Northeast Tarrant

GCISD committee discussing revamped feeder system

Nearly 100 parents came to an elementary school Nov. 23 to meet with Grapevine-Colleyville school Superintendent Robin Ryan to discuss a district committee that’s exploring whether to change how middle school students are assigned to high schools.

Two of the district’s four middle schools split their attendance between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage high schools. But the committee is exploring the possibility of creating a “pure feeder school system” in which middle schools would feed directly into each high school.

Although the committee has met only twice, information posted on the district website raised concerns among some parents, who shared their worries on social media. At the Sunday meeting, at O.C. Taylor Elementary School, parents said they were worried that they would not know which school their children would attend.

Ryan said the district task force, which is primarily composed of parents and includes representatives from all Grapevine-Colleyville schools, has just begun its work to determine whether any changes should be made to the feeder system or whether the current structure should be retained.

“Whatever they decide, that’s OK,” Ryan said Nov. 24, adding that nothing has been proposed.

Further committee meetings are planned with updates to be posted on the website throughout the planning process.

But some parents said that the information available on the district website about the issue was insufficient.

“Until late Saturday {Nov. 22], the district refused to even state whether current high school students would be forced to move campuses,” said Kirstin Herrera, who attended the meeting and has two sons attending Colleyville Heritage. “Now it is addressed under the ‘frequently asked questions.’ ”

A Facebook group called STOP GCISD Proposed Feeder Pattern Changes had 50 members early Saturday and was up to about 400 by Nov. 24.

“The issue exploded,” Herrera said.

Ryan said he decided to hold a meeting quickly rather than have anxious parents wait until students return to class after the holiday week.

“It was a good meeting,” Ryan said. “I was there to listen and respond to them.”

Herrera said she’s very appreciative that Ryan responded so quickly, so close to Thanksgiving. She said he told the parents that the committee’s work is “well-intended,” adding that the meeting went a long way toward relieving anxiety and distrust.

Any plan brought forward for consideration must maintain a similar demographic distribution of the student populations currently at the middle and high schools, officials said.

Ryan said that if the committee proposes a change, it would not be implemented until at least the next school year. He said the committee could decide at upcoming meetings to table the discussion for another period of time or keep the current system.