Parent Support Sways Metro School Board To Move Hillwood To Bellevue | Nashville Public Radio

Parent Support Sways Metro School Board To Move Hillwood To Bellevue

Jan 25, 2017

Bellevue parents have convinced the Metro board of education to relocate Hillwood, despite concerns that it could hurt the high school's diversity.

Superintendent Shawn Joseph reflected on Hillwood's role in desegregation efforts in the 1970s, but said a lot has changed in Nashville since then. Joseph gave his endorsement ahead of last night's unanimous vote of the school board.

"We are a system that has said that we really need family engagement. And we want to listen to the community, and we want to work with them to collectively make great schools here in Nashville," Joseph said. "And over these past few months, I think listening to that Bellevue community has been compelling."

Joseph said he hopes every school can have neighbors as excited as parents in Bellevue.

One of the motivating data-points for several school board members was that fewer than 10 percent of the families living in walking distance of Hillwood send their high school-age kids there.

More: See the community meeting presentation, which includes attendance figures and diversity concerns

Last night's vote is merely the first step, setting aside money to buy land from the Hope Park Church. The total cost for land and construction is expected to be roughly $90 million.

The district has not yet decided what to do with the current Hillwood site, once construction of a high school in Bellevue is complete.