Aldine ISD board to address growth issues

Board meets Aug. 11, 18 to consider Bond Referendum

Aldine ISD is growing at a rapid rate and the time has come to address growth issues. As the district celebrates its 80th anniversary, many older schools are in need of repair and upgrades.

During the July 21 Board meeting, Aldine ISD Trustees authorized the Aldine ISD administration to prepare for a special called meeting for a possible bond referendum.

The district hired Jacobs Engineering in the fall of 2014 to undertake a facilities and technological assessment of every school and support facility in the district. The district has also worked with DeJONG-RICHTER, LLC, an educational facilities planning firm, which assisted in the process.

“A population study conducted by Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) projects that Aldine ISD will continue to grow by 3% (2,000 students per year) for the next five years,” said Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg. “Over the last five months, we have focused on specific options to deal with our growth.”

In February of 2015, the district formed a steering committee of parents and community members to receive their input concerning the district’s growth, facilities and technological needs. Input was also received from the district’s executive team, made up of cabinet members, administrators, and steering committee chairs. The steering committee attended 6 meetings to study data and provide input about Aldine’s future. The Executive Team met three times to address growth and to plan for Aldine’s future.

During the process, two community dialogues were held to receive input from district stakeholders. Aldine residents who attended the community dialogues submitted more than 1,400 surveys. The steering committee studied data from the community dialogues and the input from the executive team and created a facilities master plan to address growth, programming and facility repairs.

The steering committee used information from the following sources:

Facility needs assessment conducted by Jacobs Engineering

Demographics study conducted by PASA

Educational planning input from DeJONG-RICHTER

The steering committee presented the following options to the Board to address AISD’s growth. Those options include:

Construction of 12 new schools (one high school, one ninth-grade school, a new Early College High School, new Pre-K-K centers, one new elementary school, three middle schools, and the rebuilding of Francis Elementary and Johnson Elementary)

Reconfiguration of grade levels:

From PK Centers to PK-K centers

From 1-4 campuses to 1-5 campuses

From 5-6 campuses to 6-8 campuses

Ninth grade and high school campuses will not be changed.

Purchase of land

Construction of a Career and Technical Education high school

Renovations of Carver High School and Anderson Academy

Converting intermediate schools to elementary schools and Pre-K-K centers.

At a special called meeting on August 11, the Board will study the information to consider the bond referendum, including the amount in the bond and the timeline for the referendum. A bond referendum should have minimal impact on taxpayers especially if voters in Texas approve Proposition 1 in November. Proposition 1 changes the homestead exemption amount for school property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000. That means a house valued at $100,000 in Aldine would be taxed at $75,000. A final decision will be announced at the regular August 18 Board meeting.