Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jeff Gasaway presents parents with their first look at the new zoning plan for elementary schools in the Marble Falls Independent School District. Staff photo by Nathan Bush
Proposed new zoning boundaries for elementary schools in the Marble Falls Independent School District were revealed at a public informational meeting Wednesday, June 8. The biggest change would increase enrollment at Spicewood Elementary School.
The plan will not be finalized until the district’s demographic study is complete, MFISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jeff Gasaway said at the meeting.
“It has been over a decade since these zones have been looked at,” he said. “In fact, there’s only been two times our Board of Trustees have ever looked at our attendance zones. Even then, they were very minor adjustments.”
The new zones were decided by a 20-person committee of parents, educators, and administrators. The group met four times over the past three months to determine the new boundaries.
“We wanted to balance (elementary) enrollments across Marble Falls ISD,” Gasaway said. “We wanted to keep neighborhoods intact when drawing these lines. We also wanted to take advantage of natural boundaries.”
According to a study done by the district on April 4, Spicewood Elementary attendance was at 199 students while the school’s capacity is 450. The new plan would increase Spicewood’s enrollment to 312 students.
If the plan is adopted, Marble Falls Elementary will be at 82 percent capacity rather than 88 percent, Colt Elementary will be at 81 percent rather than 92 percent, and Spicewood will move to 60 percent rather than 44 percent.
Highland Lakes Elementary in Granite Shoals will remain at 69 percent.
If the district moves forward with the plan, full implementation would not take place until the 2024-25 academic year. As currently constructed, families that move to an address in a new development will follow the new zoning guidelines for the 2022-23 school year.
Starting in the 2023-24 school year, parents with fifth-graders would be grandfathered into the old zones. During this same time period, younger siblings of fifth-graders also would be grandfathered in and allowed to stay at their current school. However, parents would have to transport them to and from campus. Grandfathering would end at the start of the 2024-25 school year.
The district will not move forward with the plan until the demographic study is complete. One final public meeting will be held so parents can meet with administrators.
“Growth is coming, and we have to be ready for it,” Gasaway said.