Hays CISD to start rezoning process this fall

Late November or early December is the time Hays CISD plans to solidify a new attendance zone map that includes Johnson High.

In the interim, Hays CISD officials earlier this month kickstarted the process of gathering public input for the proposed maps, which could go through several revisions before they’re approved by the board of trustees, said Tim Savoy, Hays CISD chief communications officer.

The process on rezoning for Johnson High started Aug. 30 when trustees approved empaneling a 35-person rezoning committee. The committee, which will meet several times, will be made up of community members appointed by trustees.

Savoy said the role of the committee is not only limited to reviewing public feedback on the maps. Committee members will also be tasked to reach out to neighbors and friends to further solicit feedback on the proposed attendance zone changes.

Per Hays CISD policy, the committee will begin with two “starter maps” that will go through various changes based on input from residents. Alterations can range from changing the feeder patterns for entire campuses, to redrawing the lines for specific subdivisions or neighborhoods.

The committee charged with rezoning for Uhland Elementary in 2017 went through six maps before offering a recommendation to the board, Savoy said.

However, Savoy said the district has not predetermined how it will zone for Johnson High. Savoy said the district wants the rezoning process to be “open” and to ensure residents have a chance to voice concerns or support.

“We don’t want people to think the map is predicted,” Savoy said. “There are two starting point maps and we fully expect these maps to go through different versions based on community feedback and discussion.”

Community push-back could be a reality the district faces as well. While the district attempts to make everyone happy with the new maps, not everyone will agree with it, Savoy said.

However, Savoy said the challenge is more difficult when districts attempt to go from one to two high schools, which Hays CISD did when Lehman High opened in 2004. While rezoning for Johnson High will be challenging, it could also get somewhat easier than in the past, Savoy said.

“Any time we have to change or look at changing attendance zones, it’s one of the hardest things a school district can do,” Savoy said. “It’s disruptive and not an ideal thing to have to do with anyone.”

Hays CISD officials also hope to get the new maps in place before January 2019, which is the time students begin to plan for the next semester.

Officials expect to open Johnson High in August 2019. Savoy said the district will hire a principal for the campus this fall.

“It’s always a challenge, and in some ways, it gets more complex as you have more students,” Savoy said. 


Rezoning Timeline
Starting this month, Hays CISD will begin the process of redrawing its attendance zone maps to accommodate for Johnson High, which opens August 2019. Hays CISD leaders earlier this month moved forward with the process of empaneling a 35-person committee for rezoning, and has scheduled two public hearings on the proposed maps. Here’s a timeline of how the district plans to go about its rezoning process this fall. More information can be found online at hayscisd.net/rezone

Sept. 27, 2018
First Committee Meeting/ Reveal 2 or 3 Starter Maps

Oct. 1, 2018
Second Committee Meeting

Oct. 8, 2018
Alternate 3rd Committee Meeting (If Needed) Prior to 1st Public Forum

Oct. 16, 2018
First Public Forum (at Hays CISD Performing Arts Center)

Oct. 18, 2018
Committee Meeting to Debrief Public Forum

Oct. 23, 2018
Alternate Committee Meeting (If Needed) for Continuing Discussions

Oct. 25, 2018
Second Public Forum (at Wallace Middle School)

Oct. 30, 2018
Committee Meets to Finalize Board Proposal

Nov. 2018
Board Considers and Possibly Approves New Maps

Nov. 29, 2018
Overflow Committee Meeting (If Needed)

December 2018
Board Votes on Maps if Not Already Approved from November

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