Maps: Here are the 13 proposals to redraw Southwest Austin elementary school boundaries

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Austin ISD’s Boundary Advisory Committee at a meeting May 7 introduced three new plans to redraw boundaries for elementary schools in Southwest Austin, bringing the total number of plans being evaluated by the committee to 13.

Plans are being developed to create boundaries for the new Southwest Austin Elementary School, which will open to students for the 2020-21 school year, and to balance enrollment across the Southwest Austin portion of the district. Currently, Baranoff, Kiker, Cowan and, to a lesser extent, Mills elementaries are overcrowded, while Kocurek and Boone elementaries are considered underutilized.

The following three maps break down the current boundary proposals for seven Southwest Austin schools. Expand a map or open it in a new tab to turn layers on and off, which will toggle between the plans being proposed. Click a boundary to compare current campus utilization with what the projected utilization would be in 10 years if that specific plan were approved.

Baranoff, Kocurek and Menchaca plans

Kiker, Mills and the new Southwest Austin Elementary School plans

Boone and Cowan plans

At the May 7 meeting, the committee received an updated timeline in which it will have to make a selection. Originally scheduled to gather community feedback at an open house in early fall and to present to the AISD board of trustees in November, the committee will now hold two open houses over the summer and present findings in August.

The change comes after district staff requested the boundary changes be wrapped into the district’s plan to “reimagine” its use of current facilities, including the consolidating schools.

The committee also established criteria it would use to select a final plan. According to district documents, committee members will rate plans based on three-year enrollment projections, walkability on safe routes to a campus, and a plan’s handling of major roadways and neighborhood boundaries.

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COMMENT
  1. This is getting ridiculous. I was at the last meeting and all the parents of Brodie Springs, Oak Parke, and Shady Hollow want to do is make life harder for everyone else. They would rather move us away from a school we can walk to to one that is MILES away. It is crazy! Typical of all these uppity HOAs, just trying to throw us poor folk to the wolves. Newsflash, all your money and loud voices and lame websites wont save you from this. Might as well start looking at private schools now so your little ones don’t need to go to school with kids that live in houses under 2000 sq ft.

  2. I can’t wait for this to go into effect. My child has to sit in a hot portable because it is so overcrowded. Time to move some of the people that live the furthest away to a different school. Really sick about reading their whining on next door. Nothing but blatant racism and elitism. They complain about how awful Kocurek is and how they don’t want to be annexed and how they can’t get google fiber, it is one thing after another with this group. Whine whine whine.

    • FYI, the portables will still be here and have classes in them. That won’t change with the new boundaries

  3. This is typical of big city government. Kocurek is struggling so they need our kids to help pick up their slack. Why not get better teachers? No, that is too easy. Better uproot all these families to help get those test scores up. My kids have been at the top of their class for years and the last thing they need is a bunch of boat anchors holding them back.

      • SUch lies. My kids go there and you are horribly wrong on BOTH comments. And for the record Kocurek does not NEED your kids. Your arrogance and elitism isn’t welcome.

  4. Karen Johanssen

    I cant believe we are still talking about this. OK have it your way then and make the school smaller. but it should be based on grades not location. I can bet that the top of every class comes from either SH, brodie springs, or oak parke. Maybe all the kids in Olympic heights and village of shady hollow can fight it out for the bottom 10% that get to stay. Kocurek is already a lost cause why make our kids go through that? My house is worth more than anything in olympic heights becasue we have the best school and smartest kids. Make them deal with it.

    • Wow Karen! Way to be an excellent role model of the kids of Baranoff! Where you live and what you make do not equal the amount of intelligence you are given in life. Obviously, your particular location has created a lack of common sense and common courtesy.

    • Karen, how about you provide some statistics to back that claim up. My daughter has straight As, almost a perfect score on STAAR last year, and is the top of her class…in spite of living in the villages of shady hollow. Weird right?

      • What’s even crazier is that I went graduated from Akins (gasp!) and then went on to graduate from an Ivy League university. Impossible! And I’m brown too! I don’t believe it!

    • It’s clear that the kids of Kocurek Elementary have more character than you’ll ever have. It’s just too bad those kids haven’t had the opportunity to pass some of that class on to your kids. If all goes well, it looks like they will.

