ECS offering ‘Cyclone Connection’ to boost enrollment

Published 5:39 pm Monday, February 27, 2017

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
T.A. Dugger Junior High currently has 40 spots available for new tuition students.

Adjusting to growth continues for Elizabethton City Schools.
Wanting to operate at full capacity, the system recently announced the creation of Cyclone Connection, an online tuition application that allows new tuition students in all grade levels to apply for priority placement. The move replaces a previous lottery process previously used and “makes it easy for new tuition students to know their places in line for the coming school year.”
Due to recent additions and renovations within the system, opportunities have opened up for 75 new tuition students at Elizabethton High School and 40 at T.A. Dugger Junior High School.”
The system has netted a 25 percent growth in the last decade, which created new avenues for expansion, including new programs, staff and facilities. Information received from the students showed investment in each student has increased by 17 percent and students get an individualized education with a 14:1 student-to-teacher ratio.
“This is our way to attract students to come to Elizabethton City Schools,” Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour said during February’s Board of Education meeting. “We’d love to operate at full capacity and spread what we have to offer to all students.”
The enrollment window is expected to open up on April 20 at 8 a.m. and last until May 5 at 7 p.m. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applications following that date will go toward the back of the line and parents will be notified of their students’ place around mid-May.
The school system issued a statement during the initial announcement explaining parents of current tuition students do not need to apply and “should know that new tuition students do not take precedence over current tuition students.
“The only way a current tuition student can be moved out of the system is from an influx of in-zone students, which has not been an issue in over a decade,” ECS said in the statement.
According to, an organization that rates schools with various statistics from different departments including the Department of Education, the U.S. Census and FBI, ECS ranked ninth out of over 100 school districts in safety. The school also received No. 13 rankings in the best school districts and districts with best teachers from Niche.
Current tuition for Carter County residents is: Grades (K-5) $800 per student, Grades (6-8) $400, Grades (9-12) $300 per student. Tuition for families living outside of Carter County is $1,600 per student while the family cap is $2,200.
The BOE recently discussed the idea of allowing families pay in monthly installments. The measure, if passed, would allow payments for over a nine-month period. During February’s BOE meeting, the resolution passed through a first-reading with further deliberation expected at upcoming meetings.
Along with opportunities at EHS and TAD, the Cyclone Connection also serves as the out-of-zone placement request for city elementary students wanting to attend a different elementary school within the school system.
For more information, visit and check out the Student Registration section under Parents & Students tab.

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