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Attendance Rezoning & Boundary Leveling Process

Rezoning

Trustees Approve New Middle School Attendance Zones

Following school board approval at the regular monthly meeting on Jan. 25, Hutto ISD Trustees have finalized new middle school attendance zone boundaries that will best balance the student populations as the District prepares to open Gus Almquist Middle School in August 2024.

New middle school attendance boundary changes beginning for the 2024-2025 school year can be viewed here.

With the anticipated opening of Gus Almquist Middle School, the new campus will provide relief for both Farley and Hutto middle schools. Additionally, to better balance campus levels, changes to Hutto Middle School’s prior attendance zone will relieve Farley.

Hutto ISD administration in cooperation with a citizens’ committee utilized input and data provided by the District’s demographer, to produce a series of proposed attendance zones in line with goals set forth by the Board of Trustees: to address facilities needs to accommodate growth and maximize efficiency through innovation in support of student success.

The rezoning process sought to balance — or level — enrollment within the attendance zones to the rate of growth per zone and provide sufficient capacity at each of the three middle schools in order to address demographic projections over the next 5 to 7 years. Primary considerations of the rezoning committee and District leadership were space optimization, equity and operational efficiencies.

In addition, the attendance rezoning committee sought to maintain neighborhood unity, utilize contiguous boundaries, growth in student headcount due to continued residential development, the impact to families and students, safety and costs associated with providing transportation to students.

With the adoption of the new attendance zones, each middle school will draw students from the following elementary schools as part of Hutto ISD’s new feeder patterns:

Farley Middle School Feeder Capture:
All students currently zoned for Nadine Johnson and Ray elementary schools, and current 5th thru 7th graders currently zoned for Hutto Middle School and who reside in the Hutto Elementary zone south of US 79 / railroad tracks and in adjacent areas along FM 1660, including North Creek Bend, Cross Creek, Cotton Brook and portions of Legends of Hutto will be rezoned to Farley Middle School. (Boundary in green on the linked map.)

Gus Almquist Middle School Feeder Capture:
All students currently zoned for Kerley, Veterans’ Hill and Howard Norman elementary schools. It should be noted that an adjustment to the HNES attendance zone has been made to incorporate the new Covered Bridge residential development. This residential area was previously in the Ray Elementary attendance zone and currently impacts 10 students. (Boundary in blue on the linked map.)

Hutto Middle School Feeder Capture:
All students currently zoned for Cottonwood Creek and Hutto elementary schools. (Boundary in orange on the linked map.)

With this approval, attendance zone boundaries have been set and adjusted for other areas within the District facing tremendous student enrollment growth. The boundary approval includes minor changes made to the initial recommendation thanks to community feedback provided both electronically and at a series of public attendance rezoning meetings in December.

Grandfathering
Trustees also approved the rezoning committee and administration’s recommendation to provide a “grandfathering” exemption allowing current 7th graders to utilize the District’s transfer policies and established criteria so they may continue their 8th grade year at their current middle school campus. Students affected by rezoning and entering the final grade-level year at their campus will have the option to stay at their current campus, if desired.

This exemption for rising 7th graders will adhere to the District’s current transfer process which is dictated by the availability of space on a particular campus, established residency of the student and their family, code of conduct, the student’s attendance history, and their academic performance.

The policy approved by Trustees will also permit current 5th and 6th grade students who are siblings of current 7th graders, to apply for a transfer request so that siblings are not split between two different middle school campuses if they are affected by the new attendance zoning. All transfer application fees in these instances will also be waived for families.

It’s important to note, grandfathering exemptions will only be allowed for students with established residencies who are impacted by attendance rezoning in the 2024-2025 school year. In addition, Hutto ISD will not provide District transportation for these transfer students to or from their residence and middle school.

In addition to defining the new attendance zones for the upcoming school year, Trustees also announced the inaugural campus principal for Gus Almquist Middle School, Mr. Ryan Burns, a familiar face among many of our students and their families.

Mr. Burns, a longtime campus administrator in Hutto ISD, brings eight years of administrative experience to the role, most recently serving as principal of Farley Middle School since 2021. He will be tasked with fostering a positive and impactful campus culture at the District’s third and newest middle school as we prepare to welcome the first group of 6th through 8th grade students to Almquist Middle School.

