South Austin residents grapple with future school boundary changes to reduce Baranoff Elementary overcrowding

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Correction: A quote from Jennifer Littlefield, a member of the Boundary Advisory Committee, has been removed because Slaughter Lane does not meet the criteria for a hazardous route condition and students within two miles from school would not be eligible for bus service, according to the district.

Baranoff Elementary School, one of the highest scoring schools in Austin ISD, is currently operating with a student enrollment of about 126% of the school’s permanent capacity.

Located within the Village of Shady Hollow neighborhood in Southwest Austin, parents and cars converge on the residential area each day to pick up and drop off students, creating safety concerns and traffic for local residents and students.

“We have some homeowners who have their driveways blocked,” Village of Shady Hollow resident and Baranoff parent Jennifer Kratky said. “Parked cars block wheelchair access ramps and park at curbs that are painted in red and too close to intersections that impact sightlines.”

To give enrollment relief to the Baranoff facility and create a “right-sized” campus, Austin ISD’s Boundary Advisory Committee has been working to create scenarios that would lower enrollment at the school to between 75% and 115% capacity, said Beth Wilson, the district’s executive director of planning and asset management.

Some of that relief will come when the future Southwest Elementary School is scheduled to open in the 2020-21 school year, which Wilson said will provide some relief. As AISD prepares for that new school, staff is evaluating rezoning scenarios that could help balance enrollment in the entire area, including those involving Baranoff.

The district is creating similar maps for over-crowded Cowan Elementary School, which show the school could begin to send some of its South Austin students to under enrolled Boone Elementary School in 2020-21, she said.

“We were asked by the superintendent to, as we were creating the new boundary for Southwest Elementary School, look at other overcrowding in the area to see if we can do anything to help that situation along,” she said.

Ten preliminary boundary options were presented at a BAC meeting April 1, which outlined possible neighborhoods that currently send students to Baranoff as candidates to move to nearby Kocurek Elementary School. Kocurek is currently only at 84% of its capacity. To view proposals and impacted neighborhoods, maximize the following map and toggle through the options.

Some of the proposed maps split the neighborhood of Shady Hollow, sending about 35 projected students to Kocurek while the rest of the neighborhood stays at Baranoff. Other neighborhoods including Oak Parke, Brodie Springs, Palomino Park and Wyldwood-Kellywood could send all local students to Kocurek in various scenarios. Additional scenarios could be presented in May, and a final scenario will not be presented to the district until the fall, Wilson said.

“Keeping our neighborhood together is important,” said Shady Hollow resident Jacob Youngblood, who hope to continue to be zoned to Baranoff. “When my kids go swimming [at the neighborhood pool]there are going to be kids in the neighborhood that they don’t go to school with and don’t know who they are.”

Residents living in neighborhoods that could be subject to rezoning are also concerned about student safety traveling to Kocurek along busy Slaughter and Brodie lanes, longer commutes and gaps in performance ratings between Baranoff and Kocurek.

Mixed concerns

Overcrowding has been a long-standing issue in South Austin at Baranoff, Cowan and Kiker elementaries, Wilson said.

At Baranoff, portable classrooms are used to house excess students. While individual classes are not overcrowded, facilities such as the school cafeteria, libraries and auditorium are undersized for the current enrollment, Kratky said.

However, residents who could be relocated to other schools say projections show that enrollment is dropping naturally. With Southwest Austin Elementary School opening in 2020, some said they believe the proposed boundary changes are too extreme.

“Looking at some of [the district’s numbers]a lot of the projections look like the problems solve themselves without such a large change and without taking out such a huge chunk off the Baranoff zone,” Youngblood said. “You can balance the numbers better and get close [to 115% enrollment].”

Shady Hollow, Palomino Park and Oak Parke parents—who currently take students south on Brodie Lane to Baranoff—are also worried about traffic heading north on Brodie and safety on Slaughter.

“Our children would navigate the Brodie, Slaughter intersection on a daily basis to get to and from school,” Shady Hollow parent Christy Reddish said. “That intersection is the site of numerous accidents, and some of these scenarios are suggesting kids can walk to Kocurek, which is incredibly dangerous.”

