GARNER – Garner ISD board of trustees approved moving forward with the creation of a high school campus for grades 9-12 during the board meeting on Monday evening.
A timeline, plan to achieve this and needs for this project have not yet been determined but will be considered by the Citizens Advisory Committee, which recommended creation of a high school campus to the board.
GISD Superintendent Rebecca Hallmark said the district had received requests from parents to move forward with a high school. A parent survey showed that 90 percent of parents would send their kids to a high school in GISD. From there, a committee of community members and staff was formed to further survey parents, students and community members.
“People want to continue in the same school,” Hallmark said. “Switching schools is very hard on them.”
Currently, the Garner school building, which houses classes for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, is full, Hallmark said. Because of this, the district has had to deny and revoke transfer students.
“Regardless of the whole high school concept, we had to do something,” Hallmark said. “That was a natural fit to form a secondary campus, move sixth, seventh and eighth with the high school, and that gives us room over here taking junior high out of that building.”
Board President Clay Youngblood mentioned that about 60 percent of the community indicated in the survey that they preferred to not consolidate with another school district.
“At the rate things are building out here currently in the last six months, I don’t see a path that doesn’t include us either becoming part of something or building our own school,” Youngblood said. “No matter what we do, we’re going to have to build something. I prefer it to be something that’s for our future instead of another add-on to band-aid a problem.”
The board discussed the decision, particularly with educating the community especially in terms of a future bond election, before moving forward with a unanimous vote.