Feb 2011 - Shepton PTSA
The Wolf Den Presents…
The Plano West Wolf Den PTSA is inviting all families in the Plano West
community to come visit with 2 members of the Plano ISD school board on
Wednesday, February 2nd at 7:00pm in the Presentation room at Plano
Immediately following the Wolf Den PTSA General Meeting, PISD School
Board Secretary Missy Bender will share information about:
trends in public education
Check It Out!
Plano West Confirmed p. 3
Following this presentation, Ms. Bender, Board Vice President Brad Shanklin, and West Cluster Area Assistant Superintendent Patty Meyer will host a
question and answer session. This will be an open forum to allow our community an opportunity to learn more about Plano ISD, discuss future enrollment figures for Plano West, and a chance to visit with members of our
school board in an informal setting.
Independent PTA p.6
district goals and results
opportunities and challenges facing Plano ISD over the next few years
Arts Shine Bright p. 12
F R O M O U R P R I N C I PA L
We completed a very
successful first semester
thanks in large part to
the amazing partnership
that exists between our
teachers, students, parents and community.
Our PTSA, booster
clubs, and other parent
volunteer programs have
made invaluable contribu-
tions to Shepton this
year and I would like to
thank each of you for
your involvement and
commitment in making
Shepton High School a
wonderful place for our
As we begin the spring
semester I would like to
invite each of you to attend our Spring Open
House Thursday, March
3 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
This will be a great opportunity for parents to
meet their student’s
teachers and find out
what the students are
(Continued on page 2)
F R O M O U R P R I N C I PA L ( C O N ’ T )
(Continued from page 1)
The Stallion is a publication of
the Shepton High School
5505 W. Plano Pkwy
Plano, TX 75093
Principal: Burton Smith
PTSA President: Cara
Editor: Doug Rogers
Correspondence should be
directed to the editor at
learning this semester.
We will also go over our
school report card in the
library that evening from
6:15 – 6:50 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend.
I am proud to announce
the 2011 Experienced
and Beginning Teachers
of the Year for Shepton.
Ms. Linda Booth, who
teaches English and sponsors our National Junior
Honor Society, has been
named our Experienced
Teacher of the Year. Ms.
Kristin Rosi, who teaches
Social Studies and sponsors our student Senate,
has been named as our
Beginning Teacher of the
Year. Both Ms. Booth
and Ms. Rosi are outstanding educators and
we are proud to have
them represent Shepton!
I would like to remind
everyone of a wonderful
communication tool that
we have available. Shepton eNews is a free service in which you can
receive e-mails from the
school several times each
week with the school
other very helpful information. You can sign up
at the following website:
you can access the website from the main PISD
I would also like to encourage all parents to
sign up for Parent Portal.
Parent Portal provides
parents access to realtime student attendance
records & grades (grades
are updated every Monday). You can register
for this free service at
or you can access the
website from the main
PISD webpage, www.
pisd.edu. In addition, any
Experienced Teacher of the Year Ms. Linda Booth
Beginning Teacher of the Year Ms. Kristin Rosi
parent who signs up for
Parent Portal will automatically be signed up for
the Mane Event.
Families who do not
have a computer to use
can receive a used one
free of charge from the
school district through a
program called [email protected] You are
welcome to call our
campus technology assistant, Daniel Ramirez, at
(469) 752-7606 regarding
I hope each of you have
a wonderful and successful spring!
Please feel free to contact me anytime I can be
of assistance with your
DEMOGRAPHER C ONFIRMS PWSH
EN RO L L M E N T NU M B E R S
CARA M ENDELSOHN-PTSA P RESIDENT
*** Yes, Plano West will have the largest class in Texas History! ***
(part 2 of a series – find part 1 in the December edition of ‘Shepton Stallion’ at www.sheptonptsa.org)
The demographer hired by PISD confirmed the numbers and Plano ISD is now acknowledging that the
changes they made to the feeder alignment in December 2009 will leave Plano West with a projected enrollment of 3480 students once the changes are fully implemented .
https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=30892714. Or, the whole presentation by the
demographer on DMN’s Plano blog at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/47157264/Plano-ISD-10-YearEnrollment-Projections. The enrollment numbers for Plano West for the next 10 years are predicted to be :
Plano West Senior High School 2,164 2,254 2,881 3,482* 3,346 3,176 3,155 3,158 3,159 3,148
*The reason the numbers jump to 3,482 is this is the year the new feeder alignment is fully implemented.
