RRISD discusses who will attend Elementary School No. 34

Construction continues on a new elementary school at 2800 Sauls Drive.

Construction continues on a new elementary school at 2800 Sauls Drive.

Students from Bluebonnet and Wells Branch elementary schools could start the 2016-17 school year a little closer to home.

Round Rock ISD’s 34th elementary school at 2800 Sauls Drive is under construction, and the district is revising boundary lines to determine who will attend the new school.

District staff developed a preliminary recommendation on where boundary lines should be drawn, and Bob Cervi, the district’s chief operating officer, presented it to the RRISD board of trustees at its Oct. 15 meeting.

Under the proposal, students who live south of SH 45 N, west of I-35, east of the Jollyville area and north of the Wells Branch area would attend the new school.

Cervi said the staff tried to incorporate existing boundaries, such as SH 45 N, and tried to keep neighborhoods lumped together. Administrators also had to balance the population of economically disadvantaged students and English language learners, he said.

The proposed boundary lines would significantly relieve overcrowding at Wells Branch Elementary School, Cervi said. Bluebonnet Elementary School would see some relief, but would still be at more than 100 percent capacity, he said.

Trustee Diane Cox and Board Secretary Paul Tisch both asked if the proposal could be changed to get Bluebonnet Elementary School below 100 percent capacity.

Dr. Daniel Presley, the district’s chief of schools and innovation, said reaching the boundary line north into Bluebonnet’s district would take more affluent neighborhoods out of Bluebonnet Elementary School. It could also force children to attend a school that is farther from their home than Bluebonnet, Presley said.

About 60 students are bused to Bluebonnet from other parts of the district to attend special programs, including the language immersion program, he added. If the district expands special programs, it would not need to bus students to Bluebonnet, which would likely reduce overcrowding at the school, Presley said.

Board President Charles Chadwell said Wells Branch Elementary School has been overcrowded for a long time, and he was pleased the new school would be able to accommodate future growth.

“I’m really glad to see that area getting some relief,” he said.

The board is scheduled to hold public hearings on the proposed attendance zone Nov. 5 and Nov. 10. Cervi said the hearings would take place at Wells Branch and Bluebonnet elementary schools so households potentially affected could attend.

District administrators may recommend changes to the proposal based on public input. The board can modify the proposal based on staff recommendations and public input at its Nov. 19 meeting.

The board is scheduled to vote on the boundary lines Dec. 17.


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