Swelling enrollments are prompting Knox County Schools officials to consider moving some Lonsdale elementary school students to another building that would become a primary school.
The Knox County Board of Education is set Monday to discuss options for moving some pupils from Lonsdale Elementary School on Louisiana Avenue to the nearby Sam E. Hill Preschool, 1725 Delaware Ave.
The estimated costs are $121,192 in the first year of the move and another $214,817 in the second year of the transition, records show.
The board will meet Monday afternoon in a work session in the Andrew Johnson Building.
School records show 407 children in kindergarten through fifth grade attend Lonsdale Elementary.
All class space is being used, and some students are getting lessons in hallways, according to a report prepared for the board meeting. About 175 English Language Learner, or ELL, pupils share one classroom, with two to three "small" groups of children taking lessons at the same time in it.
For ELL students, English typically has not been the primary language. It's a population that's been growing in some parts of the 60,000-student school system.
Lonsdale is viewed as an at-risk school and formally labeled a "Focus" school, meaning there are recognized achievement gaps among some students.
According to figures prepared by the school system, there's no room on Lonsdale school grounds to expand so district officials are proposing for the 2018-19 year that five kindergarten classes move to Sam E. Hill, which serves 3- and 4-year-olds and is considered underused.
Then, in the 2019-20 year, Lonsdale first-graders would shift to the building, the report indicates. Three-year-old children in Pre-K would be shifted elsewhere.
Sam E. Hill would become a primary school and Lonsdale would become an intermediate school. While primary and intermediate schools are rare in the system, there are a few.
For ELL students, the move would ensure they've got dedicated class space, without having to share one classroom or find creative space for lessons, the report states.
Both schools could share resources to help make the shift work, according to the report.