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Abilene ISD prepares to redraw elementary school lines

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Jan 14 2013 10:25:43 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 15 2013 07:53:07 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

The Abilene ISD Board of Trustees discussed changing school boundaries during Monday night’s first school board meeting of the year. 

AISD officials are reportedly making every effort to simplify the process for parents, students and the community. AISD Superintendent Heath Burns said the purpose of revising the boundaries is to achieve balance across schools.

"In order to maintain appropriate ratios and sizes you have to make these adjustments periodically," Burns said. "It's also important that we try to maintain reasonable ethnic breakdowns throughout the district."

Based on the current plans, five schools will be impacted by the rezoning: Dyess, Reagan, Bassetti, Ward, and Jackson.

Not everyone, however, is comfortable with the proposed changes.

Board member Robert Laird, a former military child, expressed his concern for moving military kids into the local community.

"We move around a lot so going from one place to another can be difficult especially if you're a young child," Laird said. "We want to eliminate that as much as possible at least while they're in our town."

The number of kids impacted by the rezoning is roughly 500 of the 17,000 students in AISD. There will also be an exception for fifth graders only, because it constitutes their last year in elementary school. Those students will have the option to go to the new school or stay at the old school.

At the end of January, the board will hold four public hearings at the schools receiving students. The events will happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The dates are Jan. 22, Jan. 24, Jan. 29 and Jan. 31.

Officials said the board hopes to have final, new school boundaries approved in February.