CISD proposes grade configurations, attendance zones

A breakdown of the current school boundaries and those proposed at the recent CISD board meeting are shown above.

by Crystal Gottfriend, Staff Writer

Comal Independent School District trustees tackled proposed grade configurations and attendance zones at their regular meeting last week.

Due to the passage of the $189.2 million bond issue last December, enrollment growth in the district's schools and the timing of school openings, district administrators presented proposed grade configurations and attendance zones for 2006-07. The proposal takes the district through school year 2010.

Saying that the proposed changes were "the absolute best plan we could come up with," CISD Superintendent Marc Walker and Associate Superintendent for Administration Nancy Cobb made the presentation to the school board after working out every possible scenario.

Cobb, who is also the district's demographer, and Walker considered many variables, such as school size, grade configuration, traffic issues, school capacity, projected growth, and population equity or balanced enrollments, with the fewest number of changes possible for each student.

Major changes and additions in the proposed plan will be taken to the community during public meetings in February prior to the board of trustees vote at its Feb. 23 meeting.

Public meetings are planned for Thursday, Feb. 2, at Canyon Intermediate School; Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Specht Elementary, and Thursday, Feb. 16 at Smithson Valley Middle School. All of the meetings will begin at 7 p.m. in the cafeterias.


2006-07 Proposals

Enrollment in August 2006 is projected to be almost 14,100 students. Presently, it is about 13,400.

The proposed grade configuration recommendation is to move all sixth graders, except those at Mountain Valley School and Rebecca Creek Elementary, to the middle schools. The school board decided last summer to have sixth, seventh, and eighth graders attend middle school in the future.

The sixth graders at Mountain Valley School and Rebecca Creek would begin attending a new middle school to be opened in the Canyon Lake area in 2008.

Arlon Seay Intermediate would become a fifth-grade campus for students from Bill Brown, Rahe Bulverde, and Specht; Goodwin Primary would enroll Pre-K through second grades; and Frazier Elementary would enroll third through fifth grades.

As for middle schools, Smithson Valley would enroll students living east of Hwy. 281 except those sixth graders in the Rebecca Creek Elementary and Mountain Valley School zones, who will remain at these two schools until 2008.

Spring Branch Middle would enroll students living west of Hwy. 281, from the Bexar County line north to the Guadalupe River.

Canyon Middle School would enroll all students in the Comal Elementary attendance zone and Goodwin and Frazier students living east of IH 35.

Canyon Intermediate, which now houses fourth, fifth and sixth graders, would become a middle school campus. It would enroll all students in the Hoffmann Lane Elementary attendance zone and Goodwin and Frazier students living west of IH 35.

The high school alignments would not change.


2007-08 Proposals

For the school year 2007-08, enrollment is projected to be nearly 15,000. The school district expects to open a new elementary school on FM 1101, south of Canyon Middle, to relieve overcrowding at Godwin and Frazier. All of these students would feed into Canyon Middle.

Another new elementary school would open in Startzville on FM 3159, with all students attending Mountain Valley School moving there. Mountain Valley would temporarily close and begin conversion to a middle school. Also, renovations at Rahe Bulverde Elementary would be completed.

The four existing middle schools would retain the same boundaries and configurations from the 2006-07 school year.

Canyon Lake High School would open north of the lake with about 500 ninth and 10th graders.


2008-09 Proposals

Enrollment is projected to be nearly 16,000 students, and the district predicts that all of the school board's recommendations for grade alignments would finally be reached.

All elementary schools will be pre-K through fifth grade, and all middle schools would include sixth through eighth grades.

Proposed plans for a new elementary school to open in the Morningside area in New Braunfels, to relieve overcrowding at Comal Elementary, would be accomplished. These students would feed into Canyon Middle.

Another new elementary would open in Timberwood Park in Bexar County, on the west side of Hwy. 281, to relieve Specht Elementary.

Specht Elementary students on the west side of Hwy 281, in the Lookout Canyon area, would start attending Smithson Valley Middle with the rest of SES that have been attending since 2006.

Arlon Seay Elementary would become a Pre-K through fifth grade campus, with its boundaries on the west side of Hwy. 281, and Bill Brown Elementary would have boundaries on the east side of Hwy. 281.

Frazier Elementary would complete major renovations to accommodate Pre-K through fifth grade, and Goodwin Primary could close based on current enrollment projections.

Major renovations would be completed at Smithson Valley Middle, and Mountain Valley would re-open as a middle school to students in the Rebecca Creek and Startzville attendance zones. These students would feed into Canyon Lake High, which would enroll about 800 students in grades nine through 11.


2009-10 Proposals

Finally, proposed changes for the 2009-2010 school year would accommodate the enrollment projection of about 16,700 students.

Johnson Ranch Elementary would open for Pre-K through fifth grades to alleviate Rahe Bulverde Elementary. Boundaries would lie on the east side of Hwy. 281 and would include students currently attending RBES.

One more "flex" elementary school could open on either side of the district, depending on the need.

Canyon Lake High School would become a ninth- through 12th-grade campus, with enrollment projected to be just more than 1,000 students.

Complete boundary maps are available on the district's web site at

The next regular meeting of the board of trustees will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. in the Spring Branch Middle cafeteria.

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