Mansfield News

New high school attendance zone map affects Lake Ridge and Legacy

Legacy High School would relieve overcrowding at Lake Ridge High School in 2020 while Timberview, Mansfield and Summit will remain untouched in both attendance zone maps the Mansfield school district has proposed.

The difference between the two maps is where dividing line between Legacy and Lake Ridge is drawn.

New proposed maps for all grade levels were unveiled at the Feb. 15 meeting of the Attendance Zone Review Committee. The changes are limited to the southern portion of the district where all the new housing growth is occurring. Click here to view the maps and for more information on the attendance zones.

In addition to the 37-person committee, dozens of parents crowded into the chamber to see how their children would be affected by the rezoning. The maps for Brenda Norwood Elementary School, Alma Martinez Intermediate School and Charlene McKinzey Middle School were unveiled first. The schools will be built within the South Pointe development wedged between U.S. 287 and Texas 360.

But the new high school zones were the main event and the anticipation and nervousness was palpable as David Wright, assistant superintendent of student services and support, prepared to reveal the maps, which were drawn by the district’s demographer and reviewed by district administrators.

There were plenty of exhales as parents saw the maps wouldn’t affect their children and many left the meeting.

Parent Brian Leddy lives in the Lake Ridge High School zone where his children are involved in extracurricular activities such as band.

“A lot of the neighbors on the east side of 360 thought our kids would be zoned to Timberview and wouldn’t have the same opportunities,” Leddy said.

He was relieved to see that that area would still be zoned to Lake Ridge.

“I think that’s an exciting thing,” Leddy said.

Under the current attendance zone, Lake Ridge is projected to have more than 2,900 students, about 400 over capacity, by the 2020-2021 school year while Legacy would only have 2,239 students.

Both maps shift about 350 students to Legacy mostly near downtown Mansfield.

The high school maps solve a common complaint from the community that students who live in downtown Mansfield live so close to Legacy but have to drive across town, past Mansfield High School, to get to Lake Ridge High School. Both maps rezone them to Legacy.

The new attendance zones will be implemented for the 2020-2021 school year but Wright said the district will consider letting students transfer a year early on a case-by-case basis.

“Anybody can apply for a transfer,” Wright said.

Likewise, some students may wish to stay at their campus. As in the past, the district will consider allowing fourth graders, sixth-graders, juniors and seniors the option to stay at their campus.

“We will be discussing at the April board meeting we will roll out what we think we’re going to do,” Wright said.

The community is invited to give feedback on the maps at hearing Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the performing arts center at Lake Ridge High School.

The committee will take that feedback and make a recommendation to the school board on April 24. The school board trustees have the final say on the attendance zone maps.

Even with the rezoning, the growth in the southern part of Mansfield will force the district to plan a sixth high school in the years after 2020.

The new Alma Martinez Intermediate School seeks to relieve overcrowding at Mary Lillard and Mary Orr intermediate schools. Also, Charlene McKinzey Middle School will absorb students from Danny Jones and Rogene Worley middle schools.

Both Martinez and McKinzey will be schools of choice so they will have students coming districtwide for special programming.

Brenda Norwood Elementary School will also be a school of choice for both fine arts and STEM. The proposed attendance zone relieves overcrowding at Annette Perry Elementary School.