AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin ISD may move its International High School next school year from the Eastside Early College High School to Northeast Early College High School.
The change follows increased enrollment at International High this year, which puts Eastside ECHS at 25% over its campus capacity. The school has converted some common areas into classrooms to accommodate the extra students.
Though the current school year is wrapping up, the move is still under consideration. The district anticipates making a decision soon, said AISD spokesperson Cristina Nguyen. The district would communicate with families at the three affected schools (International High, Eastside ECHS and Northeast ECHS) before the move.
International High School teaches students in ninth and 10th grade who recently moved to the United States. Younger students who moved from another county are taught in their zoned school and receive additional support, according to AISD.
The school has 395 students as of April, according to AISD. Many of the new students are from Central America, Nguyen said.
AISD is looking at Northeast ECHS because it is closer to where many International High students live in north Austin. Nguyen said this would move students closer to their communities and decrease bus time, which can reach up to two hours.
Northeast ECHS was also considered because it reduces the number of transitions after students finish 10th grade. About 80 students are zoned for Northeast, and about 140 International students are zoned for Navarro High, which is about five miles away. After leaving International High, less than one-third of students stay at Eastside.
“We feel like if we move to Northeast Early College High School, then it will provide some more stability for these students to be able to go through high school in one location for the full four years,” Nguyen said.
The district’s International Welcome Center is currently in a portable at Webb Middle School in north Austin. If approved, AISD plans to also move this center to Northeast High to create “a one-stop location” for international families to receive support services, Nguyen said. The welcome center provides mental health services, explains the American school system, teaches parent workshops and gives other services.
If the move is approved, Eastside ECHS would also have space to start a technical skills and professional credentials program in the fall.