Controversy over the future of Colonial Heights Middle School co - WSPA.com

Controversy over the future of Colonial Heights Middle School continues

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN -

Colonial Heights Middle School is currently a part of the Sullivan County School System.  However, at the June 20th Kingsport City Schools Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Lyle Ailshie proposed assuming operations of Colonial Heights Middle School.  Dr. Ailshie also proposed assuming administrative control of the city and county's joint venture called the Innovation Academy.

Dr. Ailshie says he recommended the possible school change because he says generally schools near newly annexed areas eventually become a part of that new system anyway.  Parent's of students at Colonial Heights are not happy about that possibility.

"We are here as a community.  We do not want to be divided between city and county," said Angie Stanley, her children attend Colonial Heights.

Stanley says she worries her children may not be allowed to continue their education at Colonial Heights if Kingsport takes control of the school.

"We are the highest paying tax citizens in the county area and still we have been moved around between the city and the county like chess pieces," said Stanley.

That possible "move" on the table now, Kingsport City Schools assuming operations of Colonial Heights Middle School.

"It just seems to make since that we take a look at that.  We already have john Adams elementary school in that zone, we don't have a middle school solution in that zone, we think that would be a good transition," said Dr. Lyle Ailshie, Kinsport City Schools Superintendent.

However nothing is set in stone yet.

"We don't have any kind of formal request from the city," said Dr. Jubal Yennie, Director of Schools for Sullivan County.

Dr. Yennie says when school starts up again in the fall Colonial Heights will be a part of the Sullivan County School System.

"We appreciate their interest, we appreciate their concern, we appreciate that they're willing to have that conversation at this point.  We look forward to the conversation with the city board of education in the fall regarding the schools and things that are happening with annexation in the city of Kingsport," said Dr. Yennie.

As for the Innovation Academy, Dr. Yennie and Dr. Ailshie both say the joint operation has been successful.  However, Dr. Ailshie says because of new teacher and student data requirements, it would be better and more efficient if one school system handles the entire program.  Dr. Yennie says because of state requirements, schools already have to record that data.  Dr. Yennie says he doesn't expect any changes to the academy operations.

Again no formal offers or discussion regarding the Innovation Academy or Colonial Heights have taken place.

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