I attended the January school board meeting along with many other parents who are concerned about the enrollment numbers to learn more about the factors the demographer considered and the methodology he used
(Continued on page 10 )
The Shepton Theatre and Choir Departments are excited to announce auditions for the
musical, Once Upon a Mattress. This is a fun twist on the classic story of the Princess
and the Pea. There are wonderful roles for every student who wants to be involved. In
addition, there are many positions backstage that need to be filled with students interested in lighting, sound, costuming, and more. Interested students should see the callboard in the theatre hallway for more information. Interviews for backstage positions
will be held on February 8. Auditions for onstage roles will take place on February 15 &
16 after school. Please speak to Mrs. Darce, Mrs. McElwain, or Miss Boswell if you
have any questions! Break a leg!
Want to be seen by hundreds of Shepton parents and hundreds of Shepton community members? Then advertise in
Shepton Theatre’s musical playbill! Ads range from only $25 to $125. Advertising is easy. Just contact Laura
Darce at [email protected] or 469-752-7754 for more information. Support the arts while getting your name
PTSA General Meeting
and Parent Program
What Every Parent Should Know!
Monday, February 14th, 10:00 am
Shepton parents are invited to attend the next PTSA General Meeting followed by a "Road Rules”
presentation at 10:30 am. Karen Slay from the Texas PTA will give a comprehensive discussion on the
process of obtaining teenage driver’s permits, licenses, and the point system. Learn what parents can do
to help new drivers be more aware of the risks of the road. 9th grade parents won’t want to miss this
The SAGE Committee…
Summer Expo 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
1401 Highedge drive, Off 15th street
(near PISD administration bldg.)
Plano, TX 75075
Local Camps, Camps throughout TEXAS... and beyond!
You'll find programs of interest to ALL students Preschool - Elementary - Middle School - High School
Including those with special needs and gifted students.
Talk to camp representatives...
Get a feel for what a difference a summer can make in learning and development.
The actions of legislative bodies can have a profound effect on the education and well-being of children, and
Texas PTA serves as the voice for Texas children in many legislative endeavors. Texas PTA supports legislation
that improves health, well-being and educational opportunities for every child. Successful implementation of our
legislative positions is characterized by people working together to assure wise legislative decisions through
knowledge of the process and an understanding of the issues.
For Texas PTA's legislative priorities, visit:
Weekly Legislative Report and Bill Summary
As the legislative session gets under way, Texas PTA will publish a weekly report with the latest legislative news
and the status of bills that affect our schools.
Read our weekly updates: http://www.txpta.org/legislative/session-2011-weekly-report/
Texas PTA is a noncommercial, nonsectarian-nonpartisan organization that promotes the welfare of children and youth. Texas PTA d oes not endorse any candidate or political party.
VALENTINES / Mardi Gras DANCE
Save the date and find a date! The Mardi Gras Masquerade is February 5, 2011 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM! Tickets
will be sold before school and during lunches. Ticket
prices are $10 in advance or $15 at the dance.
GO T SC H O O L P R I D E?
Looking for a Shepton shirt to wear to your next school event? Need some Shepton sweat pants or a stadium
blanket to keep you warm? Stop by the school store at your lunch period to purchase your Shepton spiritwear!
Spiritwear is a great way to show your school pride and support the Shepton PTSA.
Get yours today!
T H E I N D E P E N D E N T RO L E O F T H E
C ARA M ENDELSOHN-PTSA PRESIDENT
Shepton PTSA is an independent non-profit. We are a 501(c)3 and file a federal
990 tax form, state sales tax, have an annual audit and elect officers who have a
fiduciary responsibility to our organization. Our goal is to advocate for the health,
safety and education of children and strengthen families.
As PTA members, we love to support our teachers & shower them with appreciation
for the work they do in helping our children grow. It is our choice to conduct those
activities and support Shepton as a school financially and with volunteer activities
because we see this as helping build a stronger school environment for the education of our students.
Sometimes that support and association can confuse parents and school officials.
For instance, no PTA or PTSA is run or overseen by any part of the school or the district. We are completely independent. Many PTAs, like ours, choose to write our
bylaws so our principal is a voting board member, but that is not required by Texas
PTA or National PTA. In fact, many PTAs in Texas and across the US are not associated with any school. In Plano, having a PTA at each campus allows for district communication and guidelines to be more easily shared, but this is not the model in
most school districts.
