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Rutherford County Schools head back to class amid rapid growth

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 11:31:10-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Rutherford County schools head back to class Friday, and it comes at a time where the district is rapidly growing. This year, there are three expansion projects planned.

Communications Director James Evans said the district is well-versed in growth because it’s been happening for the last two decades. He mentioned there has been about 14 new schools opened during that time and multiple additions.

Evans said the growth isn’t happening in just one part of the county – it’s all over, mentioning their administrators, teachers and parents are used to working around it, so they are not expecting it to be a big headache.

As for those three projects, Evans said there are renovations happening at a part of Smyrna Middle School. They are adding on at Rockville middle and elementary schools.

“Those are sorely needed. We opened up the high school just two or three years ago, and it's already over capacity,” Evans said. “That area is just booming. Typically, if you want to know where the next neighborhood is going to be in this county, wait until we build a school, and then the neighborhoods grow all around it.”

He said those projects are expected to open next August.

COVID PROTOCOLS THIS YEAR

Evans said they are looking forward to a great school year; however, as we know, COVID-19 is still a big problem across the Midstate.

He said a big question they have been getting is about masks. Those are optional. He said the school board would be the ones to make a decision on a mandate, and they've not indicated a plan to do that.

Visitors will be allowed at schools this year, but they are limiting them to start out. Evans said they will see what the numbers look like when they get into the school year, and they may be able to relax those restrictions.

He also talked about learning loss. Evans said they did not lose as much as the state average.

Evans mentioned they had their first round of summer learning camps back in June, with more than 6000 students enrolled. Plus, the district has created a learning loss supervisor position. They haven’t hired someone for that yet, but that person will be in charge of all things learning loss, like grant management and all the various camps and tutoring opportunities.