Smith Says School Officials Struggling To Keep Up With VW-Inspired Growth

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hamilton County School Supt. Rick Smith, in his annual "State of the Schools" speech, said school officials are struggling to keep up with rampant growth in the eastern part of the county brought on largely by the huge new Volkswagen plant.

He said the county welcomes the plant, "but it has brought some challenges."

He said he got a recent report from the Regional Planning Agency showing up to 600 approved residential lots in the vicinity of the Enterprise South Industrial Park. "That makes me a little nervous," he said.

Mr. Smith said new elementary schools for Ooltewah and East Brainerd will open near capacity, but he said it was determined not to build them with more than 1,100 students.

He said a rezoning plan to help avert East Hamilton School from topping 2,100 students has worked. He said this year the 9-12 was up by one student and the midddle school was down 122 students.

Mr. Smith said, "Hopefully, we will see even more relief next year. But that's not to say it is going to hold very long."

He told PTA members that the schools are required to keep up with increasingly strict achievement standards. He said the county schools will be required to do better by three percent on achievement this year "and we can reach that goal." But he said it will be more challenging to improve scores by 6.25 percent for minority, ESOL and students with disabilities.

He said a Data Dashboard program is giving teachers better access to student data. He said a student can switch from one school to another "and the teacher can have his records the next day. It used to take weeks."

Mr. Smith said the new STEM school is important, but he said he won't back off support for the magnet schools.

He said he does not favor school voucher programs. 
 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANGLAND, JOSHUA JAMES  1843 BAY HILL DRIVE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY VIOLATION OF REGISTRATION LAW --- ANTHONY, MICHEAL R  7619 COVE RIDGE DR HIXSON, 37343  ... (click for more)

Hardeman County Man Charged In Savannah Homicide

A joint investigation by   special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and officers from several other west Tennessee law enforcement agencies has resulted in the arrest of a Pocahontas man on a charge of first-degree murder. At the request of the office of 24 th  District Attorney General Matt Stowe, TBI special agents joined officers with the Savannah ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)

It's Tennessee Vs. Nebraska In The Music City Bowl

 Tennessee has accepted an invitation to play the Nebraska in the Music City Bowl on    Dec. 30   at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. Tickets for the Music City Bowl will be available for purchase in the coming days via AllVols.com. "Our entire program is excited about representing the University of Tennessee at the Music City Bowl," Vols ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Wrestlers Win Three In Tullahoma

The Soddy Daisy wrestling team made a Saturday trip to Tullahoma worthwhile as the Trojans came back with three wins, including a 40-31 victory over Wilson Central, a 61-15 verdict over Ravenwood and a 54-19 win over Stewarts Creek. There were five Soddy Daisy wrestlers with three wins on the day, but 126-pound Charles Wheaten was the only one with three pins.  The other ... (click for more)