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Old 01-06-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,749 posts, read 12,993,147 times
Reputation: 7899

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeTravisAlum View Post
Honestly, I like how the DFW area has built their schools. Communities like Allen, Plano, etc. with big schools are great communities with strong extra curricular programs because of the huge involvement due to the large amount of kids. The academics are still very strong in those communities also. There's no reason why students can't still learn in a great environment if the school has the capacity for it. If there is enough classrooms, then the student to teacher ratio shouldn't change much as compared to a smaller school.

Southlake Carroll ISD technically has one high school, but they have two campuses - one for 9th and 10th grade and one for 11th and 12th grade. This is absolutely the best of both worlds because it is two campuses so the student population at each will be small, but extra curriculars and a community would not be split up. I pray that LTISD might think of this option when the time comes, but sadly I don't see them being able to make a smart decision like this.

I'm aware that LTISD has acquired land for a possible second high school and such. As I said earlier, it would be great if that land could be used for a possible 9th and 10th grade center. Right now LTISD is making the current HS expand into the current MS to make a 9th grade academy. That's great! When the time comes they need to keep the LT community together.

Vandegrift HS was formed because the residents in Steiner Ranch wanted their own HS. There have been rumors that in the future, Vandegrift HS will sever all ties with Leander ISD and create their own one HS district - smart.

All of this is just my opinion, and I don't want to offend anybody with my views on how a school system should work.
There are lots of opinions on this topic. I would rather have 2 times 2000 than 1 times 4000 students. If just to have twice as many clubs, teams, etc. for kids to participate in.

LTHS is not absorbing LTMS as a 9th grade center. That was the initial proposal/idea, but they concluded that too many 9th graders at LTHS take classes that would be on the "other" campus. The transit time is too high and they decided that they can make it work better by integrating LTMS into LTHS completely.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:30 AM
 
Location: West Austin
304 posts, read 293,967 times
Reputation: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
There are lots of opinions on this topic. I would rather have 2 times 2000 than 1 times 4000 students. If just to have twice as many clubs, teams, etc. for kids to participate in.

LTHS is not absorbing LTMS as a 9th grade center. That was the initial proposal/idea, but they concluded that too many 9th graders at LTHS take classes that would be on the "other" campus. The transit time is too high and they decided that they can make it work better by integrating LTMS into LTHS completely.
Oh okay thanks for the clarification! Does that mean that they are going to construct it to where the two buildings will connect and become one? That should be an interesting project, and I can't wait to see the end result!
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,749 posts, read 12,993,147 times
Reputation: 7899
Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeTravisAlum View Post
Oh okay thanks for the clarification! Does that mean that they are going to construct it to where the two buildings will connect and become one? That should be an interesting project, and I can't wait to see the end result!
I haven't seen any drawings yet. But they will "connect" the two campuses - I assume in an architecturally compatible way and allows safe and climate controlled movement.

It won't start for a bit because the next middle school has to be built first to move LTMS students. They did a great job with the last expansion of LTHS - so I expect this project will be done very well also.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:14 PM
 
12 posts, read 10,140 times
Reputation: 23
I will be looking for a job after moving in the high tech industry. Portland summers are great - but right about now, I would kill for some hot sun.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
2,349 posts, read 6,159,203 times
Reputation: 701
Well I don't see Leander ISD ever letting any of the schools go..
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:38 AM
 
8,238 posts, read 11,152,983 times
Reputation: 5696
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
There are lots of opinions on this topic. I would rather have 2 times 2000 than 1 times 4000 students. If just to have twice as many clubs, teams, etc. for kids to participate in.

LTHS is not absorbing LTMS as a 9th grade center. That was the initial proposal/idea, but they concluded that too many 9th graders at LTHS take classes that would be on the "other" campus. The transit time is too high and they decided that they can make it work better by integrating LTMS into LTHS completely.
Plano actually has 3 Senior high schools (grades 11-12) and 6 high schools (grades 9-10), not 1 as is being reported on this thread. There hasn't been just 1 senior high there since the 70's/early 80's and the 3rd was added about 10 years ago. The graduating classes are still huge- 1,000-1,500 in each of the three schools.

The only mega high school in North Texas is Allen with about 4500 students and honestly, it's size is a reason why many families choose smaller neighboring districts like McKinney and Frisco as well as really small Lovejoy.

Southlake has 1 high school, but the class size is "smaller" around 700-800. Frisco is one of the hottest districts growing in North Texas (though I think academically overrated as evidenced by SAT's, quality of college admissions, and AP program), and people are flocking there because of the district's commitment to keeping schools SMALL. They have added something like 4 new high schools in 10 years to keep 4A and not turn into Allen.