In the December edition of our PTSA newsletter, I wrote an article that included information about the overcrowding coming to Plano West. It was pretty strongly
worded and contained data and a call to action. The school district was upset that
the newsletter had not been “approved” by the principal. While our PTSA has traditionally shared the newsletter in advance with our principal, the December edition
was not shared in advance, in an effort to shield him from any district backlash and
to make a tight deadline. It is not the practice of PTA or PTSA to have newsletters
approved by anyone outside of PTA. In the year I was the PTA Council newsletter
chairman, I specifically taught that newsletters did not need to be approved by principals. There are no Texas PTA materials that even address the issue of a principal
approving a newsletter or other communication, because that is not the nature of
the PTA-district relationship. There is one exception though. Because of the distribution policies in Plano ISD, if anything is being distributed in a school facility, Plano
ISD reserves the right to approve it. In elementary schools where a paper newsletter is often sent home, principals indeed approve the newsletter. I should note, in
the two years I served as the President of the Plano ISD Council of PTAs, I sent electronic newsletters to every school board trustee, every principal, and all of the PISD
cabinet members including Dr. Otto and the Director of Communications. Never
once did any of them ask to approve a newsletter .
Shepton PTSA’s role to advocate for our children will not cease. Often that work is
aligned with our school district and they are our best partner in achieving many of
our goals. But sometimes, that advocacy is TO our district so they will make the
choices that provide the educational experiences we expect for our children.
2 0 1 1- 2 0 1 2 B OA R D — Y E S , A L R E A DY !
It is already time to begin the process of slating the 2011-2012 PTSA Executive Board. If you are interested in serving in any of the executive board positions, please contact Jenny Wood at [email protected] An Officer Interest form is included on our website at
If you are interested in running for any of the other positions, please fill out the Board Interest form included on the website and forward to Cara Mendelsohn at [email protected]
Shepton Open House
SAVE THE DATE!
What goes better with Valentine’s
Day than chocolate?
Rejuvenate and strengthen dry, aging skin
with Skin 101’s February Special . . . a
Chocolate Toning Mask. It’s a potent antioxidant and a collagen booster.
Have a little chocolate, and you’ll love your
$50 – Reg. $85
Skin 101 by Ali
Inside Sola Salons
3405 Midway Road, Plano
(NW corner of Midway & Parker Rd.)
Gift certificates available
Shepton HS will be hosting its annual
Spring Open House on Thursday,
March 3 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm.
Come meet your student’s teachers, and find out what
your child is learning this semester.
You are also invited to hear from Mr. Smith regarding the
results of Shepton’s TEA school report card. This meeting
will begin at 6:15 in the Shepton Library.
Teacher Appreciation Week
Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week is coming soon!
Here's your opportunity to show the teachers and
staff how much you appreciate all they have done
for our children this year. The PTSA will have a
week full of daily events to show our appreciation.
If you did not sign up to help with this event at
registration, email [email protected]
Look for an update with more information soon.
Mary Kay Drury
Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week, Chair
C O U N S E L O R NE W S
As we begin the 2nd semester, we want to encourage you to be aware of your student’s grades and the
credits he/she is receiving. In order to be promoted to 10th grade a student must have 6 credits. Failing
more than one class will result in retention. In order to be promoted to 11th grade and to go to Plano West, a
student must have 13 credits as well as English 1, English 2, Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology and one completed
social studies class. Please contact your student’s counselor with any concerns that you might have.
There are many things happening in the counseling office this semester. We hosted Plano West Senior
High Counselors as they came and spoke to the 10th grade students on January 19. Those students also did
a preliminary registration for their 11th grade classes on-line through their English classes. In order to finalize
those choices and to provide more information to parents and students, each sophomore student will be
scheduled for an individual conference with his or her counselor. Parents are an important part of the planning process. Please look for a yellow postcard to arrive in the mail with your appointment date and time.
The conferences will continue from February through April and the cards will be mailed two to three weeks
before each appointment time. Sophomores were also given the opportunity to register with College Board.
Ask your student to show you that website and the wealth of college and testing information found there.
The 2011 TAKS Tests are scheduled for the following dates:
March 1 - 10th Grade English Language Arts, 9th Grade Reading
April 26 – 10th Grade Math
April 28 – 9th Grade Math, 10th Grade Science
May 29 – 10th Grade Social Studies
It is very important every student take the test. Please schedule doctor’s appointments and avoidable absences on another day.
