The RRISD board of trustees is evaluating boundary changes that could send around 915 students to a different campus starting in the 2020-21 school year and an additional 470 students to Elementary School No. 35 when it opens in fall 2021.
"These are really tough decisions, because people love their schools," said Daniel Presley, senior chief of schools and innovation for RRISD. "But with a district that's growing this fast, we have to make some changes from time to time."
Boundary changes are under consideration to prepare for the opening of Elementary School No. 35, address campus capacity issues at three elementary schools and realign feeder patterns, Presley said.
“We all agree that something needs to be done to solve the overcrowding,” Elsa England parent Pho Pham said.
Pham detailed concerns with portable buildings, of which there are currently five on the Elsa England campus. Enrollment at the elementary school was 1,299 as of Jan. 28, nearly 400 students over its programmed capacity.
“Capacity is really a range,” Presley said. “I think it’s good for the community to understand that it depends on the programming, the facilities, the number of portables on the campus and other factors.”
Several parents raised concerns Feb. 13 about the emotional and social strain of moving a child to a new campus, the frustration of buying a home in an attendance zone only to have that change and fears that overcrowding will shift from one campus to another. In addition, a few individuals expressed frustration over what they deemed a lack of information and transparency throughout the process.
“We need you to engage with our community,” Caraway parent Krista Scheffield said. “Hold meetings [and] workshops to find real and creative solutions to address our problems.”
Presley pointed to district efforts to inform the community through an online notice on the district’s website, emails sent to campus communities that have students who may change campuses next fall and community meetings hosted at Caraway, Elsa England, Herrington and Joe Lee Johnson elementaries as well as C.D. Fulkes Middle School.
“One theme evident tonight is that our parents and guardians all love our schools,” Superintendent Steve Flores said. “There will be some tough decisions ahead. With growth comes opportunities and challenges. When we speak about boundaries, we hope to make the best decisions possible.”
The board is expected to vote on any boundary changes for the 2020-21 academic year at a Feb. 20 meeting at Round Rock High School.
The public can also email feedback on the proposed changes to boundaries at firstname.lastname@example.org.