Hutto ISD seeks input in changes to proposed attendance boundaries

One of three possible attendance zones for Hutto ISD's new Howard Norman Elementary School. One of three possible attendance zones for Hutto ISD's new Howard Norman Elementary School.[/caption]

Hutto ISD school officials hosted a public meeting Jan. 29 seeking the public’s input in their proposed boundary changes with the opening of the new Howard Norman Elementary School.

In consideration of the three attendance boundary proposals presented to attendees, Superintendent Doug Killian said district officials looked at factors such as population growth, safety, transportation, existing facilities and the projected growth of student population.

Each of the three plans mostly affects the same neighborhoods and subdivisions south of Hwy. 79. The attendance zones for the new elementary and Veterans' Hill are the same in all three plans, and district officials say the biggest challenge comes in the areas of Carl Stern and FM 1660.

At the meeting, some parents expressed concern any one of the three proposed boundary changes would require their children to move to a different school.

Shara Turner is the PTA president at Veterans Hill Elementary and has two children at the school.

“We live in Emory Farms. We were at Veterans Hill, and then it closed down. So, we all had to go to Cottonwood (Elementary) for a couple of years, and then we all moved back to Veterans when it opened,” Turner said. “We were under the impression we would get to stay at Veterans Hill and not have to move again based on projections a couple of years ago. This is our fourth time to switch back and forth.”

One of three possible attendance zones for Hutto ISD's new Howard Norman Elementary School. One of three possible attendance zones for Hutto ISD's new Howard Norman Elementary School.[/caption]

Parents were told they can apply for a transfer, if their child is affected by re-zoning issues. Killian also told parents he will ask for the school board’s approval to accept transfer requests, if space allows, under the following conditions:

  • The district will waive all fees associated with approved transfers; parents will still need to provide for their children’s transportation.

  • Current fourth and seventh grade students will be given priority to stay at their home school for their last year.

  • Priority will also be given to students and their siblings who have been affected by at least three prior attendance boundary changes.

  • Priority will be given to students who receive specialized services by allowing them to stay at their home campus.


Turner said she was pleased with the district’s response in meeting family’s needs.

“We’ve worked really hard to create a strong parent community, PTA, etc., and we keep having to restart it every time,” Turner said. “I think this plan puts a little peace of mind into the situation, so if I decide to stay and put in for a transfer, they will take that into consideration—I was very happy to hear that.”

One of three possible attendance zones for Hutto ISD's new Howard Norman Elementary School. One of three possible attendance zones for Hutto ISD's new Howard Norman Elementary School.[/caption]

A significant increase in the number of elementary students prompted the construction of Norman, the district’s sixth elementary campus, which is expected to open for the 2016-17 school year.

District officials emphasized having adequate space and addressing student safety concerns were top priorities.

“One of the things we’re going to have to address in the facilities master plan is looking at the programs in your district and make sure you have adequate facilities,” Superintendent Doug Killian said.

Currently, the district’s five elementary campuses are at 94 percent of full capacity. Killian said the re-zoning proposals would have very little impact on the middle and high school campuses, which are at 61 and 74 percent capacity, respectively.