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Attendance Zone Changes

A message from Superintendent Nivens

 
I wanted to share some information with you regarding the current enrollment numbers at our two elementary schools and the plan I introduced to our Board of Trustees to relieve the overcrowding currently being experienced at McClendon Elementary. You may or may not be aware, but the McClendon campus has grown by over 100 students this school year. As a District, we have seen growth of almost 9% this year and an increase of over 240 students in the past two school years. When a District is growing at this rate, there are inevitably going to be some tough decisions that have to be made and we are facing one of those times now.

Before I arrived in Community ISD, growth was predicted to occur rapidly in the Lavon area. Therefore, the NeSmith Elementary attendance zone was drawn in 2015 to allow for the increase in students expected from housing developments in and around Lavon. As it turns out, the expected number of students coming from the Lavon attendance zone did not grow at the predicted rate; instead, we began to see growth in the larger geographical area that makes up the current McClendon attendance zone.

Current Elementary Zones

 

Currently, McClendon has over 680 students and is predicted to have approximately 740 students enroll this fall. The McClendon campus has a functional capacity of 734. Meanwhile, enrollment at NeSmith is currently just under 360 and the NES campus has a capacity of 540. As the Superintendent of over 2,100 Braves, I cannot allow students and teachers at one campus to be crowded into an aging building when we have empty classrooms at a newer campus just 5 miles away in Lavon.

Over the past several weeks, our administrative team, including both elementary principals, has been working with a local demographic firm to modify our elementary attendance zones in order to relieve the overcrowding at McClendon. Before we look at what we are proposing, I want to share with you six important principles that were very important in this process:
  1. Understand that change is hard for most.
  2. Be proactive, transparent, and honest.
  3. Over communicate the intentions and rationale.
  4. As much as possible, keep the neighborhood together.
  5. Try to make boundaries make sense.
  6. DO WHAT’S BEST FOR STUDENTS. 

I will propose the new elementary attendance zones (see map below) to the Board of Trustees for approval in May. The change expands the current NeSmith boundary to the north and east. Upon approval, the new attendance zones will go into effect for the 2017-18 school year. All Bilingual/Dual Language students will continue to attend McClendon Elementary.

Proposed Attendance Zones  
click here for larger version of proposed map 

 

We have identified the addresses and families of approximately 100 current McClendon students that will be impacted by this boundary change. If you have not been notified, your attendance zone did not change. We will meet with the McClendon families impacted by the new boundary to review the process and answer questions on Monday, April 24th. We will also host a meeting in the near future on the NeSmith campus to answer any questions current NES families may have.

Lastly, I want to thank each of you for trusting us with your child each and every day and assure you that every decision we make in Community ISD is based on what is best for kids. It is my belief that our Braves that will be moving campuses this fall will find the same passion and commitment to excellence at NeSmith Elementary they have been experiencing at McClendon.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Roosevelt Nivens
CISD Superintendent 



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