The Shepton Counselors here to help students in a variety of ways ranging from academic concerns to crises interventions. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
SHEPTON STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS &
E X T R A -C U R R I C U L A R A C T I V I T I E S - 2 0 1 0- 2 0 1 1 ( UP D A T E D)
Brick Field (Shepton)
Morgen Walker (Varsity)
Eric Neal/Chad Hurst
Richard Grubbs (PWSH Varsity)
McCall Hundl/ Amber Roberts
Jerry Gardner (PWSH Varsity)
Jessica Renberg 9th (Head)/
Carley Phillip (Assistant)
McCall Hundl (10th grade)
Brian Fitzgerald (PWSH JV)
Brittany Bridge (PWSH Varsity)
Andy Chase/Jeff Sullivan
Boys & Girls Club
Break Dance Club
Chamber Music Organization
Chinese Yo-yo Club
Christian Bible Study (CBS)
Creative Writing Club
Craft (Crochet) for the Cure
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
(Needs a Sponsor)
Margaret Kathleen Meyer
Rick Hardison (PWSH Varsity)
HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America)
Intn’l Thespian Society (Theatre Honor Society)
JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp)
Sgt. Steve Ford
Deanna Shea/Stephanie Peterson
(Learning About Science and Engineering Research)
Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
Harry Potter Club
Jesus and Girls (JAG)
Jewish Student Union
Latino Dance Club
Mock Trial Club
Physicists & Inventors of America
(Needs a Sponsor)
Model United Nations
Nat’l Honor Society (NHS)
Nat’l Junior Honor Society (NJHS)
PALS (Peer Assistance & Leadership)
*Pan American Student Forum
Linda Booth/Linda Havins
Craig McKinney/Linda Havins
(Needs a Sponsor)
Shepton Film Club
Shepton Glee Club
Shepton Pops Orchestra
Quisha Webb / Mandy Reeves
*Shepton Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
(Needs a Sponsor)
Soccer (at PWSH), boys
Soccer (at PWSH), girls
Softball (at PWSH)
*Spanish Nat’l Honor Society
Jennifer Grubb/Carley Philips
Jennifer Basham/Katy Evans
(Needs a Sponsor)
Chris Hammer/Debra Sepp
Society of New & Advanced Photographers (SNAP) Doylene Ingersoll
Ericka Castleberg/Craig McKinney
Students Against Child Abuse (SACA) Melanie Lin
Team United We Serve Club
*Unitarian Universalist Society of Shepton (Needs a Sponsor)
* Young Democrats
(Needs a Sponsor)
Lakenya Simmons/Mia Biase
Ellie Murphy/Chris Agwu
Greg Pierce (Head)/Marty Melson
Kendall Clark (PWSH Varsity)
Chad Hurst (Head) (9th)
Jorge Quintero (10th)
Nathan Leraas (PWSH JV)
Andrew Morgan (PWSH Varsity)
Lizzi Holland/Jessica Renberg (9th)
Amber Roberts (10th)
Kristen Perry (PWSH JV)
Don Patterson (PWSH Varsity)
Quisha Webb / Mandy Reeves
Drama (BRAVO) Theatre Club
Laura Darce/Carmen McElwain
Drill Team (Stallionettes)
Sarah Lastor/Katrina Johnson
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
FFA (Agricultural Sciences)
Chalmer Adams (Head)/Greg Pierce
Jorge Quintero/Chad Hurst (9th)
Bruce Strong (Head) /Eric Neal/
Marty Melson (10th grade)
Mike Hughes (PWSH Varsity)
Ellie Murphy / Chris Agwu
French Honor Society
Swimming & Diving (at PWSH)
Track/Cross Country, boys
Track/Cross Country, girls
(Continued from page 3)
to determine the projections. The demographer’s projections show that the goal of the feeder alignment has
not been met. In fact, the guiding principles from the feeder alignment state over and over that the goal is balanced enrollment and the plan the school board adopted caused an even MORE UNBALANCED enrollment
than we have currently. The guiding principles also call for an end to split feeders, although the board created
a new split feeder in Schimelpfenig’s choice zone and left intact Jackson Elementary’s split. The demographer
cautioned the trustees that the 3-5 year projections are solid with a small margin of error, but the 6-10 are less
reliable and have a greater margin of error. That means, he is very confident about the large increase in enrollment, but less confident the enrollment will decline . Either way, he is projecting approximately 3,500 students at Plano West in 2014 and more than 3,100 students for as far as he can see, at least 7 years.
After the meeting, I was able to ask the demographer a few questions and he acknowledged that he did not
consider the growth of students in multifamily housing in the west cluster. He used the current ratio of students to number of apartment units throughout the ten year projection. The problem is, even in attendance
boundaries that have had no change in the number of apartments available, there has been a dramatic increase
in the number of families with school children every year. This has happened for a variety of reasons, including a specific outreach by the Dallas Housing Authority & Plano Housing Authority to place children in North
Dallas & West Plano. That means the projections for Plano West, Shepton, Renner, Frankford, Centennial,
Brinker, Huffman, Mitchell, Haggar & Jackson are EVEN HIGHER than what the demographer is predicting.
