Wednesday, November 16, 2016

KCS: New middle schools will change school student enrollment zoning

The construction of two new Knox County middle schools will require some "enrollment zoning changes" from existing schools, according to a letter sent to Knox County Schools parents Tuesday.

Rendering of Gibbs
In the letter sent to middle school parents and staff, Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas said the construction of a new Gibbs Middle School and Hardin Valley Middle School could affect as many as 11 of the district's 14 existing middle schools.

Middle school zones that could be affected when Gibbs Middle School opens include: Gresham, Halls, Holston, South Doyle, Vine and Whittle Springs. Schools zones that could be impacted when Hardin Valley Middle School opens include: Bearden, Cedar Bluff, Karns, Farragut and West Valley.

The two new middle schools are expected to open in August 2018. Construction is already underway.

The district is holding four community meetings regarding the enrollment zoning changes: 
  • Nov. 28 at Farragut Middle School (Hardin Valley Middle)
  • Dec. 6 at Gibbs Elementary School (Gibbs Middle)
  • Jan. 17 at Hardin Valley Elementary School (Hardin Valley Middle)
  • Jan. 24 at Holston Middle School (Gibbs Middle)
A second series of meetings will be held in the spring to present a rezoning proposal, the letter said.

People can also submit comments to

Rendering of Hardin Valley
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is currently investigating the plans for the two new middle schools to look at possible discrimination tied to school closings or rezonings under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Construction of the two schools is budgeted around $58.4 million - $23.6 million for Gibbs and $34.8 million for Hardin Valley.

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