New School Year Brings 3 New Schools


It seems like summer just started a few weeks ago, but it is already time to go back to school. With the arrival of the new school year comes the opening of three new schools. Murfreesboro City Schools opened one new school on July 28, and Rutherford County Schools will have ribbon cuttings for two new schools on August 4.

On July 28, the excitement was palatable at Salem Elementary School as children, parents, teachers, administrators, the community, and members of the school board gathered to cut the ribbon and get the new building opened to tour. The school has the latest technology and resources to make sure that students will be ready for what the future offers.

New schools have been opening every year due to the tremendous growth in the area. For ten of the last 12 years, the number of new students in Rutherford County has grown almost three percent per year. And that population is expected to reach three percent during the 2019-2020 school year. Rutherford County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Tennessee.

Consistently ranked among the best in Tennessee, Rutherford County Schools have outpaced national rankings on a number of measures. The county is home to the best high school in the state, according to US News & World Report, and the eighth best in the country. And they do it spending close to $1,200 less per pupil than the state average.

Murfreesboro City Schools work hard to ensure they reach the whole child, placing emphasis on individual development, for which they have won much recognition.

Here are the facts about the new schools.

Salem Elementary

Salem Elementary School

Address: 3400 Saint Bernard Way, Murfreesboro, TN 37129 (located near the corner of St. Andrews Drive and Veterans Parkway)
Phone: 615-624-5510
School System: Murfreesboro City Schools
Grades: K through 6
Estimated Opening Enrollment: 730
Enrollment Capacity: 1,000
School Colors: Carolina Blue, Navy, and Golden Tan
School Team: Salem Saints
School Mascot: Saint Bernard
Bell Time: Classes will begin at 7:30a.m. and the school day will end at 2:30 p.m. The school doors open at 7:15 a.m. for students not participating in morning ESP.
Principal: Trey Duke, [email protected], 615.893.2313
Assistant Principal: Sia Phillips
ESP Questions: Lisa Bailey [email protected]

Their goal is to create a hands-on learning atmosphere focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM).
Rocky Fork Elementary

Rocky Fork Elementary

Address: 200 Thunderstorm Lane, Smyrna, TN 37167
Phone: 615-904-6875
School System: Rutherford County Schools
Grades: K through 5
Estimated Opening Enrollment: 786
Enrollment Capacity: 1,000
School Colors: Blue and White
School Team: Rocky Fork Thunder
School Mascot: Thunder Bolt
Bell Time: Classes will begin at 7:30a.m. and the school day will end at 2:30 p.m.
Principal: Scott Bolden [email protected] 615-904-6785
Assistant Principal: Mindy Simpson
YMCA After School Program: call the school for more information
Ribbon Cutting: August 4, 2019 from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm
According to the school website, school principal Scott Bolden believes that clear communication, building relationships, focusing on soft skills, and being student-focused are key components to creating a successful school.

Rockvale High School

Rockvale High School

Address: 6545 Highway 99, Rockvale, TN 37153
Phone: 615-848-6500
School System: Rutherford County Schools
Estimated Opening Enrollment: 2,038 students
Enrollment Capacity: 2,300
School Colors: Royal Blue, Gray, and White
School Team: Rockvale Rockets
School Mascot: Rocket
Bell Time: 8:30 am until 3:30 pm
Principal: Steve Luker, lukers@rcschools, 615-848-6500
Assistant Principals: Jason Crutchfield and Kim Edwards
Ribbon Cutting: August 4, 2019 from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm

Rockvale High School is starting with a long history. It was named after the old Rockvale School that started as a one-room K-12 conscription school in the late 1800s. It was housed in a two-story building that was shared with the Masonic Lodge. Conscription schools were started by local parents, and a fee was paid to go there. The original Rockvale High School (public) was opened on September 12, 1910.