KISD Gathering Feedback on Chaparral HS Zoning

Attendance zone meetings for Chaparral HS begin
By: Todd Martin
With the opening of Killeen ISD’s newest high school less than a year away, district leaders are seeking feedback regarding the proposed attendance zone for the new Chaparral High School.
The new comprehensive high school is set to open next fall on Chaparral Road in the fast-growing Yowell Ranch subdivision in south Killeen near the boundary  of Killeen and Harker Heights.
Superintendent John Craft presented a proposed zoning plan Monday at Harker Heights High School before addressing questions from the audience.
Remaining attendance zone meetings are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. at the following:

Wednesday, September 15 Ellison High School 
Thursday, September 16 Killeen High School 
Monday, September 27 Harker Heights Elementary School 
Wednesday, September 29 Shoemaker High School  
Monday’s meeting and the one at Ellison are scheduled to be livestreamed on KISDTV and posted online for the public to view. 
Referring to a color-coded map projected on the auditorium screen, Craft showed specific areas set to be redrawn.
The new school will draw students from all four current KISD high schools. Attendance zone changes are also planned for the four existing high schools.
Any new school requires an attendance zone that necessitates shifting current zones, Craft explained, acknowledging that moving students around is never easy.
He also explained the new school, built for 3,000 students, will provide much-needed relief for the current high schools. Ellison and Harker Heights are alreadly operating above capacity.
The new building will also help decrease the district’s reliance on portable classrooms.
A grandfathering provision would allow current sophomores and juniors with good discipline and attendance to remain at their current high schools even if their address is located in areas scheduled for rezoning. Transfer requests will be accepted beginning March 22.
School district leaders have mulled options for accommodating the growing high school enrollment for more than 10 years.
During that time, KISD opened the Career Center, where about 1,000 students attend and also the Early College High School, which has about 1,100 students.
Still, Craft said, the district needs the sixth high school and could use it immediately.
The superintendent explained the importance of solidifying high school zones to avoid the need for further shifting in the future.
Part of the need to firm up the attendance zones is an Oct. 30 UIL deadline to submit anticipated enrollment figures to be used for drawing athletic districts for coming school years.
It’s likely KISD high school enrollments will fall close to the cutoff between 5A and 6A. Currently, Killeen, Ellison, Shoemaker and Harker Heights high schools compete in the same 6A district.
The district administration plans to submit a proposed attendance zone plan to the KISD Board of Trustees to consider at the scheduled Oct. 12 board meeting.
The Chaparral High School project, the largest of the 2018 bond election is on schedule. Move-in should begin next March and continue through the summer leading to a school dedication ceremony and opening to start the 2022-2023 school year.
The new high school covers 450,000 square feet and includes a 4,600-seat regional stadium with press box.
The fine arts suite includes a 1,200-seat auditorium and choir, band, orchestra, theater and black box theater spaces.
The athletics area includes two gyms, weight rooms, training room and wrestling room, as well as the stadium.
The Chaparral Bobcats will sport dark blue and crimson.
The project design bears similarities to the renovations that are ongoing at Killeen High School, including regionally sourced stonework.
A $100 million addition and renovation at Killeen High School is scheduled for completion at about the same time the new Chaparral High School will open next August.
A map and letter regarding proposed re-zoning plans are available at the following: