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Cedar Bluff opens new elementary school


With all of the hype surrounding the opening Hardin Valley Academy, many West Knox County residents may have overlooked Knox County Schools’ other new addition — Cedar Bluff Elementary School.

More than 1,000 students, in grades kindergarten through fourth, began classes in the school Monday, Aug. 11.

CBES co-principal Susan Davis said, “This is a three-phase process and the third phase is still being built, so all of the fifth-graders are still at [Cedar Bluff] Intermediate School.”

The building, as it stands now, is 132,000 square feet and is quite a change for teachers and students.

“Our old buildings were open space classrooms, so up to three teachers shared one large room. Their classes were divided, but they shared one large room. It is an old concept,” Davis said.

“Now all of the classes are self- contained and the children are not hearing what is going on in a different class. They will be able to focus better.

“It is the first time that many of the veteran teachers have taught without another teacher, or perhaps two other teachers, in the classroom with them, so that is a totally new concept,” She added.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes for students is the idea of not eating lunch in their classrooms.

“In the past, at the old building, we did not have a cafeteria. The food was brought over from the middle school and warmed in warmers,” Davis said.

“The children went through a line and took their trays back to their classroom and ate lunch.

“Now we have a cafeteria, so everyone goes through the lunch line and sits down at a table and eats lunch and the food is prepared here on the premises.”

Davis said the teachers as well as the students seem to love the new building.

“We look at the [old] gymnasium and it was more of a playroom-type gym and here it is a large full gym.

“And we have a stage,” she added.

“We are a very artistic school. We have a Cultural Arts Day and we have a chorus and we have a really great music program.

“There was no stage so all of our concerts and things had to be done at another school or a local church, and now we will be able to have those concerts and our Cultural Arts Day here with a stage and everything, so that is an exciting new part of it,” she said.

Although fifth-graders did not move into the new school CBES made some changes for them as well.

“They decided, rather than spread out throughout the whole building … there are two classes per suite. But they are all on one level and they are all the same grade, so they are having a good time,” Davis said.

“We did take one of the upstairs suites and made it into a makeshift cafeteria so the children do get to go in and sit down and have their lunch.”

 

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