BISD School Board Considering Adding Intermediate Schools

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BRYAN, Texas As Bryan ISD continues to grow, district officials are looking at a plan to realign grade levels.

The proposal calls for adding two intermediate schools for fifth and sixth graders only.

News 3 has reaction with parents and administrators about the plan.

This week the BISD Facility Committee recommended a $140 million proposal that includes two intermediate schools as well as improvements to existing campuses across the district.

District officials say some schools within Bryan ISD are bursting at the seams.

Like Johnson Elementary which is almost at full capacity.

That's why Bryan ISD Board Members are reviewing a plan to change the district's elementary schools to pre-k through fourth grade and open two intermediate schools for fifth and sixth graders.

"I think it would be a really good idea," said Merilyn Bunch.

Bunch has three kids at Johnson Elementary including a fifth grader.

"Sometimes you know the kids are not quite ready when they get out of fifth grade to be with the older kids in seventh and eight grade," she added.

That would mean moving about 1,000 fifth graders to a brand new intermediate school and an existing campus would be converted to a second intermediate school.

Stephen F. Austin Middle School would also be changed to an administration building.

Amy Drozd is the BISD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.

"It also has many additions to campuses in the way of trying to get rid of portable buildings, add capacity, dealing with old roofs old HVAC equipment, technology, that sort of thing," said Drozd.

Hellen Swanson has two kids at Johnson Elementary and is the PTO Secretary. She went to intermediate school in Conroe and one thing she doesn't like is the thought of her kids losing a year at Johnson.

"That's a drawback.. However that's one year. And I think in the whole general scheme of things when you're talking about kids' safety, kid's academics, kid's maturity, kid's social development I would think that that would come across as a little more important," said Swanson.

The Bryan ISD School Board is meeting again February 10th but they are not expected to vote on the issue until later this year.

If plans were to move forward administrators say they'd hope to have the changes in place in two to three years.

If that happens it would also require calling a bond election to pay for it.

But school officials say it's to soon to say if a bond would require raising property taxes.

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As the Bryan Independent School District continues to grow, it's looking at the possibility of changing where fifth and sixth graders go to school.

The Bryan School Board will soon be considering a $140 million bond proposal to open up two intermediate schools that would be for fifth and sixth graders only.

The realignment would make elementary schools pre-kindergarten to 4th grade and help with capacity issues.

A large portion of the money would also be used for improvements across the district, including renovating existing schools and removing portable buildings.

That also includes turning Stephen F. Austin Middle School into an administrative building.

"The board has not approved this. This was a recommendation from a committee that worked very hard from the past four months to come up with this plan. So I think it's important for them to know that the trustees heard the plan for the first time and now need to study the information and will be looking at over the next several months," said Amy Drozd, Bryan ISD Assistant Superintendent for Business Services.

The decision will ultimately be decided by voters.

If the plan moves forward it would require calling a bond election to pay for it.

News 3's Clay Falls will have reaction from parents and more on the plan Tuesday night at ten.