FC(LOCAL) - SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREAS

Purpose

By ensuring that the process described herein is followed, the Board upholds the District's primary responsibility to provide school facilities that address changing enrollment patterns and that sustain high quality educational programs. Accordingly, the Board shall be committed to distributing programs, designing school attendance areas and feeder patterns, and employing alternative student enrollment options in a manner that best utilizes District facilities and meets the students' needs.

A student shall be assigned to a school attendance area in which he or she resides. The Superintendent or designee shall approve or deny a student's intradistrict transfer upon review of a transfer application. [See FDB]

Attendance Areas

Individual school attendance areas shall be defined by the Board upon recommendation of the Superintendent. The Board shall be committed to a student-centered approach when defining school attendance areas. School attendance areas shall be kept as stable as possible. However, adjustments or changes shall be made whenever the District determines that there is a need to balance student loads or to distribute programs among schools for efficient use of facilities or when it is determined to be in the best interests of the students involved.

The purpose of establishing attendance areas shall be to:

Attempt to maintain the neighborhood concept;

Prevent and eliminate overcrowding;

Allow for future growth;

Keep distances traveled by students as short as possible while still considering economic and demographic balance;

Minimize the need for student transportation; and

Allow campuses to house students safely and provide adequate services to all students.

Definitions

For purposes of this policy:

"Capacity" refers to the maximum functional capability of the school building for a particular school and student population, adjusted by a scheduling factor, taking into account the number of core seats in the building and not counting temporary buildings on site.

"Scheduling factor" shall mean a numeric multiplier that adjusts capacity according to whether the school serves elementary or secondary grade levels and considers the school's programmatic needs as well as other factors such as the unique needs of the student population, which may not be reflected in the data alone.

"Core seat" shall mean an instructional space within the physical plant of the building in which each student receives core and primary instruction. Self-contained special education classrooms are also considered to be core seats.

At the elementary level, pull-out instruction and elective courses shall not be considered core seats and included in the count for capacity.

At the secondary level, elective courses shall be considered core seats and included in the count for capacity.

Decision Principles

The Board shall strive to set boundaries that withstand time and provide families with a choice whenever possible. To that end, the following principles shall be among the factors explicitly considered in making attendance area changes where feasible:

Work toward common feeder patterns for secondary campuses;

Attempt to assign entire neighborhoods to the same school(s);

Consider students' proximity to a campus and promote safe and reasonable walking zones to encourage healthier students;

Minimize the number of repeated attendance area changes over a particular time period for students in a particular school, neighborhood, or community;

Attempt to ensure students zoned to campuses are not moved or negatively impacted when distributing programs among schools;

Utilize natural and man-made elements (e.g., creeks, drainage ditches, and the like) as boundaries;

Utilize projected student enrollment and capacity as principle measures for determining efficient use of educational facilities;

Promote reasonable balancing of enrollment among schools to avoid overutilization or underutilization of facilities;

Consider the unique needs of the student population at a given campus, which may not be reflected in the data alone;

Minimize use of temporary classrooms that cause a school to operate at a level greater than the identified capacity;

Consider the fiscal impact and minimize future capital and operational budget costs;

Attempt to maintain diverse populations;

Utilize student transportation resources effectively; and

Consider anticipated construction and residential growth within the community.

Annual Enrollment Review

The administration shall annually review facilities and enrollment projection data, including updated five-year enrollment projections, and, as needed, shall make recommendations to the Board regarding re-zoning adjustments.

The purpose of this review shall be to provide uniform procedures for the District to utilize in attempting to operate as many schools as possible at a desired capacity. This shall allow each school to function effectively without straining core facilities and other school resources and prevent schools from becoming overcrowded or underutilized so that, to the greatest extent practical, the following are achieved:

An equitable school system is maintained;

Equitable educational opportunities are available for students throughout the District; and

A mechanism for community input exists for making decisions regarding alternative student enrollment options.

Considerations

Appropriate District staff shall review the enrollment of each school and, working with the principal and utilizing the criteria listed below, shall determine whether the school can remain at status quo or whether alternative student enrollment options must be initiated.

A school shall be considered adequately utilized so long as its enrollment falls between 80 percent and 120 percent of its capacity. The criteria utilized in making this determination shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

Welfare, health, and safety of students and staff;

Enrollment levels;

Current capacity of the affected schools;

Current classroom utilization and programs such as prekindergarten, bilingual education classes, special education classes, and programs of choice at the school;

Number of transfers into the school from outside the attendance area;

Analysis of demographic data, including current and future population growth or decline;

Schedule for planned renovations or replacement of facility;

Space for temporary classrooms;

Secondary school feeder patterns;

Impact of changes on the diversity of each school and the District;

Financial considerations including operating costs; and

Anticipated residential growth in the community.

Alternative Student Enrollment Options

Based upon this review, the administration shall consider whether each school can remain at status quo or whether alternative student enrollment options or facility utilization options must be implemented.

If the administration determines alternative student enrollment options are necessary for a school, the Superintendent shall determine which of the following options are to be initiated the following school year:

Limiting transfers, which may include choice students, in or out of the school consistent with Board policy;

Moving programs to or from the school;

Moving temporary classrooms on or off the campus; or

Capping enrollment.

If the administration determines additional alternative student enrollment options are necessary for a school, the Superintendent shall determine which of the following options shall be recommended to the Board:

Initiating school attendance area changes consistent with this policy;

Consolidating or closing a school;

Constructing an addition to the school; or

Constructing a new school.

The administration shall present final recommendations to the Board at a regular Board meeting for approval.

The Board's goal shall be to take action on the administration's recommendations as needed due to the growth or decline of student enrollment, as well as when new campuses are built.

The administration shall engage the community to examine the data and recommendations with staff support.

Community Engagement Process

The Superintendent shall implement a process that engages local community members, school staff members, and parents through participation in working groups assigned to review attendance boundaries, secondary school feeder patterns, and other alternative student enrollment options.

Bryan ISD

FC(LOCAL)-X

LDU 2015.12

DATE ISSUED: 11/2/2015