Last February, we informed you of our plan to rezone some homes in neighborhoods still under construction. The plan outlined our intentions to move students from Whitt Elementary to Groves, Smith, and Dodd. We worked hard to ensure that our proposal met every expectation that we use to guide our work.
Make decisions from the eyes of parents and taxpayers.
Ensure that we are impacting as few current (if any) families as possible.
Do our best to keep students in their high school feeder patterns.
Provide transparency and opportunities for input during the process
After the blog was posted, and trustees approved the changes, we had some time for reflection. Based on parent feedback concerning kiddos rezoned for Smith, we decided that those students would not attend Davis/McMillan but instead go back to the Draper/Cooper feeder pattern in 5th grade. This decision was based on enrollment and the amount of space left for students. We took a second look and tried our best to find solutions that would reduce students’ travel and allow them to move with classmates to 5th grade at Draper. Since no homes have been built in these areas, these changes would not impact current students.
Through this process, we designed a plan that would prevent future rezoning and provide much needed space for campuses. It would also help to improve safety and security. To make this happen, some construction would be necessary to each elementary. Because the construction would be needed regardless of our plan, the alterations would allow us to remedy zoning issues while also accommodating the needs of each campus to actually meet the 700 student capacity it was technically designed to serve. Ultimately, we would be maximizing space while also improving safety. It’s a win-win situation.
REZONING BLUFF CREEK TO TIBBALS
The 30+ students originally rezoned for Groves will now be zoned for Tibbals. To make this possible, we are working to add 6 new classroom addition to Tibbals. This will allow us to keep kids in their feeder pattern while also providing much needed classroom space. Tibbals is currently close to reaching capacity. It is time for us to step in and give them some room to breathe.This construction should be complete by January of 2019.
We are also planning classroom additions for Whitt Elementary to provide needed space to this campus that is near capacity as well.
REZONING WOODBRIDGE NORTH TO GROVES
The 100+ students originally rezoned to Smith will now attend Groves.
This campus currently has plenty of capacity for new students. Next summer, however, we will add additional classroom additions to accommodate future growth. This renovation will keep kids in the feeder pattern, increase safety and security by providing a view of the parking lot from the office, and provide a much needed update to the parent drive. With the changes, students will be able to be dropped off under a cover. These small details are important to us; we want our kids to be safe and comfortable.
VILLAS OF WOODBRIDGE REMAIN AT DODD
Although the Villas of Woodbridge are designed for “empty nesters”, we believe the addition will bring some new students to Wylie ISD. With easy bus and car access to Woodbridge Parkway, and close proximity to Dodd Elementary, we decided not to change the feeder pattern. We are adding classrooms, improving safety measures, and refining parent pick-up and drop-off lines. We want our Dodd Dinos to get what they need and be prepared for future growth.
Generally speaking, when a neighborhood gets older, new homes are no longer constructed. There are fewer homes which occupy young children. And, the families which do have children are close to celebrating their graduation. While this mindset is usually consistent, there can sometimes be exceptions. The Cox Elementary zone is not a typical feeder pattern. Regardless of the fact the no new homes are being built, it KEEPS GROWING! In fact, there has been so much growth that we were forced to add a portable to the campus. To help relieve this space concern at Cox, we are planning classroom expansions similar to those at other elementary campuses. That work is set to begin next summer.
Wylie ISD is the 5th fastest growing school district in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. While growth is exciting, it can bring challenges. Although Wylie ISD does not have much land left for new home construction, we could still grow by a few thousand more students in the next five years. Wylie High School is at capacity, and 95% of new construction is taking place in the East feeder pattern. Therefore, we are quickly approaching the need for expansion of both campuses. Additions to both East and High will be necessary along with the need to address future growth in the Wylie East feeder pattern. We are working on plans to make this happen. The next stage of our master facilities plan will be complete next month.
Wylie ISD uses demographers to help accurately predict when and where growth will occur. Though it is sometimes difficult to get an accurate prediction of what to expect in the future, we do our very best to plan accordingly. We appreciate your input and feedback as well as your patience as we work to provide the needed classroom space without building unnecessary (and expensive) new schools.
Regardless of what our future holds, we will continue to focus on our Wylie ISD Board goal of “Managing growth in a way that provides functional equity, financial responsibility, and assurance of meeting all student needs.” We understand that our schools belong to our community. And, we will continue to be driven by our stakeholders. It is not a perfect science, but we will always take care of our kids and the communities we serve, the Wylie Way!