ANSWER LINE NOTE: A couple of weeks ago, Longview ISD conducted a town hall meeting at Broughton Recreation Center to discuss the possible conversion of the remaining campuses in the district to charter schools.

There were some discussions at that meeting about use of the additional funding the district received through the charter school conversion involving East Texas Advanced Academies, including a suggestion that the money be used to hire additional teachers and aides. I thought it might be helpful to look at some of that information here in Answer Line. So, I asked the district a couple of questions.

I’ll start with average classroom size:

East Texas Advanced Academies

East Texas Montessori Prep Academy — 19.4; Bramlette STEAM Academy — 15; Johnston-McQueen — 13.5; JL Everhart IB Elementary — 14.2; Ware East Texas Montessori — 16.1; and Forest Park Magnet School — 11.8

Longview ISD

Hudson PEP Elementary School — 16.5; Ned E. Williams Magnet STEAM Academy — 15.2; South Ward Elementary School- 10.3; Judson STEAM Academy — 11.8; Foster Middle School — 13.6; Longview Early Graduation High School — 17.3; Longview High School — 14.2

I also asked about the number of teachers and instructional assistants at each campus for the 2018-19 school year and this school year.

The number of teachers has increased by 14 among all campuses in Longview ISD and East Texas Advanced Academies. The number of instructional assistants increased by two.

The figures showed no changes at most campuses, with some exceptions (reflecting, for instance, that most kindergarten classes were moved from Johnston-McQueen Elementary to the ET Montessori Prep Academy):

East Texas Advanced Academies

■ East Texas Montessori Prep: 2018-19 — 1,001 students, 36 IAs, 52 teachers; 2019-2020 — 1,093 students, 39 IAs, 61 teachers

■ Bramlette: 2018-19 — 451 students, 10 instructional assistants (IAs), 31 teachers; 2019-20 — 458 students, 10 IAs, 33 teachers

■ Everhart: 2018-19 — 550 students, 6 IAs, 40 teachers; 2019-20 — 505 students, six IAs, 38 teachers

■ Johnston-McQueen: 2018-19 — 697 students, 14 IAs, 51 teachers; 2019-20 — 529 students, 10 IAs, 46 teachers

■ Ware: 2018-19— 518 students, seven IAs, 34 teachers; 2019-20 — 472 students, eight IAs, 32 teachers

■ Forest Park: 2018-19 — 484 students, eight IAs, 41 teachers; 2019-20 — 495 students, nine IAs, 41 teachers

Longview ISD

■ Hudson PEP: 2018-19 — 595 students, two IAs, 34 teachers; 2019-20 — 607 students, two IAs 37 teachers

■ Ned Williams: 2018-19 — 387 students, eight IAs, 29 teachers; 2019-20 — 421 students, seven IAs, 29 teachers

■ South Ward: 2018-19 — 333 students, five IAs, 34 teachers; 2019-20 — 293 students, six IAs, 32 teachers

■ DADE/JDC: 2018-19 — 16 students, three IAs, five teachers; 2019-20 — 15 students, three IAs, five teachers

■ Longview Early Graduation: 2018-19 — 142, 0 IAs, 11 teachers; 2019-20 — 146 students, 0 IAs, 11 teachers

■ Foster: 2018-19 — 764 students, seven IAs, 53 teachers; 2019-20 — 772 students, six IAs, 60 teachers

■ Judson: 2018-19 — 564 students, 10 IAs, 48 teachers; 2019-20 — 541 students, 12 IAs, 49 teachers

■ Longview High: 2018-19 — 2152 students, 18 IAs, 148 teachers; 2019-20 — 2177 students, 18 IAs, 151 teachers

MORE ON THE PEA PATCH: A couple of weeks ago, I responded to a question from a reader who was wanting more information about an area the reader said was once known as the “pea patch,” where Whataburger is now at Spur 63 and Marshall Avenue. Gene McWhorter’s family has owned that land for more than 100 years.

After I responded to that question, reader Jeanne Collins provided additional information. She said her mother, Bernice Cook Johnson, who was born in 1917 and grew up in Longview, often referred to growing up in the area known as “the pea patch.” Collins recalled times when she would be in the car with her mother as they drove through that intersection, and particularly the location where Complete Business Systems is across from Whataburger on Spur 63.

“And she would say, ‘We used to live right up there in the pea patch,’ “ Collins said.

McWhorter provided me a family home video from 1941 showing field in that area being mowed. The crop was a mixture of field peas and oats used for cattle feed, he said.

So, perhaps that’s how the area got its name. I love history folks, so thanks for this little adventure into Longview’s past.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.