"It is an honor to be named the first principal of Gus Almquist Middle School.  I have loved serving the Hutto community for the last eight years through both Farley Middle School and Hutto High School. I look forward to continuing that service as we all work to inspire excellence in our students," said Mr. Burns. "I am excited to get started working with the GAMS community on building a culture of excellence on that campus that welcomes and supports our students, families, staff and community."

Additional information about Hutto ISD’ rezoning process, maps and important links regarding the transfer application process will be made available online. We will also be sharing information about events for students and families as we continue to complete construction for the opening of Gus Almquist Middle School in August 2024.

Hutto ISD Middle School Attendance Zones

Public Forums Schedule

As part of our ongoing Middle School Attendance Rezoning & Boundary Leveling process, Hutto ISD will host two public forums to share the latest details and information related to the two proposed rezoning options as we prepare for the opening of our newest campus, Gus Almquist Middle School in August of 2024.

These public forums are open to all parents/guardians and residents of the District so they may ask questions and provide comments about potential impacts due to attendance rezoning.

Wednesday, December 6, 6:30 p.m.
Kerley Elementary School Cafeteria
800 Haybarn Lane

Thursday, December 7, 6:30 p.m.
Howard Norman Elementary School Cafeteria
101 Llano River Trail

Middle School Rezoning Public Forum Presentation
Public Forum Comments & Questions

The Rezoning Process: Why New Attendance Boundaries are Necessary

The Hutto Independent School District (ISD) continues to be one of the fastest growing school districts in Central Texas. In a District experiencing growth as rapidly as Hutto ISD, it periodically becomes necessary to redraw the attendance zones of our schools. The two most common reasons for revisiting the attendance boundaries of campuses are to accommodate the opening of new schools to meet the demands of our growing student population, and to accommodate the shifts and growth in populations that occur over time.

This fall, Hutto ISD along with stakeholder input, will begin the process of analyzing its current School Attendance Zone boundaries for the purpose of determining newly drawn boundaries and Attendance Zones.

This practice is not uncommon in public school districts, especially in fast-growth communities like Hutto. School attendance boundaries within a District often change when a new school is opened or needed, when the need to balance enrollment exists, or when it is determined to be in the best interest of students and their families.

Prior to the opening of the District’s third middle school, Gus Almquist Middle School in Fall 2024, Hutto ISD will be required to review current School Attendance Zones, enrollment at its existing campuses and to create new boundaries in an effort to balance — or level — the student enrollment at our schools.

Hutto ISD’s Attendance Rezoning and Boundary Leveling Process is in response to Goal #7, as set forth by the District’s Board of Trustees: To address facilities needs to accommodate growth and maximize efficiency through innovation in support of student success. Specifically, the upcoming rezoning process is also in-line with the District Improvement Plan (Performance Objective #2), as Hutto ISD rezones and plans for the opening of Gus Almquist Middle School in August 2024, and for future new schools to be developed as authorized by voters in the May 2023 Bond Program.

The process will be supported by community engagement and input via the Superintendent-appointed Committee composed of central administration representatives, campus principals from the schools most likely to be impacted by any changes, and parent / citizen representatives for the purpose of developing and proposing possible zoning scenarios to the community for feedback. These scenarios are then refined as the Board of Trustees and District administration consider space optimization, equity, and operational efficiencies.

Trustees will work with the administration and the Superintendent-appointed Committee to consider attendance zone leveling recommendations for both Elementary and High School boundaries beginning in the Summer of 2024, in anticipation of the addition of the District’s eighth and ninth Elementary School, along with the build-out of Hutto High School # 2 which received voter approval in the May 2023 Bond Program.

Evaluation Data Sources

Hutto ISD and its Attendance Rezoning and Boundary Leveling Committee will utilize various sources of data to develop its recommendations, including but not limited to: Quarterly Demographic Reports & Projections, Annual and Current Enrollment Reviews, District Facilities Master Plan, Current Attendance Zones, and Community Input.

Process Timeline

Hutto ISD expects to adhere to the following timeline during the upcoming Attendance Rezoning and Boundary Leveling process:

August 2023 Regular School Board Meeting

Review Attendance Rezoning and Boundary Leveling Process with Board of Trustees and seek approval for the establishment of an Attendance Rezoning and Boundary Leveling Committee with Board-approved parameters.

August - October 2023

Superintendent appoints an Administrative Committee with community stakeholders to develop Rezoning and Leveling Scenarios along with the District’s demographer.

October - November 2023

Fall Demographic update of projections and geo-coding all students.
Committee Meeting Agenda Presentation and Materials - Oct. 17, 2023

Committee work continues.