      • It’s Austin, home values will barely be effected and will likely continue to climb. There is nothing wrong with Kocurek.

  5. I am excited to see all the parents start posting about how their neighbor is (insert different race) so it isn’t about being racist not wanting to go to Kocurek. Shady Hollow is pretty shady.

  6. Shady Hollow isn’t what it used to be. The crime is going up, there are always police. Just the other day they made an arrest of a young fellow carrying a BB gun through the neighborhood. There are people parking trailers on their front yards, septic tanks leaking. The HOA is falling apart and the people don’t seem to care. My neighbor’s grass is 2 feet tall. People leave trash in their yards. It is a disgusting place and I feel like this is the final nail in the coffin. Once the school changes the property value will go down and even worse people will move in.

    • Probably time for you to go then. Maybe you should offer your neighbor help if they got behind on mowing their lawn instead of complaining about it with a fake name on a public forum. You sound like a real peach “Clark”. If you are any indication of “what it used to be” I think Shady Hollow is better off without ya. Peace out.

      • Our HOA has rules we all agreed to when we moved in. Sounds like you would rather live in squalor. People like you are ruining shady hollow and I hope we get annexed so people like you are priced out in the future.

        • Jesus… “people like you are priced out in the future”…

          “People like him” who won’t take your BS are exactly who I want in my neighborhood.

  7. Ain’t nobody from the west side of Brodie walking to school. Ain’t nobody Brodie Springs or Palomino Park either due to distance. Y’all need to give up that straw man.

  8. These comments are gross. I can understand needing a rezone. What I don’t get and think is just silly is taking just 4 streets of children from their neighborhood (SH) and sending them to a different school. Take the whole neighborhood or don’t take it at all. The Boundary Committee was not thinking straight when they proposed that idea.

  9. Just a suggestion but y’all should disable comments for this topic. It’s not contributing anything positive at this point.

  10. Karen Johansson is not in the Shady Hollow Directory and does not live in Shady Hollow. Whomever this person is, it’s incredibly obvious he/she is just trying to incite people and smear Shady Hollow in the process. Don’t give ‘Karen’ the satisfaction of responding, it’s what this person is hoping for. In fact, there are several more commenters who are doing the same thing to a lesser extent. Ghost them all.

    • CounterTroll Squad

      Nice try. These are your neighbors and friends. It is obvious from the posts on facebook/next door/etc that this is how most of you think. Sounds like Shady Hollow is pretty spooky with all these “ghosts.”

      • I agree. Based on social media, the current Baranoff crew seem to be filled with people just like Karen. As much as they can all trash Kocurek and cry that they do not want to go there….I can say we do not need or want you there either. Kourek is a wonderful school with a warm and welcoming environment. THe blow hard, elitism is not a feature we would soon welcome. Why in the world would we want parents at our school how are looking down on our kids? If they are all too dumb to realize Kocurek is NOT what they claim it is and continue to talk so ill of us I prefer them stay in their elite, privileged neighborhood and stay out of ours.

  11. I second CounterTroll Squad and I live in Shady Hollow. First of all, we’re talking about public school. No one is “affluent”. If you are affluent, you go to private school. If you’re middle class, you go to public school. Second, just admit you bought a house so your kids could go to a school with people like you. I do. That’s why I bought this house. So f**k off with all this nonsense about walk ability and whatnot, bigots.

  12. Love seeing all the shady hollow people partying about how this is all trolls and fake accounts, then go into their private Facebook groups and next door to post the same stuff. Funny how you’re ok saying it internally but don’t want to say it publicly.

    • And some of the same trash talking has occurred in a variety of social media including facebook group. While most of the Baranoff crew may be nice and friendly it is safe to say that there are some extremely entitled, privileged, elitist attitudes from that neighborhood. What a trait to teach children. I promise you, there are things that BOTH schools have to offer that the other does not.

