Tuition, out-of-zone requests top 500 in Kingsport schools

Rick Wagner • Mar 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — As the Sunday deadline for first-priority placement nears, Kingsport City Schools have received more than 500 requests for tuition students or out-of-zone placement.

Those include about 30 seeking to attend the new John Adams Elementary School, set to open this fall on Rock Springs Road.

Tyler Fleming, KCS director of students services, said Thursday afternoon the number is significant since the system normally gets only 1,000 such requests across a school year.

Requests — which can be made in person Monday through Friday during regular hours at the Central Office or online at www.k12k.com — will be accepted after Sunday, but applications received by Sunday will have priority over those received later.

Fleming said some information from the school system had indicated a date of Friday, but he said the official deadline is Sunday.

“As of right now we’ve got over 500 applications,” Fleming said.

Of those, he said 180 are tuition applications, and the rest are for zoning exemptions within the city.

“We’ve had approximately 30 requests to attend Adams by zoning or tuition request,” Fleming said. “Having over half of that and school hasn’t even started yet, that’s significant.”

The Kingsport Board of Education last year approved a rezoning plan to populate the new Adams school as well as help equalize the populations at some schools.

John Adams Elementary, with an estimated total price tag of more than $17 million, was designed with a capacity of 500 but likely will open this fall with 200 to 250 students. Fleming said the zone and tuition request first-priority deadline was set sooner this year because of the new school and the rezoning.

It is too early to say if all those who request to attend Adams will be admitted or not, Fleming said.

He said the earlier deadline will give school officials more time to plan for student populations at each school and make any personnel shifts needed.

“We want to have room for growth,” Fleming said of the potential of new students coming into Adams mid-school year. “That’s why we’re trying to get this in early so we can make staffing appropriate for all of the schools.”

Requests for out-of-zone placements also include students who were zoned out of their existing school but want to remain.

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