BGC Members - What They Are Saying
(This is a series released during the summer of 2019 regarding topics discussed by the Bearcat Growth Committee, which held nine meetings from January to May 2019 in the bond planning process. The BGC reviewed District facilities, finances, demographics and plans for growth. The BGC is expected to complete the process of building a bond program at the August 1 BGC meeting.)
ELEMENTARY ENROLLMENT GROWTH & CAPACITY
Growth in Aledo ISD is here.
Aledo ISD experienced a record 6.7 percent growth in total student enrollment during the 2018-2019 school year as the District’s enrollment topped 6,000. New homes are being built at a rapid rate and Aledo ISD is among the top 20 districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in new home closings.
Based on projections by an outside demographer, Aledo ISD is expected to enroll more than 400 new Bearcats for the 2019-2020 school year. Over the next five years, student enrollment growth projections include nearly 2,700 new students. At this projected rate of growth, Aledo ISD's total enrollment would exceed more than 10,000 students in the next six years and will double in the next 10 years.
While the overall maximum capacity at the elementary schools will be exceeded in the fall of 2021, four of the five elementary schools will exceed functional capacity in two years.
The next BGC series installment will examine enrollment projections and capacity constraints at the middle school level.
(Source of enrollment/housing projections: Templeton Demographics) Click here to view Aledo ISD’s latest demographic report.
MIDDLE SCHOOL ENROLLMENT GROWTH & CAPACITY
Student enrollment growth in Aledo ISD is especially impacting Aledo Middle School.
Aledo ISD ended the 2018-2019 school year with 947 students enrolled in the 7th and 8th grades at Aledo Middle School. The functional capacity of AMS is 958 students and the maximum capacity is 1,119. The District's demographers project AMS will start the 2020-2021 school year with 1,170 students, 51 students over maximum capacity.
When Aledo ISD shifts to a 6th-8th grade concept at the middle school, the combined enrollment for these grades entering the 2020-2021 school year is projected to be 1,715. Part of the Bearcat Growth Committee's focus during the bond planning process has been to evaluate the need for middle school No. 2 for grades 6-8.
Aledo Middle School was originally built as the high school and opened in 1967. It was converted to a middle school in 2001 after the new Aledo High School opened. The front addition at AMS opened in 2002.
The next BGC series installment will feature the committee itself, how it was formed and the membership diversity and perspectives provided in this process.
The Aledo ISD Board of Trustees approved the appointment of the Bearcat Growth Committee in December 2018.
The purpose of the committee is to represent the Aledo ISD community in the study of data related to enrollment, finances, instructional priorities, growth, and facility needs. Through this process, the BGC is charged with recommending a potential bond program for a November 2019 bond election.
The BGC will conclude the bond planning process with its final meeting on August 1. The committee held nine meetings from January to May, extensively evaluating data, touring facilities and building a scope of what to consider for the bond package.
Members were chosen through a variety of methods, including an application process, nominations by campus leaders, and School Board Trustee appointment. The BGC is represented by parents and teachers from each campus, a wide range of business professionals, grandparents, retirees, members without students, and stay-at-home parents.
The BGC includes a diverse group of professionals in education, healthcare, law, communications, marketing, real estate, insurance, finance and many other fields who provide a wide range of expertise.
The BGC is also led by two co-chairs who are members of the community. Jim Scott is an attorney and Aledo ISD parent and Christi James is a resident and business owner in Aledo.
The next BGC series installment will examine Aledo ISD’s overall bond planning process and how it is different this year from previous years.
THE BOND PLANNING PROCESS
Aledo ISD’s 2019 bond planning process is different than in previous years.
The Bearcat Growth Committee (BGC) is led by co-chairs who are members of the community. Jim Scott is an Aledo ISD parent and Christi James is a resident and business owner in Aledo. Previous planning committees have been facilitated by outside consultants.
Aledo ISD also added an important position to this bond planning process. The District hired Tyler Boswell, the new Director of Construction and Facilities, in November 2018. This provides Aledo ISD with an in-house professional to oversee construction planning and to advocate for and serve the needs of the students, staff and community. In the past, Aledo ISD has relied on outside consultants to assist in this process, and has not had a construction professional on staff who has overseen construction projects.
Aledo ISD is also utilizing more comprehensive and consistent communications in messaging to the community regarding the work being done by the BGC. This includes dedicated webpages with presentations and minutes from each BGC meeting and regular updates to the AISD Board of Trustees. The District also releases regular messaging via social media regarding the BGC and meetings.
During July, the BGC held two community meetings to update stakeholders on information over the course of nine meetings held from January to May, and to gather community feedback for the BGC to consider. The BGC will hold its final planning meeting August 1 to build a bond package to be presented to the School Board.
In addition, the District is utilizing an architecture firm in the planning process to provide information and costs for the BGC. However, the architects being used by the District will not bid on any work generated by a 2019 bond program.
Aledo ISD will also engage in a competitive process to choose professional service providers for any projects in the potential bond program.