The bottom line is that the goal of balanced enrollment between the senior high schools was not achieved and
in fact, the plan that was adopted has caused a greater disparity. The other goal to end split feeders has also
not been achieved. In the case of the split feeders, the board voted to create a new split, the opposite of the
intended goal. More work is needed to achieve these goals. Your job as a parent is to speak up on behalf
of your child. Your job as a citizen is to speak up on behalf of your community.
What They’re Saying & What You Need to Know
There is a lot of talk about this issue throughout Plano and North Dallas. I’ve already heard certain phrases
and excuses by the school board and administration to explain the situation. Here are some that you may hear
and the truth behind what is being said.
What you will be told: The huge size of Plano West is a bubble.
What you need to know: After the feeder alignment is fully implemented in 2014, it will be over 3480 students, likely up to 3600 when the growth of multifamily is considered. The part of the report the demographer
is confident about is the highest enrollment, and he is least confident about the decreasing enrollment. Either
way, he shows Plano West will stay at 3600 - 3100 students for as long as he can foresee, which is 7 years.
7 years is not a bubble, it is a mistake.
(Continued on page 11)
(Continued from page 10)
What you will be told: The trustees gave the community every opportunity for input on the plan before they
voted to accept it.
What you need to know: The plan the trustees voted unanimously to approve was unveiled for the first time
at a meeting in December 2009 where the public was given 30 minutes to digest the facts, allowed to comment, then the trustees voted unanimously to approve it without any comment from the board on the plan at all.
What you will be told: Plano West is significantly underutilized with a capacity of 2600.
What you need to know: I was emailed a spreadsheet in 2007 from Plano ISD that shows the Plano West
capacity at 2000 and no new construction or renovations that effect capacity have occurred since that date.
The capacity has been increased to 2600 by requiring teachers to give up their own classroom and instead have
them travel from room to room so no rooms are empty during their planning periods, called capacity with 7
period scheduling. The capacity for the other two senior high schools is calculated using a 6 period scheduling, allow their staff to keep their classroom throughout the day. The capacity at 2000 also indicates the
amount of space available in the lunchroom and other common spaces.
What you will be told: Plano ISD has plenty of capital funds to make any renovations necessary and plenty
of time to do it so they can accommodate the enrollment.
What you need to know: Plano West is land-locked and any construction is significantly more expensive and
time consuming than building in open space. If you look at a Google map of Plano West, Plano Senior and
Plano East, you will see the problem. The answer to the enrollment problem is not building onto Plano
West with your tax dollars. There are several other solutions that would better meet the needs of our
students as you will see below.
What you will be told: Plano East and Plano West are just changing places. Plano East has been overcrowded for years.
What you need to know: Plano East is overcrowded and the trustees should have addressed that enrollment
problem years ago. This change is not just exchanging Plano East for Plano West, as Plano West will become
the largest school in the history of Texas, much larger than Plano East’s current enrollment.
What you will be told: Plano Senior had an enrollment of over 3000 years ago and Plano East may have an
enrollment of 3000 before the change in feeder happens.
What you need to know: Plano Senior did have an enrollment of 3000 before Plano West opened. The horror stories of that experience live on from students and staff alike. The only thing that got them through it was
the knowledge that relief was coming when Plano West was complete. Plano West will have nearly 3500 students and no relief on the drawing board. Plano East may have an enrollment of 3000 before the feeder alignment is implemented. PISD saw the steady growth of Plano East for the last ten years and the school board
and administration should have acted years ago to avoid this overcrowding.
(Continued on page 13)
SHEPTON F INE ARTS SHINE B RIGHT!
Over 60,000 students initially entered the All-State Band competitive process and two Shepton students
were among the 1/2 of 1% of all students in the state of Texas to qualify for the Texas All-State Band. This is a
HUGE honor for our school and especially for these VERY HARDWORKING students!
Cameron Abtahi - 10th grade trumpet
Dylan Hunn - 9th grade percussion
An equally AMAZING accomplishment for the following students who made the AllState Orchestra:
The Chorale of Shepton High School was invited to perform at the 2011 TMEA Convention in San Antonio!
Chorale is busily preparing a concert to perform for the membership of TMEA--an audience of the several thousand music educators across the state of Texas. Shepton Chorale was selected by a highly competitive audition
process. A panel of choir directors from across the state judged our submission, which was a compilation of
recordings collected over the past two years. Chorale is the very first ensemble (choir, band, or orchestra) from
a Plano ISD 9th and 10th grade campus to ever be selected for this honor!
Our Pre-TMEA Concert will be held at St. Andrew UMC on Tuesday, February 1st at 7:00pm, and is FREE and
open to the public. Our convention performance will be in San Antonio of Thursday, February 10th.