        • Yes, that is the one I’m talking about. If there are private, snarky groups I’m not aware of them and am not interested in them. I realize I’m trying to share accurate information with people who adamantly don’t want it because they hate our neighborhoods for whatever reason, but being opposed to the way the re-zoning is being handled or decided does not make a person anti-Kocurek or “better than” the Kocurek community. Many of us have said we see a lot of good in Kocurek and will give it a fair chance. I have an open and accepting mind. We just don’t want our neighborhood cut in half in a rush without due diligence and informed decision-making. But why am I wasting my breath? This isn’t exciting; it’s not what y’all want to hear.

  13. I just hope readers will understand that many of these comments do not represent how the majority of folks that live in the Shady Hollow area feel about one another. Our kids have gone to school together, they’ve been in activities together, they’ve played at the park. Residents have come together time and time again to support one another when there is a family in need. The people saying hateful & slanderous things about their neighbors, fellow Austinites & fellow human beings are people that I have yet to meet in this community. I’ve lived in South ATX for almost 20 years, and my experience has been that we are fortunate to be surrounded by many caring individuals that give back to their community in many different ways. I don’t know any of these “elitist & racist” people. And making assumptions about people you don’t know based on what you perceive their home to be worth or what their income might be is wrong just like making assumptions about anyone based on such superficial criteria. Please remember we were all (or most of us) friends before they started drawing these stupid maps! Most parents do not want to be rezoned from Baranoff because they LOVE the school. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It has nothing to do with anyone thinking they are better than anyone else or any more deserving of not being rezoned. I hope we continue to see respect & tolerance from the majority as this process continues. There are far more people in our community that support that agenda vs. the toxic vitriol. Peace & love.

    • "Too Shady" Hollow

      This person is a realtor and makes a living off of selling homes in this area. The last thing they want is the home values to go down because of the rezone to a different school. This whole thing has and will always be about money.

      • There may be a small group of people who are mostly concerned about a change in home value. To this point, South/southwest Austin is thriving, regardless of the school zone. All home values have been rising and and will continue to trend up. Kocurek has been improving and will continue to improve. The majority of us, including the realtor you mentioned, are not motivated by money. We are holding the district accountable with legitimate questions and concerns regarding some of these proposals. You can assume what you will about our motivations and continue to make passive aggressive comments on this forum. Or you could choose to be a good neighbor and give us the benefit of doubt. Up to you.

        • “Legitimate questions and concerns”…right. Like going on and on about bikeability and walkability to Kocurek when you don’t even do that now going to Baranoff. It’s elementary school. Kids will make new friends. And it’s only for a few years. School is supposed to be about learning anyway, not socializing.

          • Hi Sure Jan,

            I just have a questions for you if you’d be so kind as to respond:

            Do you have a child (children) that currently attend Baranoff? And if so; is your neighborhood one that is currently on the “chopping block” with the proposed BAC rezoning maps?

          • There are some plans that have kids walking to Kocurek that were previously riding the bus to Baranoff. Before you make assumptions about safety, go walk to Kocurek along Brodie and Slaughter during rush hour and get back to me on whether or not you would be comfortable with your little kids walking this same route. The. We can have a discussion about valid concerns, thanks.

          • Wow you are out in full force! Good for you though protecting your income stream. Noticed you no longer sponsor the driveway at Baranoff, why not? Don’t you support these schools? Weren’t you kicked off next door for not even living in this area? Shouldn’t you be at an open house right now trying to keep those home values up?

      • Good morning “Too Shady” Hollow,

        Do you live in the Shady Hollow area?

        I’m just wondering if we’ve met, because it seems like you’ve predetermined that all I care about is “money.” So just in case we don’t know each other personally (which is the way I prefer to make judgements of character) I’d like to tell you that I agree with your assumption that I don’t want home values to go down. And if you’re a homeowner, I hope you feel the same way, too – it’s most likely the largest investment any person will make in their entire life. I am involved in this process because I care about my community. I’m involved in this process because I don’t want schools rezoned arbitrarily – and without due diligence & feedback from AISD taxpayers & homeowners whose children attend these schools.

