By Brian Knox | Wise County Messenger
Decatur ISD: 3 schools might reach capacity within 3 years
Nearly 600 housing or apartment units are scheduled to be completed within the next couple of years in the Decatur school district.
And that will mean more students.
Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend outlined the numbers associated with a number of housing additions and apartments scheduled for completion by 2019 or 2020 during a report to the school board Monday.
“The reason for this is not just to show you the increase, but to show you where the increase is going to be,” Townsend said. “You’ll have significant increases in some of your elementary attendance zones. That’s going to require you to either redraw attendance boundaries or you are going to be looking at a different method of how you put your elementary grades together, and this is going to be coming within the next year or two.”
Rann and Carson elementary schools in particular would see increases from the housing growth.
Two housing additions – Las Brisas and Briar Crossing Phases 2 and 3 – are expected to provide 155 housing units in the Rann attendance zone. Two apartment complexes also planned for Rann’s attendance zone would provide another 184 housing units.
Townsend said that equates to about 170 students.
Five housing additions – Oak Tree Farms Phases 1 and 2, Hillcrest Meadows Phases 1 and 3, Single Tree Estates, Hilltop Acres and Highland Hills Phase 2 – are expected to provide 259 housing units to Carson’s attendance zone.
Those housing additions are projected to increase Carson’s enrollment by about 130 students.
Those numbers added to the current enrollment for the two elementary schools would put them just above functional capacity, which Townsend said is 80 percent maximum efficiency.
“The projection is you are going to be at or above capacity by the end of the 2017-2018 school year at Carson Elementary … (and) by 2020, you are going to be at or over capacity at Rann,” Townsend said.
While Young Elementary, the McCarroll 6th Grade Campus and the McCarroll 7th-8th Grade Campus have enough capacity to handle growth over the next few years, the high school may also be quickly reaching functional capacity.
“If the high school grows as much next year as it did this year, you’re going to be at capacity or over” by the end of the 2017-2018 school year, Townsend said.
To handle that growth, Townsend said the school board needed to begin thinking about options, including redrawing elementary attendance zones, building additions at current campuses, or grade banding, which Townsend explained is dividing up the different elementary schools by grades. For example, one school might house pre-k through first, another second and third and another fourth and fifth.
Board President Jeff Alling suggested another option might be to add fifth grade to the sixth-grade campus.
Townsend said all three elementary schools were designed so that additions could be made to the current facilities.
The board agreed to have the school’s demographer, Templeton Demographics, provide a new demographic study for the district. Townsend said he expects that report could be made to the board by June or July.
Townsend said that Templeton’s last report was given to the board about five years ago.
View original Wise County Messenger Article.