Despite debate that occasionally grew heated, the Round Rock ISD board of trustees approved Feb. 16 a set of controversial school boundary changes for the 2012–13 school year meant to relieve overcrowding at the high schools.
The board voted 5-2 to approve the boundary committee's recommendation for high schools and 6-1 to approve the committee's recommendation for elementary schools, with Bobby Seiferman dissenting on the high school vote and Terri Romere voting against both recommendations.
There was clear disagreement among board members about whether the boundary changes were in the best interest of district students.
Trustees Seiferman and Romere suggested the board delay taking action on high school boundary changes in order to look at the vertical alignment plan created by Erik Okerholm. The plan supports the district's current feeder patterns.
During the comments portion of the item, Okerholm said he wanted to present his findings to the board as a formal agenda item.
Several parents and community members who spoke during the comments portion of the item spoke in support of Okerholm's vertical alignment plan and asked that the board look at his numbers.
"The boundary committee is the only officially recognized group that can discuss the boundary process. How do you get all of your stakeholders at the table?" Trustee Glen Colby said. "There's no way you can do that and be fair to everyone."
Romere, as at prior meetings, said the enrollment projections the district administration presented were inaccurate and that she would not feel comfortable taking action on boundary changes without looking at the numbers again.
"We can't make everyone happy. I think we did our due diligence. I think the boundary committee did its due diligence, and I think it's shameful to say that they didn't," Trustee Diane Cox said.
According to district documents, a total of 53.63 additional staff will be needed to implement the boundary committee's recommendation for an estimated cost of $2.45 million.
The cost is due to Cedar Ridge High School adding a grade level, which results in a larger increase of teacher allocations, as well as additional staff added on at other schools where student enrollment is expected to increase.
Maps of the new boundaries can be viewed here.
The approved boundary changes include the following provisions:
Berkman Elementary School attendance area that is currently zoned for Cedar Ridge moves to Stony Point High School
The northern Wells Branch area that is currently zoned for Cedar Ridge High School moves to McNeil High School
Current Sommer Elementary School fourth grade students are allowed to stay at Sommer, and their siblings are allowed to stay at Sommer for the 2012–13 school year only
The district adopts a liberal transfer policy for Great Oaks and Brushy Creek to Elsa England Elementary School and Sommer
Current Cedar Ridge High School ninth through 11th grade students that reside in the Wells Branch and Berkman area be allowed to transfer to their respective new high schools, McNeil and Stony Point high schools, if they desire
Elsa England Elementary's boundary includes the following:
Morningside moves from Sommer Elementary
Davis Spring moves from Sommer Elementary
Pearson Place moves from Sommer Elementary
Highland Horizon moves from Deep Wood Elementary
Elsa England Elementary's new boundary causes Sommer Elementary's boundary to change so that Avery Ranch Boulevard becomes the southern boundary. Deep Wood Elementary's boundary changes so that O'Conner Drive becomes the west boundary.