The Bob and Lola Sanford Elementary school is currently being built in Van Alstyne, and the VAISD held a meeting on Tuesday evening to explain the possible zoning areas.
Superintendent David Brown he wanted the public meeting because he respects the resident’s opinions.
“I really want your input, I value it,” Brown said to the assembly. “The School Board values it.” Brown said if there were any questions he could not answer, he would present them to the school board for clarification.
Brown told the congregation his goal is to have two equitable elementary schools with quality education. “Once we are done constructing the new school, we’ll turn our attention to the current school next,” he said. “We plan on carpeting the halls, redoing the walls and bathrooms. We are also going to add the same technology, like touch screen projectors, staring next summer.”
During the presentation, Brown discussed the four topics he wanted to cover — future population growth, transportation, racial diversity and economic status.
The population of Van Alstyne has been growing in leaps and bounds. With all the new developments and add-ons to the current ones, the number of houses in the subdivisions will equal almost 1,400 lots. Brown said the way the possible zoning line is made, both schools should fill up equally.
Brown opened the meeting for residents to ask questions.
“With the new zoning, could there be a possibility that some kids will no longer ride a bus?” one resident asked.
“Yes,” Brown replied. “However, students that have to cross Highway 5 will be bussed, and one neighborhood where the terrain makes it dangerous to walk (will be bussed).”
“Will both schools have the same curriculum?” another concerned parent asked.
“Yes,” Brown replied. “We are working on the same curriculum and assessments for both schools. Grade levels in both schools should be in the same unit.”
“What will happen to the special education students?” one resident queried.
“If the student is non-co-op, they will go to whichever school they are zoned for,” Brown said. “If the special education student is one that needs a special classroom, that will be at only one campus.”
Brown reassured the assembly that both schools will have after school programs, like Cubs Corner. Once the new school is operational, the district will move some of the teachers from the current elementary, but also hire new ones to fill the vacancies.
One parent asked if there was going to be Pre-K classes at both campuses, to which Brown replied no.
“We don’t have enough resources for both schools to have Pre-K classes,” Brown said. “It might be put at the new school, since the new playground is little kid friendly.”
“When do you project the schools to be at maximum capacity?” a resident asked. “That is a good question,” Brown replied. “It really depends on the developers, but we are hoping to make 5-8 years before we have to worry about that.”
Brown said the projections only include kindergarten through third grade. The location of fourth grade is still undecided. There will be a meeting held on Dec. 5 to discuss and vote on the location of the fourth graders.