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Sunday, June 16, 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT: Fort Bend ISD begins comprehensive study of all elementary school attendance boundaries; postpones construction of elementary #46

Fort Bend ISD begins comprehensive study of all elementary school attendance boundaries; postpones construction of elementary #46

FORT BEND ISD ― At its June 10 Regular Board Meeting, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees decided to postpone the construction of Fort Bend ISD Elementary School #46 in the Aliana subdivision along the Grand Parkway corridor pending the outcome of a comprehensive study of all FBISD elementary school boundaries.

Following the Board’s decision, the District will immediately develop and publicly share a timeline for work to include:

     - Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a district demographer
for Board approval in a timely manner.

     - Preparing scenarios, based on existing demographic data, to
demonstrate how the District may be rezoned to more effectively utilize
existing elementary schools. These scenarios will be vetted once a
contract for a district demographer is approved by the Board.

     - Creating and convening a District-wide Elementary School Boundary Study Team
to advise the administration on redrawing all elementary boundaries to best utilize
existing schools. The work of this group will be shared publicly online and at
community forums to gather feedback from stakeholders throughout the District
before any recommendations are brought to the Board for consideration. The
administration will be providing regular updates to the Board throughout the
process. The work of the Facility Assessment Study that evaluated educational
adequacy and building utilization will be used as part of the comprehensive study.

     - Working with the principals of all schools currently over capacity to develop
interim plans to support the effective and efficient operations during this process
and the implementation of the resulting decisions.

     - Performing a review and update of FBISD Board Policy and Administrative
Procedures that govern the creation and maintenance of school attendance boundaries.

Charles Dupre, Superintendent of Schools, joined Fort Bend ISD on April 29 and has made it known that he is a collaborative decision maker who believes in transparency. He has been listening to District stakeholders – individually and in groups, even before his official first day in the District. Dupre said, “Since joining Fort Bend ISD, I have heard a clear message from the community that we want all of our 70,000 students to receive the best educational opportunities possible. I have also heard we must ensure and demonstrate more effective utilization of existing facilities before constructing new ones.”

“I believe we must work diligently to demonstrate that we are listening to the parents of our students and taxpayers who fund our District operations and upon whom we are dependent for funding the District’s future growth,” said Dupre.

While balancing enrollments and making sure its schools are used efficiently is an important challenge, Fort Bend ISD’s highest priority will always be doing what is best for students.

“The Board supports the administration’s recommendation to postpone construction on Elementary #46 and will work together to ensure that all community members have a voice in developing the comprehensive study of all FBISD elementary school boundaries, which will be used to make the best decisions for the affected Fort Bend ISD students,” said Jim Rice, Board President.

As part of a current independent Facility Needs Assessment being conducted for the Fort Bend ISD to evaluate educational adequacy and building utilization, the community will be invited to participate in the school facility planning process. The findings of this study will make it easier for Fort Bend ISD to talk about real issues to build consensus and make future decisions based on the analysis of District data and community participation results in a more open and collaborative process.