Generating the greatest capacity for the longest time period possible was one of the determining factors used by the committee, as that is something that we have been charged to do by the AISD Board of Trustees. In general, the significant current and projected growth of housing subdivisions in the vicinity of Walsh Elementary (including and particularly Morningstar and Walsh) make it impossible to keep the current Walsh Elementary attendance zone intact. Please note that Morningstar has not been singled out from attending Walsh Elementary. All homes north of I-20 and west of Farmer Road/3325 are included in the proposed rezoning from Walsh Elementary to McCall Elementary. We also thought it was important to keep neighborhoods together rather than divide a neighborhood.
Even with certain neighborhoods, including Morningstar, being rezoned to McCall, the significant growth in the Walsh development will create capacity challenges at Walsh Elementary in the future. In fact, the expected rapid housing growth in the school district north of I-20 is expected to challenge the capacities of the elementaries in the north rather quickly.
The expected enrollment versus capacity numbers at Walsh Elementary are significant. First, we need to explain that the maximum capacity of a school is having every seat filled in every designated teaching space for every period of the school day. Functional capacity takes into consideration schedule flexibility, average designed student-to-teacher ratio, and desired use of spaces. While the staff at Walsh Elementary has done an incredible job in managing the current overcrowding of the campus, it is not a situation that can be sustained, and the overcrowding will get worse.
The maximum capacity at Walsh is 675 students, and the functional capacity at Walsh is 607 students. As of this week, there are 716 students enrolled at Walsh. With the initial proposed elementary zoning map that would move some neighborhoods to McCall that was published last week, Walsh would go above both functional and maximum capacity during the 2023-2024 school year.
The student body in Aledo ISD is growing rapidly, and the projections by the district’s outside professional demographers indicate an even faster rate of growth in the future. Due to this rapid growth, the Aledo ISD administration has discussed with our committee that the district is pursuing land for future schools (including north of I-20) and is starting to plan for a future bond election (which is required before the district will be able to build new schools). If you would like to review the most recent student growth projections for Aledo ISD, click here for the latest Aledo ISD Demographic Update.
If the Morningstar neighborhood were to stay at Walsh, next year’s enrollment is projected to be 846 students (125% of maximum capacity). If all of the neighborhoods north of I-20 that are currently in the Walsh attendance zone were to stay at Walsh, next year’s enrollment is projected to be 974 (144% of maximum capacity). The committee believes that neither of these scenarios is acceptable due to the significant overcrowding of the campus. And the Walsh population would continue to grow from there.