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HCISD unveils transition plan for new high school

Future 9th and 10th graders will be the first students to roam the halls of Moe and Gene Johnson High when the campus opens in fall 2019, according to information posted Friday on the Hays CISD website.

While the rezoning process for Johnson High has not been completed, district officials released its transition plan to allow for parents and students to plan ahead for the change, said Tim Savoy, Hays CISD public information officer.

The district’s transition plan for Johnson High followed a similar model used when Lehman High opened in 2004, Savoy said. A primary difference is the exclusion of an 8th grade class. Lehman High opened in 2004 with 8th, 9th and 10th grade students.

The first two classes at Johnson High will comprise of students who will graduate in 2022 and 2023. Those students are currently in the 7th and 8th grade.

“The difference is that we needed the space at the middle school when they opened Lehman,” Savoy said. “They (middle schools) needed the space more desperately then, than they do now.”

Hays CISD officials also opted against having only 9th grade students attend Johnson High, while giving 10th graders the option to transfer.

“At that scenario, you only have one full class of students. When you give people the option, not everyone is going to take the new high school,” Savoy said. “They wanted to have two full classes to use the space more appropriately.”

Hays CISD is also looking at the possibility of allowing affected high school students to transfer to another campus.

Students would only be eligible to transfer if they have siblings in the 11th or 12th grade at Hays or Lehman High, or if a program is not offered at Johnson High within its first two years of operation. The latter circumstance will be taken on a case-by-case basis, according to the district website.

However, transfers within the transition plan are entirely contingent on a proposed Hays CISD policy change.

Current Hays CISD policy does not allow for student high school transfers within the district. Savoy said district officials are proposing a change in language to accommodate for its new transition plan, which will go before the board of trustees for first reading later this month.

However, if the proposed policy changes fail, Savoy said the district would have to return to the plan and “make adjustments.”

“It’s up to the board to approve the policy that would allow this sibling transfers in the included plan,” Savoy said. “That’s something we believe the board would be amenable to.”

According to the district website, the process of rezoning for Johnson High is slated for completion in fall 2018.

The campus will have full academic, fine arts and Career and Technology Education (CTE) programming when it opens. Team sports will play at a sub-varsity level when the campus opens, but will then play varsity starting in 2020.

How Hays CISD will approach the transition for Johnson High


• Incoming 9th and 10th graders assigned to Johnson
• Sibling and program transfers allowed
• Full academic programming
• Full fine arts programming
• Full Career and Technology Education (CTE) opportunities
• Creation of student clubs, activities and traditions
• Varsity sports opportunities for individuals
• Team sports compete at sub-varsity level


• Johnson High has 9th, 10th and 11th grades
• Sibling and program transfers allowed
• Full academic programming
• Full fine arts programming
• Full Career and Technology Education (CTE) opportunities
• Continued creation of student clubs, activities and traditions
• Full varsity sports opportunities for teams and individuals


• Johnson High has 9th-12th grades and is fully transitioned
• No sibling transfers allowed; program transfers on case-by-case basis
• All transfers are subject to district transfer rules and guidelines
• First graduating class from Johnson High

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