ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — When school starts back Friday, some Carter County students will be attending a different school after the Board of Education’s approval of a consolidation plan earlier this year.
Students who went to Keenburg Elementary will now go to Central or Hunter Elementary. Little Milligan Elementary’s 6th–8th graders will now attend Hampton Elementary.
The principals at both Hunter and Hampton said they have had days to meet the transitioning students and welcome them to their new schools.
Hunter Elementary principal Stephen Garland said about 100 hundred students are registered to attend Hunter from Keenburg plus several teachers and faculty. They started getting ready for the transition in May.
“We had Tigers Unite night at our school,” Garland said. “Their mascot is the Tigers and so is ours, so it worked out good. Introduced the faculty members that way everybody was aware of what teachers were coming and the students felt comfortable about the school.”
Garland said they are looking forward to the new school year as they have good support staff.
“We have a counselor that has a student support dog that comes to school and is part of our faculty: Ava,” he said. “We also have a student support coordinator that helps students with special needs and does kind of social work stuff.”
Jake Jenkins, the principal of Hampton Elementary, said around 20 to 30 students in 6th–8th grades will be attending Hampton from Little Milligan. He said they are trying to make the transition as easy as possible.
“They spent half a day with us, went around, saw the teachers, met the students, met everybody in the office,” Jenkins said. “We’ve tried to keep all the students in the grade levels together. That way, you know, it might be a new environment, a new situation, but they still got familiarity together, being around each other.”
Jenkins said starting this year every middle school student will be taking CTE classes and that they already consider Little Milligan students as part of their family.
“They’ve been coming down and playing with us the last couple seasons in football and baseball, so we’ve already got that family atmosphere and that’s something that we’re very, very proud of and that we look forward to trying to build on and keep,” Jenkins said.
The consolidation plan also involved relocating the school system’s central office to the former Keenburg Elementary building.