Wilson Co. schools trying to keep up with growth - WSMV Channel 4

Wilson Co. schools trying to keep up with growth

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MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) -

In one of the fastest growing counties in the state, there's a mixed blessing.

Many welcome the growth in Wilson County, but it's created another set of problems in the classroom.

Rutland Elementary School teacher Carol Blackmon uses dice and turkeys to teach students a few lessons. Her first graders are also learning how to make the most of a small portable space.

"We try to use our space going upward and we display what we can," said Blackmon. "We just make it work."

Rutland Elementary is not even 15 years old, but already the student population has outgrown the building.

"We have one classroom that has right at 40 kids in it with two teachers," said Rutland Principal Cathy York. "It's in a larger classroom, but it is difficult for the students and teachers."

To ease growing pains, trucks move dirt for a new pre-K through second grade school. This is one of four school construction projects under way across the school district.

"What you're seeing today is catch up," said Wilson County Director of Schools Mike Davis. "Catching up because we have got kids already in portables at a new facility."

Currently more than 300 new students a year fill classrooms across the district.

Davis said once the new school is complete, young minds will quickly fill the classrooms. He added that by that time the district will need another three schools.

It's a problem Davis said he welcomed.

"I just hope it can go at a pace that we can keep abreast of what we need to be doing, and not too fast," said Davis.

Davis said the increase in tax dollars and bonds will help fund some of the new projects.

The Wilson County mayor said when it comes to funding, they're willing to do what it takes to put education first.

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