Four Knox County elementary schools will have big changes to their student populations next school year.
After holding multiple community meetings over the past few months, the Board of Education has changed the neighborhoods the four schools serve.
Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas called it a success for the school system.
Rev. Dr. John Butler lives in one of the neighborhoods that would benefit from the Knox County Board of Education's decision to change the zones for Green, Dogwood, Sarah Moore Greene and South Knoxville elementary schools.
"We still feel it's important that all the kids go to neighborhood schools--schools closest to them," Butler said. "Kids who go to school in their neighborhoods have a better academic opportunity."
Butler, who also serves as president of the Knoxville chapter of the NAACP, says parents continue to talk about how much it would help their kids.
"It affects not only the sleep, the homework, the parent involvement with extra-curriculars, parents have to travel to support the kids, whereas the kids live in the neighborhood they can walk home and those kind of things," he said.
He spoke along with two other parents, hoping the board would support them--and they did.
"I feel like this is a success story," Thomas said.
He said it's a good example of parent-district communication.
"This resulted because of some community meetings that we had," Thomas said.
He said while it isn't always the case, these schools can handle the population changes.
"We can accommodate at all the schools," Thomas said. "That's certainly something we look at--the additional enrollment."
Teachers will be affected as well, but only through transfers, not number of jobs available.
"I know there was some concern about folks losing their job, well they--we still need the teachers, so there's not going to be a situation where people lose their job over transfers," Thomas said.
Thomas said the district is always willing to listen, and if parents want to reach out about zoning issues, they're welcome to do so.
The changes take effect in August for the 2018-2019 school year.