Preliminary Baranoff recommendation will send Oak Creek Parke and Palomino Park to Kocurek Elementary

Residents from the Hillcrest neighborhood in South Austin advocate June 18 for keeping their Menchaca Elementary School zoning.

Residents from the Hillcrest neighborhood in South Austin advocate June 18 for keeping their Menchaca Elementary School zoning.

The Austin ISD Boundary Advisory Committee’s preliminary recommendation to redraw the Baranoff Elementary School boundary includes sending current Baranoff students who live north of Antelope Run to Kocurek Elementary School.

Plan I—selected by the BAC on June 18 to be presented for public feedback at two open houses in July—would lower enrollment at Baranoff to 112% of the school’s capacity in three years while increasing enrollment at Kocurek to 92% capacity.

In the plan, families in the neighborhoods of Oak Creek Parke and Palomino Park would be rezoned to Kocurek and receive bus service to the new school. Families in the Greyrock neighborhood would be sent to the new Southwest Elementary School in the plan, which can be viewed below.

Boundaries at Baranoff—currently projected to be overcrowded at 122% capacity for the 2019-20 school year—and other South Austin elementary schools are being redrawn to rebalance enrollment across the area beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Last week, the BAC selected a preliminary recommendation for the new Southwest and Kiker elementary schools while a recommended plan for Boone and Cowan elementary schools was selected May 29.

Plan I's new map was created because the three other scenarios being considered for Baranoff brought enrollment at Kocurek close to or above 100% capacity, which could have added portables to campus, according to Beth Wilson, AISD executive director of planning and asset management.

Other proposed plans included options to move sections of Shady Hollow neighborhood to Kocurek or to shuffle students currently zoned to Baranoff in Olympic Heights to Menchaca Elementary School and Hillcrest students at Menchaca to Kocurek.

While Plan H—which involved Olympic Heights and Hillcrest—scored highest in enrollment criteria, it scored the lowest based on the committee’s secondary criteria and was dismissed as an option. BAC member Joel Bergh said he felt the plan directly affected too many families and would add unnecessary transportation costs for the district.

Plans F and G were ultimately dismissed because the BAC felt enrollment at Kocurek would increase by too many students.

Other BAC action

The committee unanimously approved shifting middle school boundaries for students in the Greyrock neighborhood. Currently zoned to Bailey Middle School, the community will be shifted to Gorzycki Middle School once the new Southwest Elementary opens.

The boundary change will allow elementary students from the neighborhood to move to Gorzycki with the rest of their classmates at Southwest Elementary. Rising seventh- and eighth-grade students at Bailey will be grandfathered into the new zoning.

For elementary school boundary changes, the BAC approved grandfathering rising fifth graders and their siblings for one year, allowing fifth graders to complete elementary school at the campus to which they were previously zoned.

The BAC also approved a recommendation to freeze schools that are sending students elsewhere due to overcrowding—Baranoff, Kiker and Cowan—to transfer students for five years.


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