AISD trustees vote yes to change elementary school boundaries

AISD board approves new elementary boundaries

ABILENE, TX - The Abilene School Board voted unanimously to redraw the lines.

This change affects about 500 kids and their families.

The changes are to make campuses more equitable in numbers and demographics.

The district held four public hearings, where voices were heard both for and against the motion.

Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. Heath Burns said he's optimistic about the changes, but recognizes the challenges.

"Anytime you make decisions that involve relocating children and changing schools it's going to be difficult  and controversial and painful," Burns said. "I feel confident that our process was sound and that the recommendations that we're making serves the interest of the children in our school district."

The approved recommendations are slightly different from the original proposal. They take into consideration the public voice.

Associate Superintendent of Operation Scott McLean discussed the next steps the district will take in this process.

"We'll be communicating the changes to the parents," McLean said. "We'll be updating the boundary maps to show what the changes are and then we'll be working with staff and administration on the various campuses to be prepared to welcome the new students."

The revised changes begin in the 2013-2014 school year, with exceptions. Some of those are fifth graders who are currently attending a school will not have to change schools and can decide to remain at their campus. However, their siblings will have to move. Also, if children are receiving bus transportation in one school it will be provided for them in the transfer.

"Changes such as this afford our kids the opportunity to learn and grow in different ways," Burns said.  "A big part of being an adult and being able to function in the world we're in today is being able to adapt to change and being flexible."

McLean said the district has some preliminary plans to to integrate students into the new school.

"We'll do so by having open houses and meet the teacher events prior to regular students arriving so they can become familiar with the campus," said McLean.

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