During a community forum Monday night, Conroe ISD officials presented one attendance zoning option for each of the three new schools opening in the district for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.
The Attendance Boundary Committee for Grand Oaks High School, which is composed of parents, principals and district administration, decided in a 24-4 vote to select Scenario 1 to present to the CISD board of trustees for consideration and approval.
“We didn’t want to split a neighborhood if we could avoid it,” said Chris Hines, CISD’s Deputy Superintendent of Operations. “That does happen, but the committee worked hard on different scenarios to try and limit that.”
Since the first round of community forums held Nov. 28-Dec. 1, the district has received nearly 1,000 comments about the zoning options presented for Grand Oaks High School and about 150 comments for Bradley Elementary School and the yet-to-be-named intermediate school, Hines said.
Here are 5 things to know from the community forum:
1) These are the neighborhoods zoned to Grand Oaks High School in Scenario 1:
- Fox Run
- Legends Ranch
- Legends Ranch Estates
- Spring Trails
- The Falls at Imperial Oaks
- Legends Trace
- Benders Landing
- Legends Run
- Woodson’s Reserve
- Spring Creek Pines
- Discovery Creek Apartments
- Wrights Landing
- Bristol Lakes
- Lockeridge Farms
2) These are the neighborhoods zoned to Oak Ridge High School in Scenario 1:
- Harpers Preserve
- Tall Timbers
- Oak Canyon
- Ponderosa Timbers
- Oak Forest
- Whispering Oaks
- Montgomery Creek Ranch
- Oak Ridge North
- Chateau Woods
- Stone Gate
- Imperial Oaks
- White Oak Estates
- Oak Ridge Grove
- Eastwood Hill
- Imperial Chase
- Dakota Canyon Apartments
- Rayford Forest
- Landmark Apartments
- Aarons Place
- Spring Hills
- Forest Village
- Spring Forest
- The Meadows
3) In Scenario 1, Grand Oaks High School would have an estimated 2,420 students by 2020, and Oak Ridge High School would have a projected 2,270 students by 2020.
4) For Bradley Elementary School, slated to open in time for the 2017-18 school year, Hines presented Scenario 2 as the committee-selected option to present to the board. This would open the new elementary school with about 773 students.
5) For Flex 18, Hines presented Scenario 2.1—zoning Legends Ranch to Flex 18 rather than Cox Intermediate School—as the option to be presented to the board. This would open Flex 18 with 645 students.
CISD currently houses an Academy of Science and Technology at College Park High School and an Academy for Science and Health at Conroe High School. One option presented to offset the reduced number of students Oak Ridge High School will see when Grand Oaks High School opens is to open an academy at Oak Ridge High School. Specialty subject matter for the program is yet to be determined.
With talk of potentially opening this academy, one concern raised by audience members included whether students attending the academy would be accounted for in the top ten percent of their class along with the rest of the non-academy student body.
“When there is an academy, it’s a school within a school, but they are all Oak Ridge [High School] students,” said Curtis Null, CISD’s Deputy Superintendent of Schools. “That’s how our other two academies are set up.”
Academies in CISD typically have room for about 350-400 students. While there is potential for academy students to take up space in the top ten percent, only CISD students—primarily students already zoned to Oak Ridge High School and Grand Oaks High School—would be allowed to enroll, Null said.
“[Rank] is something that we are sensitive to—to try not to import into any school too much of an outside influence,” Null said. “It does happen. The academy was at Oak Ridge [High School] prior to being at College Park [High School]. There are benefits and negatives to having an academy, and certainly that’s one of the things that I would call a challenge.”
With the drawbacks of an academy comes some benefits, Hines said.
“One of the pluses is that it also increases the ability to offer upper-level electives, too,” Hines said. “It’s one of those things that is always a double tradeoff.”
Any steps regarding decisions on an academy will be taken after attendance rezoning options are approved.
Important dates to remember:
Jan. 10: Community forum at York Junior High School at 7 p.m.
Jan. 11: Community forum at York Junior High School at noon.
Jan. 17: These zoning options are to be presented to the board of trustees for consideration and approval.