Parents provide feedback on zones

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CORINTH — Proposed changes in elementary school attendance zones drew questions but little opposition from parents this week at the first of two public hearings on the Denton school district proposals.

Parents will get another chance to learn more or sound off — weather permitting — at a second public hearing at 7 tonight at Harpool Middle School, 9601 Stacee Lane in Argyle. If the weather conditions are poor, the meeting will be rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Harpool; officials urge parents to watch the district’s website and social media pages today for updates.

At the first meeting Tuesday at Crownover Middle School, parents asked questions about the possible loss of dual-language classes and transportation issues that could result from the changes, but most did not appear opposed to the changes.

“I though it was genuine, straightforward,” Robert Bostic, the district’s assistant superintendent for academic programs, said of feedback received at Tuesday’s meeting. “They understand we are a growing district. They had some good suggestions. I think they had some very good questions.”

Proposed attendance boundary changes, which were prompted by the construction of a new elementary school in the Lantana area, would impact students attending Blanton, E.P. Rayzor, Hawk, McNair and Pecan Creek elementary schools. The new school is expected to open in August with about 300 students at a location north of FM407 and west of Copper Canyon Road in the Fairlin neighborhood of Lantana, Bostic said.

For parent Wanda Bruce, who lives in the Oakmont area west of Interstate 35E in Corinth, the change will mean that her fourth-grader will attend Hawk Elementary School next school year instead of Pecan Creek. Students living east of I-35E and Lakeview Boulevard will remain zoned to Pecan Creek.

“Being in a growth area, you always expect that,” Bruce said of the proposed realignment. “It’s not easy, though.”

Pecan Creek has seen an increase in home construction within its attendance zone while the student population at Hawk has declined in recent years, school officials told parents.

Krissy Smith, who lives in the Oakmont neighborhood, said she is not opposed to having her third-grade daughter at Pecan Creek attend Hawk next year.

“It makes more sense,” she said. “I hate that she’s leaving her school, but it’s closer to home. I’m sure that [Hawk] is equally as good.”

Bostic, who lives in the Pecan Creek attendance zone but does not have elementary-age children, said the proposed changes are “something that’s always going to be a necessary thing in a fast-growth district.”

“It’s a good change to have,” he said.

Some parents Tuesday also expressed concerns about the possible loss of a dual-language program now being offered at Pecan Creek for students who are moving to Hawk. Others questioned transportation.

Bostic said he intends to post a video on the district website Saturday outlining points discussed at the two public meetings. Residents will have an opportunity to submit comments and questions online.

The proposed boundaries are set for discussion at a school board workshop slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday. Trustees will receive a copy of questions and comments submitted by residents for consideration.

The board could consider action on the proposed attendance boundaries as early as Jan. 21.

The proposed elementary attendance boundaries for the 2014-15 school year include:

Elementary School No. 22, which is scheduled to open in August: The proposed boundary includes the Sierra, Telea, Laviana, Gaillardia, Fairlin, Reata, Palmetto, Meridian, Crescent and Kendall neighborhoods in the Lantana development. The boundary also would include portions of Bartonville, Double Oak and Copper Canyon, the Canyon Oaks area, and areas south, west and north of FM407 and east and west of Copper Canyon Road.

E.P. Rayzor: The boundary would include Lantana’s Carlisle, Wimberly, Camden, Brazos, Sonora, Wisteria, Navarro, Magnolia and Bel Air neighborhoods.

McNair: Students living in the Hickory Creek neighborhood bordering Bluebonnet and Redbud, who are currently at Blanton, will be rezoned to McNair.

Blanton: The zone will remain the same with the exception of those students proposed to be rezoned to the new elementary school or E.P. Rayzor.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.


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