Wyldwood-Kellywood resident Colette Ford said the eight Baranoff students in her neighborhood likely would not make a meaningful difference to school enrollment. However, moving those students to Kocurek could “cause a huge disruption to the families in our neighborhood, who have attended Baranoff since [the school’s]beginnings.”

“This would force us to make a northbound left turn onto Brodie Lane without the aid of a traffic light or even a four-way stop in peak [morning]traffic,” she said.

Reddish said the biggest concern, especially for Shady Hollow residents, is keeping the neighborhood together at one elementary school.

Benefits of right-sized campuses

Wilson said the goal of rezoning is to create right-sized campuses.

“When you have overcrowding your whole day is affected, starting with safety during drop off in the morning.  Running kids through the cafeteria all day long and having portables [creates challenges],” Wilson said. “That’s not great for kids, and it puts a strain on the whole school.”

Wilson said portables take up open space that students could otherwise use for recreation, and the district’s goal is to move more students from portables into traditional classrooms. Once a school population is under 115%, the district can begin removing portables for a campus, she said.

“I always feel like many of our schools do a lot of good, even in those overcrowded conditions, but I always feel that its better to be in a school that’s right-sized,” Wilson said. “It’s safer and much easier to get through the logistics off the day which benefits our kids.”

Similarly, schools that are under-enrolled could see benefits from adding new students, Wilson said. Additional students could bring increased revenues and programs available to a school that is currently under enrolled.

Kratky said she does not know which part of the school’s current boundary should be changed, and that she supports neighborhoods that want to stay whole. But she said relief needs to be found for the school.

“Residents around the school feel very strongly we need overcrowding relief,” Kratky said. “Test scores may not necessarily reflect overcrowding but the school experience for the families and students who attend is affected.”

Moving forward

Wilson said the Boundary Advisory Committee will hold two more meetings in May to discuss proposals for Baranoff and Cowan. Upcoming meetings could introduce additional map scenarios, including those that could move Baranoff students who live in Olympic Heights and Hillcrest to other area schools as alternative options.

Over the summer, the committee with develop an official rezoning plan, which will be presented to the public for further feedback in early fall, she said. The AISD board of trustees could take action on the changes in December, she said. Updates from the district can be found on the district’s boundary change page.

Those that oppose the boundary changes have created the We Are Baranoff website, and Reddish has created the facebook page Keep our Kids at Baranoff.

The district is currently evaluating all of its zoning maps to better utilize district facilities and to “reimagine” the district. Wilson said the decisions in Southwest Austin related to the new elementary school and the surrounding schools is a process that is independent from the changes planned in the rest of the district.

“It’s unfortunate, but when [looking at changing boundaries]someone’s not going to be happy about the situation, either because they got to move or because they didn’t get to move [to a new school],” Wilson said. “We’re hoping that this process doesn’t string on forever so people can make decisions and people know what to expect.”

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  1. I’ve lived in shady hollow for decades and I really hope this rezoning goes through. Too many children at one school makes it harder for others to learn. I believe the residents of oak parke and Brodie springs will benefit from this change.

  2. The school needs this reduction in students. My children shouldn’t have to suffer through overcrowded classrooms and portables while another school is at 75% enrollment. The article doesn’t mention that because of the NIMBY shady hollow parents complaining there is a new proposal that would move Olympic Heights out of a Baranoff, a community that is CLOSER to the school than most of these other neighborhoods. There is a lot of talk from these other communities about the type of education at Kocurek, mainly they feel that it is bad quality. Part of the reason for this is that the school serves a less affluent area than Baranoff.

    • Many of the parents simply don’t want their children going to the same school as people that are less well off. Shady Hollow has no issue telling Olympic Heights, another less affluent area, that THEY can be rezoned. They claim they want “One Community” but in the same breath complain about being annexed by Austin and having their property taxes go up. Hey, if you want to be part of the community then pay your fair share. I have seen numerous residents on next door using money as a way to “threaten” the rezoning.

