San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 8th, 2008
Bilingual student surge forces more changes at Hays CISD

STAFF REPORT

KYLE – Bilingual enrollment in the Hays CISD continues to surge, forcing further shuffling of incoming students at the elementary school levels.

The total bilingual enrollment is up to 909 students out of 13,182 students enrolled across the district. The bilingual programs at Science Hall Elementary have been especially strained. The school district has added three bilingual teaching positions at the elementary levels to address growth for the remainder of the year.

“The district has experienced higher than expected growth at Science Hall Elementary School and within the bilingual program at several schools,” Hays CISD Deputy Superintendent Carter Scherff said.

The district already had announced that any new enrollees for Science Hall kindergarten and English-speaking first grade from now on will be transferred to Tom Green Elementary, while any incoming enrollees for Science Hall fourth grade will be transferred to Blanco Vista Elementary.

Now, the school district is announcing that any incoming English-speaking students in the Science Hall Elementary zone will be moved to Tom Green Elementary, if their grades are at or near capacity. Transportation will be provided. Bilingual students enrolling in grades at or near capacity for Science Hall will be moved to Blanco Vista Elementary, again with transportation provided.

The district also said that siblings of students who are transferred can also attend the new school, if the family desires.

“State law has a 22-to-1 ratio (of students per classroom), and we are complying with state law,” said Hays CISD communications director Julie Jerome.

The school district’s total enrollment of 13,812 is up from 923 students last year.

Hays High School is the largest campus, with 1,854 students, while Lehman High School has 1,625 students. The largest elementary school is Hemphill Elementary — one of the district’s two campuses with Pre-K students — with 921 students. Currently, 414 Pre-K students are enrolled at Hemphill and Green elementary schools.

Dahlstrom Middle School is the largest middle school, with 807 students, though Chapa Middle School is close, with 792 students.

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