BLOUNTVILLE — Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee is putting together a new lottery process for sixth grade in 2014-15, Director of Schools Jubal Yennie said in a recent letter to parents.
The Sullivan County Board of Education voted April 17 to move the stand-alone program from the old Brookside Elementary building in Bloomingdale to a school within a school at Holston Middle School in Blountville.
The board also voted to keep IA a grades 6-8 program and not add ninth grade, which had been the plan in the original grant application that won $1 million in federal Race to the Top funding administered by the Battelle Memorial Foundation for two years.
"The school-within-a-school model will be a standalone entity that serves 175 students in grades 6-8," Yennie wrote in a letter to IA parents dated April 24. "A separate wing at Holston Middle School is available, featuring large rooms that will be conductive to the IA program. The new location will have enough room for all current 6th- and 7th-grade students to attend IA, and the school leadership team will work to develop a revised lottery process for incoming 6th-grade students."
In a phone interview Tuesday, Yennie said that the lottery procedures for all IA grades likely would be the same as the transfer policy and IA lotteries over the past two years.
As of the old deadline of April 15, based on staying at Brookside, 221 students indicated an intent to enroll: 97 in sixth grade, 70 in seventh and 54 in eighth.
Current enrollments are 31 county and 27 Kingsport students are rising seventh graders, and 34 county and 11 city students are rising eighth graders.
The plan is to have three sixth-grade teachers and two each in the other grades, serving up to 25 students each, plus a STEM related arts teacher and another related arts teacher at Holston. That could be a problem if all 58 existing IA sixth-graders continue to seventh grade at IA in the fall.
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