Liberty Hill ISD will open a shared space for its Success Academy and new disciplinary program in a portable building at Liberty Hill High School next school year.

The board of trustees approved around $636,000 in funding for the portable building at an April 15 meeting following an overview of the new facility by Chief of Schools Travis Motal.

What you need to know

In August, the district will open a portable building to house the Liberty Hill Success Academy and its newly founded District Alternative Education Program, also known on the state level as a disciplinary alternative education program.

Over the past few years, the district has used Leander ISD’s DAEP at the Leander Extended Opportunity Center, where it could send a maximum of 12 students, Motal said.

Opening its own DAEP will allow LHISD to have more control and flexibility over how it responds to students with disciplinary violations, he said. The district may set its own rules around the minimum and maximum number of days a student can be placed.

The new space also comes as the Success Academy is outgrowing its existing portable buildings and classrooms at Liberty Hill High School, Motal said. The academy opened for the 2022-23 school year to assist 11th and 12th grade students at risk of dropping out or needing to graduate high school early.

The board of trustees approved $155,000 to move a portable building comprised of 13 units from Santa Rita Elementary School to LHHS, and $481,482 for infrastructure and utility costs using 2023 bond funds, district officials said. The district will build a fence around the property and extend a driveway for staff to access parking, Motal said.

The specifics

Students will attended DAEP for around 15-45 days if they are placed there by an administrator for violating the district's code of conduct, according to a presentation at the meeting.

DAEP and Success Academy teachers will work with students to complete any coursework uploaded online by teachers at their home campus. The disciplinary program will begin before Liberty Hill High School starts and dismisses each day, and students will not be allowed to drive themselves, Motal said.

The district will aim to have no more than 30-40 students in DAEP at a time; however, the portable building has the capacity for up to 60 DAEP students, Motal said. LHISD expects to have around 100-120 students in the Success Academy next school year with around 60-80 students at once as students graduate throughout the year.

The Success Academy will have five teachers and two paraprofessionals next school year, including a certified teacher for each subject area, while two teachers will be dedicated to the DAEP, Motal said. Both programs may share staff depending on how many students they have and will be overseen by Director of Student Success Jonathan Bever, he said.

The portable building will include the following:
  • Reception area
  • Five Success Academy classrooms
  • Four DAEP classrooms
  • Door to separate the DAEP from the Success Academy
  • Teacher break room
  • Conference room
  • Restrooms
Looking ahead

Superintendent Steven Snell discussed how DAEPs or alternative schools can become their own campuses as districts experience growth. LHISD will open its second high school in August.

“This is basically so we can get this program started,” school board President Megan Parsons said. “It's not necessarily the long-term solution.”