Woden ISD superintendent details changes made since absorbing Etoile schools

It’s nearing the end of the first semester for Woden ISD after they absorbed Etoile and added 70 students to their campuses.
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:36 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - It’s nearing the end of the first semester for Woden ISD after they absorbed Etoile and added 70 students to their campuses.

Superintendent Brady Taylor said the transition has been smooth.

“The logistics of everything was kind of up in the air just because we didn’t know how many kids we were going to get. We didn’t get as many as we were thinking, so it helped out as far as space and resources,” Taylor said

Taylor said one of the issues they were facing were bus routes and getting everyone to school. He said they thought they were going to have to have three routes, but they have cut it down to two.

“We have some satellite stops that we pick up, certain kids that we can’t go out to, and the community members have been great and very accepting of it,” Taylor said.

He also said they are currently building a new administration building to have more space for classrooms.

“That will move this building to where it gives it all to special services, and we’ll have a couple extra classrooms throughout the elementary campus,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the majority of the students they got from Etoile were elementary age, and so they hired a new teacher for each grade level. This made the class sizes smaller.

“The elementary was three classrooms per grade level. We moved to four; we didn’t get as many kids to fill in those, it wasn’t like we were getting a whole new class, but it was enough where we had to bump and make four classes,” Taylor said.

Taylor said they are planning for future issues that will arise because of the absorption. He knows the cafeteria will need to be addressed.

“Of course, we’re looking at it early. We’re fine right now, but it’s one of the spaces we feel like is going to have to be something that we address. We don’t want to wait until we have to. We want to be proactive with it,” Taylor said.

He said as far as the old Etoile facilities go, they plan on selling them.

“That’s the best option right now, and we’re going through the process to see how we can do that. It’s not as simple as me selling my house or something like that. Not many people sell schools,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he thinks this change has been good for both communities.

“We feel like that they have been very accepting, and we have been the same, I hope, and from here we’re just going to keep going forward,” Taylor said.

The new administration building is scheduled to be complete late next year.