Board continues zoning discussions, approves bond sale


Leander ISD trustees will review an additional attendance zoning scenario at the April 4 board meeting in preparation for an expected final decision on zoning changes in May. The zoning changes are needed as the district prepares to open Danielson Middle School next year.

Trustees asked district administration to consider making further changes to Scenario B’s proposed zoning for certain areas of Avery Ranch and North Buttercup Creek, with the goal of keeping larger groups of fifth graders together as they transition into middle school. 

At the request of the board, LISD collected feedback on middle school zoning Scenario A, from the Feb. 21 Board meeting. At the March 7 meeting, district staff submitted Scenario B, which incorporated additional community and board feedback.

“We greatly appreciate our community helping guide us when it comes to our attendance zoning priorities,” Board President Aaron Johnson said. “While no scenario is perfect, there’s no question that Scenario B addresses many of the topics we’ve been urged to consider. I look forward to hearing more from our stakeholders as we move through this process.”

Among the changes being considered for Scenario B, students living in Avery Ranch neighborhoods west of Parmer Lane would be switched from Stiles Middle School to Henry Middle School. North Buttercup Creek students would go to Cedar Park Middle School instead of Henry Middle School and would go to Cedar Park High School instead of Vista Ridge High School. 

Among other factors noted in district documents, Scenario B would eliminate a projected overcrowding issue at Cedar Park Middle School that was present in Scenario A. Also, Cedar Park High School would see decreased enrollment and Leander High School would see increased enrollment. 

Leander ISD plans to hold two public forums to collect community feedback following the board’s recommendation of a single zoning scenario at a future board meeting.

In other work, Leander ISD trustees approved the sale of $99.42 million on construction bonds. This would be the second new money sale for use on projects approved as part of the 2017 Bond. 

“The district’s commitment to managing financial resources in a responsible way has resulted in LISD being in a great position to move forward with this bond sale,” Board Secretary Trish Bode said. “The projects funded will further address security upgrades and help us accommodate student growth across Leander ISD.”

Official documents indicate that controversial capital appreciation bonds, convertible capital appreciation bonds and variable rate bonds may not be used for this issuance.

The sale will fund multiple bond projects, including funding of the 50 new school buses and seven special education buses that will all include air conditioning.

LISD staff provided a construction update on several ongoing projects, stating that all current projects are proceeding on time and on budget. 

In addition to work being done at several high schools, 10 elementary schools will see upgraded traffic gates by the end of March.