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Estrada: LISD bursting at the seams

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By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Lockhart Independent School District’s facilities have expanded to the point Superintendent Mark Estrada said there is no more room to house students unless more facilities are added.

The rubber band holding the LISD schools has been stretched as far as possible, according to the numbers. If developments are an indicator, that rubber band is about to snap.

Estrada noted at last week’s LISD Board meeting that the district uses 14 portable classrooms, including seven at Lockhart High School.

“We have chain link fences around them, but it’s a safety concern,” Estrada said. “As we’ve seen at Uvalde recently, a chain-link fence is easily scalable.”

Estrada also noted that even with the portable classrooms, more is needed, and likely soon.

“Things are about to change very quickly around our community, especially with housing developments,” Estrada said. “There are more than 7,000 homes in the planning stages within Lockhart ISD area right now. With the bond issue, I think we need to do this in phases.

“For Phase I growth requirements in 2022, we need elementary number six. Phase 2 for 2025 will require an elementary number seven, Lockhart junior high number two, and pre-K expansion. Phase 3 for 2028 will require elementary number eight, and an addition to Lockhart high school CTE. The current Lockhart High School is landlocked. Are we going to grow up with four stories or so? I don’t see more than two expansions there.”

All campuses within LISD are at capacity according to Estrada. Clearfork Elementary is at 108 percent capacity. It went through the previous school year at 103 percent capacity. Lockhart High School is at 102 percent capacity. Texas Education Agency requests a maximum of 22 students per classroom for grades pre-K through fourth.

“We are well ahead of enrollment in pre-K.,” Estrada said. “We expect to have the largest pre-K class ever here. Will know a lot more when September and October get here. On July 25, we had 200 more students signed up than we had at the same time last year. There is not a lot of flexibility across the district light rezoning because all of our schools are full.”

In other business:

Estrada informed the board that LISD was one of the few districts anywhere with a surplus of bus drivers.

LISD recognized and honored Susan Fambrough, as its new Director of Human Resources, with her 27 years of experience in public education.

More Legacy pf Excellence Awards were handed out during the recognition potion of the meeting. The University of Texas provides grants for the GEAR UP program for students to compete for opportunities across the country.

LHS students grades nine through 11 had to complete the application, write an essay, obtain letters of recommendations from their teachers and also submit a résumé.

The following students were recognized an honored by receiving Legacy Coins:

GEAR UP UT East Coast Bus Tour (Washington DC, North Carolina, Connecticut)
Cody Garcia, Emma Forester
GeoFORCE 10th Grade (Arizona) with the UT Jackson School of Geosciences
Michelle Joseph, Silvia Nigoche, Maria Tinoco, Jaden Kimball, Brielle Dziadik-Willingham
GeoFORCE 11th Grade (Pacific Northwest/Oregon) with the UT Jackson School of
Geosciences
Charles Wilson, Gareth Schulte,  Emma Forester, Alicia Nigoche, Mikaela Mendez, Joshua Tirado,  Edward Mendoza, James Magallanez , Weston Frey
TAMU Construction Science Academy (New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada)
Victoria Morales, Cam’ron Morales, Flor Rios-Briones,  Fatima Falcon
NCCEP Youth Leadership Conference (Washington DC)
Kennedy Roland
National Hispanic Institute Leadership Camp (Austin College)
Noe Figueroa
UT GEAR UP for College Summer Camp (UT Austin)
Mia Peralez
UT Subiendo Academy (UT Austin)
Amryss Flores, Eric Lara

“We celebrate them,” Chief of Staff Christina Courson said. “It is definitely an experience they’ll never forget. This will be the group to watch. These are our Lockhart leaders.”

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