Harlandale ISD discusses consolidation of 5 elementary schools at school board meeting

School board will vote on issue next Monday, March 27

SAN ANTONIO – The Harlandale Independent School District held a board meeting on Monday night to discuss the possible consolidation of at least five elementary schools after years of financial hardship and declining student enrollment.

The school board heard from several members of the community who expressed their concerns about the proposal.

If approved, the plan would consolidate the Jewel Wietzel Center and four elementary schools: Columbia Heights, Morrill Elementary, Rayburn Elementary and Vestal Elementary. The district says they are all operating on at least 50% capacity, with Rayburn Elementary closer to 60 percent. Two administrative buildings are also on the proposal for consolidation: the central office and the SCHEH building.

If the proposal is approved, district officials said they will help to facilitate the transition of all affected staff and students to other schools within the district.

The district said there has been a 19% decrease in resident elementary students over the course of four years, from 2018-2021, and that a “significant loss” is expected through 2026.

Low birth rates, declining market share and a lack of residential development are also seen as reasons for the decreasing student population, Harlandale ISD said.

Parents, staff and community members are invited to join a town hall on the issue Tuesday night at Harlandale High School. It starts at 5:30 p.m.

The school board will then vote on the issue next Monday, March 27.

About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.