​MES Will Not Close

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Monteagle Elementary School (MES) will not be closing anytime in the foreseeable future. Dispelling rumors, MES principal Janet Layne cited recent capital upgrades to the school including a new roof and $40,000 spent on refurbishing the gym.
“The gym walls were painted, the floor refinished, the facility was air conditioned, and we got new mats, a new scoreboard, and electronically operated retractable bleachers. Marion County spent a tremendous amount of money to upgrade the building just in the past year.”
“The county also placed a full-time School Resource Officer in the school beginning this year,” Layne said. “You hear these rumors about the school closing every year. The director of schools has reassured me that’s just people talking.”
Layne acknowledged that due to size and facility restrictions, “we’re limited to the number of kids we can serve.” MES is atypical in serving students from three counties, Franklin, Grundy and Marion. Portions of Monteagle lie in each of these counties.
Following eighth grade, MES students have a choice about where to attend high school, Layne said, dispelling other rumors that students graduating from MES would not be allowed to attend South Pittsburg High School in Marion County in the future.
“Most of our students go to Grundy County High School, because there is bus service available. There has never been bus service to South Pittsburg High School,” Layne confirmed. “But, we have 14 students attending South Pittsburg, and we’re working on an arrangement to provide bus service, at least in the morning.”
At present, students who attend South Pittsburg High School need to arrange for their own transportation. Usually parents drive them. A proposal under consideration would designate MES as a pickup point for students. After dropping off elementary school students at MES, the same bus would transport students to South Pittsburg.