Most students won't be affected by rezoning for a year

Posted Monday, Apr. 21, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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After deciding which areas to rezone to relieve overcrowding on the east side of the Mansfield school district, trustees have now decided when to do it.

Most of the students affected by the changes will have a year to get used to the idea -- unless they want to go ahead and make the move to their new schools. School board members voted for a one-year delay before implementing the new boundaries for intermediate, middle and high school students. The only students who will have to make the move next year are fourth-graders at Louise Cabaniss Elementary School and sixth-graders at Mary Lillard Intermediate who are in the affected area.

At the March 25 school board meeting, trustees voted to redraw the boundaries for Timberview and Lake Ridge high schools, Danny Jones and James Coble middle schools and Mary Lillard and Della Icenhower intermediate schools. The change was in response to overcrowding at Lillard Intermediate, which currently has 1,024 students in a school built for 1,000. Lillard feeds into Jones Middle School, which is also close to capacity with 989 students in a building meant for 1,000.

The move will send neighborhoods in the northern part of the current Lillard/Jones attendance zone to Icenhower and Coble, which currently have 620 and 684 students, respectively, in schools also built to hold 1,000 students. The new boundaries will also move students in the Lake Parks neighborhood from Lake Ridge High School to Timberview.

With the approved timeline, no new portables will be needed and it moves the fewest number of students the least amount of times, said district spokesperson Richie Escovedo. The one-year delay will allow intermediate and middle school students to finish at their current schools, too. Current Danny Jones eighth-graders and Lake Ridge High School ninth- through 11th-graders in the rezoned area can choose whether they want to attend Timberview or Lake Ridge high schools until graduation, or attend Lake Ridge for one year and then transfer to Timberview.

Students who want to transfer to Timberview for the 2014-15 school year must apply for a transfer by May 9 in order to remain eligible for UIL sports and extracurricular activities.

Here’s the breakdown:

120 students going from fourth grade at Louise Cabaniss Elementary will all go to Della Icenhower Intermediate this fall for fifth grade. Transportation will be provided by the school district.

126 Mary Lillard fifth-graders have the choice of whether to go to Della Icenhower (transportation provided) or stay at Mary Lillard and provide their own transportation this fall.

129 Lillard sixth-graders will go to James Coble Middle School this fall. Transportation provided.

127 Danny Jones seventh-graders can choose to transfer to James Coble this fall (transportation provided) or remain at Danny Jones and provide their own transportation.

Danny Jones eighth-graders and have three options: Go to Lake Ridge for one year then transfer to Timberview for the next three years (transportation provided), go to Timberview for all four years (transportation provided) or go to Lake Ridge for all four years. Transportation will be provided for ninth grade only.

Rezoning will not take effect at the high school level until the 2015-16 school year. Current Lake Ridge High ninth- through 11th-graders who live in the area that has been rezoned have the same three choices as Danny Jones eighth-graders -- stay at Lake Ridge until graduation, transfer to Timberview High next year and graduate there or attend Lake Ridge for one more year, then transfer to Timberview. The school district will provide transportation to Lake Ridge for only one year for those who choose to stay.

For more information or to see the rezoned map, go to www.mansfieldisd.org.

Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM

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