      • One parent from Brodie Springs basically said that if they get rezoned all the parents and their Platinum sponsorship are leaving with them. Who cares? Your kids will leave the school in grade 5 anyway. Things need to change and all the people in Shady Hollow would rather hide behind their “One Community” montra instead of just saying what they want to say, which is fueled with subtle racism/elitism. They care more about protecting their property values than their own kid’s education.

        • Sandra in brodie springs

          Wow- that is a lot of speculation.

          I am concerned about my child’s education. We moved so that we could have our kids in Baranoff because it is a well performing school.
          As far as your perspective on us pulling money and time from Baranoff- yeah some of that will happen. For example my husband volunteered every Tuesday in the lunchroom to help the school out, as well as 2 other neighbors. They probably won’t come out to volunteer at a school their kid doesn’t go to. Another of our residents puts so much time and work into the P.T.A- I’m guessing she may not continue in the Baranoff PTA if her kids are moved.
          As far as money yes we donate a lot of money to ALL our local schools-but we give a little more to the one our kids are attending- because it helps with programs that will make them and their fellow students successful.

          I won’t even mention how many others help in the classroom when asked.
          I guess you are right we are jerks. 😉

          I have gone in to many local schools to give lectures when asked, and work with a few local high schools with their internship programs.

          • That’s great Sandra. Volunteers rock but let’s be honest, you would’ve stopped that when your kid graduated. So really, what is a couple more years without you? Your money and volunteering doesn’t make the class size go down, which is the real goal here.

          • Sandra’s point is about what makes a community whole. All the neighborhoods in the Baranoff community make Baranoff what it is, and that is a very high-performing school (despite the overcrowding). Sandra doesn’t have one child. Her children will be in the elementary system for just under 9 years, just like other people with more than one young child. Others in the Baranoff community are local business owners too, and they lend support no matter what. I think people who CAN help, have a responsibility to help. I don’t see the benefits of ripping up that dynamic. And to what end? To get from 126% to 115? And why isn’t declining enrollment a part of the conversation?

    • Hi there – To clarify, It was requested by a BAC member at the 11 APR meeting to see what it would look like to put OH at Menchaca. You can speak to an HOA member about this to confirm as there is an OH homeowner on the BAC. That is where the idea of the map came about not from any specific neighborhood.

      • Hey Brodie springs resident here. You guys are doing a lot of speculating about what is we are doing. Most of it is inaccurate.

        If you would like my perspective, ask. I’m one of the first residents that was on top of this change. I have been involved since January.

        • Great! My first question is why are residents of Brodie Springs posting online (facebook, nextdoor, etc) vague threats of pulling funds from the schools? Why are they saying they would rather send their kids to a private school than go to a school in a lower income area? You can preach all you want but really Brodie Springs is literally BS. You don’t really care that your kid is in an overcrowded classroom? In a portable? No, your first thought is about the money. The money you’ll have to spend to keep your kid away from less affluent people and the money your house will lose in value.

          • DONT POST PRIVATE INFO

            Someone please delete the poster that put someone’s private address on here. What a pathetic human.

          • Robert, I’ve read your comments and concluded that trying to have a discussion with you isn’t worth anyone’s time. You have it all figured out.

          • It’s actually public information available on the Travis County Appraisal District website. Just go there type in a name and look at the address.

            If you wish to not be publicly identified in this thread, don’t post incendiary comments.

          • Robert Katz is correct. That’s the elephant in the room no one wants to admit to because then they’d be forced to admit something about themselves that isn’t something to be proud of.

    • Robert Amoroso

      Robert–why the need to inject stereotypes about “affluence? Neighborhoods on the chopping block (which BTW include a diverse spectrum of income levels) only want a quality education for their kids, as presumably you would want for your own. The performance of the school is what it’s all about. A realistic scenario for kids moving from Baranoff to Kocurek: 18 of your classmates are struggling, underperforming or ill-prepared (due to a variety of troubling economic disadvantages). But you and a handful of kids from Baranoff are much better prepared to excel. Who do you think the teachers (regardless of how good they are!) are going to teach to? They teach at a level that serves the majority.

      I know Kocurek has the potential to improve, but I’m not willing to make my kids the guinea pigs until Kocurek performance is closer to that of Baranoff’s. Then I’m all in. I value education too much—and I shouldn’t have to send them to a charter school just to experience a respectable educational standard.

