Talks Continue on Bryan's Middle School Zones

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It will be another month before Bryan's parents know for sure which middle school their students will attend.

With the creation of a fourth middle school, redrawing attendance zones has been the big topic of discussion among the Bryan School Board's members. And some of the most knowledgeable citizens will still have their voices heard.

Bryan's school board had no plans to take any action to redraw attendance zones Monday night, but it's something they recognize must happen in the near future.

"It's time for a decision to be made," said David Stasny, the Bryan school board president, "but at the same time, we have the luxury of not being in a hurry, so we want to make sure that we're very careful. Any decision we make is going to have a lasting impact."

A committee of residents charged with studying attendance zones gave a pair of options and recommended one which would have changed a small portion of students' middle school destination from Sam Rayburn to Stephen F. Austin Middle School.

That plan has been met with some criticism. It would more evenly distribute students and smooth out the socio-economic numbers of the district, but critics are concerned about the education at SFA, which recently was rated unacceptable by Texas Education Agency.

Superintendent Mike Cargill has brought forward a third option, one which would give parents somewhat of a choice as to what school students would attend. With transportation zones mapped out, parents could choose to send their children to the school on their route, or make different transportation arrangements to another school.

A workshop has been set up for February 5 at noon in order to further discuss the matter, one which that residential committee will be invited to attend. Once thought to be finished with their job, the council may ask the group questions based on their studies.

"Now that we're going to have the opportunity to explain or rationale and why we chose to put things where we did and draw lines where we did, we're really excited," said Kelly Conrad, who served on the committee.

"They were not asked to look at magnet schools or choice or that sort of thing," Stasny said, "so these things are being overlaid on top of what the committee has done."

The new Davila Middle School, along with Rudder High School, will open in the fall of 2008.