BLOUNTVILLE — City of Kingsport officials, some Sullivan County school officials want to know why you have been what they call lying to folks annexed in Colonial Heights.
And by the way, Kingsport City Schools officials, two county school board members have given a firm “no thanks” on your offer to take Colonial Heights Middle School off their hands.
Sullivan County Board of Education member Robyn Ivester, who represents part of the Colonial Heights area, said some constituents there recently showed her a city website — www.kingsporttn.gov — that incorrectly indicates annexation eventually makes it mandatory students shift from the county to the city school system.
City spokesman Tim Whaley said the wording reflects what he believes was the county policy in 2010 and that the website would be changed or updated.
The website, which in that section apparently has not been updated since 2010 because that is the date of “recent" annexations it addresses, indicates that all students annexed at a pre-kindergarten age must go to John Adams Elementary off Rock Springs Road and that those already in school when annexed can continue with the county, but only until they reach the middle school or high school level, at which time they must go to the city’s Robinson Middle School or Dobyns-Bennett High School.
“That statement has been out there for a long time. It is inaccurate,” Director of Schools Jubal Yennie said. Yennie said it is at best outdated but was not completely accurate even back in 2010. In 2011, the school board adopted a “managed choice” system in which a student from anywhere in the county, including Bristol, Tenn., and Kingsport, could attend any county school but without provided transportation if outside their regular school zone.
In addition, in the South High zone and in the Sullivan North zone, both systems have been running school buses in annexed areas.
For an expanded version of this article, see the Sunday print edition or paid online edition of the Kingsport Times-News.For a screenshot of the website, see the photo gallery below.