  3. I live in Olympic Heights and think it is atrocious what the residents of Shady Hollow, Oak Parke, and Brodie Springs are doing to us. We were not part of this until they started to complain. Would they be as loud if the school their kids were being moved to was better than Baranoff? Would they support us if we were the ones originally being moved? I doubt it.

    • Karen Johanssen

      This isn’t about that. If your HOA can manage to actually get a group of people together to fight it i am sure you would. Worry about your own HOA which has a ton of problems outside of the school zone. I dont think it is safe for our children to be around that type of atmoshpere.

    • The goal is to align vertical tracking. None of Olympic heights goes to Baily and Bowie. It’s a logical solution just as much as you think that logically we should all move. No one is “doing” anything to anyone.

      • Mary Tijerina

        Well, that’s because our little neighborhood was rezoned already.I bought my house when it was zoned to Bowie. One year later it was rezoned to a different vertical track. I have seen the neighborhood be moved and split twice. I know we have to rezone to make them more equitable when it comes to space- but the lines drawn ALWAYS come down to home values. Rezoning isn’t something we do often. We have an opportunity to create balance and real opportunities for all. I would love to see us come together to do what’s best for ALL children.

  4. Karen Johanssen

    I hope the district strikes this down. The school is overcrowed becasue people in HIllcrest and Olympic Heights keep falsifying records. They are all “living with granma” and now the school is over crowded. I don’t think my kid should have to go to a school with bad teachers and students with lower standards because people that shouldnt be going to Baranoff in the first place lie to get in.

      • Karen Johanssen

        If it is such a great school then maybe you can send your kids there. But I bet you wouldn’ want to send them their either!

        • Karen, where are you getting this information from? I do send my child to Kocurek. There are no bad teachers. We have excellent staff and faculty. We’ve been at Kocurek since my child was in kindergarten. If you really feel that way, I’m beginning to think that Kocurek is much better off without y’all.

    • Terry Brundage

      Karen, you should get your facts straight before you comment. Olympic Heights is zoned for Baranoff, so they have no need to “lie” about living with Grandma as you suggest. They actually are supposed to go there. And Hillcrest is perfectly happy at Menchaca and has nothing to do with Baranoff’s overcrowding situation.

      Please check your own Facebook page, “Keep our Kids at Baranoff”, where it is stated that there are “less than ten students who may or may not be falsifying residences”.

      Your comment is not only false, but rude. I understand you do not want to uproot your child, as I do not either. But please base your arguments in facts next time.

    • I live in Hillcrest and love being zoned to Menchaca! There is diversity, passionate teaching, and a caring community. “Lower standards?” We are talking about children!

  5. I keep seeing lots of realtors posting against this change. Seems they want to keep those home values up as high as they can to maximize those commissions. If a house gets rezoned it could take a hefty hit to the sales price.

  6. No sympathy. I live in one of the oldest neighborhoods in SW Austin, we now have to pass 6 elementary schools that our closer than the one we’re now at, because of newer neighborhood growth has someone trumped our location and neighborhood age. Our kids have a pickup time at 6AM for their bus for elementary school. Get over it, don’t move somewhere with such rampant growth if you want stability. Your mortgage doesn’t entitle you to a specific school.

    • Karen Johanssen

      Just because you were too weak with your HOA to fight it doesn’t mean we need to stand by and watch it happen to us. I bet your home value went down as well as the quality of your kids education with the change. It isn’t a good thing.

      • I have no HOA, it was HOA’s and massive developments that got their way over older neighborhoods like mine. But yours or my mortgage or home value isn’t an entitlement that should be tied to a specific school. That’s flat out absurd and a cause of the problems I have to deal with. You and these others protesting this are some of the most hypocritical, entitled, bigots I’ve seen. I was upset because we have to get up at 5AM and our elementary school is 9 miles away when there are 5 within 4 miles of us. You’re mad because you don’t want your kids to mix with the poor kids.

      • The series of posts here is truly unbelievable. A few themes emerged from the numerous comments posted so far. I shared my favorites below.

