ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) – After three community meetings and input from parents, Round Rock school leaders will get their first look at a revised plan to rezone hundreds of middle school students.
Administrators will unveil the plan at Thursday’s school board meeting.
Last month, the original proposal caused debate and uproar among parents who were against moving elementary and middle school students out of their neighborhood schools. The district considered moving students at Chisolm Trail, Cedar Valley and Walsh Middle Schools.
The plan is designed to populate a new school, Pearson Ranch Middle, which is set to open next fall. The rezoning will also alleviate severe overcrowding at several existing schools.
School leaders say the updated plan keeps most children at their zoned schools, but moving some students is inevitable, said Round Rock ISD Spokesman Corey Ryan.
The schools and neighborhoods slated to be rezoned to Pearson Ranch Middle are:
- Forest North Elementary
- The Northwoods at Avery Ranch subdivision
- Apartment complexes around Parmer Lane East of U.S. 183
The district said it studied the rezoning issue for months and looked at several factors, including safety of students, feeder patterns, demographics and proximity.
For some parents, the old rezoning plan would have added extra miles and time on their commute to and from school. And, several neighbors circulated a plan they created themselves to submit to the board.
Nearly 1,200 parents, students and community members attended three public hearings between mid September and early October. Most of them told school leaders that they wanted to keep school economically diverse, make sure children from the same neighborhoods attend the same schools and secure the safety of bus routes.
The district agreed with those concerns.
“We understand that not everyone is going to be happy. It’s the reality of moving kids,” Ryan said. “Parents and families are passionate about their schools. We had to take a look at it as an administration working with our board as to what would be in the best interest of all of our kids.”
Several parents told KXAN News that they are pleased the district heard their voices.
“It does seem like they listened to community feedback,” said Heather Clark, an Old Town Elementary parent. Whose children will attend Walsh Middle under the revised proposal.
“They came to the community meetings and heard what parents and residents had to say,” Clark said. “And, it seems like they’ve really taken that into consideration. We’re grateful.”
The board will make its final decision on Nov. 17; if approved, the changes will not begin until next school year.