Thursday, December 4, 2014

Time to Order Luminarias

It's time again to order luminarias from your Newman Park Neighborhood Association. While you are at it, make a donation to the Association online (yellow donate button in right side column) or by filling out the form and following the mailing instructions.

Order Form English

Order Form Spanish

Attend Public Meeting about EPISD Proposed School Closures

The Capital Facilities Master Plan meeting is on Monday, December 8 at 6 PM in the Austin High School Gym. We need our Central area folks to come out for this meeting and weigh in on the issues that matter to us. The Board of Managers commissioned a study of the facility needs and issues throughout the district, including the fact that we have too many classrooms for too few kids. Based on that analysis, they have developed several options for the public to weigh in on. Options including closing schools, improving schools, changing school boundaries...

The options document can be found at:

Be forewarned that it is a lot of info to digest and it is put together by engineers who don't seem particularly concerned if the public understands the information. For our area, the options being presented can be found in the following sections.

Planning Area B.H.1: (High schools)
Planning Area B.M.1: (Middle schools)
Planning Area B.E.2. (Elementary schools)

One proposal is to close Alta Vista Elementary. It is not because there are too few students there but because the condition is not great, which in my opinion is more a function of decades of neglect rather than a poor quality building. 

I have served on the steering committee. The public process has been clunky at best but I think this is a good opportunity for us to weigh in about the following issues:
1. the condition of our historic schools and the need to maintain them,
2. any other facility needs that we think need to be addressed in our area,
3. the need to really work to make Austin High shine again, including improving their magnet program, and 
4. Anything else that we think should be a priority for the district as it pertains to our area.

Thank you.

Susie Byrd
EPISD Board Trustee in Waiting