Allen ISD District News
August 17, 2022
Allen ISD Begins Analysis of Elementary Attendance Zones
Opportunity for Community Members to Apply for Committee and Provide Feedback
Allen ISD is in the process of examining its current elementary school attendance boundaries, and we want to provide the community with details on this important topic. On August 8, Allen ISD officials presented demographic trends, enrollment forecasts, and capacity thresholds for all AISD elementary schools at the Board of Trustees Workshop. The presentation highlighted the conditions for potential boundary realignment citing the increase in student enrollment on the West/Northwest portion of the district, with decreasing enrollment on the East side of town. The study of attendance boundaries for potential realignment is important for several reasons, including balancing of resources, impact on specialized programming, and financial and operational efficiency. Allen ISD is committed to keeping our community informed and involved as we consider adjustments to our current elementary attendance zones.
Opportunities to provide community feedback and/or apply for the Attendance Boundary Adjustment Committee are located at the bottom of this message.
Why is Allen ISD studying its elementary attendance zones for potential adjustment?
Collin County has grown rapidly over the past 30 years, and Allen ISD experienced an enrollment boom in the 1990s and 2000s. That student-population growth, which once saw a steady 4% to 5% increase each year, has now slowed to less than 1% for the past several years due to a reduction in new housing inventory. With the school district encompassing just 26 square miles of land, which is considerably smaller than many of our surrounding districts, AISD is nearing build-out in terms of residential living.
It’s also important to note that the new student enrollment growth is not spread evenly across the District. While some elementary campuses, particularly those located near Hwy 121, have enrollments reaching or exceeding capacity limits, other campuses have seen their enrollments decline.
Why are some elementary campuses growing while others are not?
Allen ISD utilizes independent demographic reports conducted by School District Strategies (SDS). These reports indicate new residential developments, including single-family and multi-family units, have recently been built or are planned to be built in the Western and Northwestern portion of Allen ISD. Families with children are moving into these locations, resulting in significant enrollment growth at these campuses. Additionally, the established neighborhoods on the Eastern portion of the District now feature more families who are staying in their homes after their children graduate high school.
Elementary enrollment on the Western side of the district has now surpassed the Eastern portion of the district for the first time in Allen ISD’s history. This is especially important considering there are only 8 campuses on the Western side and 10 on the Eastern side. Allen ISD’s demographer predicts this enrollment gap to widen over the coming years.
This imbalanced enrollment affects the students and staff of Allen ISD in a number of ways, one of which is the capacity of the actual building. For example, Lindsey Elementary’s student population reached 904 students last spring, and the District took action by capping the campus’s enrollment for this school year. This means that new families who move into Lindsey’s attendance zone must enroll at a different campus. Other elementary campuses, particularly those on the Eastern side of the District, have student populations that hover in the mid 300s and 400s.
Enrollment predictions indicate that the following campuses will soon reach functional capacity (which is 90% of the building’s maximum capacity): Boon, Kerr, Lindsey, Norton and Preston. An imbalanced student enrollment across the District creates budgetary inefficiencies. For example, more operating funds are needed on a per-student basis to operate a smaller-enrollment campus than a larger-enrollment campus.
Are there any other factors to consider?
There are many considerations that need to be taken into account during a boundary adjustment process. One such factor is the upcoming implementation of Full-Day Prekindergarten within the next two years. Allen ISD currently offers half-day and full-day prekindergarten classes for eligible students, and the District will transition to a complete full-day program no later than the Fall of 2024 to meet state requirements.
The current prekindergarten program is held at both Cheatham and Rountree Elementary schools, but will need twice as many classrooms at multiple campuses or one centralized location to accommodate the larger program. Campus capacities and attendance boundaries need to be evaluated to determine the location of these additional classrooms to support the implementation of a high-quality full-day prekindergarten program.
How can the community help?
With these pressing issues at hand, Allen ISD is seeking community collaboration to study the existing attendance boundaries and explore a solution to better balance student enrollment across the District. Allen ISD has opened an application for community members who are interested in serving on the Attendance Boundary Adjustment Committee which is currently open through August 25.
The District will also host public meetings in October and November that all community members are welcome to attend. Community members may also submit their initial feedback on the attendance boundary adjustments for consideration by the District and the Attendance Boundary Adjustment Committee.
Allen ISD is fortunate to have a supportive community that is willing to study the existing issues and find a solution that benefits all students.