An advisory committee of East Nashville parents began the tedious process of reworking school zone feeder patterns Wednesday night, modifying how students flow from elementary to middle and on to high school. It’s a key component to a proposed overhaul.
District officials believe many families leave East Nashville, even though they may like their zoned elementary school. Chris Weber, who oversees student assignment for Metro Schools, says parents want to have some assurances of where their child will attend all the way through graduation.
“When they know they are going to start and that same curriculum is going to be all the way through high school, there is an attractiveness and a draw that pulls families into those schools,” Weber says.
Besides accommodating middle class families who have more choices, district officials also want to help East Nashville’s low-income students who move neighborhoods more frequently. At some schools, half of the students end up transferring at some point in the year.
Weber suggests they would benefit from staying in the same school, even if that means the district has to go out of its way to pick them up on a bus.
“When that same group of students start together and they continue on, then there is advantage and that mobility is reduced as they go through those tier levels,” he says.
Click here to see the current feeder patterns in the Maplewood/Stratford High School cluster.
David Wright Smith contributed to this post.