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Linder Elementary School
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What is AISD doing to relieve overcrowding at Linder Elementary?

Linder Elementary continues to be the District's most over-crowded school, and is currently far above maximum student capacity, with 913 students sharing a facility that was built to serve 600 students. This overcrowding causes many classes to be held in the gym, library, and hallways, and interferes with the overall quality of instruction.

Therefore, AISD is considering various options including a boundary change and the development of an early childhood center, to address the overcrowding at Linder. The District wants to ensure that students receive a high quality education in a positive and productive learning environment.

Boundary Change

One solution to Linder's overcrowding is a boundary change, recently approved by the AISD Board of Trustees, that reassigns 230 Linder students to Brooke, Metz, and Sanchez elementary schools, beginning next fall. This reassignment to nearby schools will help reduce Linder's population to approximately 700 students, and will be a good short-term solution. However, long-range projections for Austin's growth show that shifting school boundaries alone will not be sufficient to relieve overcrowding at Linder in the long run.

Due to this boundary change, when will parents be notified where their students will be attending school next year?

Sometime after Spring Break, parents should receive a letter that informs them about the school their child will be attending.

When students are reassigned to Brooke, Metz, and Sanchez elementary schools due to the Linder boundary changes, what provisions will the District make for their transportation?

Bus routes for students who are reassigned to Brooke, Metz, and Sanchez elementary schools will be very similar to the way they were when these students attended Linder Elementary School. Each school will have its own buses, students will be picked up in the morning at their regular bus stop and will be transported back at the end of the day. Arrangements for students who participate in after-school activities, such as tutorials, will be worked out between the school and the transportation departments.

Early Childhood Center

Another solution to Linder's overcrowding is the development of an early childhood center that could serve approximately 400 students in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. This center could be part of a long-term solution that continues to keep Linder's population under 700 students.

In addition, building an early childhood center nearby would definitely give Linder needed relief for several years. In the future, even though enrollments at Linder are projected to decrease, the overall population of Southeast Austin will continue to grow, and the need for an early childhood center in this community will still exist.

What are some of the benefits of an early childhood center?

An early childhood center in the Linder community would provide opportunities for learning in a child-centered, supportive environment that would better prepare pre-kindergarten children for the academic expectations of kindergarten and first grade. In such an environment, young learners would also develop socialization and independence skills faster than if they were among their older peers. The curriculum would focus on all areas of language and literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, technology, health, visual arts, music, and physical education. Emphasis would also be placed on developing problem-solving and critical thinking abilities in these children.

How does an early childhood center fit with the District overall strategic plan?

The development of an early childhood center would be closely aligned with the District's strategic planning process and the AISD Early Childhood Education Task Force's recommendations to expand program offerings in early childhood education. Currently, the District has one other pre-kindergarten center, the Lucy Read Pre-kindergarten Demonstration School in North Central Austin. Students from four nearby elementary schools attend Lucy Read, which has shown very positive results.

What is the cost and expected timeline for the development of an early childhood center?

The development of an early childhood center for students in the Linder area would cost approximately $26.5 million to build, including the cost for purchasing land. The center is included in a proposed $343.7 million bond package. The bond election is scheduled for May 10, 2008. If approved by Austin voters, the center would be projected to open at the start of the 2010-2011 school year, with 24 classrooms, serving approximately 400 students in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. The early childhood center would remain dedicated to serving the Linder community for as long as needed.

If the early childhood center is developed, where will it be located?

AISD is actively searching for possible locations for an early childhood center, and has identified several possible sites. We will make every effort possible to select a site that is close to Linder Elementary School.

What are the hours of operation for an early childhood center?

Full day pre-kindergarten classes are offered on all AISD campuses that have pre-K classes. Each schools decides their preference, and pre-kindergarten students attend classes that follow one of the following schedules:

  • 7:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • 8:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Will students eat breakfast and lunch at the early childhood center or at Linder?

The development of an early childhood center would include a cafeteria where students could eat both breakfast and lunch. However, depending on the size of the cafeteria and the proximity of the early childhood center to Linder, staff may possible need to prepare and then transport meals from the Linder campus over to the center.

Will students be transported directly to the early childhood center or to Linder for subsequent transportation to the early childhood center?

Transportation for students in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten would follow the model used successfully by the Lucy Read Pre-kindergarten Demonstration School. Students would be transported daily to and from their home school and then to the early childhood center, accompanied by bus monitors. Depending on the location of the center, students would be picked up from their home school around 7:20 a.m. and brought back to the home campus at the end of the school day.

Having a school that receives the students who attend the early childhood center will provide parents the convenience of being able to pick up all their children from a single location.

If a child needs after-school care, where will that be available?

Following the model used by the Lucy Read Pre-kindergarten Demonstration School, students from the early childhood center would be taken back to their home campus at the end of the school day where they can access after-school care.

Why doesn't AISD just expand the existing Linder facility?

There is limited room at the Linder campus for expansion, but overcrowding has reached the point that there is not enough space to build as many additional classrooms as are currently needed. However, in the future, if one classroom addition were needed at Linder, there would be sufficient room to construct this addition. The early childhood center may provide enough additional room capacity to stabilize Linder's population.

Why Doesn't AISD just build a new elementary school?

A few years ago, AISD explore the possibility of purchasing land to construct another elementary in the Linder area. However, current projections for development in the Linder attendance zone indicate changes in land use and population patterns that will result in fewer children going to Linder in the next 10 years. Therefore, a new elementary would be a costly solution that might only be used for a short period of time.

An early childhood center, on the other hand, could continue to server the needs of the community for the long term. In addition, an early childhood center would require much less land. For example, building an early childhood center would only require about 6-10 acres of land, while an elementary requires approximately 15 acres of land.

How can I find out more information about the plans to address overcrowding at Linder?

AISD will hold a public meeting in the Linder Elementary Cafeteria on Thursday, April 17th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss plans for a possible early chidhood center for the Linder community. In addition we will provide periodic updates about these plans on the AISD website www.austinisd.org. You can also check with the Linder office for this information. Linder's telephone number is 414-2398. You may also leave questions and comments at the following page: http://www.austinisd.org/schools/Linder/form.phtml

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Linder Elementary School