  14. Hi “Yogi Bara,”

    I don’t understand why you are so angry? The circle drive at Baranoff is a an annual silent auction item at the Baranoff Spring Carnival that goes to the highest bidder. Although we weren’t the highest bidder on this item last year, I’m glad it actually sold for more than we bid because that means more revenue for Baranoff PTA – which is utilized to fund many programs and resources for our students and teachers. I do live in Shady Hollow area. I just don’t live in Shady Hollow “proper” anymore. My children have attended Baranoff, Bailey & Bowie. Again, I have no idea why you would determine (not knowing me as a person at all) where my interests do and do not lie.

      • There are other options besides attending the school your home is zoned for that include free charter schools, private schools, etc. Many rezoned families will attend Kocurek and invest their time and resources the same way they have been at Baranoff. There will also be some families that choose another option for education. We are not forced to attend a certain school, each family can decide for themselves what is best for them.

        • It has been made clear in all the Facebook and next door posts that these parents will be sending their kids to private schools to avoid kocurek. Hope they enjoy paying thousands of more dollars a year just so their kids don’t have to be with “the poors”

          • The only thing that has been made clear is that you have no idea what you’re talking about. That comment about ‘poor people’ was made by a disgruntled person, such as yourself, that does not represent any of these affected neighborhoods. Interesting how none of these accusations have popped up in the public Facebook group. You know why? Because this is not the reason why people are concerned. Try suggesting this assumption anywhere else, see how quickly it gets shut down. As far as other options for education, that is a district wide issue. There are 8,000 students who live in the district, yet attend school elsewhere. Why don’t you poll all those families and ask why they don’t attend their zoned school, there are many reasons I’m sure. What I will no longer do, is remain silent when these baseless assumptions are carelessly tossed in my direction and that of my neighbors.

          • Allow me to share a direct quote from the facebook group:

            “Seems I keep reading and hearing about a lot of the reasons for why we all want our kids to go to Baranoff and especially not Kocurek. All but the most obvious and basic one. Statistically speaking, Baranoff far outshines Kocurek in all aspects. I want the best education and community for my daughter. This is the real reason I’m paying attention right now.

            As an Oak Parke resident, if my daughter is rezoned to the current Kocurek we will, in all likelihood, be looking at nearly every other option out there. No way can we be the only ones thinking this way.

            What is Kocurek gonna do about their under-enrollment when all the new kids go elsewhere as soon as the rezoning takes place? Why is Kocurek under-enrolled currently? Is it because parents who care and have the means refuse to give their kids anything but the best that they can manage?”

          • Dear Charlie Brown,

            Thanks for that direct quote, if you read the comments and conversation that followed, you will find that the OP and the PTA president for Kocurek talked back and forth with respect and consideration. The OP thanked her for opening his mind to the benefits of Kocurek. People thanked both of them for their contributions and the thread ended in a positive tone. Would be nice if this thread could shift to what is good and kind and away from the toxicity.

          • This is one of many posts where parents put down kocureck. I guess you’ll just pick and choose what you want to read.

          • Dear Snoopy,

            Nope, I have read them all. Why don’t you do the same before suggesting that this group does not support Kocurek. Any posts that questioned the quality of this school ended with everyone having good things to say about Kocurek.

          • Captain obvious

            Oh, then should have no problem sending your kids there along with everyone else. Sounds good to me, problem solved. I thought you weren’t for the rezone, my fault. I think I misunderstood all those posts on next door and Facebook. Usually when people call something “below standard” it’s negative.

          • One can appreciate the merits of one school while advocating to stay at their neighborhood school, the two are not mutually exclusive. You’re a pro at sarcasm which elicited a chuckle, so thanks for the laugh! 😆

          • “I’ve heard the slums are a wonderful part of town. The abandoned buildings and the liquor stores with bars on the windows really give it a flavor you don’t see other places. That said, I’d prefer to stay on my side of town.”

            LOL! You’re right! You can do both!

  15. AISD should draw 50 more maps

    “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” ― John Lydgate

  16. Hillcrest / Olympic Heights

    At the last meeting the people from Shady Hollow actual brought a huge banner showing how our communities should be rezoned and not theirs. This doesn’t sound like a group that is against rezoning, it sounds like a group that would rather try to bully other neighborhoods into being moved around. I hope the committee sees right through all this and leaves our neighborhoods alone. Shame on shady hollow for roping us into something we were never a part of. This is all squeaky wheel gets the grease and the parents of shady hollow are the squeakiest bunch yet.

