Response to Community Concerns About The Educational Impact of The Grove

We’ve heard the concerns expressed by some of our neighbors about the educational impact of The Grove at Shoal Creek on Bryker Woods Elementary School. While we have already spoken to many of you personally, we are sensitive to this very important issue and want to formally address the matter.

The effect of a development as significant as The Grove on a community’s schools is a necessary consideration. We appreciate and share in the desire to fully understand the impact of the project through a careful and accurate analysis of data, trends and valid projections.

We have been in communication with AISD district planning staff since we purchased the property in February 2015, and remain committed to continuing to work together long after the project is under construction.

In February, we initiated our engagement with preliminary dialogue and in June submitted an educational impact worksheet.  Since then, we have continued to assist with the information they need to complete an Educational Impact Statement, which they will file with the city and make available to the community.

We are grateful for the AISD staff’s open engagement and commitment to refining the data so that it is as useful as possible.  We met with them as recently as yesterday to deliver two scenarios for their impact analysis: an expected scenario and a maximum density scenario.  We believe the maximum density scenario, while not perfect because the informational inputs are extreme, will help ease concerns of the neighborhood.

Our ongoing commitment to collaboration with AISD will ensure your children and the children of our future residents receive an educational experience at the standards you’ve come to expect at Bryker Woods Elementary and comparable, high-performing AISD schools.

We hope you’ll join us for our upcoming informational forums focused on your expressed community priorities related to The Grove, including educational impact. And stay tuned for school-related updates throughout the process.

Facts regarding enrollment trends in our AISD schools:

  • AISD projects a district-wide loss of roughly 6 percent of the student population in the next 10 years, particularly in schools in the urban core, or central part of the district. This enrollment loss includes but is not limited to Bryker Woods Elementary, which would likely serve The Grove’s residents.
  • Currently, nearly 20 percent of the Bryker Woods Elementary student population is transfer students who live outside the service area, providing AISD flexibility to manage capacity related to The Grove’s educational impact. 
  • AISD projects a nine percent reduction in Bryker Woods Elementary enrollment in the next five years.
  • Bryker Woods Elementary currently operates at 75 percent capacity for students living within the service area (without transfer student enrollment). While capacity does not reflect a school’s ability to serve, capacity at Bryker Woods Elementary is far below other comparable, highly rated elementary schools, as indicated here:
  • In the event of expected enrollment reductions, Bryker Woods will fall below the normal enrollment operating range of AISD schools, which is between 75% and 115%, to 66% (without additional transfer students). This is not a cost-efficient level of enrollment, which is why AISD is more readily allowing transfers into urban schools. Matthews Elementary in Clarksville and Lee Elementary in Hyde Park operate at 66 percent and 71 percent capacity (without transfers) respectively.  This is below the district’s desired operating range and indicative of decreasing enrollment numbers for schools in the district’s urban core

Source: AISD

AISD declining enrollment in the news:

KXAN - New report shows AISD losing 4,000 kids by 2024: 

http://kxan.com/2015/01/12/new-report-shows-austin-isd-losing-4000-kids-by-2024/

KVUE - Declining enrollment prompts AISD new transfer policy: http://www.kvue.com/story/news/local/2015/02/04/aisd-transfer-policy-enrollment-school/22882843/

Community Impact - Data: Austin ISD student population to decrease by 4,043 students in 10 years: 

http://communityimpact.com/2015/01/13/data-austin-isd-student-population-to-decrease-by-4043-students-in-10-years/

 

AISD CAPACITY MAPS

Source: AISD

Source: AISD