        We were here first. No we were here first. No we were here first! Who cares who was here first? It’s not about being first it’s about being fair and just.

        And then the good ole racist comments had to begin. This isn’t about race,

        Just when it couldn’t get any better the affluence and privileged comments started. This isn’t about income.

        This is about a change that isn’t necessary and won’t make one bit of difference to the students at Baranoff. Oh except those students at Baranoff that have to uproot and relocate to another school.

        This is about community. What the hell happened to being good neighbors and helping each other? In many ways schools help define neighborhoods. Schools become a common ground for the families that attend. Families work together to make the school a greater experience for all the students. How would you feel if it were your children being relocated? Think about that for a minute. All Baranoff families should be standing in support of the other Baranoff families.

        It’s truly disappointing to see so many selfish and self serving comments on this post. I can’t believe how thoughtless so many people have become. Lets try something new for a change. Instead of standing individually to promote self interests let’s try standing together to promote loyalty, compassion, honor, and community. That’s the greatest gift we could give to every child at Baranoff!

  7. I don’t care what it takes to keep our kids at Baranoff, even if that means sending Oak Parke and Brodie Springs to a different school I could not care less as long as Shady Hollow gets to stay.

  8. I don’t want my kids going to a school full of drugs, gangs, and violence. Those type of people all live in that area and the last thing we need in Shady Hollow is that type of crowd influencing our children.

    • Terry Brundage

      You are talking about an elementary school, right? I guess I didn’t realize the drug cartels had started recruiting third graders. We obviously have much bigger problems to figure out!

  9. They have said over and over that Baranoff is not overcrowded. I don’t understand why they are pushing so hard for the rezone other to get our kids to bring up the school score of Kocurek. We shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of bringing that school up to an acceptable level. Let them figure it out on their own.

  10. Gotta love watching the ‘affluent’ squirm. So incredibly intolerant. Must be friends with Lori Laughlin, or at least one of her Twitter followers.

    • Jack Wilkerson

      The blatant racism in this thread is morbidly hilarious. Can’t be seen with the brown children… Too “weak with the HOA”…

      • This is pretty bad. I am amazed that this is how those parents act. Glad to see the truth coming out, at least I know which community really hates “The Poors.”

      • Hey Jack, “Can’t be seen with the brown children…” nobody said this, talk about jumping to your own conclusion. Fake news. Sad.

  11. Wow- I am disgusted by a few of these posts.
    Blatant racism…. these kids may be getting a great education at Baranoff but the education these parents are giving their kids at home frightens me… elitism, racism….
    plus, it’s Shady Hollow…. not even close to some of the real affluent neighborhoods in Austin.

    • Karen Johanssen

      Oh please, it is obvious you don’t live in Shady Hollow, guess you couldn’t afford the neighborhood. Feel free to send your kids to the school with low test scores. Becasue I bet you wont so why should we.

      • Karen Karen Karen (deep breath…) you cant even spell or use grammar properly, so you’re not exactly in a position to discuss test scores. Also, I bet you haven’t had a humble beginning either.

      • There are a number of places in Austin where I could afford to live. I actively choose for my children to live with diversity. Karen, do you work to afford your home?

      • You are quite wrong about the assumption of where I live. In addition, higher test scores don’t always mean a better education. Speaking of *better* education, it’s unfortunate you didn’t receive one. You might want to read up on some basic grammar and punctuation rules. Feel free to keep posting. 😃

  12. I was truly caught off guard by the level of judgement and hostility in some (not all) of these posts. Our children don’t just learn at school, they learn by watching us as we handle ourselves in the face of adversity and even disappointment. I know the tone in some of these comments does not reflect the entire community, so I am truly hopeful that the majority of parents are using this opportunity to show their children how to keep an open mind and continuously research all aspects of a situation when they are forming an opinion and fighting for a cause. When this is all over, some of our kids will be rezoned. They are kids, new things can be scary, especially when the adults in your life are distressed. Let’s ease the transition for them by setting a good example, remaining optimistic, and using the passion we all clearly have to not just make the best of a situation…but to make that situation the best. Academics are important, and nobody wants their kids to be uprooted from a school where they are thriving, but these are the lessons that will impact the rest of their lives.

