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Belton ISD draws new district lines, awaits school board approval

The Belton Independent School District redrew its lines before a new elementary school opens in the fall. The lines are awaiting school board approval.

BELTON, Texas — The Belton Independent School District met Monday about re-drawing boundary lines for each of its campuses since it will introduce new schools in the near future. The district will finalize its redrawn lines before opening Charter Oak Elementary in the fall, as well as a new high school and middle school in fall 2020.

Michelle Westbrook, whose child goes to Pirtle Elementary School, said her main concern with redrawing the lines was that she'd be comfortable moving forward.

"My concerns were only that parents were able to feel comfortable about the next school their child would be attending if there were some changes," Westbrook said.

Belton plans to use the Leon River as a dividing point for the two high schools, as well as the elementary and middle schools that feed into them.

"This was a very smooth process," Belton ISD superintendent Susan Kincannon said. "Our demographers worked diligently to analyze our attendance areas and planning units within the school district."

Once the lines are drawn, the district may be divided into Temple and Belton portions.

"The Leon River does create a really nice natural boundary for the Belton school district," said Michelle Box, a research manager at Templeton Demographics. "One thing that the school district has going for it is about 50 percent of the students live north of the Leon River and 50 percent of the students live south of the Leon River."

Kincannon said there won't be any changes aside from zoning.

During the meeting, Box announced the changes would affect about 15 percent of elementary school students within the district and the number was considered low. District officials at the meeting shared the sentiment.

"Belton ISD will remain one district and we're really excited about what the future holds," Kincannon said.

For Westbrook and her daughter, the minimal change involved with this proposal is something that is comforting.

"I want to ensure that we're not too far from home, but that's not necessarily a concern for me," she said.

For a look at maps and all of Templeton Demographics' presentation from Monday night, click here.

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