Written by Corbett Smith
How realignment will affect Mansfield ISD, including new school Lake Ridge
With realignment coming on February 2, the SportsDayHS staff will examine a few of the hot topics beforehand. Today: Mansfield ISD.
One of the more interesting school districts to watch come realignment day will be Mansfield ISD. Two of their schools are teetering on the 5A/4A line, Mansfield Legacy and Mansfield Summit.
Legacy, which turned in an enrollment of 2,050, should slide to Class 4A, leaving an opening for DeSoto to perhaps move back nto a district with Cedar Hill and Duncanville (more on that in the coming days).
Summit, which was close to the enrollment cutoff for 5A last time around, turned in 2,067, two students over the old 5A line (2,065 and up). It's expected that the cutoff will rise, putting Summit back into 4A as one of the largest schools in that classification.
But it's a school not near the cutoff that might face one of the cruelest cuts from the realignment process.
Mansfield Timberview, Class 5A Division II semifinalists in football, is firmly in Class 5A, with approximately 2,500 students. But when football coach Mark Walker starts practice in the fall, he might have as many as 1,100 students missing from his campus' rolls.
Mansfield Lake Ridge, the district's newest high school, will open in August, with all four grade levels and varsity programs in every sport. The school's attendance boundary cuts deeply into Timberview's current zone. Subsequently, Timberview is certain to have mid-size 4A numbers (which would be 1,550) in its new 5A district, potentially facing schools like Duncanville (3,850) or Arlington Martin (3,250) in district play.
(Mansfield High has a similar enrollment of approximately 2,500 students, but should be unaffected by the new school.)
Walker said the University Interscholastic League should examine the issue, allowing provisions for districts and schools to prove their case after October's "Snapshot Day", if they can show the enrollment will be clearly below the conference cutoffs because of new school opening.
The Mansfield attendance zones weren't completed by the October deadline, which would have needed to be finalized in order to follow UIL guidelines. The guidelines call for an estimate of both the current enrollment and the number of projected 8th-grade class.
"It's something that needs to be looked at, if not for us, than maybe for some other team down the road," Walker said.
Mansfield ISD athletic director Debbie Weems agreed, but said it would have been impossible for the district to provide accurate figures to the UIL until this week. Lake Ridge is announcing its new football coach and campus athletic coordinator Tuesday night. The district set a deadline of Monday for juniors- and seniors-to-be to choose to stay at Timberview, even if they are in the Lake Ridge attendance zone.