TUSCOLA, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Tuscola and Buffalo Gap are seeing new housing developments popping up regularly and with that growth comes more students in the Jim Ned Consolidated Independent School District. Now the district is preparing for the future.
As the foundation is laid and the walls go up in new developments South of the Abilene city limits, Jim Ned CISD is seeing more and more students filling the classrooms.
“We’ve been blessed with success in this district both academically, athletically, and in the fine arts and other areas as well and so it’s something people want to be a part of,” Jim Ned CISD Superintendent Glen Teal said.
According to Teal, the growth started about three years ago.
“It was a little over five percent, almost six percent and then last year thought that trend might continue and it ended up being almost four percent last year,” Teal said.
This year it picked back up, but even higher at almost ten percent growth.
“Which is about 120 kids for us district wide truly scattered throughout the grade levels but primarily at our elementary grades,” Teal said.
Jim Ned High School increased by more than 50 students this year.
”We’ve been able to maintain really small class sizes and anything that we’ve needed our school board, our superintendent makes sure we’ve got what we need to take care of any growth that’s coming,” Jim Ned High School Principal Treva Gambrell said.
The most significant increase is at Lawn Elementary.
“We’ve had to add a third grade teacher there for a rapidly expanding third grade classroom,” Teal said.
The district has made some accommodations this year but administration is looking even further down the road.
“We’re beginning to explore avenues for either expansion or new facilities,” Teal said.
At last weeks school board meeting the district partnered with an engineering firm, Jacob and Martin, to study how the district can prepare if this growth continues.
“We’re hoping and expecting them to present us with a couple of different options if not three or four where we can look at what can be the most feasible for us to do in the future,” Teal said.
The engineering firm will research and present plans to the board in a couple of months.