Spring ISD prepares two-stage change for middle school attendance zones

Spring ISD prepares two-stage change for middle school attendance zonesA new Spring ISD middle school will open on Northgate Crossing Boulevard in 2019, but middle school boundaries will be modified this fall to accommodate recent changes in student distribution and to streamline the district’s high school feeder patterns, SISD officials said.

The boundary changes will help relieve overcrowded schools and reduce the number of middle schools that send students to two or more high schools, SISD Chief Communication Officer Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield said.

Spring ISD prepares two-stage change for middle school attendance zonesIn the 2016-17 academic year, three middle schools—Bammel, Twin Creeks and Wells—were operating at or above 100 percent capacity.

“It’s always best for a school to operate at its optimal capacity level—not being overcrowded nor with large amounts of unused building space,” Dunne-Oldfield said.

In 2017-18 school attendance boundaries will change primarily in the south and west portions of the district. The initial modifications will provide relief to overcrowded Bammel, Twin Creeks and Wells middle schools by utilizing available capacity in Bailey, Claughton and Dueitt middle schools.

Although boundary changes will occur in two phases to relieve the overcrowded schools before Middle School No. 8 opens, boundaries will change only once for any of the middle school communities, Dunne-Oldfield said. Each school will change in either the first or second phase of the transition.

SISD voters approved construction of Middle School No. 8 in the northern section of the district as part of the $330 million bond referendum passed in November 2016. Construction will cost $50 million, and the school will house 500-700 students, she said.

The second set of boundary changes will occur when Middle School No. 8 opens, Dunne-Oldfield said. Those changes will affect schools only in the northern part of the district—Twin Creeks and Bailey middle schools.

Many students who attended Twin Creeks will become students at Middle School No. 8. The school was originally slated to open in 2020, but is now projected to open in 2019, she said.

“This would mean that we could provide enrollment relief to our middle schools on the east side of I-45 as well as open our new school of choice one year earlier than planned,” Dunne-Oldfield said.

Roberson Middle School—the district’s school of choice, offering specialized academic programs—will become a ninth-grade center when a new $30 million Roberson Middle School building—constructed with funds from the 2016 bond—opens on Veterans Memorial Drive in 2019, she said.

When the district moves to its new feeder patterns in 2019, only two SISD middle schools will send students to multiple high schools—unlike the current system, in which five middle schools send students to two or more high schools, Dunne-Oldfield said.

“For students that might be affected twice, our grandfather policy will give them the option to stay at their
[current] schools should they desire to do so,” Dunne-Oldfield said.

By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.