B E “ I N T H E K N OW ”
Subscribe to Shepton’s Enewsletter, The Mane
Event. Receive school announcements, calendar information, and much more!
To subscribe, go to elist at
http://elist.pisd.edu & click
the new subscriber link.
Use Parent Viewer:
Online access to view your
child’s grades and attendance is on the PISD Parent
Viewer web site. You can
view current grade averages
as well as the six or nine
week summary averages.
Daily attendance information is also available. Additional reports available
online enable you to view
details such as assignments,
quizzes and tests along with
the grade, score weights,
due dates, and maximum
values. Missing assignment
reports are also an option
for you to view. You can
also sign up for automatic
You can schedule the following types of reports:
• Unexcused absence
pisd.edu/ to setup your individual account information
The Shepton High School
website is a terrific source
for all kinds of Shepton information. Go to http://k12.pisd.edu/Schools/Shepto
• Detailed attendance
• Grade summary
• Detailed grade info
• Grade notification
Register for Parent Viewer
You can even get Shepton
twitter updates! Visit
tallion to sign-up!
Want more information on
the happenings at Plano
West? Sign-up for the The
Wolf Howl. You can subscribe at the same time
you subscribe to The Mane
Event! Just go to elist at
http://elist. pisd.edu & click
the new subscriber link, or
subscribe via Parent Viewer
(Continued from page 11)
What you will be told: We know how to run big schools. Nothing new here.
What you need to know: We have never had a school this big. Nobody in Texas has had a school with
grades this big. Here are charts with the history of enrollment in Plano ISD senior high schools:
12th Grade Enrollm ent
Total School Enrollment
# of Stu den ts
# o f Stud ents
What you will be told: All schools in Plano are big, this is just a little bit bigger.
What you need to know: Plano West currently has 2000 students. 3480 isn’t just a little bit bigger. In each
grade, the difference is from 1000 students to 1740. How many graduated in your class? My JJ Pearce class
had 800 and I thought it was huge.
What you will be told: It is not a problem to have more kids in the grade.
What you need to know: For some kids, it may not be a problem. For highly academic students, it will be
tougher to develop a resume to get in a competitive university. The sports teams will still have the same
number of positions available, the school play will still only have one person in the lead part, the size of
the student council and other leadership activities will remain the same, although there may be twice the
number of students trying out for the same roles. Most college applicants will need college recommendation letters from their teachers at Plano West. How can we expect the staff to get to know so many students
and have the kind of relationships that allow for more than a form letter recommendation? For the student who
doesn’t thrive in a crowd, being part of the largest graduating class in Texas is not a privilege, but something
to endure. Is it the educational experience you expected when you moved here? Is it the educational experience you want for your child?
What you will be told: We will make the building ready for the increase in students by adding science labs
and expanding the cafeteria to accommodate the change in feeder pattern.
What you need to know: The funds were approved in the 2008 bond election to meet the needs of the
current 2000 students before a boundary committee was even formed. Science labs are needed as students
(Continued on page 14)
(Continued from page 13)
will have to start taking four years of science as part of the 4x4 legislation, not because the school is growing.
The cafeteria is expanding as part of a successful initiative piloted at Plano Senior. Both the number of labs
and the cafeteria will likely be too small to accommodate the new enrollment projections.
What you will be told: There are excess capital funds to pay for 9 new classrooms at Plano West and that
will be sufficient to meet the needs of 1500 new students.
What you need to know: 9 classrooms seems unreasonable to me. No discussion of lockers, additional
parking and other support facilities for band, choir, library, special education, auditoriums or physical
education has been mentioned.
What you will be told: The staff doesn’t care about the size of the school & will stay committed to PWSH.
What you need to know: Plano West’s excellence isn’t because of the building, it is because of the staff.
The staff is concerned about the size of each grade. First, high school teachers are often called on to write letters of recommendation to colleges and it is difficult to get to know the students in a school of 3480 students.
The plan right now is for the teachers to not have a home classroom, but roam to available rooms each class
period. Teachers who have a choice will likely transfer to other high schools or districts to have the stability of
their own desk, décor for their rooms, and a more personalized educational experience. Not many teachers
choose the profession to impersonally teach to the masses.
What you will be told: West Plano is built-out, not growing and will have a decreasing enrollment.
What you need to know: The west cluster continues to grow, mostly by adding students from multifamily
housing. Using PISD source data for just the elementary schools in the Shepton attendance zone, there were
1,267 students in 2004 and 2,079 students in 2010, a 64% increase. The district continues to underestimate the
number of families moving into the large number of multifamily housing units in North Dallas & West Plano.