    • Attended the same meeting, nobody from Shady Hollow proper suggested that Map 12 (OH/Menchaca) be used. This has already been mentioned, however, a committee member requested a scenario for OH/Menchaca at the previous meeting. Stop blaming Shady Hollow for map 12. If your upset about it, contact the committee member who suggested it in the first place. I don’t support anybody suggesting that a specific neighborhood should be rezoned. Everybody has the right to advocate to stay at Baranoff, squeaky or not.

      • There was no reason for this map to ever exist but pressure was put on the committee by you people and now it’s on the table. Thank you once again for trying to screw hillcrest and olympic heights. You literally want to take kids that WALK to school now and bus them to a school miles away just so you can continue to drop your kids off at baranoff every morning? Please. None of your kids are walking to school. I can’t wait until the hammer is dropped on all of you and you’re gone from our school zone.

        • Hmmm, did you attend the meeting with Yasmin Wagner at Baranoff the evening of 5/14? In case you missed it, allow me to recap: Yasmin, our appointed school board member, made a point to inform Olympic Heights and Hillcrest that this new map was created because of due diligence and and effort to leave no stone unturned. She emphasized that this was requested by a committee member who saw Menchaca was nearby and wondered why it wasn’t be considered as a relief school. Hey, I get it, if my neighborhood didn’t get considered until later in the process, I’d be upset and have some questions too. However, in this case, you are chasing the wrong rabbit. Please stop blaming your neighbors for what is happening, redirect that energy towards what will have an impact for a better outcome. This divisive mindset only weakens and distracts us from a common goal. I am sorry if other people have done or said things that have caused some resentment. This situation, unfortunately, brings out big emotions. As your neighbor and friend (because who knows with all this anonymity) please put down your sword and grab the nearest hand. We are stronger together.

          • Just because they say a committee member requested it doesn’t mean they weren’t persuaded by someone else. I’m sure some parents reached out to plant the seed… Maybe at that private meeting in a shady hollow house with committee members? Strange how all of the sudden we are being considered. I’m hoping this is just to appease all of you people so when you get rezoned you’ll feel slightly better about it. I can already feel your home value going down.

          • Consider this reason

            There was no ‘private meeting at a Shady Hollow house with committee members.’ There are other factor in play that don’t point back to your neighbors. Did you know that the reason Olympic Heights wasn’t considered in the first place because is because there is no walkable route to Menchaca? All OH students would need to ride the bus to Menchaca. Now that they are taking a closer look at walkability to Kocurek and the probability that there is not a safe walkable route from Brodie, there is a higher likelihood that all these students would also ride the bus to Kocurek. From the district’s point of view, both scenarios could show riding the bus to the receiving school. This is relevant to the established criteria and factors in when the committee ranks the maps. The advantage OH has is that your students walk now to Baranoff , while these other neighborhoods get the bus. Do you see that there is also the possibility that OH is being looked at independent of any requests that are being made? It’s a numbers game, simply put.

          • Stop pretending kids walk to school from oak parke/shady hollow/Brodie springs. You people keep bringing it up yet none of you walk now. You are grasping at straws. Saw those pics a parent posted of a sidewalk on the way to kocurek, looked fine to me. Looks better than half the yards and driveways in shady hollow. Keep trying to come up with excuses, fact is your kids don’t walk now, never will, and will always be dropped off no matter where they go.

          • You misunderstood

            Never claimed that these neighborhoods are walking to Baranoff now. In fact, i stated that they are eligible for the bus. What you are upset about and blaming the wrong group for does not matter to the committee or the district. I actually pointed out that map 12 has an advantage over the other scenarios in terms of walkability to Baranoff. You are right, without bus service, parents along Brodie Lane would drive their kids to Kocurek bc the alternative is too dangerous. There is no grasping for straws, nor are we are not backed into a corner. We are engaged and participating in this process with diplomacy. Please consider doing the same.

        • Did you hear about this super secret meeting at a private underground bunker from Alex Jones? Rats! That guy knows all! #baranoffgate

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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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