Yes, as a Highland Park grad, having one school within a community is a wonderful asset, but when you have virtually open growing areas (vs land locked older areas like Eanes ISD or HPISD), it's not a realistic goal to "not split the community". People in Frisco don't have "Frisco pride" nor do they see families at other Frisco high schools as their "fellow Frisco neighbors" (it's more school or subdivision specific) and I imagine the same will happen in West Austin.

A school with 4000-6000 students isn't an asset; it makes competition for everything super cut-throat (only 12 cheerleaders vs 48 @ 4 schools, only 10 "top 10 graduates" vs 40, etc) and allows a ton of kids to fall through the cracks and not develop meaningful relationships with teachers, admins, a substantial part of their class, etc. It can become more cliquey than inclusive (all Hispanics hang out, the Asians hang out, vs almost forced mixed groups when their are fewer kids to get to know). At HP, my friend group (whom I still have to this day as a 30-something) includes Asians, a Muslim, Jewish, and the stereotypical "WASP"y Parkies. We "chose" each other because of being neighbors early on, as well as sharing academic and athletic interests in middle school and high school. At a mega district (like a Plano or Allen with 1,500 kids per class per school), that probably wouldn't have happened as naturally or at all.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,749 posts, read 12,993,147 times
Reputation: 7899
TurtleCreek - I didn't mean to suggest Plano had one high school now. I know they have several today. But at one time I believe they were huge.

I went to a 3500 student high school in San Antonio. Not a bad experience, nor great. But the division into cliques/groups as you suggest can be extreme. So I favor high schools large enough to offer a wide range of classes and activities, but not so large that you see a lot of the problems you describe.

Unfortunately it costs more to operate multiple campuses. So I think in most urban areas we will see high schools in the 2000-3000 student range.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:14 PM
 
Location: West Austin
304 posts, read 293,967 times
Reputation: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
Plano actually has 3 Senior high schools (grades 11-12) and 6 high schools (grades 9-10), not 1 as is being reported on this thread. There hasn't been just 1 senior high there since the 70's/early 80's and the 3rd was added about 10 years ago. The graduating classes are still huge- 1,000-1,500 in each of the three schools.

The only mega high school in North Texas is Allen with about 4500 students and honestly, it's size is a reason why many families choose smaller neighboring districts like McKinney and Frisco as well as really small Lovejoy.

Southlake has 1 high school, but the class size is "smaller" around 700-800. Frisco is one of the hottest districts growing in North Texas (though I think academically overrated as evidenced by SAT's, quality of college admissions, and AP program), and people are flocking there because of the district's commitment to keeping schools SMALL. They have added something like 4 new high schools in 10 years to keep 4A and not turn into Allen.

Yes, as a Highland Park grad, having one school within a community is a wonderful asset, but when you have virtually open growing areas (vs land locked older areas like Eanes ISD or HPISD), it's not a realistic goal to "not split the community". People in Frisco don't have "Frisco pride" nor do they see families at other Frisco high schools as their "fellow Frisco neighbors" (it's more school or subdivision specific) and I imagine the same will happen in West Austin.

A school with 4000-6000 students isn't an asset; it makes competition for everything super cut-throat (only 12 cheerleaders vs 48 @ 4 schools, only 10 "top 10 graduates" vs 40, etc) and allows a ton of kids to fall through the cracks and not develop meaningful relationships with teachers, admins, a substantial part of their class, etc. It can become more cliquey than inclusive (all Hispanics hang out, the Asians hang out, vs almost forced mixed groups when their are fewer kids to get to know). At HP, my friend group (whom I still have to this day as a 30-something) includes Asians, a Muslim, Jewish, and the stereotypical "WASP"y Parkies. We "chose" each other because of being neighbors early on, as well as sharing academic and athletic interests in middle school and high school. At a mega district (like a Plano or Allen with 1,500 kids per class per school), that probably wouldn't have happened as naturally or at all.
I'm aware that there are only 3 Plano Senior schools (Plano, Plano West and Plano East). However, there should really be six Plano Senior high schools. I was just referencing Plano because of their effort to keep their schools larger.

Right now LT only has 2232 students. I'm praying that we never get past 3500 students - which will be the future LTHS student capacity. It's not realistic to think this, but I can only hope. I'm just a strong believer in one HS communities, and I'm glad that I got to be a part of one. If there is ever a second HS in LTISD, I will not be sending my kids to either one of the HS in LTISD. I will be relocating elsewhere that only has one HS - it's just my preference.
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