More than 50 people attended the Killeen Independent School District’s first rezoning hearing at Harker Heights High School Monday evening.
Multiple parents expressed frustration about purchasing a house in Harker Heights specifically for their children to go to the city’s namesake high school, only to be rezoned for a high school in Killeen under the district’s latest attendance zone proposal. Some parents also voiced concerns about recent reports of violence at Killeen high schools.
Danielle Wade, of Harker Heights, attended the public rezoning hearing with her daughter.
“As a parent who bought my house for my child to go to Harker Heights High School, how am I supposed to be comfortable sending her to school with that group of students,” Wade asked KISD Superintendent John Craft citing reports of fights and fires at Killeen high schools.
Craft told Wade the district was cracking down on “all conflict fights” adding that any student caught fighting will be immediately placed in a DAEP (disciplinary alternative education program) setting.
Wade urged KISD to listen to the students’ opinions and fears about rezoning.
“A lot of parents are concerned because some of these students have issues,” Wade said. “Kids talk. We have to listen to our kids.”
Other parents said the district’s rezoning proposal will add minutes and miles to their morning drop-off routines and that their currently zoned schools are physically closer to their homes.
To these comments, Craft reminded the audience that the district is proposing these changes to alleviate overcrowded high schools — including Harker Heights and Ellison high schools.
“Growing is painful,” he added.
The district is adjusting school attendance zones to alleviate high school overcrowding while also populating the district’s newest campus, Chaparral High School, in advance of its grand opening in 2022. The proposed set of attendance zone changes, if approved, will take effect with the start of the 2022-2023 school year.
Craft explained the district’s rezoning plans and answered questions from the audience publicly for more than an hour Monday evening.
In response to concerns of school violence, Craft said, “There are fights at all of our high schools.”
If the rezoning plan is approved by the school board, some 2,000 KISD students will be rezoned for different high schools, according to the proposed high school attendance zone map.
Here’s a breakdown of the district’s proposed school zone changes:
482 Harker Heights High School (HHHS) students from zones 241-242, 264-266 and 271 would be rezoned for Chaparral High School (CHS).
699 Ellison High School (EHS) students from zones 222, 236, 262-263, 317, 374, 377, 380-382, 384 and 386-390 would be rezoned for CHS.
143 Killeen High School (KHS) students from zones 152 and 180 will move to HHHS.
303 HHHS students from zones 124-130 and 140-142 will move to KHS.
219 KHS students from zones 464-472 will be rezoned to Shoemaker High School (SHS).
348 SHS students from zones 318-332, 334-338 and 340 will be rezoned to EHS.
71 SHS students from school zone 391 will be moved to CHS.
198 EHS students from zones 372, 383 and 385 will be moved to CHS.
96 EHS students from school zone 373 will move to CHS.
The school district will hold four more rezoning meetings before a recommendation is made to the school board for approval on Oct. 12.
Future rezoning meetings will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the locations listed below:
Wednesday in the Ellison auditorium
Thursday in the Killeen High auditorium
Sept. 27 in the Harker Heights Elementary cafeteria
Sept. 29 in the Shoemaker auditorium
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