Thompson’s Station Elementary and Middle Schools open their doors for the first time on Friday in Thompson’s Station.// Photo by Alexander Willis
By MATT BLOIS and ALEXANDER WILLIS
Three new schools opened for the first time Friday in Williamson County: a middle school and elementary school in Thompson’s Station and another elementary school in Brentwood.
Thompson’s Station Elementary and Middle Schools welcomed children from first through eighth grade to the new facility. Hundreds of students between first and fifth grade started at Jordan Elementary School in Brentwood. Kindergartners have their first full day on Aug. 20.
Robert Bohrer is the principal of Thompson’s Station Elementary, and said his favorite thing about the new school is that they will have students for nine years, making the transition from elementary to middle school easier.
“I think just the transition from elementary to middle [school] is hard enough when you’re going from one building to another, changing neighborhoods and so forth,” Bohrer said. “We have 600 – 700 kids in the elementary school just moving over seamlessly to the middle school. It’s easier going to a familiar place than it is an unfamiliar place, and that’s what makes that special.”
The principal of Thompson’s Station Middle School is Paula Waits, who has worked in education for 27 years.
To the joy of kids everywhere, this first day of school will only be a half-day, letting out at 12:45. Normal school hours, which will start this coming Monday, are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.
The new schools feature a large media center at the heart of the building that houses around 7,500 books, and has laptops and iPad for student use.
The school is also equipped with a fully featured outdoor sports complex to accommodate its football, soccer, softball and baseball games.
“They’re going to get to see these teachers every day [and] know their names,” Bohrer said. “Their going to get to see Mrs. Waits and the administration on the middle school side, and they’re going to get to know their names, and it’s not going to be new to them.”
Students and parents at Jordan Elementary School in Brentwood were excited to see the new school. Hundreds of students and parents filed into the doors at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
Jordan Elementary parents Daniel and Jocelyn Grenier moved to Williamson County two weeks ago from Florida, and they were impressed with the school on day one. They moved to the county be around more young families, and because of the school system’s reputation.
“They say that the school district here is supposed to be phenomenal,” Jocelyn Grenier said.
“It looks like it is,” her son Evan added.
The Grenier kids—fifth grader Ethan, second graders Ella and Evan and kindergartener Eli Grenier—were looking forward to meeting their classmates and trying out the new playground.
Seung Yi dropped off his daughters Sophie and Charlotte for their first day of first grade on Friday morning. They went to Kenrose Elementary School for kindergarten, and he was glad that they had some friends from Kenrose at Jordan.
He was eager to get involved with the new school.
“I plan on trying to be somewhat active in the (Parent Teacher Organization),” he said. “That’s the exciting part for a lot of parents. As the first generation of students come in you get to shape the direction of the school.”
By 8:45 a.m. almost all the students had already filed into the building. Deputies from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office helped direct traffic as parents left the school.
Parents from Williamson County Schools used the hashtag #WCSDay1 to show off photos of their kids returning to school. The district compiled many of those tweets on their own account.