With the addition of two new elementary schools scheduled to open in the fall—Wolf Ranch and Williams elementary schools—GISD will establish new zones for the two schools as well as Wagner Middle School, which is quickly reaching capacity, said Bryan Hallmark, GISD assistant superintendent of operations and school leadership.
The two new elementary schools will help alleviate growing student populations at Carver and Mitchell elementary schools which will likely see rezoning, Hallmark said.
Carver Elementary has 941 students with the capacity of 890 students. Mitchell Elementary has 770 students with a capacity of 792. And Wagner Middle has 850 students with the capacity of 950, Hallmark said.
Hallmark said that the growth of Wagner surprised district leadership, who thought Wagner would not reach 800 students until the 2024-25 school year.
“We can’t control where growth is, and as it hits all of the same spot, it gets harder,” Hallmark said.
Hallmark added that as the process continues in establishing the district’s new attendance zones, officials want to ensure that if students are rezoned, the move would be permanent enough so that students would not have to change zones again in a couple of years.
“If we rezone now, what we don’t want to do is come back three years from now and rezone a kid who was rezoned in kindergarten has to be rezoned again in the fourth grade,” Hallmark said.
As part of the process, the district has established an 11-member zoning committee, composed of educators in each of the affected schools as well as district leadership including those in transportation and operations for the district.
The committee has already met twice and plans to meet twice more by Jan. 15, Hallmark said.
The district is also asking for community feedback with planned public meetings at Pickett Elementary School on Dec. 3, Carver Elementary School on Dec. 5, Mitchell Elementary School on Dec. 10 in Spanish and Tippit Middle School on Dec. 12, Hallmark said. Each meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., he said.
The committee will present an updated attendance map during the board’s January meeting with plans to issue a recommendation to the board during its February meeting, Hallmark said.
In other business:
Interactive displays have been installed in all district classrooms as part of the 2018 school bond. This is the latest project to be completed in the $160.5 million school bond voters approved in November 2018.
The GISD board received an audit report for fiscal year 2018-19, which ended June 30. The district received a clean or unmodified opinion, the highest quality of an opinion an auditor can issue. The audit was performed by Maxwell Locke and Ritter.