Williamson County parents are pushing for solutions to an over-crowded elementary school in Nolensville.
Mill Creek Elementary School is bursting at the seams and while some parents want re-zoning to move children to a nearby school with empty rooms, critics say that’s just a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
However, everyone agrees something needs to change.
Karen Edwards’ daughter Stella is in second grade at Mill Creek Elementary. Her mother loves the school, but not the overcrowding issue.
"We need relief for our students, and our schools, and for our teachers,” Edwards said. “We're not going to keep, we have amazing teachers at Mill Creek, and they're not going to stick around if the working conditions continue to deteriorate."
Williamson County Schools Representative Lydia Glynn said Mill Creek Elementary is 64 students over capacity this year, or 108 percent capacity. That number is expected to grow next year to 117 percent capacity.
That’s why some parents, like Edwards and Hope Warfel say re-zoning is the solution, specifically, moving students from Mill Creek to Nolensville Elementary, which is only two miles away and only at 64 percent capacity this academic year.
“It doesn’t make any sense when there’s a school right down the road that is a fabulous school, sitting there at near half capacity, and our children don’t even have enough classrooms,” Warfel said.
Not everyone is on board with this possible plan, however, like Jessica Stults. She lives in the Silver Stream neighborhood next to the school and does not want to see her second-grade daughter potentially change schools.
“We have a walking path that’s about a half a mile from the school, we can see the school from our property, we share a property line with the school campus, and we would just really hate to lose the walkability factor for our kids to be able to ride their bikes to school and get that extra exercise in the morning,” Stults said.
Just last month, a proposal to re-zone Silver Stream-area children to Nolensville Elementary failed.
“Something definitely needs to be done about it. but I want a long-term solution, not a band-aid patch that’s just going to get us through another year,” Stults said.
The district is hosting a work session and community meeting about possible solutions to the over-crowding problem at Mill Creek at the beginning of April.
A possible vote is set for April 11.