Two schools open their doors to displaced Brown Elementary students

It's moving day at Brown Elementary, as students prepare to shift to two other AISD sites. (KXAN Photo)
It's moving day at Brown Elementary, as students prepare to shift to two other AISD sites. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Reilly Elementary School and Austin ISD’s Allan facility opened their doors Monday to give parents a tour of where their children will go to school in just two days.

The sudden move came after T.A. Brown Elementary School was abruptly closed on Friday after structural damage made the building unsafe. Brown Elementary, closed for the remainder of the school year, will most likely not be repaired due to the high cost.

Marco Guzman’s fourth grade daughter is one of more than 200 students who will transfer to the Allan facility in East Austin come Wednesday. “Right now our concerns are the condition of the new school. If there’s enough classrooms, just basically to make sure everything is adequate,” he told KXAN.

About 100 pre-K and kindergarten students will start back up at Reilly Elementary. Parents with students split between both facilities can request a transfer so their first through fifth grader can attend Reilly Elementary as well. However, parents cannot send their pre-k or kindergarten students to the Allan facility because those younger classes won’t be housed there.

Some parents, including Della Polvado, have requested transfers to schools closer to home because Allan is about 10 miles away from Brown Elementary. District leaders say it was the best choice to keep students and teachers together.

“It’s too far,” said Polvado standing outside Allan. “My day care picks [my son] up from school. They’re not going to come all the way over here.”

She and her son, DeShawn, stopped by Allan Monday night to pick up his school supplies and say goodbye to his fourth grade teacher.

Other families were checking out their new campus as teachers got their new classrooms ready, and movers continued unloading the trucks full of boxes and furniture. A moving company took care of the transition because teachers and students were not allowed back inside Brown Elementary after the problems were announced.

Guzman remains baffled by it all. “Why was it allowed to get to this condition while during the summer they still invested into the air conditioning units and also to the structure of the school? And now from one day to another it’s being shut down,” he said. “My biggest concern is that they will not return that they will not return the school to the community.”

AISD says the future of Brown Elementary is uncertain in terms of whether it will rebuild a new school at the same location. The district says it will seek parent input on a plan for next school year.

Parents will be called Monday or Tuesday by a staff member to get new bus route information. To find specific bus routes, visit AISD’s bus stop finder here.

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