Jo Byrns H.S. to include 6th graders this fall - WKRN News 2

Jo Byrns H.S. to include 6th graders this fall

Posted: Updated: April 10, 2013 05:15 PM
ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. -

Jo Byrns High School has grades seven through 12 right now, but starting this fall, sixth graders will be added.

Robertson County Schools told Nashville's News 2 the move makes sense logistically since the high school has room for the sixth grade and that will put students together with the rest of the middle school.

High School band director Randall Lynch is especially excited about the change.

"This gives us a broader opportunity," explained Lynch, "We can recruit students before they make the decision to maybe go into athletics are going to another area."

Lynch, who's been band director for three years, said he worried whether the program could survive.

"It worried me greatly that I couldn't build this program and I saw it dying," he said.

The band, fondly dubbed "The Little Band with the Big Sound", only consists of 14 students.

Lynch said that it is because other schools across the county begin their music programs in sixth grade, at the beginning of middle school, but since the sixth graders were still a part of the elementary school, there was no beginning band class.

"At Jo Byrns we were beginning them in the seventh grade," said Lynch, "When they would finally get to this school location, we had to prep them up to get them ready for marching band in one year."

Byrns also said that there were students who wanted to be a part of the band, but couldn't because they felt it was too late to get started.

Jo Byrns High School was originally a kindergarten through 12th grade school, so administrators tell us there is plenty of room for the extra 100 or so students.

Because of this original design, assistant principal Bob Pruitt said it will be easy to keep the middle school and high school populations separate.

"There really is sort of an invisible wall that separates the middle school from the high school," said Pruitt, "They're kept separate throughout the day and only have interaction at times that are planned."

Band director Lynch added that he's always wanted to Jo Byrns have a band and music program that is second to none, and now they have the opportunity to do so.

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