Around sixty people showed up at Anita Scott Elementary for a town hall meeting in which Mark Dodson, RCISD assistant superintendant, released the tentative zoning maps for the district for the upcoming school year which will see the opening of a new Intermediate campus.

Images of the construction progress for the new school being built on Blackland Road met the visitors on a projection screen as they entered the meeting. All attendees were given note cards and encouraged to document their concerns to be reviewed by district staff after the meeting.

“What we’re going to put up here is not permanent — it’s not set in stone,” Dodson said. “The first thing we’re going to ask is’Who likes rezoning?’, and that’s the entire list (at this point motioning his hand to a blank screen).

“Unfortunately we’re going to have to do it because we’re growing so quickly. Realize this, we’re going to have to move some kids out of some schools and into others.”

Dodson indicated that the staff would be reviewing citizens concerns through the meeting and further e-mails until Feb. 28, then an internal review would take place. He said that the new zones were tentatively planned to go before the school board for a vote on March 10.

There are three geographical “blocks” of students that are slated to be moved to different elementary campuses from where they now are.

The Miss May Vernon Elementary population living on the north side of the attendance zone will be split halfway between Prince Lane and State Highway 66. If approved, those students will be attending Davis Elementary. Dodson said that particular change would affect around 50 students.

According to Dodson, the population of Fate was growing when the decision was made to build Miss May Vernon Elementary, but when the construction started the population just “exploded.” This is why, he explained, most of the movement occurs in the two elementary schools on the west side of the district.

South of Interstate 30 is the largest geographic block that will change campuses if the new zoning is adopted. Fort Elementary is slated to take on all students in the current Scott zoning area from south of Crenshaw Road to a southern border defined by the joining of Munson Road and FM 548.

There is also a smaller change on the north side of the district where Davis Elementary will take on some Fort Students living on the west side of FM 2642.

Dodson said that the district staff is hoping to alleviate overcrowding in the western elementaries to the point that each school will have room to grow ranging from 130 to 150 students. Davis is slated to leave more room to grow than any other campus because it is the elementary that has the zone which has the most empty prtoperty lots currently ready for development.

There was at least one parent at the meeting that was already unhappy with the new zoning maps, indicating that his child lives very close to Miss May Vernon Elementary and now he will have to fight traffic to take his student “clear across town” to go to Davis.

On the intermediate level, the zoning maps are drawn for Fort and Davis students to attend intermediate school at the current campus (often referred to as “the old middle school” though it also served as the district’s high school for many years).

Students living in the Vernon and Scott zones will attend school at the intermediate campus now under construction.

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