Tuesday, November 24, 2009

La Sienna Elementary in Edinburg, TX to Open In Time For the 2010-2011 School Year

School district mapping out boundaries for new campuses
The Edinburg Review

ECISD has unveiled its boundaries for its four new elementary schools, which will open in time for the 2010-2011 school year.

As of Monday, the maps are about 90 percent complete and have yet to go before the school board, but take into account the schools created from the bond program started in 2008.

Proposed maps for the new junior high schools and high schools will be released next year, according to sistrict officials. The announcement was made at superintendent Dr. Ren�© Gutierrez’s District Parents’ Round Table meeting last week to discuss a variety of current and future issues impacting schools in Edinburg.

“Parents say ‘does my child have to move’ and the answer is ‘yes’,” Gutierrez told parents at the round table. “We have to abide by the zones and respect the boundaries.

The four new schools, which are currently named after their specific locations are called Rooth/Russell in northwest Edinburg, La Sienna in the northeast, Cano-Gonzalez sister school located southeast, and Alberta/Sugar in the south.

Each school is designed to accommodate 650 students, and will serve to alleviate crowding at some campuses, which have been hit hard with increasing numbers of new students. The Rooth campus for example will draw some of the 770 children currently attending Magee Elementary in time for the 2010-2011 school year. Magee is slated to open with about 500 students when the new campus starts next year. There are currently more than 32,000 total students in the district, half of those are elementary students.

The district has grown by 9,235 students over the last 10 years and school officials predict the student population will be about 42,000 by the 2015-2016 school year.

All of the new schools are located in mostly outlying communities of the district, which spans 945 square miles. Student numbers in schools located in town will not be impacted, according to the district.

“Does it make a difference? Well my child is not going to go to a school with 800 kids. That’s too many at the elementary level. Avila, Monte Cristo and Villarreal ... all of them have 800 kids right now,” said Mario Salinas, assistant superintendent for district ddministration. Salinas, who along with the district’s transportation department and a committee of nine principals, was responsible for putting the maps together. Each map ultimately has to be presented to the board for approval.

According to Salinas, criteria used to move the boundary lines was based on several factors: a neighborhood concept, school population, and those outlying schools which were impacted the most.

“The one thing that I want to emphasize is that we’re not done,” Salinas said. “We’re still working on it, we’re still taking recommendations from the parents. We are still going to run this by the principals to see if they have ideas better than what we have.

To account for growth, ECISD officials say there are at least 11 projects at a cost of $111 million scheduled to be online within the next three to four years. Three new Fine Arts facilities will be added to each of Edinburg’s three high schools at a cost of $6.2 million each. Renovations to the Brewster campus are also slated to be complete by next year with a cost still to be determined, according to the district.

Two new middle schools and an additional elementary school are slated for completion by the 2011-2012 school year. A new high school to be located at the current Harwell facility will open by 2012-2013.

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX MSA's Listed in America's Fastest-Recovering Cities by Forbes.com

When Forbes.com list of America's Fastest-Recovering Cities is ranked by Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) or Gross Regional Product (GRP) the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX MSA's rank #1.

Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) is one of several measures of the size of the economy of a metropolitan area. Similar to gross domestic product (GDP), GMP is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a metropolitan area in a given period of time.

Full List: America's Fastest-Recovering Cities by Forbes.com

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