The Austin Chronicle

Good News for Norman and Sims Students

Merged schools to see more teachers, bilingual classes, afterschool programs, and more

By Nina Hernandez, May 11, 2018, News

The group of community members advocating for Norman Elementary School are still keeping a close eye on the Austin Independent School District, even though its board of directors agreed in March to spend $25 million to modernize the Eastside facility. While it undergoes that work, the district plans to combine it with Sims Elementary at 1203 Springdale. Parents at that school are worried it will get closed down once work on Norman is completed.

Retired Texas Civil Rights Project founder Jim Har­ring­ton, who helps organize for Norman advocates, reported last week that AISD plans to expand the number of teachers at the merged Norman/Sims facility. He said the district will also offer bilingual classes to students in pre-K, kindergarten, and grades one through three; smaller class sizes; afterschool and preschool programs; and transportation for Norman students.

Harrington thanked the group for its efforts, and encouraged parents and other advocates to keep pressure on AISD's board. "We will continue to monitor these changes, and also begin work to enhance parent/community participation and business sponsorships – and suggest other changes, as we go along," he wrote. "We still have a lot of work to do, but this is definitely good news."

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