A little more than half of north Nashville students affected by the new Metro rezoning plan are choosing to continue to be bussed to Hillwood Comprehensive High, rather than attend neighborhood school Pearl-Cohn Comprehensive Magnet.
This percentage is based on the data Metro Nashville Public Schools has gathered so far. To date, the district has zoning choices from 97 percent of students newly zoned to the Pearl-Cohn cluster by the plan, according to information from MNPS.
Of the high school students who have responded to date, 52 percent are choosing to attend Bellevue’s Hillwood, and 48 percent north Nashville’s Pearl-Cohn.
Far more students at the elementary levels are choosing to attend neighborhood schools, according to district information. Only 19 percent of students who could choose to be bussed to Harpeth Valley Elementary rather than attend neighborhood school Buena Vista Elementary are choosing to do so, and 32 percent of kids zoned to neighborhood school Wharton Elementary are choosing to be bussed to Gower Elementary. These figures don’t include all students enrolling in Metro kindergarten classes for the first time this fall.
Chris Weber, director of student assignment services for MNPS, told Board of Education members Tuesday that most students affected by the rezoning plan have been directly contacted. The families of a total of 44 students, district-wide, have yet to be reached.
“We’re very hopeful that we’ll be able to contact all families by the end of this week,” Weber said.
Board members said they want to see updated statistics as to how the decisions made by students will affect the racial makeup, as well as building capacity, of district schools. Weber said those numbers will be available when all students have made their enrollment choices.
Director of Schools Jesse Register has a “zero-default” goal for the school choices affected by the rezoning. If parents don’t submit any indication of a chosen school assignment, Register wants to continue contacting them until a decision is indicated and an “act of choice” is made by a parent. He has said he doesn’t want any kids to be assigned to schools by default.
Not all Metro families are affected by the rezoning plan, and there are other public school choice decisions that must be made this spring. In addition to the rezoning plan, Nashville families have an unusually large number of options this year, as the number of charter schools has increased and the district has implemented an open enrollment plan.