SMCISD officials approve new zones to help with growth

By: 

Senior News Reporter
The number of students that will be transferred to different schools in compliance with new attendance zones.

New attendance zones will go into effect this fall for six elementary schools and two middle schools in San Marcos.

The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved new attendance zones March 30 at a meeting.

Lolly Guerra, assistant superintendent of human resources, said the need to redraw the zones presented itself when Bowie Elementary and Travis Elementary reached capacity this year.

A wing of classrooms at Hernandez Elementary opened and created an opportunity to alleviate overcrowding at Travis and Bowie. The space became available after the February opening of the pre-K center, said Karen Griffith, assistant superintendent of business and support services. 

Guerra said the new attendance zones will benefit the district by making it easier to maintain the state-mandated 22-students-per-one-teacher ratio. The ratio provides a “conducive learning environment,” she said.

“In order to even out all the schools and take relief off the ones that had too many students in them, we had to redistrict the boundaries,” Griffith said. 

Guerra said district officials are offering parents of fourth graders going into fifth grade and of seventh graders going into eighth grade the opportunity to allow students to remain at their schools for a final year. Families will have to apply by April 30 for the transfer.  

“If a student has been at a particular elementary school for five years already, they might not want to attend their last year of elementary school at a new campus,” Guerra said. “So I think it helps the community with a transition like this and eases them into the new attendance zones.”

Iris Campbell, SMCISD public information officer, said the district has received 11 applications so far.

Guerra wants parents who may be upset about the rezoning to know it is “simply a necessary action.”

“We don’t control where the district grows, where neighborhoods go up, so it’s just something that has to be done,” Guerra said. “There’s no way to continue with the same attendance zones forever.”

Campus-to-campus transfer requests are available for students of all grades. Priority will be given to fourth and seventh graders who have only one year left at their respective schools, Griffith said. 

According to the SMCISD website, bus routes will be subject to change in compliance within the boundaries. Parents of students who are approved to stay in their original locations will be responsible for their own transportation to and from school.

Some parents have voiced disappointment at the idea of having to move their students to different schools. Griffith said the transition should not affect students’ educations.

“We’re responsible for all 7,500 of our students, and our job is to make sure that every one of them gets a quality education,” Griffith said. “So it shouldn’t matter what school you’re at. You should still be getting a quality education.”