What you will be told: You were told of the public input sessions by the boundary committee and 4000 people attended and 1000 people gave input.
What you need to know: Shepton PTSA and Renner PTA were told in person by the superintendent that the
feeder alignment would not affect west Plano. I believe at the time he thought that was true. I was on the
committee and attended every hour of the public input sessions, except the meeting at Barron intended for the
bilingual population. There were not 4000 people in attendance, and 1000 unique people did not give input.
There were many of the same people at each meeting and many of the people who spoke shared the same comments each time.
What they will say: We did what was best for all kids.
What you need to know: It is not in the interest of any student anywhere in the district to have a school
of this size. It is not in the best interest of Plano ISD’s taxpayers to fund additions to Plano West when
there are viable alternatives to easing the enrollment.
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What they will say: We are done with this issue.
What you need to know: The enrollment imbalance could easily be fixed to meet the PISD goal of balanced
enrollment. We must demand that PISD put politics and pride aside and consider adjustments and new programs to meet their original goal of balanced enrollment. It is not too late for changes to be made! True
leaders admit when things have not turned out as expected & correct course so everyone can move forward.
What they will say: There is nothing that can be done now.
What you need to know: Changes can still be made to prevent the 1,700 8th graders, the Class of 2015, and
the thousands of students to follow them from missing out on the opportunities students at the other Plano ISD
senior high schools are offered.
What they will say: The vote was unanimous and we did what was best for the whole district.
What you need to know: Several trustees who voted for the feeder alignment plan now say privately they
made a mistake. Only 4 trustees who voted for this plan remain on the school board. Two are up for reelection in May.
What they will say: Only the trustees who voted for this plan last year can change it.
What you need to know: This was a misstatement by the current school board president at a Renner PTA
meeting. The current school board, including the newly elected trustees, can make changes to the feeder
and institute enrollment relief options for the district at any time. Nothing in the operating policies of the
school board prevent them from making a new decision based on the demographic information before them.
What they say: I’m not sure what else the Board or the District could have done to make sure that everyone
was heard and that their concerns were taken into consideration.
What you need to know: When it became an option to increase Plano West to a record-breaking size, the
board should not have unveiled a new plan and voted on it at the same meeting. With the prior assurance of
the superintendent that West Plano would not be affected by the realignment, the Plano West community was
not engaged in the discussion.
What they say: There was a boundary or feeder alignment committee that helped draft the changes.
What you need to know: The committee, which I was part of along with many principals, the three area assistant superintendents and three PTA presidents, was dismissed before recommendations could be given.
There was one plan the committee considered that put all of Jasper feeding into Plano West. After viewing the
enrollment outcome of that plan, it was rejected from further consideration by every member of the committee.
The current Plano West principal, who was on the committee, asked that the rejected plan be put on the website so the community could know that this possibility was considered, but rejected as unworkable because of
the huge enrollment that would come to Plano West.
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The two functions of the school board are to manage the superintendent and to manage the district’s resources.
If you have looked at all of the current and projected enrollment numbers, you can see there are some schools
busting at the seams and some that are in need of enrollment support. Our school board and district have
not kept pace with the changes in enrollment and we must encourage them to do so. As they face a terrible budget crisis, using resources wisely will be more important than ever.
What can be done to reduce the enrollment at Plano West?
1. The feeder can be adjusted. The committee process was dictated by the facilitator and precluded serious
consideration of changes to the alignment at the lower feeder levels. A balanced enrollment could be
achieved by changing a few elementary feeders to different middle schools. We should demand our administration advance a plan to the trustees to achieve the guiding principles of balanced enrollment and
there are many different ways to achieve it.
2. The enrollment for all of our Senior High Schools is high. We need additional capacity to teach our
upper grades. The school board should not ignore our changing demographics and should evaluate
options for multiple high school academies. If you look at the future enrollment numbers, you can see
there are several schools where it may not make fiscal sense to continue operations. Those schools could
house new high school academies that would relieve enrollment at ALL the senior high schools. As
pointed out by the trustees, there are considerable capital dollars available for renovations should they be
3. The district is seriously considering opening a single high school academy at Williams – this is the
wrong location! Locating an academy at Williams will draw students from east Plano and central
Plano, but not west Plano. We should speak up for an academy in a location that is desirable to balance
enrollment. The current plan being discussed is to implement a project-based learning academy at Williams High School with 1000 or less students in four grades. This will only make the disparity between
Plano West and Plano East enrollment greater, as the west Plano community will likely not attend a school
so far away. Currently, Plano East Senior High hosts the International Baccalaureate program with very
few participants from west cluster home schools. If the academy is placed at Williams, Plano West will
end up with double the enrollment of Plano East. Say NO to any academy proposal that spends our tax
dollars unless it also helps solve the enrollment disparity. If PISD wants to open two academies simultaneously, one in West Plano and one at Williams, that is fine. But if they will only open one at a time, the
need for immediate action is in West Plano.
