ES 28 and ES 29 Scenario A Thoughtexchange Report

Resources

Summary

Overall, most people agree that the scenarios aligned with our Board-approved charter at a rate of 57%. In the project charter, the Board asked the district to align the new school attendance zone to the following parameters: school size, proximity, minimize change, and feeder patterns.

The feedback collected in this Thoughtexchange centered around the scenarios efforts to reduce the enrollment at Akin by moving the Cold Springs and Hazlewood neighborhoods from Akin to Pleasant Hill.

Respondents focused on the priorities listed in the Attendance Zoning Charter tied to “Minimize Change” and “Proximity.” Because Cold Springs and Hazlewood neighborhoods were rezoned in 2017 when Akin opened (moving from Pleasant Hill to Akin) and in 2020 when Danielson opened (moving from Stiles to Wiley), the neighborhoods were not pleased with Scenario A. 

The ES 29 Scenario A comments centered around the Summerlyn neighborhood being zoned out of Larkspur and to ES 29. 

The zoning scenario did not have significant participation of schools outside those directly impacted in Scenario A. 

Recommendations

  1. Adjust communication efforts. 
    • Show the exercises to demonstrate the work that has been done to establish Scenario A (particularly the three exercises for Tarvin Elementary School that include analysis of keeping Hazlewood and Cold Springs at Akin).
    • Ensure schools not impacted in Scenarios A but impacted in Scenario A exercises are communicated with (little input from Cox and Reagan elementary schools)
    • Distinguish between the two schools and the proposed scenarios, emphasizing the long term outlook. 

Methodology

Leander ISD hosted a Thoughtexchange survey to collect input on the school attendance zoning scenario A for ES 28 (Tarvin Elementary School) and ES 29. The exchange, an open-ended collection of thoughts that participants can then rate, ran from Nov. 10 – Nov. 29. The 665 participants produced 270 thoughts and 5,875 ratings. 

The question was:

  • “What are your thoughts about Scenarios 28A and 29A for reassigning attendance boundaries at elementary school?” 

The survey was distributed in English and Spanish, distributed via text messaging using the district’s Remind system to families and staff in the impacted schools changed in scenarios A, as well as social media and newsletters for the entire district.

Most of the feedback came from parents. The breakdown was as follows: 

  • 93% Parent/Guardian
  • 6% Teacher/School Staff
  • 1% Community Member
  • <1% Student

Respondents resided in the following current elementary attendance zones:

  • Akin, 31%
  • Larkspur, 20%
  • Parkside, 19%
  • Plain and Pleasant Hill, 13%
  • Camacho, Cox, Rutledge, and Westside, 1%

Analysis

Survey Questions

In addition to the open-ended Thoughtexchange question, we did ask three close-ended questions to collect sentiment and alignment to the zoning charter. We asked the following questions:

  • Do you think the scenarios align with the zoning charter to prioritize school size, proximity, minimize change, and feeder patterns?
  • What zoning priority is the strength of the 28A and 29A scenarios?
  • What zoning priority is a weakness of the 28A and 29A scenarios?

Agreement on Scenarios Alignment to Charter

  • 21% Strongly Agree
  • 36% Agree
  • 20% Neutral
  • 8% Disagree
  • 15% Strongly Disagree

Scenario A Strengths

  • 51% School Size
  • 30% Proximity
  • 11% Minimize Change
  • 8% Feeder Patterns

Scenario A Weaknesses

43% Minimize Change
23% Proximity
22% Feeder Patterns
12% School Size

Top Rated Thoughts – Themed

We themed the top 52 rated thoughts (or all earning a 3.7 rating or better) to understand popular or important ideas on our zoning scenario Those themes (listed alphabetically) are:

  • Feeder Patterns
  • Minimize Change
  • Other
  • Proximity
  • School Size

The vast majority of thoughts receiving high scores are tied to “Minimize Change” specifically with regards to the Cold Springs and Hazlewood neighborhoods. Many of the thoughts indicated people did not review the exercises as they asked for the district to present an option that does not re-zone Cold Springs and Hazlewood from Akin to Pleasant Hill. 

Other issues addressed in the top-rated thoughts are regarding the Summerlyn subdivision being zoned out of Larkspur and into ES 29. 

Differences

Thoughtexhcange offers an analysis where it creates groups of polarized or differing opinions to create a group A and a group B. Like all of the other areas in the Thoughtexchange, concerns over the parameter of “Minimize Change” with regards to Cold Spings/Hazelwood dominated this section of the report. The Differences analysis did identify some common areas (the counter to minimizing change was a prioritization of “School Size”). People tend to have a high agreement on having a longer-term outlook on rezoning, looking at multiple years and schools in advance.

Updated on December 3, 2020

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