Potential second high school previewed, district’s new strategic plan approved and more: 3 things to know from Thursday night’s Hutto ISD meeting

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Edgar Padilla, Phillip Boutwell sworn in as trustees

Two trustees — Phillip Boutwell and Edgar Padilla — were sworn in to the Hutto ISD Board of Trustees at Thursday night’s regularly scheduled meeting. Padilla and Boutwell, a returning incumbent, won their places on the dais by taking the top two vote totals of the May 5 at-large election.

Board votes on district’s new strategic plan

Hutto ISD Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas Thursday presented the district’s new strategic plan — the first strategic planning document orchestrated under her leadership.

The final planning document, dubbed Vision 2025, is the culmination of a seven-month process. A strategic planning committee comprised of district officials, teachers, students, parents and community members solicited and analyzed feedback to identify the goals of the school district.

Vision 2025 is divided into seven categories with 14 distinct goals to be achieved over the next seven years.

The goals outlined in the strategic plan range from securing emotional and physical wellbeing and safety at the district’s campuses to pivoting away from standardized state testing prioritization.

“There’s always that freedom to explore those teaching strategies that may be more efficient or more successful with kids,” Estrada Thomas said.

Vision 2025 was approved by the Hutto ISD Board of Trustees Thursday night. A cabinet consisting of district executive leadership will now will now develop district and campus improvement plans to begin implementing the strategic planning goals.

“We’re going to take slices from the goals and start putting them into action,” Estrada Thomas said.

District expects high school to reach capacity in two years

Estrada Thomas revealed that the district expects Hutto High School to reach capacity by the 2020/21 school year during a preliminary discussion about development of a district-owned 165-acre plot of land off FM 1660.

The presentation stated physical, social and emotional safety is a concern as the school becomes more “cramped.”

These preliminary plans come on the heels of a demographics report shown to the board last month that revealed 13,000 students could be enrolled in Hutto ISD classrooms 10 years from now.

Plans for a new high school site are currently being master planned by the district. The preliminary plans previewed to the board of trustees Thursday night call for construction to begin on a new high school and agriculture barn by March 2019. Timelines presented to the board show that planners expect the school to be open by the Fall 2020 semester, should the district proceed with this plan.

The new high school would begin as a ninth grade center with capacity for 1,000, with plans built-in for future expansion to a full high school for 2,400 students.

No action was taken on the preliminary plan Thursday night. Design officials will come back to the dais over the next several months to complete the full plans.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. He additionally worked with an investigative news organization where he reported on environmental topics and was a featured writer for Epicast Network, a Pittsburgh podcast company. Iain has now transitioned full-time into covering Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
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