Maryville City Schools plans to alter attendance zones to send more students to Coulter Grove Intermediate School starting with the next school year.

Proposed changes to two areas of the attendance map would affect about 60 families, and students currently enrolled at Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School would be allowed to continue if their families provide transportation, Director Mike Winstead told the Board of Education at its Monday meeting.

Montgomery Ridge was built for 200 students per class to serve grades four through seven, but currently has 213 resident fourth graders. More than 200 second and third graders also live in the current attendance zones.

Coulter Grove was built with a capacity of 100 more students than MRIS, so the change would take advantage of that extra capacity, Winstead told the board.

Although there has been growth throughout the city, he said, “We have seen a little bit more develop on the west end than the east end.”

The district wants to expand the attendance zone for Coulter Grove in two areas. In the College Hill Historic District, the boundary would move from Court Street to Montvale Road and from Boardman Avenue to Lamar Alexander Parkway. That would affect 41 students currently enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade.

In downtown Maryville, the expansion mainly would take in residences on McGhee Street and Landau Drive, affecting 42 students. The new boundary primarily would be along Home Avenue and Lamar Alexander Parkway.

The number of students affected would be 10 to 14 per grade level, but the current MRIS students would be grandfathered — allowed to stay with their own transportation.

The district also would give priority for zone transfers to families with siblings already at MRIS. “We always have strived to keep families together,” Winstead said.

The school board plans to notify affected families by mail within the next week and to hold a public hearing before Labor Day. Then it would vote on the proposal at its Sept. 15 meeting at Maryville High School.

At the same meeting as the hearing, the school board may hold a work session on a planning study currently underway to examine five options for when both intermediate schools reach their capacity. Based on current enrollment projections, that may be in the next six to eight years.

In the meantime, further development could lead to more rezoning, school officials said.

In addition to the students currently zoned for each school, Maryville has about 30 tuition students per grade in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Noting the 30 nonresident kindergarten students this year, Winstead said, “It was a bumper crop of teachers’ kids.” At Sam Houston Elementary alone, there are 15 nonresident kindergartners whose parents work for the school district.

In other action Monday, the school board approved by voice vote:

• Ten policy changes based on new state laws and state Board of Education policies. Under a new requirement to allow parents or guardians to view photos or videos from school bus surveillance system, Maryville’s policy will be to retain the materials for three days. Winstead said the time is based on the memory capacity of the devices on buses.

• Spending $34,307.34 under a federal special education grant for TouchMath supplemental learning materials for students who benefit from touch when learning.

• Spending $26,424.80 under a federal career and technical education grant to replace 8-year-old computers at Maryville Junior High School with 20 new computers to better run computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Amy Beth earned her degree from West Virginia. She joined The Daily Times in 2016 on the education beat covering Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County school systems.

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