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Katy Independent School District

2014

Capacity & Growth

 
What are the functional capacities for Katy ISD schools at this time?
Functional capacity is based on actual classroom utilization. 
 
If growth predictions are spot on and Katy ISD manages money well, why are schools opened at above 100% capacity?
In general, new schools are not opened at 100% capacity, but high growth areas do rapidly exceed capacity prior to the opening of a new adjacent school constructed to provide relief.
 
What is an acceptable projected % utilization of existing elementary schools?
A rule of thumb for good building utilization is 75-85%.

Are the newer schools over capacity?
Although no new school opens with portables, newly constructed schools in high growth areas soon exceed design capacity. Portables are utilized as a planning tool to enable the school enrollment to grow to support the construction of an adjacent school.
 
Is there a plan to redesign our school layouts to allow more classrooms (primarily at the elementary level)?
New designs for the elementary schools in the 2014 Bond include two levels, as opposed to the traditional one level elementary school. This new prototype will then be proposed to be utilized for future schools in a “refined repeat” manner gaining constructive input from the previous school occupants.

Currently, when a campus or space is repurposed, capacity for students is reduced (which results in the need for more schools). What are the benefits of repurposing?

  • Allows campuses to meet new District standards

  • Supports targeted students’ programs

School designs appear to be based on space per child. The philosophy seems to have changed to a functional basis driven by the matriculation of programs. Should this not be used as a basis for justification of overcapacity and growth?
Programs vary year to year. School utilization is monitored to determine if portables are projected to be required for a long term whereby an addition may be considered as part of the Long Range Facility Plan (LRFP). Campus programs do impact the capacity and is one of the components that contribute to the need for additional classrooms.

What are “geo-coded” students?
The process of assigning information to geographic coordinates. For students, the geographic data includes a street address. Geo-coded students are tagged to their residence (street address).

Is it possible to apply the programmed space of the new prototype schools to older schools to determine a standardized “functional” capacity for each school?
No. Functional capacity varies from school to school based upon a variety of factors including: grade grouping, special programs, etc.
 
Since new schools will be needed, will there be an emphasis on making each school different requiring new blueprints and costs, or will layouts be duplicated to save expense?
New prototype designs are being considered. The new prototype is then proposed to be utilized for future schools in a “refined repeat” manner gaining constructive input from the previous school occupants. 
 
How does each school determine how they pursue money for certainprojects?
Each campus completes a Long Range Facility Plan (LRFP) questionnaire. In addition to dialogue and analysis with department leaders, review is undertaken with technical personnel both inside and outside of the District.

Why doesn’t Katy ISD design the schools to accommodate with all known programs?
When design commences, we design with the needed programs for that particular school in mind, but it would be expensive to provide space for all programs that might not even be placed at that school.

To eliminate confusion – why don’t we simply refer to capacity and tell the public the capacity a building is designed for?
Currently design capacity is used in standard reports but does not reflect the functional use of the building. We are looking at alternatives to better explain functional or program capacity.

How have the sizes of “traditional” classrooms changed over time for a given number of students per room?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) determines the class size requirement. For grades 4 and under, the 22:1 ratio has been the standard for a while. They have changed over time; however, we do not have a historical report that we can provide.

What is the design and functional capacity of each new building?
The capacity will change only after it is occupied. The functional capacity is an ever changing number dependent upon enrollment and programs. There is not a hard number assigned to functional capacity.

From a facility standpoint, how does Katy ISD currently quantify and determine what are wants vs. real needs?
In addition to dialogue and analysis with department and campus leaders, analysis is undertaken in conjunction with technical personnel, both inside and outside of the District.

Many of the campuses have portables. Is the use of portables a sign of poor planning?
Judicious use of temporary buildings is part of Katy ISD’s overall facility plan strategy and will continue to be as long as the District is growing rapidly. Placing temporary buildings on an interim basis allows the District to assess growth carefully before constructing new campuses and to open new buildings with enrollments that are large enough to make them cost-effective to operate.

TEA Met Standard - District & Campuses

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