Looking toward the future
There are three facts many people recognize about Georgetown. First, the city is growing every day. Second, we have a superlative school district. Third, the first two are positively connected.
Fortunately, city and school leadership are adept at planning for growth via bond propositions that allow the district to adjust and avoid overcrowding.
In 2021, voters approved two propositions that will provide new facilities for the fast-growing district as well as maintain and improve technology. Elementary School #11 will be located in Santa Rita Ranch to help accommodate for capacity in the fast growing western part of the district and Wolf Ranch attendance zone. Elementary School #12 is also being planned for an opening in fall 2024 but a location has not yet been determined.
Communications Director Melinda Brasher explains, “Our demographers predict we will have 1,000 new students by the fall of 2022 and another 3,000 by the fall of 2024 when new campuses are expected to open. Half of that projected increase will be at the elementary level. Fortunately, we will be able to get both schools ready quickly because they are based on the designs of Williams and Wolf Ranch schools, which opened in 2020. Those designs have proven very effective for learning and we need only make small tweaks based on feedback from staff to complete construction. This saves us tremendous time and expense.”
The district also plans to break ground on a new Benold Middle School in the Parmer Ranch subdivision in west Georgetown. Melinda says the current Benold Middle School will be redesigned to become a future Frost Elementary. “The current Frost is our smallest campus and there is no opportunity to expand its footprint, but maintaining an elementary school in that area is important to the community. Redesigning Benold creates space for growth in the Frost attendance zone.”
She says the current Frost facility may be re-purposed. “Another bond proposition will enable us to sustain our one-to-one device initiative for students, improve our technology infrastructure, and increase security for both. One option is to re-purpose the old Frost building to create a central and secure space to manage the annual deployment and service of nearly 13,000 devices. Frost is an ideal site to accommodate that directive and also serve as a warehouse for curriculum materials.”
As the population increases, the district’s special programs increase as well. “A fourth campus funded by the bond will be our Future Ready Center,” Melinda says. “This complex will be constructed on Airport Road near the Titan Commercial center and will be the new home for Richarte High School, advanced Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, Bridges transition program, and Eagles Wings, an early learning center that provides daycare for teachers and staff, allowing for increased capacity in each program. It will also house the GISD Health and Wellness Clinic.” The district plans to break ground before the end of summer.
As well, the entire district will benefit from new school buses that will not only accommodate growth where it is happening, but are also safer for students and the community.
Visit GeorgetownISD.org/bond to review previous bond projects and updates on how the district is stewarding our tax dollars.
In the 2022-23 school year, high school students will have the opportunity to take new semester-long electives focusing on Mexican-American and African-American studies.
Also at the high school level, the Rocketry program added Level 3 applications through SystemsGo. Melinda says, “We add a new level each year so the students are able to advance in the program.
A few bragging points in 2021-22:
The Aerospace Engineering students complete their fourth airplane, then tested and sold it to fund the fifth plane already in production.
East View was home to Claire O’Shoney, the top national chef in the 2020-21 school year. This year, the Patriots’ top chef again won the Texas title and is traveling to nationals this month to continue the streak.
GISD has a total of 39 Sea Perch teams district wide. Two teams from Benold Middle School qualified for an international competition being held in Maryland this month. All Sea Perch teams are funded as a priority initiative of the Education Foundation
For the second year in a row, Georgetown was recognized by the Texas Art Education Association as a District of Distinction. Only 40 of 1,100 eligible districts met this Gold Standard for fine arts programs.
The Liberty Battalion was named 2022 Area 10 Navy JROTC State Champion and a Navy JROTC Nationals Finalist. The group has been named a Navy Distinguished Unit ten years in a row, and is also a Bravo Zulu award-winning battalion. Bravo Zulu is military code for “well done” and pennants are given only to units that truly stand out in overall performance at inspection.
The CTE program continues to produce well-prepared and job-ready students upon graduation. GISD’s Learner Profile closely aligns with a recent Capital Workforce Solutions report that shows the list of skills employers are looking for in the regional job market, meaning our students are a good match for soft skills in demand in the larger job market.
As growth and achievement are always a priority, Superintendent Dr. Fred Brent is pleased the strong relationships among the district, city, and Chamber of Commerce provide great perspective when planning for the future. He says, “We know our community is growing and we are conscious of the need to grow with it while making sure students in GISD have a safe and welcoming place to learn. We will continue to work closely with demographers and maintain a three-year bond cycle to accommodate Georgetown’s growth and popularity with families. Plus, in the classrooms, we will make sure to continue the programs that support their interests, and the future-ready needs of our community and its workforce.”