Monday, July 16, 2018
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Sharyland-LogoTo combat a projected decrease in enrollment at one of their elementary campuses, the Sharyland Independent School District will rezone the area between two elementary schools.

During their Monday meeting, the Sharyland School Board of Trustees unanimously approved a rezoning between Jessie L. Jensen Elementary School and John H. Shary Elementary School that will send a total of 88 students from Jensen to Shary Elementary in the next school year.

The rezoning will affect students living between Shary and Stewart Roads from Mile 2 Road to 3 Mile Road, according to Pam Montalvo - the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum & instruction.

This comes after a demographic study performed by the district two years ago showed that the population around Jensen Elementary is growing, while Shary Elementary is having a decrease in growth.

“Demographics are showing that the population at Shary Elementary is landlocked, they’re growth is on a downward trend” Montalvo explained. “There’s not going to be any new construction in that area that allows new families to move in, so that population is shrinking while the area around Jensen Elementary is growing with new apartment complexes nearby.”

According to enrollment numbers released by the district, Jensen Elementary currently has a student population 713 and the projected enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year is 648.

Shary Elementary, meanwhile, currently has 672 students but is projected to have 615 during the incoming school year. The rezoning, Montalvo explained, is an attempt to balance out a demand for more students in one school and a demand for more room at the other.

“Both schools will remain open, it’s just literally taking 88 students from Jensen to Shary Elementary and it will go into effect at this upcoming school year,” Montalvo said.

The rezoning, which the board has been discussing for years, is one of the ways the district is combating enrollment issues at one of their campuses.

Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School, which like Shary Elementary, faces an expected decrease in enrollment due to a lack of new growth in the area and is expected to have around 490 students in the upcoming school year, Montalvo said.

To combat this, the district approved an open enrollment policy at that campus to allow students from other campuses in the district to enroll at Hinojosa Elementary, Montalvo said.

According to Montalvo, 50 students have transferred to Hinojosa since the district approved the enrollment policy last May.

Sharyland Superintendent Robert O’Connor said there will be exceptions to the rezoning at Shary and Jensen Elementary during its first year.

Jensen students who are currently 5th graders and their younger siblings will have the option of staying there for the 2018-2019 school year to make it easy for their families. However, the district will not be providing transportation for those students and once those sixth graders move to junior high, the rest of the family must attend Shary Elementary, O’Connor said.