Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Algood School Already Overcrowded

Putnam County's newest elementary school will be overcrowded on the day it opens. The school board learned Thursday night that Algood Elementary is already at capacity. As of this week, the school had 569 students enrolled in the Kindergarten through 4th Grade, and school officials expect that several more students will enroll when school starts in August. Board members discussed cutting off enrollment immediately, thereby forcing potential new students to choose another school. But board member Bob Hargis says a family who moves this summer into what he called "the shadow of Algood school" ought to be able to send their children to the school. So the board decided to use available classroom space at Algood Middle School -- if necessary -- to house some 4th Grade students. They also said that re-aligning the school bus zones will be necessary when new elementary and middle schools open in south Cookeville in 2010. Schools director Kathleen Airhart says there are also potential overcrowding issues at Capshaw Elementary, Baxter Elementary and Cornerstone Middle School, which she plans to deal with by prioritizing those who can enroll there, or -- in the case of Capshaw -- holding a lottery for those families who live outside the Capshaw zone.