Administrators Explain New Middle School Zones

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Questions are still flowing in the day after the Bryan Independent School District Board of Trustees agreed on a map of middle school zones.

Monday night, the board approved a plan allowing middle school students to attend the school of their choosing.
They also decided on a map of transportation zones for the area.

The plan was approved by a vote of 4 to 3.

"The bottom line is whatever middle school you want your child to go to they can go that school," Bryan Independent School District Superintendent Mike Cargill said.

Option 3A-3 was selected with a "School Choice" option added to accommodate students wishing to participate in special programs which will be located at designated campuses.

The school choice option will also allow students to transfer to a desired campus.
The catch is, if the school is not located in the student's transportation zone, parents will have to drive their children there.

The new transportation zones were approved to include the new Davila Middle School.

Buses will only run to the school in their specific transportation zone.

For example, students from the Tiffany Park, Wheeler Ridge and Park Hudson neighborhoods now attend Sam Rayburn but with the new transportation zones, buses will only take them to the lower academic ranked Stephen F. Austin.

That has been a complaint from parents, but administrators say it shouldn't be.

"If you understand the accountability system, you'd understand that all our schools are great in this district and we have some wonderful middle schools," Cargill said.

Cargill also says overcrowding will not be an issue.
He says, even with the new student choice, there will be space in each school for years to come.

But the board is still debating another issue, whether or not students will be grandfathered into a certain school.

"All that is, is an extra guarantee in the future that a child can continue to go there, but I'm telling you these schools are not going to be overcrowded anytime soon," Cargill said. "For years and years to come they will be able to go to any middle school they want."

That issue is expected to be debated during a school board meeting next month.

The middle school zones will take effect in Fall, 2008 when Davila Middle School opens.

Special programs have also been added for the 2007-2008 school year.

A dual language program will be offered at Jane Long Middle School.
Three Bryan elementary schools currently have dual language programs.
The Jane Long program will enable students to continue dual language instruction through the eighth grade.

Jane Long will also house a gifted and talented magnet program.

A Math/Science/Technology Academy is planned for Stephen F. Austin Middle School.