DISD proposes zone change in 380 area

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Hearings set for plan to move 150 students to Providence Elementary

Denton school district officials will conduct meetings Wednesday and Thursday to discuss an elementary attendance zone proposal that could move approximately 150 Paloma Creek Elementary students to Providence Elementary for the 2013-14 school year.

Public hearings are set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Providence Elementary School, 1000 FM2931 in Providence Village, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Paloma Creek Elementary, 1600 Navo Road in the Paloma Creek area.

Rod Reeves, the district facilities and planning coordinator, said the proposal is an attempt to balance student populations.

The district has set functional capacities at its elementary schools for 740 students. Enrollment at Paloma Creek currently stands at 743, according to district documents.

Projecting population growth this school year, the Denton school board approved action in June to move two pre-kindergarten classes, with an estimated total of more than 70 students, to Savannah Elementary School, freeing up space at Paloma Creek for its growing population.

“We also want to prepare for future growth,” Reeves said. “We want to do this in such a way that we’re not here in a year rezoning again.”

District officials are proposing a majority of students living south of U.S. Highway 380, east of Navo Road and Villa Paloma Boulevard to the district’s southern boundary at Lewisville Lake and west of district’s east boundary near FM423, be rezoned to Providence Elementary.

Providence has room to grow with a current enrollment of 502 students, according to district officials. ‘

The proposal would affect the southeast portions of the current attendance zones for Paloma Creek and Savannah. District officials say no current students live within the portion of the Savannah boundary that is proposed to move to Providence.

Students entering the fifth grade next year at Paloma Creek and their siblings enrolled at the school will have the option to remain there, provided they furnish their own transportation, Reeves said.

Conducting public hearings a year before a proposed change in attendance boundaries allows parents to “plan accordingly,” said Sharon Cox, district spokeswoman.

The last attendance zone change in the school district’s eastern region was approved in 2009, she said. More than 300 students attending Providence Elementary at the time were rezoned to attend Cross Oaks Elementary School, which opened for the 2010-11 year.

Based on a second-quarter new home closing report presented last Monday to Denton school and city officials, the Denton school district is fifth among the fastest-growing districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

According to Bob Templeton, president of Southlake-based Templeton Demographics, the district’s fastest-growing areas are the southern sector and east along the U.S. 380 Corridor.

Wednesday and Thursday’s meetings are informative and no decisions on the boundary modifications will be made at that time, Reeves said. The hearings are merely an opportunity for officials to share the proposal with the public and gather input, he said.

Discussion points and comments collected at the Wednesday and Thursday meetings, along with the rezoning proposal, are scheduled to be presented to the school board Oct. 23. Reeves said no action will be taken at that time, but the school board could consider the proposal as soon as Nov. 13.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is btabor@dentonrc.com.


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