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By JILL BURGIN

For Brentwood Home Page

Ask any family that has moved to Brentwood in the past decade what drew them to this community, and they’ll likely say “the schools.” While Williamson County has an excellent school system in general, many families target Brentwood schools in particular. Real estate ads even point out if a home is zoned for Brentwood schools.

So what makes the schools in Brentwood so attractive?

By JILL BURGIN

For Brentwood Home Page

Ask any family that has moved to Brentwood in the past decade what drew them to this community, and they’ll likely say “the schools.” While Williamson County has an excellent school system in general, many families target Brentwood schools in particular. Real estate ads even point out if a home is zoned for Brentwood schools.

So what makes the schools in Brentwood so attractive?

Get the scoops
To learn about more about Brentwood’s high schools and middle schools, just click the links here:
 Williamson County Schools

Brentwood Mayor Betsy Crossley, a former teacher, says schools in Brentwood are strengthened by exceptional local support.

“It starts with parents who care about what their kids do and who take an active interest to put their bodies as well as their time into working with the schools,” Crossley says.

The city itself offers monetary support, allocating $225,000 annually to be distributed to all the schools that serve Brentwood students. Many residents may not know about the contribution, even though it is something the city has been doing since 1986.

 “Over that time we have spent more than $3 million to support local schools…beyond what comes from property taxes,” Crossley says. “This is a special allocation that the [city commission] has to vote for as an amendment to the budget.

 “Given the tight budget we have for 2010-2011, the commissioners still unanimously felt that the additional funding for local Brentwood schools was a priority,” Crossley adds.

Each year, each high school that serves Brentwood students receives $60,000, each middle school receives $15,000, and each elementary school receives $10,000. The money is distributed to the school’s parent-teacher organizations, which then decide how best to spend it.

In 2009, Scales Principal Rick West promised he would sleep on the school’s roof if all families returned their Invest cards, part of the PTO’s fundraising campaign. They did and he did.
“There are greater expectations of our schools, both public and private, from the parents. As long as you have that, it’s self-perpetuating.”
Brentwood Mayor
Betsy Crossley

 “Scales Elementary used it to start their computer lab years ago. Some schools use the funds to hire instructional aides who come to the school to work with kids,” Crossley adds. “It’s just good for [the city commission] to show that we support education in the city even though we don’t make any of the decisions at all.”

Of course, money isn’t everything. The schools in Brentwood consistently score in the top percentiles on the state-mandated Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP test. According to the state department of education, “Tennessee measures whether schools and districts are making adequate yearly progress, or AYP, toward the goal of 100 percent of students being proficient in reading and math with a goal of reaching a 90-percent high school graduation rate by 2014.”

 “A lot of people don’t give enough credit to the kids who look forward to going to school every day because their parents have taught them that it’s important to learn,” says Mayor Crossley. “There are greater expectations of our schools, both public and private, from the parents. As long as you have that, it’s self-perpetuating.”

The 2000 U.S. Census estimates that 64.7 percent of adult Brentwood residents have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Williamson County Office of Economic Development estimates Brentwood’s population to be a little more than 29,000; the new 2010 Census is expected discover 36,000 people live here. The 5-to-14 age group makes up nearly 15 percent of that number, making the school year a busy time on Brentwood.

Part of the Williamson County school district, Brentwood is home to two public high schools, two public middle schools, six public elementary schools, and two private schools, Brentwood Academy and Currey Ingram Academy. Even though they are located in neighboring Nolensville, Sunset Middle and Elementary schools have a large population of students who live in Brentwood neighborhoods.

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