RISD Board Approves Elementary School Consolidation Plan

Project RightSize

On March 21, RISD trustees voted to approve Project RightSize proposals that will consolidate and repurpose five elementary campuses.

Under the consolidation plan, attendance boundaries of Greenwood Hills Elementary, Springridge Elementary, Spring Valley Elementary, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary will be consolidated with neighboring elementary schools starting with the upcoming 2024-25 school year. Dobie Pre-Kindergarten School will cease to operate as a school starting in 2025-26. The overall plan will reduce operating expenditures by an estimated $10.8 million per year, and also result in an estimated $10 million of one-time funds.

“This is a very difficult day for RISD,” said Superintendent Tabitha Branum. “From the time that elementary school consolidation was recommended by the community budget steering committee last year, we knew there was no way to implement a plan without directly impacting valued families and communities. Unfortunately, our financial realities are clear, and this is one of several necessary steps to ensuring our district can continue to educate, serve, and academically grow students moving forward. This will not be the last measure we must consider to right size our operating budget, but it is certainly the most painful.”

The action continued budget planning discussions that began more than a year ago and is expected to culminate in the adoption of the 2024-25 operating budget in June. Learn more about the factors used to identify schools impacted by consolidation plan.

“Our overall goal in addressing budget challenges is to minimize the impact on the programs and services we offer to students, and allow us to continue to provide educators with competitive compensation so we can attract and retain the quality staff necessary to continue our students’ academic growth,” said Branum. “We must align our limited resources with the district’s North Star Goal of academic growth for all students, and allowing our educators to focus on every child, every day.”

The district held five parent/community meetings to provide more information, answer questions, and listen to feedback. More than 850 people attended a session and 470 questions were answered. RISD trustees and staff attended each of the meetings, and also evaluated more than 350 online questions and messages of feedback through the Let’s Talk channel.

Trustees approved each of the five proposals with a majority vote. Based on feedback from families residing in close proximity to Dartmouth Elementary, the proposal changing the attendance boundaries of Dartmouth and Yale elementary schools due to the consolidation of Springridge Elementary was changed from the initial proposal.

RISD schools, central staff, principals and counselors will now move forward with planning and providing welcome and orientation information, activities, and events to ensure families moving schools are well supported in their transition for next year. Students impacted by the consolidation plan will be given priority in any transfer requests based on available space. Central staff will begin working on implementation details, including requesting new school zone locations and crossing guard assignments with the cities of Dallas and Richardson. 

Parents who have already enrolled for 2024-25 at a consolidated campus will automatically have their enrollment moved to their new attendance area school, and do not need to take additional action. Families with questions about the implementation of the elementary consolidation plan may contact their 2024-25 elementary school or connect with RISD through the Let’s Talk platform.

Watch the March 21 Board meeting presentation and discussion.

See the Project RightSize plan.

Learn more about RISD budget planning discussions, factors, and decisions.

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