New campuses shift PfISD boundary lines

Drawing the lines


Update: The maps published on page 21 of our February issue contained errors. These maps show the new boundaries.


Weiss High School and Mott Elementary School are slated to open in the fall, and to populate the new schools and ease overcrowding in existing schools, the Pflugerville ISD board of trustees adopted new school boundaries at a Jan. 19 meeting.


Susannah Russell, associate superintendent of secondary education for PfISD, presented recommendations to the board, collected through a series of seven public meetings in December and January.


The board unanimously voted to adopt the proposed boundary changes, along with the recommendations, with two exceptions—one regarding the grandfathering of freshmen participating in UIL sports or fine arts at the varsity level, and the other addressing transportation for those students.


The excluded recommendations stated that current freshmen participating in UIL athletics or fine arts at the varsity level would be allowed to complete their high school education at Hendrickson High School, since Weiss will not offer varsity-level athletics or fine arts when it opens.


Confusion ensued after the Jan. 19 vote, as some trustees believed further discussion and a subsequent vote on the exclusions would immediately follow, and other trustees thought the vote was final. After a brief break to clarify procedure, the exceptions were further discussed in open session and voted on, resulting in a 3-3 split, causing the motion to fail.


Dissatisfied with the outcome, trustee Rob Reyes encouraged the board to discuss the varsity UIL issue at a later meeting, reminding them that varsity-level participation is an accomplishment.


“Students in those programs have earned their spots in those programs,” Reyes said.


The vote means all current Hendrickson students slated to attend Weiss in the fall must attend Weiss.



PARENT CONCERNS AT WEISS


Weiss will open with only rising ninth- and 10th-grade students, adding 11th and 12th graders over the next two academic years.


The public meetings brought forth comment from parents regarding the drawing of boundary lines.


"I just don't like how they did the whole boundary thing," said Charles Young, parent of a Cele Middle School student. "Its completely random in certain spots."


Russell stated that public feedback regarding the boundary lines were considered in the recommendations when finalizing recommendations to the board.


Parents also expressed concern that special programs such as Advancement Via Individual Determination will not be available to students at Weiss, but PfISD has confirmed that it will be.


“We plan on meeting their needs with a great AVID program,” Weiss principal Paula Gamble said. “We have hired a women’s athletic coordinator who is also an experienced AVID coordinator and recruiter."



Other changes


The Cele attendance zone, a small portion of Dessau Middle School and the Bohls Place neighborhood—previously zoned for Hendrickson—are now zoned for Weiss.


The Bohls Place neighborhood is also rezoned for Cele, but students currently attending Park Crest Middle School can remain there through eighth grade.


Portions of Riojas and Rowe Lane elementary schools were rezoned to Mott. Students in the Parks at Blackhawk Phase 3 are within walking distance and will remain zoned for Rowe Lane. And elementary students living in the Rosemont Apartments are rezoned to nearby Timmerman Elementary School.


No transfers will be allowed to Hendrickson High School, Kelly Lane Middle School, Riojas Elementary School, Rowe Lane Elementary School and Highland Park Elementary School.


Current nonenrolled siblings of Spanish immersion students who are zoned to Mott will not be automatically eligible for the program, but they may be eligible for the lottery for the two-way dual-language program offered at Mott.