The Leander ISD board of trustees voted against adopting new attendance zones for Elementary School No. 30 as the school's opening approaches.

What happened

District officials have yet to adopt attendance zones for Elementary School No. 30, which is opening in August, after the board of trustees rejected administration’s zoning recommendation at a Jan. 18 meeting.

The board’s vote comes after a monthslong rezoning process that began in September and included three zoning proposals, community feedback and multiple district meetings.

Four of the six board members present voted in opposition due to concerns that the recommended zoning scenario increased the functional capacity at North Elementary, underutilized Elementary School No. 30 and overutilized Whitestone Elementary.

Some board members requested administrators improve the district’s rezoning process entirely and use updated campus capacity numbers to inform future zoning scenarios.

How we got here

After receiving community feedback on two previously proposed scenarios, district administrators recommended the board adopt a third zoning scenario in December.

Almost 1,000 students from several campuses would’ve been rezoned under the third scenario with Elementary School No. 30 pulling around 550 students from Bagdad and Plain elementaries.

The third scenario accounted for an increased capacity at North Elementary as classrooms once designated for smaller programs at the campus could now be used for more students, LISD Chief Operations Officer Jimmy Disler said at a Dec. 14 meeting.

What board members are saying

Place 6 board member Francesca Romans said changing the functional capacity of North Elementary during the rezoning process caused confusion and mistrust among community members.

“The biggest problem we had with this process is that it was not clear,” Romans said. “The capacity change in the middle of the process threw the whole thing off."

Place 4 board member Anna Smith asked administrators to improve and innovate the district’s rezoning process.

“We are truly trying to create a 10-year plan here, and we cannot keep doing the same practices that we’ve done since 2007,” Smith said about rezoning. “I need to know that we’re going to do everything we can to not resort back to old practices but better practices.”

School board President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, who voted in favor of the attendance zones, expressed concerns about how extending the rezoning process might impact the district's ability to hire teachers and transfer students.

“If this takes three months, then we’re really in a jam," Gonzales-Dholakia said.

Stay tuned

Disler said the district is updating the functional capacities of campuses; however, he does not expect campuses impacted by Elementary School No. 30 to significantly change.

The district will use updated capacity numbers to consider potential zoning options, LISD Chief of Staff Sarah Grissom said. The board requested administrators return with an update on the zoning process in February.