Unexpected student growth in eastern Pflugerville leads to crowded classes in Mott Elementary

The PfISD Board of Trustees approved the installation of six portable classroom buildings at Mott Elementary, which will produce a total of 12 new classrooms.

The PfISD Board of Trustees approved the installation of six portable classroom buildings at Mott Elementary, which will produce a total of 12 new classrooms.

Facing a greater number of elementary-aged students showing up to Mott Elementary School during the first week of school than projected, PfISD approved two strategic moves Aug. 22 in an attempt to prevent crowded class sizes.

The PfISD board of trustees approved the installation of six portable classroom buildings, which will produce a total of 12 new classrooms, according to PfISD Chief Financial Officer Ed Ramos. In the vote, trustees approved the purchase of four additional portable classrooms during the 2019-20 school year, if necessary.

PfISD Superintendent Doug Killian additionally stated the district approved the hiring of seven certified educators earlier in the day.

Ramos said the district projected a growth of 90 students at Mott Elementary prior to the first week of school and placed three portable classroom buildings at the campus in preparation. As of yesterday, Ramos reported Mott Elementary had 153 students above what the district projected.

“We knew we had to scramble,” Ramos said. “That shows how quickly that east side is growing.”

District officials reported that the east side of the district is seeing campus populations higher than the numbers projected before the school year began.

“I think it was related to some of the housing,” Killian told trustees. “We’ve got a big neighborhood next to Weiss [High School] now that's just going fast.”

Four single-family housing neighborhoods—Sorento, Verona, Carmel and Vine Creek—are currently under development just east of Weiss Lane between East Pecan Street and Rowe Lane, according to the city of Pflugerville’s residential development map.

Those four neighborhoods have recently delivered a combined 1,001 units, according to city documents. Those neighborhoods are planned to deliver an additional combined 3,122 units.

David Vesling, executive director of facilities and support services for PfISD, told trustees enrollment at Mott Elementary currently sits at 1,061 students. With the installation of the six portables approved Aug. 22, the school will be able to house up to 1,250 students, Vesling said.

Killian said PfISD reached out to Mott Elementary families in response to the unexpected crowding, offering transfers to nearby Riojas and Rowe Lane elementary schools. Even those schools, Killian said, have high enrollment.

The six portable classroom buildings purchased by the district tonight are on a fast-track to be installed, Ramos told trustees. The portables will be installed over Labor Day weekend and will be available to Mott Elementary by the time students get back Sept. 3, which represents a turnaround of 12 total school days from the first day of school to the installation of the portable buildings.
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 editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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