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Large incoming freshman class may mean more teachers

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Local high schools are already preparing for the 2015-2016 school year.

Wilson Central High School, Lebanon High School and Mt. Juliet High School are anticipating the arrival of 469, 550 and 575 incoming freshmen, respectively.

All four county high schools will be returning to block schedule per instruction by Dr. Donna Wright, director of schools, as the schools were changed to seven periods a year ago and are currently on a modified block schedule.

The seven-period day was installed by former Wilson County Schools Director Dr. Timothy Setterlund.

Mt. Juliet Principal Mel Brown said their charge from the central office was not to add any more educators unless there is growth. However, due to the growth in housing in the Mt. Juliet school zone, there could very well be teaching positions added.

Wilson Central Assistant Principal Kevin Dawson said preliminary numbers do not include students moving from home school, private school or the children of district employees. "We are anticipating a number closer to 500, which is slightly larger than usual," he said, adding that growth should not have a profound impact on class size. "We are working diligently to maximize our faculty positions."

LHS has grown from approximately 1,550 total enrollments a couple of years ago to 1,748 currently.

LHS Principal Myra Sloan said that they also plan to meet with the Wilson County Schools Central Office to determine the number of teachers needed for next school year.

"We believe changing back to the four-by-four block will give us the best opportunity to serve our students," Dawson said.

"Next year we plan on doing the four-by-four block schedule that we had in the past with both and intervention and enrichment time built into the schedule," Sloan clarified. "This will also enable students to have ACT Prep classes, additional time with their Advanced Placement teacher and other enrichment classes."

Sloan said that the state did not mandate that an intervention time be built into the schedule until the school year 2016-17, but they decided to implement it early "in order to give our students an opportunity to have more intense instructional time to reinforce necessary skills they may need help with in certain subjects."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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