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Education  Killeen Daily Herald | KDHnews.com Sunday, February 23, 2014 BUy this photo at kdhnews.com Bryan Correira | Herald Construction continues in February on Killeen Independent School District’s 33rd elementary school. The campus, with 52 classrooms and room for up to 800 students, is set to open this fall. Killeen ISD expands offerings for students New facilities, programs coming to KISD Herald staff reports While the enrollment in the Killeen Inde- pendent School District tapered off slightly in the 2013-2014 school year, the district con- tinues to expand and offer new facilities and programs for its large student body . As of February the district had a peak , enrollment of 41,751. That number is slightly lower than the 41,969 student peak enrollment it had during the 2012-2103 school year. The tapering off of enrollment marks the end of a 14th-year streak of growth for the Killeen District. However, Killeen ISD continues to be of the top 25 largest school districts in the state of Texas, as well as the single largest district between Austin and Dallas. The growth in enrollment is mostly in the southern portion of the district. It is here where the district is currently work- ing to build a 33rd elementary school. The school will feature 52 classrooms, as well as specialized rooms for art, music, science, special education and a computer lab. The school also will house a library and cafeteria. The estimated cost of the school is $16 million, and is expected to open in the fall with an initial enrollment of 800 students, said Killeen ISD Superintendent Robert Muller. Other construction projects include com- pleting the expansion classroom additions at Mountain View Elementary School, and expanding the district’s warehouse. Killeen ISD is also planning the construction of a satellite transportation facility to help with student busing. The opening of a new elementary school will mean the closure of another. The district’s administration proposed closing Fowler Elementary School for the 2014-2015 school year. By a 6-0 vote, the board ap- proved the closure Feb. 11. Fowler opened in Killeen in 1956, and has an enrollment of about 362 students. It is one of the district’s smallest schools, and the closure was proposed because it would be financially inefficient to keep it running. Muller said Fowler’s staff will be relocated to the new school. Fowler’s at- tendance zone will be divided among East Ward, West Ward and Clifton Park Elemen- tary schools. The changing enrollment in the district also allowed Killeen ISD to create an all-day pre-kindergarten classes for 3-year-olds at seven Fort Hood elementary schools. The program is open to children who live on post in the attendance zones of the seven schools. The program was made possible by a drop in enrollment in on-post campus- es. Muller said the response to the pre-kin- dergarten classes for 3-year-olds was very positive. In the 2014, the district will also continue to strengthen offerings at it Career Center, which allows students to train and earn professional licences in nine different career clusters. In 2013, the state began its first year of a new accountability rating system. The Killeen district was one of several districts in the state to meet new standards By Chris McGuinness Killeen Daily Herald BUy this photo at kdhnews.com Catrina Rawson | Herald From left, Karla Ramos Ruiz, Delaney Stender, Jana Mughawish and Hayley Sortman, all from Union Grove Middle School, look over career cluster information Jan. 29 at the KISD Career Center. Construction part of strategic plan classrooms to the campus at an estimated cost of $16 million. Farther out, the district plans to open The Killeen Independent School District a satellite transportation facility near continues to plan ahead in order to keep Charles Patterson Middle School. District up with student growth. officials believe the facility will improve The district’s biggest project— the con- efficiency in transporting students to struction of a 33rd elementary school — is and from schools. The tentative cost of part of a strategic facilities plan, which the project is about $3.8 million, with a outlines current, future and proposed completion date of spring 2015. construction projects. The new school, Several projects in the strategic fa- with an estimated price tag of $16 million, cilities plan have yet to be approved by is slated to open in the fall. Killeen ISD’s board of trustees, including The plan also includes an expansion of two elementary schools in 2016 and 2017, the district’s warehouse, also slated for and a fifth high school and new stadium completion this fall. The district will pay in 2019. The combined cost of the projects more than $1 million for the project, with are more than $137 million. Those proj- an additional $2.2 million to be funded by ects have also not yet been proposed by Killeen ISD nutrition department funds. the district’s administration or approved Additions to Mountainview Elementary by the board at this time. School are also scheduled to be completed See the district’s strategic facilities plan in the fall. The project added an extra 15 at www.killeenisd.org. By Chris McGuinness Killeen Daily Herald set by the Texas Education Agency’s new accountability rating system. The agency released the 2013 state ac- countability system ratings for more than 1,200 school districts in August, and the Killeen district received a districtwide rat- ing of “met standard.” Under the new rating system, districts, campuses and charters receive one of three ratings: met standard; met alterna- tive standard; or improvement required. Under the new system, individual school campuses can earn also “distinctions” in three areas: academic achievement in Eng- lish and language arts, academic achieve- ment in math, and student progress. Killeen Independent School District campuses that earned all three distinctions were Clifton Park Elementary Pershing , Park Elementary and Richard E. Cavazos Elementary . For more information about Killeen Inde- pendent School District, call 254-366-0000 or go to www.killeenisd.org. Students and parents in the Killeen Independent School District can look forward to several new facilities and programs in 2014, according to Superin- tendent Robert Muller. While the district’s growth isn’t as ex- plosive as it’s been in past years, Muller indicated that Killeen ISD continues to expand, especially in the southern por- tion of the district when student enroll- ment is projected to increase. “We want to continue to grow,” he said. This year the district will see the fruition of a number of long-awaited construction projects, including a new elementary school scheduled to open in August. The new school is projected to enroll about 800 students for the 2014- 2015 school year. In addition, the district expects to complete the renovation and expansion of Mountain View Elemen- tary School. “(The project) will add 15 additional classrooms to the school,” Muller said. The expansion, which will cost an es- timated $6 million, will also expand the school’s cafeteria. While those projects near comple- tion, the district will move forward with expanding its warehouse, which will include adding freezer space to store food for students. A satellite transportation facility is in works as well. Muller said the facility will be near Charles Patterson Middle School. Currently the district’s only transportation facility is at its main ad- ministrative office of W Young Drive. .S “We believe this will really improve efficiency said Muller. ,” New facilities aren’t the only things students, staff and parents can look forward to in 2014. Muller said that district will be expanding a “bring your own device program” to schools that wish to partici- pate, as well piloting a device lending li- brary for students that don’t have access to such technology . Killeen ISD will also use newly received grant fund to provide military transition consultants for military con- nected students. The consultants will be provided via a partnership with Military Child Education Coalition. Academically Killeen ISD will be , focusing on mathematics, including instituting an “ST” math program and double-blocking math for middle school students. “We feel very good about implement- ing the program,” Muller said.