A map of the new attendance zones for Marble Falls Independent School District shows which elementary schools students will attend in the following school years based on their residency. Courtesy photo
Students living near the Texas 71-U.S. 281 corridor in south Marble Falls will attend Spicewood Elementary School after the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees approved new attendance zones for elementary schools.
The area most affected includes three new subdivisions at the intersection in varying degrees of progress. The change sends elementary students who will live in Gregg Ranch, Thunder Rock, and Legacy Crossing to school east along 71 rather than north up 281.
The changes were adopted during the board’s regular meeting Aug. 22. A committee formed in April helped design the new zones.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeff Gasaway spoke to DailyTrib.com about the reasoning behind the changes.
“We wanted to review the current elementary boundaries in a manner that addressed future growth, facility planning,” he said. “We wanted to balance our elementary schools’ growth and enrollment.”
The group used natural boundaries such as Lake Marble Falls to help create the new zones. Another focus of the committee was to keep subdivisions and neighborhoods intact, Gasaway said.
Before the new zoning, Colt Elementary sat at roughly 92 capacity on April 4, 2022, when the district conducted an attendance snapshot for the study. On the same day, Spicewood Elementary was only at 44 percent capacity.
Members of the committee recognized this needed to be addressed.
“Spicewood is a place with roughly 200 students but a capacity of 450,” Gasaway said. “Even with the increase of students, we’ll still have space for future growth.”
Now, students living near the 71-281 corridor will attend Spicewood, bolstering the school’s attendance to 312 students rather than 199 students.
Marble Falls Elementary will move from 573 to 534 students; Colt Elementary from 598 students to 527 students; and Highland Lakes Elementary in Granite Shoals will remain the same at 516 students.
The new zones will afford more space, make attendance rates more equitable across the district, and create room for growth, Gasaway said.
“It will help us have a little more space at Colt and Marble Falls,” he said. “This will provide them some relief.”
Full implementation of the new plan won’t take place until the 2024-25 academic year. Families that move to an address in one of the developments will follow the new guidelines for the 2022-23 school year.
Starting in the 2023-24 school year, fifth-graders will be grandfathered into the old zones. During this same period, younger siblings of fifth-graders will also be grandfathered in and allowed to stay at their current schools. Busing will not be available to these students.
Grandfathering will end upon full implementation in the 2024-25 school year.
The district will continue to accept transfer applications for consideration.