Looking to get ahead of crowded schools east of SH 130, Pflugerville ISD shifts enrollment boundaries

The PfISD Board of Trustees voted Feb. 20 to change enrollment boundaries or program offerings in the 2020-21 school year for eight schools. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
The PfISD Board of Trustees voted Feb. 20 to change enrollment boundaries or program offerings in the 2020-21 school year for eight schools. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

The PfISD Board of Trustees voted Feb. 20 to change enrollment boundaries or program offerings in the 2020-21 school year for eight schools. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

One month after a demographer said Pflugerville ISD can expect to see 3,500 housing units built in the Mott Elementary School enrollment boundary, school officials acted to enrollment zones to alleviate crowding in its easternmost campuses.

“This is a common thing for fast growth districts, and it is not a fun thing,” said PfISD board of trustees President Vernagene Mott.


The PfISD board of trustees voted Feb. 20 to change enrollment boundaries or program offerings in the 2020-21 school year for Brookhollow Elementary, Mott Elementary, Riojas Elementary, Rowe Lane Elementary, Pflugerville Elementary Cele Middle School, Kelly Lane Middle School, Park Crest Middle School and Dessau Middle School.

These boundary changes will result in all of those schools—except Mott Elementary and Cele Middle School—gaining at least 30 students, according to district documents. Some schools will grow much more.

According to a presentation, Riojas Elementary will gain approximately 153 students in the 2020-21 school year, and the campus will have to add five temporary, portable classroom buildings. The same presentation showed Brookhollow Elementary could see its student body grow by as much as 150 students next school year.



At the same time, more than 100 seats would open at Cele Middle School in the 2020-21 school year, with an additional future student growth reduction of at least 65 students, according to district documents.

Over at Mott Elementary, the effects of the boundary changes are estimated to be more dramatic. PfISD plans show 312 seats will open at the district’s easternmost elementary school next year, with future growth culled by at least 150 students—and as many as 285 students.

This is much needed relief for an elementary school campus that exceeded district enrollment projections already this year. The PfISD Board of Trustees was told that Mott Elementary’s student population sits at more than 1,100 students as of Feb. 20.

“There is just a lot of density in the Mott Elementary school zone. Until we redo the whole zone with the new elementary school it is going to be an issue,” said PfISD Superintendent Doug Killian, referring to the district’s upcoming elementary school currently under construction.

CHANGES AT MOTT ELEMENTARY

A handful of boundary and program changes are set to take place to open up seats at Mott Elementary, John O’Hare, area executive director for PfISD, told trustees Feb. 20.

Mott Elementary will not accept future transfers into the campus, continuing the policy that is in place now. The only exceptions to this policy will be made for children of district employees at that campus and for students on a programmatic transfer for Special Education, according to district plans.

PfISD will cap and transfer future students, effective March 1, that move into the nearby Carmel, Sorento, Blackhawk and Vine Creek subdivisions. Those future students are being redirected to to Brookhollow Elementary, Pflugerville Elementary and Rowe Lane Elementary, district documents show.

Students enrolled in the Dual Language program at Mott Elementary are set to be relocated to Riojas Elementary, according to PfISD plans. That move alone will move 222 students to the latter campus.

Mott Elementary will further have its boundaries redrawn to relocate households to Rowe Lane Elementary, PfISD documents show.

CHANGES AT CELE MIDDLE SCHOOL

Thursday’s board meeting began with more than a handful of students and parents appealing for revisions to the proposed boundary change plans.

Families from the Bohls Place subdivision, a small housing development located at the northeast corner of Old Austin Hutto Road and East Pecan Street in Pflugerville, asked trustees to reject a proposal that would change the feeder patterns for Cele Middle School.

In the current school year, 5th grade students from the subdivision that attended Pflugerville Elementary School would then attend Cele Middle School. Under the new boundary amendment, those students will go to Park Crest Middle School.

“A lot of kids ask that you please wait [to rezone] until the new school is ready,” said Abigail, a current 6th grade student at Cele Middle School. “Please don’t move me. I love it [at Cele Middle School.] ... When I moved school last year it took me six months to make friends.”

Trustees amended the boundary changes to allow Bohls Place students currently enrolled at Cele Middle School the choice to be grandfathered into the district’s easternmost middle school for the 2020-21 school. Killian further instructed staff to make those students a priority for transfer requests in the 2021-22 school year.

With the final vote, PfISD will disallow transfers into Cele Middle School beginning next year. The district will place a cap and transfer on the Carmel, Sorento and Vine Creek subdivisions.

In addition to the boundary changes at the Bohls Place subdivision, district documents show portions of the enrollment boundary for Cele Middle School will be amended to relocate students to Dessau Middle School. A section of PfISD households south of Wells Branch Parkway previously zoned to Cele Middle School will be rezoned to Dessau Middle School beginning in the 2020-21 school year.

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By Iain Oldman

Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.


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