    • I assure you no one worried about their kids being rezoned to a low performing school cares about going to school with brown and black kids. My street alone in Brodie Springs has Chinese, Indian, Black, Middle East, and 3 Mexican households. I myself am Mexican and speak Spanish fluently and love my heritage. I am sure the teachers at Kocurek are wonderful, but when your student population academically struggles despite all the wonderful efforts of teachers, we understand a teacher is not a miracle worker. If my student is the 1-2 students in a classroom of 20 low performing kids, what level do you think the teacher must direct and gear the curriculum.

      • Robert Amoroso

        Well said, Jessica. This stuff about race is just an ignorant pollution tactic. I’ve never lived in a more diverse neighborhood than Brodie Springs!

      • I guess I shouldn’t be amazed anymore at how quickly this comments-section became a race to the bottom. I’m a new Brodie Springs resident. I moved here with my multiracial family, just like Jessica Wilson (except the races are different), because of the schools. In the nearly two years I’ve lived here I can honestly say I haven’t faced any form of racism and I can’t imagine any of the residents here tolerating that. I don’t see any elitist mentality here and I’d be surprised and ashamed if even one person here didn’t want to be rezoned to a school based on income disparity. That elitism simply doesn’t exist. The house I bought in Brodie Springs is actually cheaper than the ones I looked at in Shady Hollow. Of the friends I’ve made here in Brodie Springs I would estimate that 2/3 of them include racial minorities of some kind. Seriously; good luck finding an all-white, straight household in Brodie Springs. We are all different colors and beliefs and are tolerant of those different than we are because everyone is different than we are; probably just like most people in your community. This comes down to just a few issues:
        1) no parent wants to see their child go from a school commonly rated 9/10 to a 4/10 school. When this change was being proposed I did the research and saw a 15 point average difference in standardized testing scores across all subjects between Baranoff and Kocurek.
        2) we paid a premium to move here so our children could go to school at the “3 B’s”. These schools r rated 8/10, 9/10 and 10/10. I’m sure many of you with children moved here for the exact same consideration. So yes, I admit that I hate the fact that we are in danger of possibly missing out on that opportunity due to the money that we invested to live here.

        Somehow this immediately descended into fact-less name-calling, moral superiority and a lifeboat mentality. I’d invite any one or all of the people who think this neighborhood is made of elitist racists to come to my house and stop by. I’ll probably invite you in and probably offer you too many drinks no matter what color you are, what income bracket you are in, or how you choose to identify yourself. Who knows? Our kids may already be friends.

        We are you. You are us. We love our school.

        Satch (if you were at the carnival about 10 days ago I was the big brown dude who volunteered at the climbing wall)

        • Thank you Satch for your well put together comment. As a child that grew up in Shady Hollow and now a resident of Brodie Springs I have never felt that the two communities were different. I have always felt as one.
          I’m saddened to learn that this is truly how people view us. We are such a close neighborhood with genuine affection for each other’s families and we are the exact opposite of what people are saying our neighborhood is like. The kindest, coolest, most generous people I know live here. I have friends who’s families live in VOSH, SH, and Olympic Heights and I would never wish for their children to be uprooted from a school they love.

          Instead of ripping each other apart we should be holding AISD accountable for what they are going to do to make Kocurek a better school, and what they are going to do to keep the Baranoff community together. They have no real plan of action at all. They have no real answers.

          – Thanks. From another brown person in Brodie Springs.

          • I think they plan on improving Kocurek by moving our children there hoping to bump it up a little. Why work harder when you can just “import” higher level students from nearby?

      • Jessica, I’m a little confused and thinking you meant to start a new comment instead of responding to mine? But I’ll reply just in case.

        I’m not sure why you would have responded with a post about race, when my comment didn’t mention that at all. I was referring to the tone and manner in which I’ve seen adults handle this matter. In contrast, last night on the Keep Our Kids at Baranoff Facebook group there was a commendable, civil exchange between an Oak Parke parent and a member of the Kocurek PTA. I wish more people were communicating like that.

