Assistant Superintendent Tim McClure gave public presentations during the board of trustees’ Feb. 8 meeting and during Superintendent Ryder Warren’s Feb. 10 Facebook Live update that highlighted NISD’s explosive growth over the past 20 years.
“Our boundaries, with everything moving, it’s like a game of chess. The pieces are the developers, and everything that’s happening, and they move forward and shift back,” McClure said during the Feb. 8 meeting. “I’ve heard of two new developments in the last week that are in the thousands of homes.”
In 2000, the district had 1 million square feet of space to serve 5,425 students. This year the district serves 25,555 students, and its footprint has increased to roughly more than 5.3 million square feet. The district is also tracking more than 90 housing developments that will bring more new students to NISD schools, McClure said.
If adopted, the proposed attendance boundary changes would mostly affect students at the elementary and middle school levels.
Some of the proposed changes would be made to accommodate Berkshire Elementary School, which will open in August, and what the district is calling Middle School No. 7. Middle School No. 7 was part of the failed November 2020 bond package, meant to relieve overcrowding at Adams Middle School. The 2021 bond package, which is on the May 1 ballot, again includes a proposal for a seventh middle school, which would be located in Haslet.
Berkshire Elementary School, on the southern edge of the district, will reduce capacity issues for Schluter, Sonny & Allegra Nance and Curtis elementary schools. Students who live in the Berkshire, Fossil Creek, Dorado Ranch and Emerald Park neighborhoods will attend Berkshire Elementary School if the board approves the proposal.
Schluter is already over capacity, according to McClure. The school, which has a capacity of 850, currently serves 974 students. Adding Berkshire, the district’s 20th elementary school, will keep the other three elementary schools under capacity until 2025, according to the district’s current projections.
Those neighborhoods will continue to feed into Adams Middle School, but the Presidio, Reata and Tehama Ridge neighborhoods, all on the north side of US 287, will be rezoned to the Wilson Middle School attendance zone. Graduating O.A. Peterson Elementary students will also feed into Wilson, not Adams, until further attendance zone changes are made when the district’s seventh middle school is complete.
Students starting fifth or eighth grade in 2021 will be allowed to stay at their current school, as will all high school students or students starting high school in 2021. Students who choose to stay at the schools they currently attend will be considered transfer students and will not be eligible for bus transportation provided by the district, however.
“We don’t want them to lose that friend group and be a small segment that gets splintered off,” McClure said.
The proposed changes would also affect Cox, Justin, Prairie View, and Roanoke elementary schools; Chisholm Trail, Gene Pike, Medlin and Tidwell middle schools; and Northwest and Eaton high schools. Details can be found on the NISD website.
“They have to set boundaries, but they don't necessarily have to adopt the recommended boundaries on Monday night,” district spokesperson Arena Blake said. “We don't really know what that is until they make the decision.”
The board of trustees could choose to make changes to the proposal during the Feb. 22 meeting or make a decision at a later date.
District administrators asked for feedback on the proposed changes to be sent to email@example.com.