Several residents of Nolensville wearing red T-shirts with “We Are Nolensville” across the front were in attendance at the Williamson County Schools Board of Education’s special work session Monday evening. / Photo by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
Clad in red T-shirts with the inscription “We Are Nolensville” across the front, several residents of the fast-growing community turned out for a special-called Williamson County Schools Board of Education work session Monday night to see and hear another round of rezoning plans.
District staff had put in about 175 labor hours in reviewing data and taking steps for a new rezoning plan for Nolensville after the original was voted down by board members at the February school board meeting. That option would have had more than 200 kids from the Silver Stream subdivision who attend Mill Creek Elementary to start going to Nolensville Elementary next year.
Several residents of the neighborhood voiced their objection to that plan at board and community meetings, and they showed solidarity by wearing blue T-shirts with the wording “Silver Stream.”
The T-shirts were predominantly red at Monday’s meeting, which lasted about an hour and a half as nine rezoning proposals were presented by WCS Superintendent Mike Looney and Allison Nunley, the district’s manager for Planning and Zoning.
“I would say that Nolensville people want to stay in Nolensville schools,” Rachel Hoop, the mother of children who attend Mill Creek Elementary and a resident of the Bent Creek subdivision. “We want to stay within our community. That is very important. And [we want to do it] without splitting neighborhoods. I would never want any neighborhood in any school district to be split.”
Mary Beth Anderson, one of Hoop’s neighbors in Bent Creek, agreed that keeping neighborhoods intact when it comes to where students attend school is critical.
“My biggest concern is not splitting Bent Creek,” she said. “I don’t have a child in the elementary or the middle school, but I’m a homeowner and I live in the community and I love the community. One of the board members just spoke about not splitting the feeders within the schools and how it’s important to have the sense of spirit. We have that sense of spirit in Bent Creek as well. We want to keep that.”
As far as which option best met their preference, Hoop and Anderson said they agreed with the one that Looney and district staff chose. It was the first option presented at the work session, and was actually quite similar to the original rezoning plan that was voted down and sent the central office back to uncover new plans.
“We threw everything out and started all the way over,” Looney said. “And we started all the way over and would get halfway through and get more information on something else happening and start over again. So the plan is always changing. There are also new developments coming in something else is being improved.”
“We always do our best, but this is dynamic and is always changing. This could change tomorrow. It’s the best information we have as of February’s numbers.”
The Nolensville community, regardless of their T-shirts’ colors, will have a chance Tuesday night to review all nine options and provide feedback as WCS holds a community meeting at Nolensville High School beginning at 6 p.m.