The Metro Nashville school board is considering closing four schools as part of a new consolidation plan.
The proposal would save the district more than $3 million during the upcoming school year — helping to achieve additional savings ahead of next week’s Metro Council budget hearing.
Consolidating low performing and under enrolled schools isn’t anything new for the Metro school district.
The board voted to merge Jere Baxter and Gra-Mar middle schools in March. Conversations on this latest consolidation plan have been ongoing since January.
“What we really tried to focus in on is shifting the conversation from … being only about consolidating schools and buildings,” says Adrienne Battle, the director of Metro Schools. “This is really about, ‘How can we reimagine the ways in which we support all students to help them realize their outcomes?’”
Battle says the consolidation proposal isn’t just about saving money, but it’s also about giving students more resources.
If approved by the board, the plan will:
- Consolidate Buena Vista Elementary School into Jones Paideia Elementary School.
- Consolidate Joelton Middle School into Haynes Middle School.
- Close Robert E. Lillard Elementary School and divide students into Alex Green Elementary School and Cumberland Elementary School.
- Close the Cohn Learning Center and send students to zoned high schools to receive support services.
Each of the schools are located in the Pearl-Cohn and Whites Creek clusters.
The majority of the schools, excluding Jones Paideia Elementary Magnet School, are on the Tennessee Department of Education’s low performing list.
Buena Vista Elementary in North Nashville, is currently at a 43.89% utilization rate, and projected to be at less than 40% capacity during the upcoming school year.
“We’re really focused on reinvesting in our schools,” says Battle. “It’s not about anybody losing anything. We want to make sure that we can give our students and our families our best.”
Under the proposal, the transition would take place during the summer. Students would start their first day of classes on Aug. 4.
The board is expected vote on the plan after a series of meetings among district leaders, staff and faculty members next week.