By Brad Lancaster, Ed.D.
Lake Travis ISD Superintendent
As you may have read in the Lake Travis View, the district has assembled a committee that will study school attendance zone boundaries. The committee, which will meet for the first time next week, was developed in response to the opening of elementary school number six scheduled for fall 2014.
Overall, this committee will allow a representative group of parents and community members from across the district the opportunity to participate and develop rational and sustainable recommendations for school attendance zones.
In anticipation of our new facilities, it is important for us to begin the process of rezoning now in order to provide balance and continuity across each of our elementary and middle schools.
This is a basic process that many growing districts like ours go through every four to five years. At the end of the day, we know our students will receive a quality education as our parents have come to expect from us, no matter where our students are housed.
The committee, to be facilitated by the district administration, is comprised of 27 total members. Fourteen members represent the district parent community, with two parents representing each elementary school and two representing each middle school. Four members are district classroom teachers, four members are district campus administrators, and a member of the district board of trustees will serve in an ex-officio capacity. Additionally, four district residents without school-age children will serve in an at-large capacity.
The 14 parents who have already been selected to serve on the committee are individuals who do not currently serve in an elected position within the district, are not employed by the district or related to an employee of the district, have not indicated or possess a predetermined position regarding specific attendance boundaries, are able to attend meetings during March, April, May and June and are aware and accepting of the fact that their names will be disclosed to the community.
When developing its recommendations for the reorganization of elementary and potentially middle school attendance zones, we will ask the committee to adhere to the following parameters:
- District will optimize school facility usage to accommodate projected growth patterns through the district;
- District and staff will utilize the most recent demographic data to avoid the need to redraw attendance zones until additional schools are brought online;
- District is committed to designing attendance zones that place students in schools within close geographic proximity of their residence;
- District will avoid dividing communities when possible;
- District will utilize minimum and maximum enrollment figures when planning for schools; and
- District staff recognizes that demographic diversity enriches the Lake Travis community which should be embraced during its analysis of attendance zones.
In order to provide its recommendations to the school board in May, the committee will begin its work on March 21.
Our goal is to make this process as transparent and accessible as possible. With than in mind, two meetings for public feedback are set for April 22 and April 25. Both meetings will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Travis High School Performing Arts Center.
The committee will then make its recommendation to our school board at 6 p.m. May 21 during the board of trustees’ regular meeting at the district’s Educational Development Center. Please note, any changes to current district boundaries will be take effect beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
We appreciate your support of this process as we work to ensure that the overall best interest of students is served.
For information about the School Attendance Zone Advisory Committee, visit our website at ltisdschools.org/attendancezones.
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