COMMUNITY CAMPUS: A united vision of education
Nelson County Schools embarked in 2021 on a journey to transform and modernize its facilities with a Community Campus model that unites middle-schoolers on the campuses of Thomas Nelson and Nelson County High School to provide equity and opportunity to all students in our county regardless of where they live. The Community Campuses are a key piece of the NEXT Generation Guarantee that spans all grade levels, including NCS' expansion of early and Pre-K education and renovating elementary schools to 21st century learning centers.
Providing the best education for our community's children was the reason a committee of 20 educators, parents, community members and administrators overwhelmingly approved the District Facility Plan that enabled the community campus model. But stewardship of the public's tax dollars was a contributing factor. The Community Campus model was estimated to optimize over $2 million in funding, reducing redundancies and inefficiencies that can be put back into the classroom where it can directly impact learning.
Resources and more information
Optimizing school size
Nelson County Schools has the smallest public middle schools in the region. This results in other students throughout the region and Kentucky getting access to more academic and athletic programs. The biggest limiting factor to offering richer experiences in NCS middle schools under its current facility configuration is the limited size of the student cohort.
- Average Middle School in Region = 670 students
- Average NCS Middle School = 238 Students
Average of two united middle schools = 525 Students
Optimizing Spending to Improve Access and Opportunity
The Community Campus model opens many avenues to improving access and opportunity to our students. The specific forms and programs are still taking shape, but we know it will optimize spending by reducing redundancies.
More buildings = More cost
It costs more to heat and cool 12 buildings than it does 10. The Community Campus model moves students from Bloomfield Middle and Old Kentucky Home Middle into modern, more energy-efficient facilities, and saving energy costs is just one example of optimizing spending. Each free-standing building has additional costs funded by the operational fund that can be reduced or eliminated by collocating them on the same campus.
The district estimates the Community Campus will optimize at least $2 million in spending, which could be used more effectively by raising teacher pay and spending on direct impacts to student learning.