Redrawing Lake Travis ISD attendance zones discussion begins as new middle, elementary schools progress; more from Jan. 16 board meeting

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Attendance zones committee to begin work next month

With the anticipated opening of Bee Cave Middle School next fall, district officials will convene a school attendance zones advisory committee to begin work in early February, Deputy Superintendent Holly Morris-Kuentz said in a staff report to the Lake Travis ISD board of trustees in a presentation Jan. 16.

Because the district will also be opening a seventh elementary school in 2020, the committee will work to shift LTISD’s existing elementary and middle school attendance zones to provide balance and continuity across campuses, Morris-Kuentz said.

The committee will be made up of 16 parents–two from every affected school–and four community members, four LTISD teachers, five LTISD principals and board members Lauren White and Jessica Putonti.

“We tried to make sure the members were spread out throughout the district so all neighborhoods can be part of the conversation,” Morris-Kuentz said.

Parents on the committee are not employed by the district or related to anyone who is not serving in another position, such as on the PTA or as a booster club member. They will be asked to maintain communication with their neighborhoods on the issue, share data and gather feedback.

Two public community presentations will be scheduled for sometime in April where residents can hear zoning options and supporting data, and ask questions. There will also be a feedback form posted online.

The committee is expected to make its recommendation to the school board in April with  the final board approval in May.

New middle school attendance zones will become effective August 2019, Morris-Kuentz said, while elementary school attendance zones will become effective in August 2020 to coincide with the opening of each campus.

Superintendent Brad Lancaster said the district’s priority is that buildings be balanced for future growth.

“You don’t want 1,000 students in one building and 600 in another, so you have to redistribute” Lancaster said.

The last time the district rezoned was six years ago.

Lancaster said people often think about rezoning in terms of current enrollment numbers, but it is equally important to look at five- and 10-year projections as well.

“We want to prepare for growth and do as little redrawing as infrequently as possible,” he said. “This is one of the biggest things we do. Our job is to make the process go well and bring you something through the committee you can endorse and move forward with the least amount of heartache.”

Three board seats up for re-election

The board officially called an election to fill places 3, 4 and 5 for full, three-year terms.

Place 3 is held by Jessica Putonti, Place 4 by board Vice President John Aoueille and Place 5 by President Kim Flasch.

LTISD election dates to know:

  • Jan. 16 – First day to apply for a place on the ballot
  • Feb. 15 – Deadline to file application for a place on the ballot
  • Feb. 22 – Last day for a candidate to withdraw
  • April 22 – Early voting begins
  • April 30 – Last day of early voting
  • May 4 – Election day
  • May 15 – Elected candidates take oath of office

Approval sought for unique courses

Texas code allows districts to offer innovative courses not included in the required curriculum.

With the approval of the board, students enrolled in the courses listed below can earn state elective credit, which can be applied toward graduation requirements:

  • G/T Independent study mentorship I-III
  • Multivariable calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Path College Career I-IV
  • Peer assistance & Leadership I-II
  • Principles of cybersecurity
  • Sports medicine I
  • Strategic learning for high school math
  • Teen leadership
  • Theatre & Media Communications I-II

 

The item was on the agenda for informational and discussion purposes only. Approval will be requested at the Feb. 20 meeting.

Athletes may be exempt from no-pass/no-play rule for some courses

The board was presented with a list of courses administration recommended be exempt from the University Interscholastic League no-pass/no-play rule. Action will be requested at the Feb. 20 meeting.

Courses identified as advanced are eligible for exemption according to Texas Code.

Local districts are permitted to establish other courses that are also exempt from UIL no-pass/no-play regulations. The locally-determined courses must be approved by the board.

This list includes the courses LTISD administration recommends for exempt status.

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Sally Grace Holtgrieve
Sally Grace Holtgrieve solidified her passion for news during her time as Editor-in-Chief of Christopher Newport University's student newspaper, The Captain's Log. She started her professional career at The Virginia Gazette and moved to Texas in 2015 to cover government and politics at The Temple Daily Telegram. She has been covering the Lake Travis/Westlake area for Community Impact since February 2018.
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