“We really have several priorities—the main one being to establish new attendance boundaries for Elementary 58 and Middle School 20 that will be opening in the August of ’23. And then in looking at enrollment across the district, seeing what relief we can provide to some overcrowded schools and hopefully extend the timeline for needing to look at a future bond program for new campuses,” CFISD Chief of Staff Teresa Hull said.
The three new campuses will help provide enrollment relief in fast-growing parts of the district. Elementary School No. 58 will open in August 2023 near the intersection of Clay and Fry roads; Middle School No. 20 will also open next fall next to Bridgeland High School; and Elementary School No. 59 is slated to open in August 2024 in the Miramesa master-planned community off West Road.
A committee of 18 district officials representing curriculum, athletics, transportation and other departments developed the recommendations presented Nov. 14. After nearly two months of accepting community feedback on the plans, the board may request adjustments and will ultimately vote on the final 2023-24 attendance boundary changes Jan. 12.
Community members can view the full presentation and submit feedback via the district’s website. They can also choose to speak directly to board members and district leadership at upcoming meetings Dec. 8, Dec. 12, Jan. 9 and Jan. 12 about the proposed changes.
Several factors go into the attendance boundary proposal process, including enrollment projections at each individual campus, school capacities, feeder patterns, neighborhoods and other geographical factors, keeping changes as minimal as possible and community input.
“The district is no stranger to the rezoning process. Over the past 20 years, we have changed the boundaries to accommodate the opening of 39 new campuses,” Director of General Administration Kristi Giron said.
Most of the community’s growth is taking place in the western portion of the district south of Hwy. 290 and east of the Grand Parkway, according to demographers at Population and Survey Analysts. This group provides population growth projections to the district on an annual basis to help the administration meet campus needs based on enrollment and aid in the process of planning where new schools should open.
Between Towne Lake, Dunham Pointe, Bridgeland, Bridge Creek, Avalon at Cypress, Marvida, Mason Woods and other future developments planned on that side of the district, there are more than 13,000 single-family homes planned in the next five years. This does not include multifamily development plans.
Projections for the 2022-23 school year already have several campuses estimated to be overcapacity with Rennell and Hancock elementary schools at 120% capacity, M. Robinson Elementary School at 122% and Sheridan Elementary School at 126%. Meanwhile, other campuses are projected to be under capacity as low as 63% utilization at Metcalf Elementary School if no boundary changes are made. See comprehensive maps showing projected campus utilization levels, proposed changes and affected communities here.
In addition to populating three new campuses, recommendations presented also would balance enrollment in Bridgeland, Cypress Ranch, Langham Creek and Cypress Falls high schools and relieve several elementary schools by better utilizing nearby campuses. Giron said based on these changes, the committee also suggested some slight adjustments to realign existing feeder patterns.
Ultimately, 28 elementary, eight middle and eight high school attendance zones would be affected if all changes are approved as presented.
“The district boundary committee takes the boundary changes very seriously. Moving students is not ideal,” Giron said. “However, it is sometimes necessary to balance enrollment. It’s never an easy decision. We feel these options move the minimum number of students to offer the necessary amount of relief for the immediate future.”
Elementary students affected by the boundary change entering fifth grade and middle school students entering eighth grade in 2023-24 can remain at their current campus if parents provide transportation. This option is not available for younger siblings.
At the high school level, boundary changes only impact incoming ninth-graders. Affected students who will have an older sibling in 10th, 11th or 12th grade attending the affected high school can choose to transfer to their original high school instead, according to district policy.
Learn more and submit feedback at www.cfisd.net.