Hardin Valley not open, but 2nd semester crowding not as bad

By: Gordon Boyd
By: Gordon Boyd

Knox County (WVLT) -- You may have heard Knox County will open the new Hardin Valley High School next fall, without a senior class.

The reason is because too few students have been willing to transfer.

Hardin Valley was designed to ease crowding at Bearden, Karns, and Farragut.

Most of the incoming students have actually already chosen their classes for next year.

But school officials say the numbers can change over the summer or holiday break and that could leave some juniors and seniors scrambling.

On Thursday, students in Knox County were just three days into their second semester and some students were already settling into a routine.

But some students still had some problems.

“I think scheduling got mixed up, certain people got mixed up in different classrooms,” said Lindsey Smith, a Bearden High School senior.

“It's the counselors trying to place students in the proper classes, with what I would say was a very tight schedule,” said Lynn Hill, Bearden’s principal.

The tightness begins, but goes beyond the size of the student body.

Bearden has about five dozen fewer bulldogs this semester than last, but only four counselors to help schedule their classes.

That is more than 500 students per counselor.

“I would always welcome an additional counselor,” Hill said.

Some numbers aren't flexible, like the state’s limit of no more than 35 in a class.

That puts a lot of pressure on students.

“For a senior to graduate, they have got to have their senior English, they've got to have their economics and government and if they've got that this term, it's going to put some pressure on them,” said Hill

Alex Young thinks Bearden's scheduling has worked for his sophomore daughter.

“She enrolled a little bit late because we just moved back here from being abroad,” Young said. “She went in, and it was very smooth and very professional. She got the classes she wanted.”

One sign of progress was the fact that the “Pit Stop” was empty during the lunch hour class blocks.

Students normally park themselves there awaiting class assignments.

“I kind of messed up freshman year, but I bounced back,” said Smith who thinks the lesson for her fellow Bulldogs is pacing and planning. “I have all easy classes this semester, so I'm happy.”

Could overcrowding mean some seniors wind up short for graduation?

Only if they've given themselves only one chance to pass a core class that they end up failing.

What we don't know yet is how much the opening of Hardin Valley will ease the crowding, especially at Bearden.

Redrawn districts will send some Bearden students to West, but put some Farragut students in Bearden.

Students from the upper grades can opt to graduate where they started

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