Evaluating Proposals & Recommendations

Primary Criterion (new school construction)

Recommend the establishment of and adjustments to school attendance areas to balance the projected student populations (where students live) of areas affected. Student populations for these attendance areas should be within the target range of 75-115 percent of permanent capacity. Historic net migration patterns will also be considered as a factor when creating attendance areas, as they may ultimately affect student enrollments.

Primary Criterion (without new school construction)

Recommend the adjustment of school attendance areas to balance student enrollments of areas affected. The student enrollments for these schools should be within the target range of 75-115 percent of permanent capacity. Projected student populations will also be considered as a factor when adjusting attendance areas, as they may affect future enrollments.

Primary criteria was approved by the Boundary Advisory Committee on May 12, 2015 and developed consistent with district policy, FDB (LOCAL) that states:

  • School assignments are made to balance the enrollment of a school.  
  • However, students, Pre-k- grade12, may request a transfer to any other school on a space-available basis and observation of class-size caps.
  • The Board delegates to the Superintendent the authority to determine the availability of space, regardless of the type of transfer requested.

Secondary Criteria

  • Secondary criteria should always consider feeder patterns. 
  • Additional criteria are developed on a case-by-case basis with input from the affected school communities.

Boundary Process

District will make a good faith effort to translate all key documents into Spanish.

BAC

  • Review enrollment data at the beginning of each school year and discuss potential opportunities for boundary changes for those schools that fall outside the target range of 75-115% as referenced in the primary criterion.
  • Review other potential boundary changes as directed by the Superintendent or Board of Trustees, or raised by the Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee.
  • Discuss timing for the creation of new attendance areas upon approval of bond programs, if appropriate

Data Review

  • School capacity
  • Student population trends and projections
  • Enrollment trends and projections
  • Transfer patterns
  • Other data, as appropriate

Superintendent and Director of Planning

  • Discuss BAC recommendations on potential boundary proposals and timing for the creation of new attendance areas.
  • Approval from Superintendent is required prior to commencement of a boundary process.

Campus Advisory Council (CAC) meetings

  • At CAC meeting, Planning team to inform Campus Advisory Councils (CAC) of potential boundary changes or the creation of new attendance areas (optional BAC member attendance).
  • Receive input on the approximate number of students needed for relief.
  • Receive input on secondary criteria, including consideration of feeder patterns, and other criteria as identified on a case-by-case basis.
  • Discuss communications and community engagement strategy.

Planning team, BAC and Campus

  • Share preliminary information (provided by Planning team) with the community via:
    • BAC website
    • Direct communication from the campus (as determined by the principals)
    • PTA meetings and/or other school events
    • Vertical team meetings
    • Opportunities throughout the neighborhood (i.e. posting flyers at community centers, including libraries and rec centers, and direct communication to neighborhood associations and religious assemblies.
  • Communication should include, at a minimum:
    • Identification of issue/purpose for boundary change or new attendance area (i.e. overcrowding or new school construction).
    • Relevant data (i.e. enrollment and population)
    • Opportunities for feedback (i.e. comment box and interest list sign-up on BAC webpage, email to boundaries@austinisd.org, and feedback forms available at schools)
    • Timeline/calendar of events
  • Communicate all feedback with the BAC.

BAC meeting and Communication to CACs via email

  • Review input received from the CACs and draft secondary criteria, realizing that gains in one of the criteria (i.e. alignment of feeder patterns) may come at the cost of another criteria (i.e. travel time/transportation)
  • Establish a ranking or weighting for the secondary criteria
  • Agreement on secondary criteria and ranking/weighting
  • Email secondary criteria and rankings to CACs for feedback. Include a timeline for feedback.

Planning team and Transportation team (internal work)

  • Development of draft boundary maps based on primary and secondary criteria.
  • Review of draft maps by transportation team to determine whether students would be eligible for transportation, and fiscal impacts.

BAC meeting

  • Review any feedback from CACs on secondary criteria and, if needed, modify criteria and/or rankings prior to discussion of draft boundary maps.
  • Discussion of draft boundary maps in relation to primary and secondary criteria.

Planning team (internal work)

  • Revise draft boundary maps based on feedback from the BAC.

CAC meeting

  • Presentation of draft boundary maps (by Planning team) to CACs of affected schools (including potential relief school).
  • Receive feedback.

Planning team, BAC and Campus

  • Share draft boundary maps and secondary criteria with the community via:
    • BAC website
    • Direct communication from the campus (as determined by the principals).
    • Large copies of map(s) on display at the affected campuses, with feedback forms available.
    • PTA meetings and/or other school events
    • Informal BAC morning coffee event
    • Vertical team meetings
  • Communicate all feedback with the BAC.

BAC meeting

  • Review CAC and community feedback and make any necessary revisions to boundary maps.
  • Rank draft maps (with any revisions) based on how well they meet the primary and secondary criteria.
  • Agreement from BAC on top ranking map to present to the community.

Open House with community, BAC, and planning team
Translation and childcare available

  • BAC to engage community through an open house (come and go) with the following information• BAC to engage community through an open house (come and go) with the following information
    • Charge of BAC
    • Identification of issue(s) – potential impacts of over-crowding
    • Explanation of process
    • Primary and secondary criteria
    • Data reviewed
    • Top ranking boundary proposal with opportunities for feedback (i.e. post-it notes)
    • Transportation impacts
    • FAQs
    • Schematic design and key dates for construction (in cases when a new school is being constructed)
    • Comments cards
    • Calendar of upcoming events (i.e. Board meetings)

BAC meeting

  • Review and discuss community feedback.
  • Make any needed adjustments to boundary map.
  • Agreement on recommended boundary map for presentation to the Superintendent.

Planning team and District administration

  • Share BAC's recommended boundary map with district administration (transportation, school leadership, and academics) and request feedback.

Planning team and Superintendent

  • Present BAC's recommended boundary map to the Superintendent.
  • Communicate final boundary map to the BAC.

Board of Trustees Work Session

  • Present boundary map to the Board of Trustees for discussion.

BAC meeting

  • Call a Boundary Advisory Committee meeting, if needed, to make necessary revisions to boundary map.

Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

  • Present boundary map to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Planning team

  • Communicate Board-approved boundary map to BAC, campus and district administration through email.
  • Update BAC website

Student Services team

  • Notification of new school assignment to parents/guardians at least one semester prior to implementation of boundary change or new attendance area.

Transportation team and City of Austin, Safe Routes to School team

  • Coordinate with the City of Austin's Safe Routes to School team to establish walking school buses, crossing guards, and other options to provide a safe route for students who do not qualify for bus transportation.