Northview Academy opening goes smoothly

Traffic issues at day’s end; ‘students were wonderful’
Aug. 17, 2013 @ 11:49 PM

The first day of classes at Northview Academy was a fairly smooth operation, Principal Greg Clark said.

The new school serves the northern area of the county, and is located on Swaggerty Road just off Highway 66.

At opening, it hosts students in grades 7 to 9, but it will eventually be home to grades 7 to 12.

Friday was its first day of classes.

“School went well,” Clark said. “We had a great first day. The students were wonderful, they were well behaved and did what they were supposed to do.”

Because the school is located on Highway 66, there had been concerns about how it would impact traffic. Sevierville police were on hand and the start and end of classes to help drivers.

Clark said the start of school was no problem, although the end of the day led to a backup on the highway.

“In the morning, it’s 7 to 8 a.m. so people come in at different times,” he said. “In the afternoon, everybody leaves pretty much at the same time, so you have cars coming to pick them up at the same time.”

Officials hope to work on that starting Monday, he said, by getting parents to pull into the parking lot.

Other than that, the first day had no major glitches.

The seventh and eighth grades are in one wing of the school, while the ninth graders are in another. Other high school grades will eventually join them, using sections of the school that are finished but are closed until needed.

The central office had extra personnel present, he said, including Director of Schools Jack Parton. But it didn’t really prove to be necessary.

“We had a plan and the plan worked. The students followed what they were told and the teachers did what they’d trained to do and it all went well.”

Brandi Layman was there to pick up her son, Wallace, for his first day at the academy. He’d been looking forward to going to the new school all summer, she said.

“He was very excited,” she said. “He said he had a great day.”

jfarrell@themountainpress.com