Plano ISD officials provided an update on the long-range facility planning process, which could result in school closures.

The details

Johnny Hill, PISD deputy superintendent for business and employee services, gave a presentation on the district’s long-range planning efforts to the board of trustees during its Jan. 16 meeting.

The district formed an advisory committee to conduct research on “building and property efficiencies” in September, and is holding several community meetings to gather feedback. The most recent community meeting was held Jan. 11.

Trustee Jeri Chambers noted the three previous community meetings have had “tremendous turnout.”

Hill’s presentation highlighted the long-range facility planning webpage, which features answers to many frequently asked questions, presentations, data and more.

Hill added there is no list of schools the district may look to close.

“Everyone’s all in on having a very thorough process,” Hill said. “We’re looking at all of our campuses. ... Decisions haven’t been made because we’re still doing the work.”

Zooming out

PISD officials are looking to restructure or consolidate schools largely due to declining enrollment. The district’s enrollment has consistently declined since its peak at 55,700 in 2012, and it currently stands at 47,800 students.

PISD’s website notes rising home prices, growth in northern districts and decreasing birth rates as some of the reasons for declining enrollment.

The goal of the study is to “consider whether the building is being used effectively,” and “determine whether resources are fairly distributed to support all students,” the district’s website states. Schools could close as a result, while feeder patterns may also be adjusted.

The breakdown

Included on PISD’s long-range facility planning website is data on every campus's capacity, facility assessment scores and operating costs.

In total, the district is operating at 73% capacity. PISD elementary schools and senior high schools are operating at 75% and 88% capacity, respectively, while middle schools are at 68%, and high schools are operating at 63% capacity.

Four schools are operating at under 50% capacity, including:
  • Carpenter Middle School at 36%
  • Miller Elementary School at 46%
  • Wyatt Elementary School 47%
  • Armstrong Middle School at 48%
Full data on all of PISD’s campuses can be found online.

What’s next?

The next community meeting is set for 9:30-11 a.m. on Feb. 10 at Williams High School. Community members will also have the opportunity to provide feedback at meetings on March 6 and April 9.

Findings from the study will be presented to PISD’s board of trustees in May,and any recommendations will be submitted for board approval in June.