After carefully evaluating recent enrollment and funding trends, the difficult decision has been made to implement a campus consolidation plan for the 2024-25 school year. Consolidating schools is a significant change and not something the district takes lightly. This step, taken after thoughtful consideration, aims to provide the best educational experience for every student. We value your trust and are here to guide our community through this transition.
For the 2024-25 school year, the following school consolidation moves will take place:
- Freeman students to Golden Meadows
- Williams students to Park Crest
- Centerville students to Handley STEM
- Hillside students to temporary Centerville location*
*Note: Once the new school is completed at the Hillside location, Hillside and Kimberlin students will both move to the new building. The new replacement campus, part of the Bond 2023 program, is expected to open for the 2026-27 school year.
On this page
Key factors in the decision to consolidate schools
We understand that the topic of consolidating elementary schools is a deeply emotional and impactful one for our community. As we navigate this journey together, we want to share the reasons behind our decision, always keeping the well-being and future of our students at the forefront.
- Fiscal responsibility and building maintenance: Maintaining older buildings often come with increasing costs. By consolidating, we can ensure that our funds are used more efficiently, focusing on providing the best educational resources rather than on frequent and costly building repairs.
- Physical limitations of current locations: Some of our existing campuses face challenges related to their physical location and space. Issues like insufficient room for expansion and traffic concerns make it difficult to upgrade these facilities to match our evolving needs.
- Declining enrollment: Over the years, we've observed a decline in enrollment in certain areas. Consolidating allows us to realign our district, ensuring that resources are allocated where needed most.
District enrollment has declined every year for the last eight years. Demographic studies have helped identify low-growth areas, and an audit from an independent consulting firm has provided recommendations for the district's long-term financial stability. Additionally, the citizen steering committee carefully reviewed enrollment trends and building maintenance costs during the bond planning process. They compared campus capacity and under-utilized school buildings.
Ultimately, the consolidation of schools enables us to use our resources more strategically and continue investing in the student experience. We deeply value your trust in us to make decisions that benefit our students. We are committed to supporting our community through this transition.
An essential part of this change is honoring the past while celebrating new opportunities and forming new combined campus cultures. Each campus has a unique and special history with achievements to be respected. GISD will collect campus artifacts for closing schools, such as trophies and plaques, which will be moved to the new location. Ultimately, the consolidated schools will adopt the school's name that honors a district family.
Parents choose the school they want their children to attend during the Choice of School process, but transportation to your chosen school is not guaranteed. The factors determining bus transportation are designated eligibility area(s) for each school, proximity to a neighborhood school, and/or magnet program acceptance. With the planned school consolidation, the assigned campus location will change for some students. This change could also mean a change in eligibility for transportation. The transportation maps for the 2024-25 school year will be available soon. We recommend that parents carefully review the transportation map data once it becomes available.
District leadership has made it clear that no staff will lose their job due to consolidation. Teaching positions will be assigned based on student enrollment and campus needs. If teachers are not assigned a role at the consolidated campus, a position will be open for them at another campus. Student-to-teacher ratios will remain consistent with GISD policy.
Campus-specific consolidation plans
Freeman and Golden Meadows
Williams and Park Crest
Centerville and Handley STEM
Hillside and Kimberlin
General Consolidation FAQsExpand All
When is the first day of school when consolidation goes into effect?
Consolidation goes into effect Aug. 12, 2024, the first day of school for the 2024-25 school year.
Once the current 2023-24 school year ends, staff will begin moving furniture and other materials as needed to prepare for next year at the new location.
Will my children be able to stay together at the new school?
We will work keeping siblings together at the same campus. Please check your Skyward Family Access account to ensure all of your students for whom you are Family 1/Parent 1 have the same Family ID. This will help us to keep them together as we complete the Choice of School process this spring.
Will bus transportation for the people who have been walking their kids to school be available?
Bus transportation is not guaranteed. The factors that determine bus transportation are designated eligibility area(s) for each school, proximity to a neighborhood school, and/or magnet program acceptance. The transportation maps for the 2024-25 school year will be available soon. We recommend that parents carefully review the transportation map data once it becomes available.
Does my family get to participate in Choice of School?
Yes, all GISD families can participate in the annual Choice of School process. There will be fewer options as we consolidate campuses, but everyone will be able to choose the best fit for their children from the available options.
Do I have to participate in Choice of School? Will my student automatically be placed at the consolidation campus if I do not participate in the Choice process?
If you don’t participate in the Choice process, your student will automatically be placed at the consolidation location.
You only need to participate in Choice of School if you want to change to a different school rather than the consolidation/relocated campus.
When the schools consolidate, what will happen to the teachers and other staff at the schools?
For schools that are consolidating, two schools with lower enrollment numbers are being combined into one. While no staff will lose their job because of consolidation, some staffing reassignments will be necessary. As always, the number of staff for each location will be determined by student enrollment and needs.
Principal and other staff assignments will be determined later this spring. For individual staff position assignments, multiple criteria such as GISD staff ratios and teacher tenure will be taken into account. A preference form will be sent to staff for input, and placements will be made according to a holistic rubric.
Note: Because Hillside students and staff are temporarily relocating to what will be an empty Centerville building, no staff changes will be required because of this move. Hillside will simply have a new location for the next couple of years. When Hillside joins Kimberlin in the new building, estimated to open in 2026-27, staffing assignments will be based on the student enrollment and needs at that time.
Will school hours be the same at my consolidation campus?
Will free breakfast and lunch still be an option at my consolidation campus?
Schools that are identified as Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools automatically provide free breakfast and lunch for students. Other than Hillside, all schools impacted by consolidation are currently CEP schools.
For non-CEP schools, parents have the option to apply for Free and Reduced-Price meals each year.
See the Free and Reduced-Price Meals page for more information, including a list of CEP schools.
What will enrollment numbers look like at consolidated campuses?
Campus enrollment will grow to meet the capacity of the campus. At this time there may be empty classrooms on your child’s campus. During consolidation, we will utilize all classrooms to accommodate students. Your child may notice more students in the hallways or the cafeteria, but the class sizes should not exceed 24 students in grades PreK-4 or 30 in grade 5 for all core instruction. While there may be a change in location during the consolidation, the quality of education your child receives will not be impacted.
Will consolidation impact my property taxes?
No, consolidation won’t directly impact property taxes. Property taxes are determined through a combination of your home’s property value, any applicable homestead exemption and the school district’s tax rate.
What security measures will be in place at the consolidation schools?
The consolidation schools will have the same security measures as other district schools, including planned bond-related security enhancements such as fencing and forced-entry-resistant film at main entrances.
Will Google Maps be updated with the correct names and addresses for the consolidated schools?
Yes, district staff will submit the updated information to Google once this school year is over. Note that Google has a process for this and we can’t control exactly when the updates will appear on their maps.