District Zone Committee
Tomball ISD Staff Development Center
1302 Keefer Rd.
Tomball, TX 77375
Currently 20 Campuses in 2019-20
New Junior High
District Zone Committee Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is on the District Zone Committee and how were they selected?
The District Zone Committee (DZC) is comprised of 24 individuals representing stakeholders from across the District. Of the 24 people on the committee, 19 are parents/community members and five are staff members. Parents on the committee were nominated by campus principals. Both the northern and southern parts of the District are represented on the committee.
There were three working meetings that were open to the public during which the committee worked toward creating the new zones. Using a set of guiding principles and target enrollments for impacted schools (Lakewood, Rosehill, Wildwood, and Willow Wood), the committee broke into four groups and worked with maps provided by the demographer that showed student enrollment in each neighborhood. Each group created and presented its plan to the committee. At the end of the first two meeting sessions, there were four elementary plans and four junior high plans. Using the guiding principles and feedback from the committee and Tomball ISD’s Transportation Department, there were three plans for each school to review on the final committee meeting. During the final meeting, committee members rank voted their first, second, and third preference to arrive at the draft recommended plans.
- What are the guiding principles used to direct the committee’s boundary work?
Below are the guiding principles used to direct the boundary work
- Optimize Space: efficient use of building capacity to reduce overcrowding and underutilization
- Neighborhood Unity: make the best effort to keep subdivisions together
- Natural Lines: use natural boundary lines when possible
- Family Impact: consider the impact that changing attendance zones will have on families (in particular, considering past rezoning moves)
- Growth: best effort will be made to plan for future development so that zones do not have to be reconsidered between scheduled campus openings
- Transportation Cost: bus routes should be as efficient as possible, giving consideration to minimizing ride times
- What are the enrollment targets for the impacted schools?
Below are the enrollment targets set for each impacted campus:
- Elementary # 11: 552-644 students
- Lakewood Elementary School: 708-753 students (80-85% building capacity)
- Wildwood Elementary School: 736-782 students (80-85% building capacity)
- Junior High #4: 486-613
- Willow Wood Junior High School: 884-1011 (70-80% building capacity)
- Has the decision already made on the new attendance zones?
No. The committee has endorsed a plan for the elementary and junior high schools that is now posted on our website for review and feedback via a District survey that will be open through November 14th. There is also a public forum scheduled for November 14th at 5:30 pm to hear feedback and commentary from the public. Feedback from the survey, public forum, emails and comment cards collected from non-committee members at the committee meetings will be reviewed, analyzed and organized by major themes and presented to the committee during a final closed meeting. The committee will deliberate, make adjustments to the plans as needed and recommend a final plan for each school to the Tomball ISD Board of Trustees for approval at the December 10, 2019, School Board meeting.
- If my child is rezoned to a new school, is the District considering “grandfathering” students to remain at their current schools?
In the past when the District has opened new elementary, intermediate, or junior high schools and created new attendance boundaries, students have not been grandfathered to remain at their school. In keeping with that process, Tomball ISD will not grandfather students in their current school.
- Have the Transportation routes for school buses been identified for the new schools?
Since the attendance zones have not yet been finalized and approved by the Tomball ISD Board of Trustees, the bus routes for the new schools have not been created. However, in consultation with the Transportation Department, the most direct route to the new schools would include a short ride on the Grand Parkway. Once the attendance boundaries are established, the Transportation Department will begin creating new routes for the upcoming school year and will share through the District website.
- Is a toll tag required to get to the new schools?
No. There are non-toll routes available to get to and from the new schools. As with our bus routes, the most direct routes to the new schools do require a short ride on the Grand Parkway, which would equate to a 46-cent toll ride one way.
- When will Tomball ISD consider building new roads or a feeder to the Grand Parkway?
Tomball ISD cannot spend District dollars on property that is not owned by the District. For parents concerned about the safety of roads or the lack of road access, parents should reach out to the Precinct 4 Harris County Commissioner. For more information about capital improvement projects, visit the Precinct 4 website at https://www.hcp4.net/cip/.
- How does Tomball ISD’s Limited Open Enrollment Program (LOE) affect the enrollment at these impacted schools?
The LOE program does not affect these impacted campuses, as the program is not offered in any of the schools in the southern end of the District. The LOE program is intended to fill vacant seats in schools in the northern part of the district to ensure that we optimize our capacity to run our schools as efficiently and fiscally responsible as possible. In Texas, as a Chapter 41 School District subject to “Recapture,” there was great financial incentive to increase District enrollment to avoid sending millions of school funding dollars back to the State. With the passing of House Bill 3, Recapture still exists but the level of wealth threshold has risen and Tomball ISD is not at that wealth level per pupil to be impacted. Tomball ISD is currently undergoing a thorough internal review of LOE to determine next steps with the program.