It was a standing-room only crowd at the McKinney ISD board meeting on Tuesday night. Once every seat in the room was filled, the assembled parents asked for more chairs to be brought in. Once those chairs were filled, the remaining parents stood around the perimeter of the room. The crowd filled the room on all sides and spilled into the hallway outside. They were all there for one reason.
In the middle of the room, surrounded by parents and separated from them by a row of McKinney ISD senior staffers, the MISD board members took their seats in the eye of the storm.
After receiving reports from various departments, including athletics and fine arts, the board settled in for a lengthy discussion of the rezoning map. Board President Curtis Rippee said that the district appreciated all of the parents who came to the meeting and who provided feedback during the rezoning discussion process, but that the district would not allow public comments during the meeting because the meeting was a work session.
He added that the district had taken all of the feedback into account, including more than 600 comments received through the district’s online forum and all of the comments during last week’s telephone town hall.
The board discussed four possible adjustments to the map that would address some of the concerns they’ve received from parents. After lengthy discussions of each scenario, taking both individual adjustment scenarios and scenario combinations into account, the board voted to approve a new rezoning map with two adjustments.
The first change will see the children of Wolford Elementary School stay together from elementary school through high school at McKinney Boyd High School.
This scenario certainly pleased a vast majority of the crowd who wore clothing emblazoned with Wolford Elementary. The parents from Wolford had been some of the most vocal critics of the proposed map. If passed in its originally presented form, it would have split the children of Wolford, sending some to McKinney High School and some to Boyd.
The new draft of the rezoning map shifts the areas north of Eldorado Parkway, east of Ridge Road, and west of Hardin Boulevard, back to Boyd where it is currently zoned. The original map had that section moving to McKinney High. See the map included for the affected areas, highlighted by arrows.
The other change that the board approved is set to affect the Mallard Lakes area. In the previous map, the dividing line between Boyd’s zone and McKinney High’s zone was basically Winding Brook Drive, with homes to the northwest going to Boyd and homes to the southwest going to McKinney High.
The board shifted that dividing boundary to the creek that bisects that neighborhood, just off of Pecan Point Drive. In the current proposal, the homes north of the creek will go to Boyd and the homes south of the creek will go to McKinney High.
The board approved these changes with a 6-1 vote. Bobby Amick, Board Member for Place 2, voted against the proposal.
After the meeting, Rippee told TSB that he thought the changes were logical. “I think they’re good changes,” he said. “We’ve received good feedback from the Wolford community. But these changes aren’t just about Wolford. It’s more about stabilizing the enrollment at McKinney High. Our biggest decisions were about balancing Boyd and McKinney High. This equalizes the populations at those schools.”
See below for the new draft of the MISD high school rezoning map. The red lines show the boundaries for MISD’s elementary schools.
Under the current proposal, the projected attendance for both schools will be around 2,700 students, based on the projections of Templeton Demographics. Templeton is the district’s demographer and was in attendance at the meeting to provide real-time data to the board members based on any proposed changes.
Overcrowding at Boyd is the main reason why MISD is set to rezone for the district’s three high schools. Boyd’s attendance is currently over the maximum capacity of 3,000 students. The rezoning map will reduce the projected attendance at Boyd to under capacity.
One option that will have an impact on the projected attendance numbers for all three high schools is grandfathering. MISD has previously commended that the district should allow grandfathering for any high school students who would be affected by the zoning change. This would allow the affected students to remain at their current high school for their entire high school career.
As part of the district’s proposed grandfathering, the board has suggested that that siblings should be allowed to remain together at the same school while the older sibling is in high school.
If students choose to grandfather into their current school, the district will not provide bus transportation to their current school because the students would now be outside of that school’s bus routes. If the grandfathering portion of the proposal is approved, it would become the student’s (or their parents’) responsibility to provide transportation to the student’s current high school.
The district’s online forum will continue to be open to receive comments on the new proposed map. The district will host another telephone town hall meeting on Monday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. to receive additional feedback from parents on the updated map.
The board is tentatively set to vote on the updated map on Tuesday, Jan. 28 during its next meeting. Depending on the feedback they receive on the new map, that vote may be pushed back to allow for additional changes to the map.