ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — In front of a standing room-only meeting with anxious parents, Round Rock ISD board members decided to move forward with new school boundary lines. The vote was unanimous, 7 – 0.
Eight hundred students will head to a new middle school next year, following the unanimous vote. Pearson Ranch Middle School will open its doors to students fall 2017. It is the district’s 11th middle school. The school is currently under construction in the Avery Ranch neighborhood.
Most parents at the meeting were not happy with the decision. Their number one priority: keeping their kids together.
“We don’t want to be too overcrowded. Patsy Sommer [Elementary] is already very overcrowded,” PTA parliamentarian Katherine Chong said. “We do want economic diversity. It’s very important. But, I feel like our kids deserve to be at school with their friends, first and foremost.”
Board members said they know it’s an emotional decision, but their job was to take the emotion out of it and do what’s best for students.
“Unfortunately, we’re not able to achieve perfect vertical alignment, making sure that all students from an elementary school are going to continue on with the same class, going to the same middle school and then on to high school. That’s just the challenge of a high-growth district,” said Corey Ryan, RRISD’s spokesperson. “We’re getting to a point where we’re getting closer to build out. But, right now, as we continue to grow, vertical alignment wasn’t completely possible.”
The district said it worked hard to create balance in schools demographically and tried to minimize enrollment shifts between existing schools.