December 2023 Regular School Board Meeting

Presentation of Committee Options / Scenarios for Board of Trustees’ consideration and input.

December 2023 - January 2024

The Administrative Committee refines scenarios based on feedback from the Board of Trustees.

  • Develops a Communications Process/Plan

  • Presentations to the public scheduled

Consider public comments for possible adjustments.

January 2024 Regular School Board Meeting

Recommendations to the Board of Trustees for consideration and approval.

February 2024

Communications to inform parents and stakeholders of new attendance zones.

 

Rezoning Committee Meeting - Oct. 17 Images

What Will Steer the Process?

General Parameters Supporting the District Improvement Plan

The objective of developing zones that consider space optimization, equity, and operational efficiencies will be supported by the following:

  • Balance Hutto ISD’s attendance zones to the rate of growth per zone with sufficient capacity to address demographic projections over the next 5 to 7 years. 

  • Attendance zone planning that provides reliability and predictability enabling the District’s Business Office and the Board of Trustees to develop budgets that produce equitable results in resource allocation. 

  • Attendance zone planning that mitigates the impact to families while improving the educational delivery process with the efficient allocation of services (i.e. transportation routes) and resources, while also addressing the challenges of unique program requirements such as dual language and Special Education programs offerings. 

  • Improved traffic distribution and school bus safety, as well as decreased / improved travel times for bus riders.

Current Attendance Zones

Hutto ISD’s current Attendance Zones were approved by the Board of Trustees in January 2019. Click below on each link to view the present-day maps outlining each school’s Attendance Zone.

Current Hutto ISD Feeder Patterns

Hutto ISD requires students to attend an Elementary School based on their residential address within the District. Students within Hutto ISD currently attend one of seven Elementary Schools (CCES, HES, HNES, KES, NJES, RES, VHES), which then feed students to two Middle Schools (FMS and HMS) who advance to a Ninth Grade Center (NGC). From there, students are fed to our lone Hutto High School (HHS) which houses Grades 10 through 12.

The upcoming Attendance Rezoning and Boundary Leveling Process will address the addition of our newest school, Gus Almquist Middle School (AMS), scheduled to open in Fall 2024. Almquist Middle School is located on District-owned property adjacent to Kerley Elementary School.

In subsequent months, Hutto ISD will address rezoning ahead of its plans to open an eighth Elementary School on District property adjacent to the current Ninth Grade Center. Hutto ISD voters authorized the issuance of school bonds in May 2023 to construct two additional Elementary Schools in order to meet the needs of our growing community and student headcount. 

Additional rezoning will be required to create attendance boundaries for the opening of the District’s second comprehensive High School — a plan that will see the building out of the current Hutto Ninth Grade Center to house Grades 9 through 12 in the future.

Attendance Zone Committee Members

Cottonwood Creek Elementary School (CCES)
Chris Jeter
Karen Fisher

Howard Norman Elementary School (HNES)
Wendy Ricke
Becky Bales

Hutto Elementary School (HES)
Ashley McCombs
Julia Alford

Kerley Elementary School (KES)
Andrea van der Hoeven
Kayla Holeman

Nadine Johnson Elementary School (NJES)
Ana McEuen
Jordan Smurthwaite

Ray Elementary School (RES)
Kristal Larson
Gina Zabala
Christine Roberts

Veterans' Hill Elementary School (VHES)
Priscilla Mejia
Stephanie Ostrem

Farley Middle School (FMS)
Melissa Case
Ana McEuen

Hutto Middle School (HMS)
Carrie DeLaCruz
Adrienne LeLuga

Ninth Grade Center (NGC)
Crystal Frame
Erica Alba

Hutto High School (HHS)
Lindsay Beverlin
Bethany Hoffman

River Horse Academy (RHA)
Sean Polsley

Board of Trustees-Appointed, At-Large
Tamra Mangum
Heather Mack
Cheryl Stewart

Hutto ISD Representatives
Dr. Raúl Peña, Superintendent
Dr. Mard Herrick, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction & Innovation
Dr. Cara Malone, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Henry Gideon, Assistant Superintendent for Operations & Safety
Caleb Steed, Chief Financial Officer
Noelle Newton, Executive Director of Communications & Community Relations
Jason McAuliffe, Executive Director for School Support
Kyle Ruggirello, Assistant Director of Student Affairs
David Uecker, Director of Transportation
Ryan Burns, Principal - FMS
Kayla Gossett, Principal - HMS