other areas (Tan Rara) on Fox Rd. We are confident that the School Board will turn this down, because it is that bad. On grandfathering in Nov/Dec the previous proposal Sr, Jr and Soph were proposed for grandfathering and now it is everyone except those going to HVHS.

A father asked about bus travel before sunrise?

A mother said that she has two children that will attend each FHS/HVHS one student will be grandfathered, the other will not. RM – all in zones will go. Juniors and Seniors can come back to the old school as a grandfathered or they can go to the zoned school. Thomas Deakins – a survey will be done with all potential grandfathered students.

A father said Campbell Station Rd traffic is buzzing. These county roads are not ready for student travel.

A man representing Cambridge Woods Homeowners Assoc. suggested that the school board members get on a bus and ride the route. To the County Commissioners it is your job to develop the roads for safe student travel. He also proposed that they make it a high school/middle school for the Hardin Valley community and use it until a new middle school is built or this high school fills up.

A mother asked how many administrators have driven the proposed bus routes? About 6.

A man identifying himself as President of Saddle Ridge – They had a meeting and the club house was standing room only. If it would not make a significant difference then why do it?

A man said in defense of County Commission they improved the Hardin Valley Road to Pellissippi Parkway. For the only logical route to HVHS the ones with access to HVHS.

A mother addressed the road travel and noted that there is a mulch company near her subdivision.

A mother said this is a bad plan. In the KNS Mr. Mullins you said that we parents would get over it. We won’t We are Farragut.

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