All Richardson ISD knows for certain at this point in time is that more students will be zoned to White Rock Elementary next year than the school has room for. Because of this, the district planned a special enrollment for 2017-18 White Rock Elementary kindergartners that begins Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 7 a.m. at the school.
The school is known for its long lines during enrollment, with anxious parents trying for the earliest time stamp possible in order to improve their chances of getting (or staying) in the overcrowded school. RISD hopes to help matters with its kindergarten pre-enrollment, and though time stamps still will matter, the district developed different tiers of priority “to keep families together to the maximum extent possible.”
Essentially, siblings of current WRE students who will continue at the school in 2017-18 are guaranteed kindergarten spots; incoming kindergartners with older siblings who are zoned to WRE but overflowed to other schools are next in line (though these current overflow students are not guaranteed a WRE spot next year); and families who are starting at WRE for the first time are last in line. The letter to WRE families can be read in its entirety here.
The board discussed this at its Nov. 7 meeting and will again tonight, Dec. 5, the letter states. Before kindergarten enrollment begins, the district will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 6:30-7:15 p.m. that it “highly encourage[s]” incoming kindergarten parents to attend “even if you have students currently enrolled at WRE.”
Students who don’t get a spot at WRE will likely be placed at Northlake or Lake Highlands elementaries, the letter says, following a capacity study underway at all three schools. Parents will be notified about where their children will attend in early spring, “May 31 at the latest.”
At this moment in time, Richardson ISD is not building a new school on White Rock Trail, is not combining White Rock and Northlake elementaries, is not building a 5th- and 6th-grade WRE annex, is not changing attendance boundaries, and is not making any moves forward whatsoever until newly hired consultant group Stantec goes over the Lake Highlands schools’ history, engages the White Rock Elementary community and comes up with a recommendation.
“It might be a new solution proposed or something dismissed previously,” says RISD spokesman Tim Clark. “I don’t think anything’s off the table; I think the only thing off the table is a solution that impacts the entire community to address a problem that doesn’t impact the entire community.”
Open enrollment for all other RISD families will be in the spring, and “returning families typically have priority at all schools if registration materials are returned within the open enrollment window,” Clark says.