Belton, Tx (FOX44) – Little unsettles parents more than school districts changing attendance zones and shifting where students attend school.

Redrawing attendance boundaries most often takes place when new schools are constructed and districts grow.

Belton ISD trustees have been working to minimize the effects of growth by setting parameters to use in developing new boundaries.

The new boundaries will be needed soon as construction on the district’s 12th elementary school, James L. Burrell Elementary, is underway. Construction on a 13th elementary school, Hubbard Branch Elementary, is slated to begin in 2023 along with construction on an addition to Southwest Elementary. These projects, funded by the 2022 bond voters passed in May, address growth in the north and south sectors of the almost 200 square miles of Belton ISD where ongoing enrollment growth is making the biggest impact. 

“Since September, we’ve been gathering input and feedback from stakeholders to learn what parameters are most important to our community as we look to redraw attendance boundary lines,” Michael Morgan, assistant superintendent of operations, said. “Our ultimate recommendation to the board is going to be data-driven and reflect the feedback we receive throughout the process.”

Trustees have adopted these parameter as the most important to consider when creating new attendance boundaries:

Growth — Best efforts will be made to plan for future development so that lines do not have to be redrawn between future scheduled campus openings.

Socioeconomic Factors — Consideration will be given to the socioeconomic makeup of each attendance zone.

Neighborhood Unity — Best efforts will be made to keep subdivisions and neighborhoods together.

Family Impact — Best efforts will be made to consider the impact that changing attendance zones will have on families.

Feeder Pattern Alignment — Best efforts will be made to keep students together as they move through elementary, middle and high school.

The next step will be for district leaders to start modeling proposed boundaries based on these parameters. They’ll work alongside analysts from Zonda Education, the demographics team the district uses to calculate enrollment projections.

District leaders will seek additional community input in late January on specific boundary options being considered and a transition plan outlining details on a grandfathering clause and addressing students who utilize the district’s Special Programs services.

Administrators plan to bring a final recommendation to the board in February with new boundaries not taking effect until August 2023 at the earliest.