HAYS COUNTY, Texas — As Hays Consolidated ISD is constructing a new Johnson High School, new attendance zoning lines are being drawn.

  • Hays CISD building new high school
  • Need to draw new redistricting lines
  • Asking for public input

The district is asking for more of the public's input at a forum Thursday, October 25 at Lehman High School.

The district has been developing options, and is currently focused on draft number five, where each high school would receive all the students from designated middle schools.

"We're asking folks to follow along in the process and hopefully we will have a final recommendation that'll go to the school board very soon,” district spokesperson Tim Savoy said. “Hopefully we'll have that by the end of October and it'll be in front of the school board in November."  

The district says the new Johnson High School will alleviate the population load the two other district high schools are currently taking on.

"We are in desperate need of this high school coming online. We've known this for quite sometime," Savoy said.

Right now, Hays CISD is handling 6,000 high school students with the capacity for only 4,500. The addition of Johnson High School means new attendance zones, dividing students up and possibly moving them to a new school.

"That is disruptive for people and understandably so," Savoy said. "So you can imagine that that sparks a lot of passion and a lot of discussion and a lot of debate." 

He said rezoning is one of the hardest processes for a school district. The goal sounds simple, but the process is not.

"If you move one piece of the map to fix a problem, it may well cause two or three other pieces of the map to fall apart on you,” Savoy said. “So you have to do it in a way that makes for the best map for the whole district, that makes as many people as happy as possible, but at the end of the day, it has to be a map that works for all of our students."

One concern is the imbalance of socioeconomic diversity. Savoy said the district is working to create a program that allows students to transfer between schools that are more than half economically disadvantaged and schools that are less than half economically disadvantaged.

"Socioeconomic diversity is spread out throughout the district, but it doesn't always mesh up in perfect balance with location to schools that are built," Savoy said.

Rezoning is part of the growing pains that come from the county's increasing population.

"At the end of the day, we have to have a map that works great for all three of our schools, because it does no benefit to the district to have one of our schools not set up for success," Savoy said.

The district will open up Johnson High School next school year.