Trustees to vote on Pflugerville ISD boundary changes this week

Pflugerville ISD adminstration building
The PfISD board of trustees is set to vote Feb. 20 on amendments to enrollment boundaries and programs that could affect up to six schools across the district. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

The PfISD board of trustees is set to vote Feb. 20 on amendments to enrollment boundaries and programs that could affect up to six schools across the district. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

After holding a series of meetings in late January and early February, Pflugerville ISD officials are set to vote later this week on enrollment boundary changes for the 2020-21 school year.

The decision, set to take place at the PfISD board of trustees' Feb. 20 meeting, comes as the district is searching for solutions to overcrowding at Cele Middle School and Mott Elementary School, according to PfISD’s website.

As a result, the district may make amendments to enrollment boundaries and programs, which could affect up to six schools across the district. Those schools are Dearing Elementary School, Mott Elementary School, Rowe Lane Elementary School, Cele Middle School, Park Crest Middle School and Dessau Middle School.

MOTT ELEMENTARY CHANGES

According to a presentation on the proposed boundary changes on PfISD’s website, Mott Elementary could be the site of the most drastic changes next year.


The presentation outlines the relocation of three programs hosted at Mott Elementary: the school’s pre-K program, the Dual Language program and the Pegasus program, which provides on-site preschool for children of district staff members, according to PfISD’s website. If the Dual Language program were to be relocated, PfISD estimates Mott's enrollment could drop by more than 200 students, according to documents on the district’s website.

One other option outlined for Mott Elementary could close the campus to future transfers. The district could additionally cap any transfers to Mott by students from the Carmel, Sorento and Becker Farm housing developments in east Pflugerville, which would reduce student enrollment numbers at the elementary school by 150-240 students, district documents show.

Boundary changes within the district could adjust the enrollment zones for Mott Elementary, Rowe Lane Elementary and Dearing Elementary, according to PfISD documents.

District documents show two separate enrollment boundary map options, which would shuffle students from Mott Elementary to either Rowe Lane or Dearing. If chosen, those boundary changes would directly affect households in the northeasternmost edges of the district.

EASTERN ADJUSTMENTS

These boundary changes come as PfISD grapples with rapid development and growth in the district’s eastern edges.

In January, a demographer told PfISD trustees that the Mott Elementary school zone is going to add approximately 3,500 housing units over the next five years.

“The reality is the Mott zone is a big geographic area that literally [needs] multiple elementaries, multiple middle schools and another high school, still,” Templeton Demographics Vice President Bob Templeton said at a Jan. 16 meeting.

In December, PfISD broke ground on a combined campus for the district’s next middle school and elementary school. The site, which is located at the intersection of Weiss Lane and Pleasanton Parkway just south of Weiss High School, is within the current attendance zone boundaries of Mott Elementary.

At the groundbreaking event for that project, PfISD Superintendent Doug Killian said approximately half of the district’s future growth is going to occur east of SH 130.

Overall, Templeton Demographics projects the school district could grow by 3,400 students, up to 29,881 students overall, in the next handful of years. In the next ten years, Templeton said PfISD could add more than 7,000 new students, up to 33,848 overall.

In January 2019, PfISD trustees approved changing attendance boundaries for seven schools. Those schools were Copperfield Elementary School, Delco Primary School, Dessau Elementary School, Dessau Middle School, Westview Middle School, Connally High School and Weiss High School.

Of those schools, Weiss High is the only campus that lies east of SH 130. That January 2019 vote transferred 30 students to Connally High School, located just west of I-35 in North Austin.

WHEN IS THE VOTE?

The PfISD board of trustees is scheduled to take a final vote on the boundary changes at its Feb. 20 meeting. Parents and students are permitted to provide public comment related to the boundary changes ahead of the decision.

PfISD documents show that households desiring more information should contact district staff members John O’Hare or Brian Dawson at john.ohare@pfisd.net or brian.dawson@pfisd.net, respectively. More information on the boundary changes is available on the district’s website at www.pfisd.net/page/7629.
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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