Schools to trigger attendance zone changes
Two new campuses set to open in fall 2010 in the Fort Bend school district's far east side would trigger the redrawing of attendance zones of several nearby schools.
The district plans to open next year a new elementary, its 45th, at 636 Glendale Lakes Drive off FM 521 south of Texas 6 near Rosharon, and a new high school, its 11th, at 500 Waters Lake Blvd. in Sienna Plantation near the Hillwood residential development.
In an attendancezone proposal, the new elementary would enroll 448 pupils from both sides of FM 521, including the transfer of 111 Sienna Crossing elementary pupils from the Arcola area. Sienna Crossing Elementary is located at 1011 Steep Bank Trace in Missouri City.
With the proposal, a small southern portion of the Schiff Elementary attendance zone including the Waterbrook subdivision, where there are 12 pupils, would be absorbed into that of Sienna Crossing Elementary. Schiff Elementary is located at 7400 Discovery Lane in Missouri City.
An eastern section of the Sienna Crossing zone, where the 111 pupils live, would be annexed to the new elementary's attendance boundaries. The plan would reduce Schiff's enrollment from 799 to 503 pupils and that of Sienna Crossing from 974 to 881.
The new high school's attendance zone would comprise the portion of Hightower High's attendance zone south of Texas 6 and a southeastern part of the Elkins High's attendance zone.
Under the proposal, an expected 265 students in the Vicksburg subdivision attending Elkins High would be transferred to Hightower, while 502 Sienna students attending Elkins would be relocated to the new high school.
That plan would reduce Elkins' enrollment from 2,351 to 1,626 students and that of Hightower from 2,649 to 1,796. The new high school is anticipated to open with 1,171 students.
Juniors and seniors would not be relocated under the proposal, said Mike McKie, assistant superintendent for high schools.
A projected 2 percent growth for the 2009-10 school year is factored in the student enrollment figures.
During a Sept. 15 workshop, school board members didn't have a consensus on if the administration's proposals should be presented at two public meetings, originally scheduled for Sept. 29 and 30, but postponed due to the lack of board agreement.
Among the concerns that surfaced at the workshop were that Vicksburg students, who were transferred from Hightower to Elkins two years ago, face relocation back to Hightower, which trustee Laurie Caldwell said would be disruptive to the youngsters.
Also, the new elementary zoning proposal doesn't solve the crowding problem of Scanlan Oaks and Sienna Crossing elementaries, and trustees want school officials to look at options to tackle the issue.
That is my biggest concern because we see continued growth there especially in the Sienna area," said board president Bob Broxson.
Lee Petros, executive director of construction and demographic studies, who presented the proposals, agreed to explore options to move pupils from Scanlan Oaks and Sienna Crossing to other campuses.
Marc Smith, assistant superintendent for elementary schools, expressed concerns after the workshop that such relocation plans may trigger a chain reaction affecting more families than what was proposed would.
School officials will hold another workshop soon to further study the proposals before rescheduling the public meetings.
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