In anticipation of the new Manvel Junior High School opening to students next school year and the new Shadow Creek High School opening for the 2016-2017 school year, the Alvin Independent School District (AISD) has begun the process of realigning attendance boundaries in an effort to optimize school facility usage and to accommodate growth patterns throughout the District.
A public information meeting was held at Manvel High School on Monday to explain why the boundaries require adjustment, how the boundaries are created, and the potential impact to current and planned secondary schools (junior high and high schools). A committee will be comprised of at least five parent representatives from each AISD secondary campus, staff representatives from those campuses, and representatives from the central administration.
The committee will recommend decisions for the Board of Trustees to ultimately approve that include several principles. To the extent feasible efforts will be made to combine geographically proximate neighborhoods or developments and to use existing physical boundaries such as roads, drainage ditches, easements, and other like confines. Student assignments will be made based on building capacity and growth projections and attention will be given to the unique needs of the student population which may not be reflected in numbers alone. Boundary lines will not be drawn for the purpose of creating a particular demographic or socio economic attendance zone; all students are equally important, says the District’s announcement.
Five committee meetings will be held between October 7 and November 4 and the public is invited to attend and offer comments at all meetings. A presentation and recommendation will be submitted to the Board of Trustees at the November 11 School Board meeting. A period of public comment will be available up to final Board approval which is expected at the December 9 Board of Trustees meeting.
Altering attendance boundaries as new schools become available inevitably results in some constituents being unhappy. It often is an emotional issue and district administrators emphasize their sharing concerns with students having to change schools. The district website explains: “It is incumbent upon us to include the entire school community in making the best, most well thought-out decisions as possible. Our decision principles provide the best and most equitable opportunities for all children. Schools within the District have the same general class sizes, the same general curriculum and comparable programs and facilities assuring that we offer a quality education at all campuses.”
District trustees and administrators were hoping for better turnout at the public information meeting. It is estimated approximately 50 people were in attendance. It is likely that most affected constituents will take little notice until the Board considers the recommendations in November. Trustee Vivian Scheibel expressed her wish that the public make their feelings known now, early in the process, when the decisions are being debated. Once the recommendations are submitted for Board approval it is essentially too late for public input or influence.
Additional information on the Boundary Advisory Committee can be found on the AISD website as well as a listing of upcoming meeting dates. Again, the public is encouraged to attend and offer input in every committee meeting.