Enrollment in the district increased by 205 students from 2017 to 2018.
The Smyrna Board of Education has proposed a new elementary school as district enrollment climbed by 205 students from 2017 to 2018.
Superintendent Patrik Williams said the proposal is for a kindergarten-to-fifth-grade school with a plan to move sixth grade to Smyrna Middle School which now has seventh and eighth grades.
“Once complete, this new school along with JBM Intermediate School would serve grades four and five upon opening, but as part of a 10-year district growth plan, it would stand ready to house grades K to five should enrollment continue to evolve,” Williams said.
If the new school is approved, here is the proposed grade realignment at each building when the new school opens:
Smyrna High, grades 9-12 (no change).
Smyrna Middle, grades 6-8. (It now has grades 7-8.)
Clayton Intermediate, grades 6-8, and the school would be renamed "Clayton Middle School." (It now has grades 5-6.)
NEW SCHOOL, grades 4-5.
JBM Intermediate, grades 4-5. (It now has grades 5-6.)
Clayton Elem., grades K-3. (It now has grades K-4.)
Smyrna Elem., grades K-3. (It now has grades K-4.)
Sunnyside Elem., grades K-3. (It now has grades K-4.)
North Smyrna Elem., grades pre-K and K-3. (It now has grades pre-K and K-4.)
The Smyrna Board of Education has approved the certificate of necessity request, and it has been filed with the state. If the state approves the proposal, then the district may begin preparing for a referendum to raise the local portion of funding. If the state approves the proposal and district residents approve a referendum, the school may be completed by the fall of 2021 “at the earliest,” Williams said.
There's no proposed location yet, but the district officials have announced they are looking for 20 to 25 acres, and asking for property owners to notify the district in writing about potential sites to be considered.
Some of the main areas of residential growth in the district include southwestern Smyrna and the Brenford Road area, Williams said.
The district’s enrollment projections continue to show growth in kindergarten to sixth grades. Williams said the decrease in enrollment at two elementary schools is due to “a huge fourth grade moving to fifth grade, while a standard-sized kindergarten entered in the fall to take their place.”
“We are nearing capacity at both Smyrna and North Smyrna elementary schools with Clayton and Sunnyside not far behind,” he said. “If we build a new elementary school to address this growth with the flexibility to make it a K-to-five school, then we would also be able to add a wing to Clayton Intermediate School –part of the original plan – making it our second middle school.”
“Additionally, our special programs are growing tremendously due to our influx of new students,” he said. “For example, our Early Childhood program has experienced dramatic growth this year, and as a result, we have created an additional classroom at North Smyrna Elementary and have posted for a new teacher as a direct result of enrollment growth among our students, aged 2, 3 and 4.”
Smyrna Board of Education President Rev. Scot McClymont referred questions about enrollment growth and the proposal for the new school to Williams and issued this statement: “The Smyrna School Board gives our full support to our outstanding Superintendent Mr. Patrik Williams and his staff as we see the effects of the continued growth in our community and what that means for the future physical growth of our school district.”
ENROLLMENT IN SMYRNA DISTRICT SCHOOLS
Smyrna High in 2017: 1,496. In 2018: 1,552.
Smyrna Middle in 2017: 916. In 2018: 968.
JBM Intermediate in 2017: 439. In 2018: 467.
Clayton Intermediate in 2017: 466. In 2018: 515.
North Smyrna Elem. in 2017: 526. In 2018: 566.
Clayton Elem. in 2017: 514. In 2018: 522.
Smyrna Elem. in 2017: 595. In 2018: 570.
Sunnyside Elem. in 2017: 534. In 2018: 531.
District total in 2017: 5,486. In 2018: 5,691.