Correlative with new schools being built and new attendance zones going into effect in the fall, the San Marcos CISD hopes to forge somewhat of a new image. In a time of wide transition across the campuses, the district also hopes to energize attitudes.
The school district is even adopting a motto, “Rattlers on the Move,” to emphasize the changes on the way.
Finally, voters who approved a $122.7 school bond in 2004 are about to see the full range of improvements on the ground and working. It took another $14.3 million in debt issue to complete the projects, but the school district says it is changing because of those improvements.
“This is one of the most exciting times in the long history of San Marcos CISD,” Superintendent Patty Shafer said in a letter that goes out soon to the families of students affected by new attendance zones. “The new campuses and the renovations of other campuses that resulted from the passing of school bond packages are nearing completion. All SMCISD students will be attending safe, secure, and state-of-the-art schools beginning in fall of 2009.”
The district is growing from four elementary schools to six, incorporating Irene K. Mendez Elementary and Maria Hernandez Elementary. All elementary schools will contain kindergarten through grades five, but Hernandez will also house the district’s pre-kindergarten program that was formerly at Bonham.
Goodnight and Miller will no longer be junior highs, but middle schools with grades six through eight. Additions to Miller are complete, and Goodnight moved into the fully renovated site of 1302 Highway 123 in early January 2009.
“Since we expanded to add new schools, the attendance zones were revised,” Shafer said. “Maps of all the elementary and middle school zones have been on display throughout the district in all front offices and will remain up the balance of the school year.”
Realizing that some students and their families won’t like the change of schools made inevitable by school re-zoning, the school district is allowing students presently in the third, fourth and seventh grades to stay put next year, by “transferring” back to their present schools through an application process.
Application to Transfer forms are available online at www.smcisd.net and at the office of Director of Student Services Bea Flores’ office, which is located in the Lamar Annex, 500 West Hutchison. The school district will accept transfer requests from Jan. 26 through Feb. 26. Forms must be delivered in person or mailed to Flores at the address given above.
All such transfers are subject to availability of programs and space, which are restricted by the school district’s requirement that campus capacities are not to exceed 95 percent. The transfers are available for one year only, siblings in grades other than those eligible aren’t eligible for transfer, and parents are responsible for transportation.
“We really think that most of the students affected by the reassignments will quickly merge into new friendships and school loyalties,” Shafer said. “Districtwide, we are all San Marcos Rattlers. San Marcos CISD strives to be exemplary in all accounts, and that includes this district transformation. When it comes to progress, we’re Rattlers on the Move to excellence.”
The district has a quick link on its web site at www.smcisd.net that includes all forms and applications regarding the new school zones. Maps are included, along with an option called “Transfinder,” on which parents can enter their addresses and verify which school their children should attend.
“We have several activities scheduled throughout the spring to help transition students and district personnel into their new learning environments,” Shafer said. “The schools and parent organizations are planning field trips, ice cream parties, etc. to make everyone feel welcome.”