        I feel like I should add that I grew up as a middle class kid, in a nice neighborhood right outside of a major city. In 2nd grade I was moved from one of the “best” elementary schools in the county (that I LOVED), to one of the “worst”. My new school was surrounded by low income housing, a high percentage of the students were below the poverty level, diversity is the norm in that county so naturally there were a lot of students learning english, test scores were not ideal, classes were often over 30 students, and several classrooms were outside in trailers. Honestly, I was an adult before any of that sunk in. As a shy nerdy kid, all I cared about was that I had to make all new friends and learn a new environment…and the playground wasn’t as nice (that was a HUGE issue for me at the time). My parents never openly disparaged the school, they didn’t give me any reason to think my new school was a bad situation, so it never occurred to me. My mom got involved in the PTA and kept a close relationship with my teachers, they supported and helped the families who were less fortunate, and you know what…I lived, and more than that, I excelled. I went to college, earned scholarships, got my degree and have had a successful life (work and personal). Reports and statistics don’t always provide reliable expectations for what your experience will be in any school.

        The point of my original post was that I would just like the dialogue on this issue to be less defensive and more open minded. When it’s all over, we are still neighbors, and it’s the families that make a school what it is. If all the families that get rezoned to Kocurek (mine included) continue to volunteer, I’m sure we can make help make that school the into an environment we are happy with (honestly, it doesn’t sound that bad). And if parents continue to love and guide their children (which they obviously will), and stay involved in their lives and education, the kids will be more than fine. If you can, I’d really encourage you to check out that post I mentioned in the Baranoff group. I found it really inspiring. Maybe it will help make more sense of my comment.

  13. Sandra in Brodie springs

    The concern with moving from Baranoff to Kocurek is that Kocurek is lower performing. So if 18 kids are low performing and 2 of the Baranoff kids that are higher performing are in a class- are they teaching to the kids capable of higher levels or the 18 that are underperforming? That’s the issue. If you told me tests scores were equal and performance of both schools were equal- then sure let’s move. But they are not equally performing schools. Any parent wants the best chance for success- that’s what we are afraid of losing if we are forced to move schools from Baranoff to Kocurek.
    All we have to compare at this point are performance numbers.
    I will say the few Kocurek parents I have heard from have been so wonderful, as opposed to some others on this thread that have been just hateful.

    • Sandra, I have some bad news. Your kids aren’t as smart as you think they are. When you were in elementary school did you feel like the teacher was teaching to you?

  14. I have always thought the kids in my neighborhood of Brodie Springs were the leaders at Baranoff. They always got the best grades. I don’t know a single student on my street that isn’t the top of their class. I really think this is a move by AISD to get some of the higher achieving children from Brodie Springs and Oak Parke over to Kocurek to help bring up their test scores. This pain should not be put on me and my neighbors.

    • You are really funny. This is a super productive comment. Can’t wait to hang out at our next super elitist (don’t forget racist) neighborhood party.

  15. Oak Parke should not even be considered for rezoning. We were here when the school was new and Slaughter is a dangerous street. I don’t want my kids walking by shady apartment buildings and homeless people to go to school. They don’t deal with it in our neighborhood so why should they have to deal with it at all?

  16. Brianna Hopkins

    Shady Hollow is the only reason any of these neighborhoods exist to begin with. We were first and we established the beautiful area down south. Our children are the ones keeping Baranoff afloat. The overcrowding is mainly do to newer developments with cheap housing and families with tons of kids. It isn’t fair that we need to change schools because someone is renting a room for $500 a month with 3 kids in VOSH.

    • Actually, Palomino Park by Slaughter is the oldest in the area – by a couple years. But, you are correct in that a large chunk of Shady Hollow was built 40+ yrs ago. I don’t think it’s fair to say that we keep Baranoff afloat. There are plenty of families from surrounding neighborhoods that do more than their fair share. Generalizations like these that are toxic to communities as a whole.

  17. Bear Creek can’t wait for this rezone, I hope all of Shady Hollow goes along with Oak Parke and Brodie Springs. Just means less traffic for me in the morning and a few of you need to be humbled anyway. Maybe when your kid sees what other kids have in their lives they will be better people than all of you.

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Nicholas Cicale
Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.
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