The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees approved attendance boundary modifications Monday night that will go into effect for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Although a large portion of FISD students continue to learn from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the District must plan for all students’ eventual return to on-campus learning while keeping a close eye on enrollment trends, projections and impacts from the pandemic.
Among the approved changes were a new attendance zone for the District’s 11th high school, Emerson, and adjustments to the boundaries for Centennial and Heritage high schools.
As student enrollment in FISD continues to grow, and that growth is concentrated at the secondary level, zoning changes were needed on the east side of the District to accommodate Emerson and maintain high school enrollments below the University Interscholastic League (UIL) cutoff for 5A schools.
The Frisco ISD community has repeatedly reaffirmed its desire for smaller high schools that provide a wealth of opportunities and experiences for students, and projections show both Centennial and Heritage were at risk for moving to 6A in 2022 without a zoning modification. The approved changes will move students in some neighborhoods to Independence and Lebanon Trail high schools, allowing them to attend high school with their middle school peers.
In adopting the new high school zones, the Board also agreed to provide the option for impacted students with an older high school sibling to choose between their newly zoned campus or their older sibling’s current high school. This was a change from the District’s initial zoning proposals, which did not provide for exceptions.
The opportunity, which has not traditionally been offered in Frisco ISD when siblings have been split between campuses, is possible this year due to the unique circumstances. Although it is unclear what number the UIL will use to determine classifications next fall, the cutoff for the current alignment was 2,219 students. Based on enrollment projections, capacity considerations and the small number of students eligible under the exception, the District administration is comfortable with allowing younger siblings to choose between high school campuses.
This flexibility is not intended to set a new precedent, as the opportunity may not be available to families in a similar situation in the future. However, because it appears possible to provide the exception this year and maintain a 5A classification for all campuses, it was the Board’s desire to allow families the option to keep both their children at the same high school.
In addition to the high school changes, the Board also approved attendance boundary modifications at the elementary level.
Changes were made to address growth and leverage existing classroom space in schools where enrollment has stabilized or may be declining.
Two elementary campuses, Liscano and Nichols, exceeded capacity during the 2019-20 school year. Under the approved changes, some students zoned to Liscano were reassigned to Mooneyham and Sem elementary schools, and some students zoned to Nichols were reassigned to Hosp Elementary. Additionally, in order to create additional capacity at Hosp to relieve Nichols, some Hosp students were reassigned to Bledsoe Elementary.
An additional adjustment to the Norris Elementary zone will return students to Ashley Elementary, allowing for future growth at Norris.
Click here to see the approved attendance zones.