What can YOU do?
You are going to have to let the school board and school district know you want changes.
1. You should write an email in this format to the school board. Your spouse should write a separate email.
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Encourage your friends and neighbors in PISD to write an email. The truth is, the number of emails
they receive matters. If we have 3500 students going to Plano West in a single year, we should be able to
get 10,000 emails sent in one month. They will respond to this effort!
To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected]
Dear Trustees and Dr. Otto:
I am writing to let you know that I am very concerned about the projected enrollment numbers for Plano
ISD. I respectfully request you develop a plan to balance enrollment at the senior high schools.
Your home address
2. To stay informed about what is happening with the enrollment issue, send an email to
3. Two school board positions will be on the May ballot. Everyone in the Plano ISD attendance boundary
can vote for all positions on the ballot. Find out about the candidates and make sure you vote for the one
that represents your views on how the district should be managed for growth, achievement and fiscal responsibility.
4. Attend the upcoming school district events & ask what they are doing to lower enrollment at Plano West.
Wear BLUE to support Plano West!
Tuesday, February 1 at 7:00 pm - School Board meeting:
2700 W. 15th Street, just East of Independence. Sign up to speak to the trustees by filling out a speaker
card and submitting it before 7 pm. Make a few short remarks to let them know your thoughts about the
enrollment projections and ask them to find a solution for balanced enrollment. If many people attend, not
everyone will be allowed to speak and they will ask for a designated speaker for the group.
Wednesday, February 2nd at 7:00 pm in the Presentation room at Plano West:
PTSA meeting with two trustees. Ask them why they voted for this plan and encourage them to find a solution for balanced enrollment. Likely media attendance – wear your Plano West BLUE!
Tuesday, February 15 at 6:00 pm - School Board work session:
Sockwell Center on the corner of Park @ Chapel Hill, across from Willow Bend Mall. You won’t be able
to speak, but showing up will be a loud message. It is likely they will discuss where the academy will be
Monday, March 7th - Open house at Plano West:
Please attend with your students grades K-10th so you can see what the school would be like with lots of
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people in attendance. Let’s fill the school with 3600 students on open house night! Will TV crews be on
This editorial is not intended to reflect the views of PISD, nor its administration & staff.
Cara Mendelsohn is President of Shepton PTSA, Immediate Past-President of the Plano ISD Council of PTAs, and a former member of the PISD
2009 Feeder Alignment Committee. She can be contacted at [email protected]
2010-2011 PTSA Board Members
Promote Your Events!
President — Cara Mendelsohn
PISD/Legislative Rep. — Carolyn Keeter
1st VP Programs — Antoinette Anz
PTA Council Delegate — Karen Johnson
2nd VP Volunteers — Michelle Chaiken
Pre-Paks — Patti Gunnels
3rd VP Membership — Andrea Corbett
Publicity — Kelly Waterman
4th VP Ways & Means — Lori Baum
SAGE — Rosetta Falchier
Secretary — Lisa Williams
School Supplies — Irene Smith
Treasurer — Susie Learmont
School to Life — Abby Ray
Parliamentarian — Jenny Wood
Snack Sales — Christine Platt
Historian — Leslie Gilvar
Spirit Wear — Cathy Sweet
Arts in Education — Sandee Black
Staff Recognition — Jill Van Mater
Attendance Office —Trish Donaldson
Student Directory-Art — Laurie Martineau
Calendar — Susan Argyle
Student Directory-General — Lisa Bacic
Copy Room — Linda Rosen
Student Directory-Student Listings —
Diversity & Inclusiveness — Rinna Saun
E-Communications — Victoria Gobeli
Student Organizations Liaison — Debbie
Hospitality — Kenda Draper
Teacher Appreciation Week — Mary Kay
Newsletter — Doug Rogers
West Cluster Liaison — Marcie Intebi
Don’t forget that The Stallion can be
another advertising vehicle to let
people know about your event.
Whether it is golf, football, choir or
band concert, play, etc., The Stallion
will reach 1,000+ people who are
eager to support Shepton High
School and its many talented students.
Send information & any graphics you
wish to appear in the newsletter to
Doug Rogers at
Wed, Mar 9
Thurs, Mar 31
Wed, Apr 27
Shepton High School PTSA
5505 W. Plano Parkway