Attendance Zone Development

  • As Dripping Springs ISD prepares for the opening of Cypress Springs Elementary, the process to develop new attendance zones is underway. Public meetings on attendance zones were held Feb. 1, March 2, and March 9, 2021. The meetings featured an overview of the process and timeline, sharing of board-approved parameters, demographic information and projected enrollments, a review of current boundaries, and various options of maps for future boundaries for both elementary and middle school students. Multiple committee meetings were held in February and March, and community feedback collected during the meeting and a Google survey were reviewed. Following the introduction of "starter maps," adjustments were made and subsequent options were shared, reviewed, and discussed.

    In addition to the development of elementary attendance zones, middle school attendance zones/feeder patterns are being discussed. Middle school feeder patterns are influenced by two challenging factors: 1) we now have an odd number of elementary schools and an even number of middle schools and 2) our middle schools have different capacities (Sycamore Springs Middle School has a capacity of 850 and Dripping Springs Middle School has a capacity of 1,200).

    On March 22, a report on the process was provided to the DSISD Board of Trustees. Board members asked questions and requested more information, including the full demographic study that is scheduled for presentation on March 29, 2021. Originally, it was projected that the board would approve attendance zones at the March 29 meeting, but following discussion on March 22, it was determined that additional time to consider proposed recommendations would be beneficial so a special meeting has been scheduled for April 12, 2021.

     

    DATE ACTIVITY

    ACTION

    October 19, 2020

    Board discussion of attendance zone parameters and timeline

    October 26, 2020

    Board approval of attendance zone parameters and timeline

    Early November 2020

    PASA collects PEIMS snapshot data and begins demographic analysis

    December 16, 2020

    First meeting of the administrative attendance zone committee

    January 7, 2021

    Second meeting of the administrative attendance zone committee

    February 1, 2021

    First community meeting to discuss the process, timeline, demographics information, and introduce "starter options"

    February 4, 2021

    Committee review of public comments/adjustments to attendance zone options

    February 8, 2021

    Committee review of public comments/adjustments to attendance zone options

    February 25, 2021

    Committee meeting to review elementary attendance zone and middle school feeder pattern options

    March 2, 2021

    Second community meeting to present attendance zone options

    March 4, 2021

    Committee meeting to review community meeting and develop proposed attendance zones

    March 9, 2021

    Third community meeting to present proposed attendance zones 

    March 11, 2021

    Committee meeting 

    March 22, 2021

    Proposed school attendance zones presented to Board of Trustees

    March 24, 2021

    Committee meeting 

    March 29, 2021

    Proposed school attendance zones presented to Board of Trustees

    April 12, 2021

    Board of Trustees Special Meeting to consider attendance zones

     

    COMMUNITY INPUT

    DSISD welcomes public input to support this process in several ways. Initital opportunitites include:

    • A “Thought Exchange” collected preliminary input on desired priorities. Stakeholders were asked to comment on the question: “What do you think should be the most important consideration(s) in developing new attendance zones?” 
    • During community meetings, participants may ask questions or share comments. 
    • A Google form in English and Spanish collected opinions, suggestions and preferences regarding the process and the starter option maps.
    • A second Google form was made available following introduction of adjusted map options. 

     

    COMMUNITY MEETINGS

    Meeting #1 - Feb. 1, 2021 

    Meeting #1 Presentation

    Meeting #2 - March 2, 2021

    Meeting #2 Presentation

    Meeting #3 - March 9, 2021

    Meeting #3 Presentation

     

    DEMOGRAPHIC STUDIES

    A critical step in the attendance zone process is the analysis of current demographic studies for the district. The district has contracted with PASA to conduct a comprehensive demographic study, including geo-coding of current students, studying recent gains and losses in student population, and the ratio of students per household for major subdivisions and apartments. While the comprehensive report will not be available until the March board meeting, PASA has agreed to provide a set of preliminary projections by the beginning of January.

    The Administrative Attendance Zone Committee will use demographic data and preliminary projections in the early stages of working through zoning scenarios. PASA anticipates that the final projections will differ from the preliminary projections minimally in the early years of the projection period and potentially more significantly in the later years of the decade. Thus, the bulk of the zoning discussion, pros and cons of each scenario, etc. will be as relevant with the preliminary projections as the final projections.

     

    ADMINISTRATIVE ATTENDANCE ZONE COMMITTEE

    The Administrative Attendance Zone Committee, consisting of a representative group of campus and district personnel, will develop rational and sustainable recommendations for school attendance zones. The committee is given the following charge and scope of work:

    • Review the latest Dripping Spring ISD demographic study and develop a recommendation for elementary school attendance zones to be presented no later than March 2021
    • Ensure that the Board parameters and district goals are not compromised due to the attendance zone recommended adjustments
    • Ensure the best interest of students is served in the development of attendance zones

    The administrative committee consists of: Brett Springston (Interim Superintendent), Shannon O'Connor (Board Member), Karen Kidd (Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Innovation), Cedric Menchion (Chief Financial Officer), Pam Swanks (Director of Transportation), Kellie Raymond (Dripping Springs Elementary/Cypress Springs Elementary Principal), Melinda Gardner (Walnut Springs Elementary Principal), Steve Novickas (Rooster Springs Elementary Principal), Kristen Ray (Sycamore Springs Elementary Principal/Director of Elementary Education), Clint Pruett (Director of Facilities and Construction), and Dale Whitaker (Executive Director of Communications).

     

    ATTENDANCE ZONE PARAMETERS

    On Oct. 26, the DSISD Board of Trustees approved the parameters for the development of attendance boundary zones:

    • Optimize school facility usage to accommodate growth patterns throughout the district
    • Avoid the need to redraw attendance zones until additional schools are brought online
    • Design attendance zones that place students in schools in the closest possible geographic proximity of their residence.
    • Avoid dividing sub-divisions when possible
    • Utilize the following capacity amounts when planning schools:  elementary 850
    • Develop effective feeder patters minimizing splits within elementary campuses
    • Consider commuter patterns within the district when possible
    • Minimize impacts on transportation when possible

     

    PARENT COMMUNICATIONS

    Jan. 20, 2021

    Jan. 30, 2021

    Feb. 6, 2021

    Feb. 9, 2021

    Feb. 28, 2021

    March 8, 2021