Carroll school district officials want to gather feedback from parents on which rezoning options they prefer to handle capacity challenges at several elementary campuses, but many parents may not be motivated to get involved until proposals are brought forward.
About 40 parents and community members attended the first of two meetings administrators held to present information on enrollment concerns and some potential solutions that involve rezoning. The second meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 18, at Carroll High School. With current residential growth, officials expect Carroll, Johnson and Walnut Grove elementary schools to be over their functional capacities by 2017.
The seats are in the wrong places for the growth we’re now facing.
Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations
Most of the future residential growth is in the north part of the district in the Walnut Grove and Johnson attendance zones. Old Union Elementary, on the south side, is well below capacity and has space for a 10-classroom addition.
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“The seats are in the wrong places for the growth we’re now facing,” said Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations.
Thannum said that administrators are looking at rezoning for 2017-18 rather than for 2016-17, although some changes could be approved.
Moving the preschool program out of Carroll and Rockenbaugh elementary schools would free up more space for kindergarten through fourth grade is one change that could come next year. The old Durham Elementary School, which closed when Walnut Grove opened, would have rooms available for most of the preschoolers, officials said.
Some of the possible adjustments include moving some students just north of F.M. 1709 to schools on the south side, adding classrooms with a bond package and having a designated childhood learning center.
Thannum said that officials were not recommending the addition of a sixth elementary school because of the high overhead costs: paying campus staff members, utilities and maintenance. Carroll is operating on a deficit budget for daily operations, which is managed by using district savings (fund balance).
The second Carroll ISD Attendance Rezoning Meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the cafeteria at Carroll High School, 800 White Chapel Blvd., Southlake
Some parents at the Nov. 9 meeting asked about moving fourth-graders to the intermediate schools where space is available.
Superintendent David Faltys said there could be both academic and emotional maturity concerns with having fourth graders move up.
Officials asked parents to give feedback on changes they would prefer and those they would not like.
Parent Angelique Schlosser, who has a first-grader at Carroll Elementary and a child who will start kindergarten next year, said, “I was expecting that they would give us more insight into if and when they would be rezoning and more specifics on where they might rezoning.”
Suzanne Maisto, parent of a Dawson Middle School student and local realtor, said she wasn’t bothered by the lack of concrete proposals.
“It’s once again indicative of how proactive the district is to make sure families’ needs are met,” Maisto said.