Four Plano ISD campuses will shut down following the 2024-25 school year.

What happened

Following a process to evaluate the district’s “building and property efficiencies” that started last September, the PISD board of trustees approved a committee recommendation to close the following four schools:
  • Armstrong Middle School
  • Carpenter Middle School
  • Davis Elementary School
  • Forman Elementary School
Davis and Carpenter both feed into Plano Senior High School, while Armstrong and Forman feed into Plano East Senior High School. The committee recommended that staff perform further research on schools that feed into Plano West Senior High School due to the west cluster’s already high capacity and unpredictable growth.

The campuses were chosen for potential closure based on capacity, facility assessment scores and operating costs, according to a presentation from district staff. The recommendation for potential closure was provided by the 70-member Long Range Facility Planning Committee.

PISD Deputy Superintendent Johnny Hill said no district staff would lose employment as a result of the closures.

The board of trustees unanimously approved the recommendation during its June 10 meeting.

Diving in deeper

Students at the four closed schools will be rezoned to various nearby campuses:
  • Armstrong Middle School students will be rezoned to Otto, Bowman or Murphy middle schools.
  • Carpenter Middle School students will be rezoned to Haggard, Hendrick or Schimelpfenig middle schools, depending on their elementary school. Christie, Harrington and Thomas elementary school students would be rezoned to Hendrick, Haggard and Schimelpfenig, respectively.
  • Davis Elementary School students will be rezoned to Harrington or Saigling elementary schools.
  • Forman Elementary students will be rezoned to attend Dooley, Schell, Stinson, Meadows or Memorial elementary schools.
Additionally, the Regional Day School Program for the Deaf will move campuses from Davis Elementary School to Harrington Elementary School. The full list of attendance boundary changes can be found on PISD’s website.

What else?

The board of trustees also approved an update to its transfer policy at the June 10 meeting.

The district has opened a special transfer application window which will close at 11:59 p.m. on June 18. Families and students impacted by a closure or boundary change will receive priority consideration during this window, according to a presentation from district staff.

More information can be found on PISD’s website.

The cause

PISD’s enrollment has declined every year since its peak of 55,700 students in 2012. The district’s current enrollment sits at 47,800.

PISD officials have attributed declining enrollment to several factors, including home costs in the city. The median price of homes sold in Plano was $287,000 in 2015, while that number was $511,750 in March 2024, according to data from the Collin County Area Realtors.

District officials have also cited growth in northern districts with lower housing prices as well as a decrease in birth rates as contributing factors to declining enrollment.

The district is also estimating a $24 million shortfall this upcoming school year. District staff estimates that the closures will save more than $5 million, and Superintendent Theresa Williams added that more extreme measures would need to be taken if school closures were put off farther in the future.

“We have held tight to not cutting staff and not cutting programs,” she said. “If things don’t change we’ll have to make some other tough decisions, and those decisions impact kids.”

What they’re saying

The board’s June 10 meeting featured nine speakers all expressing concerns over potential school closures. Five spoke against the closure of Davis Elementary School, while four spoke against the closure of Forman Elementary School.

Many showed concern over moving the Regional Day School Program for the Deaf, including former Davis Elementary parent Rebecca Mattern. Mattern has lived near Davis for almost 20 years, a neighborhood she said is “unlike any [she] could imagine.”

“The Davis community has built this safety net so [deaf students] are afforded the same independence that my kids would naturally have,” she said. “I think people look at it and say, ‘We can just pick up the Regional Day School for the Deaf and we can move it two miles down the road.’ It’s possible but it won't retain the same culture of inclusivity and care that it has.”

Community members voiced similar concerns over Forman Elementary’s culture, which features a large number of bilingual students.

Quote of note

“This community was built together, and we have to resize ourselves together,” Williams said. “This is hard. And it was hard when it was being built—the growth caused a different kind of angst. So the ask is that we do it together.”