CCISD building new schools, expanding programs in 2019

1) CCISD building new schools with 2017 bond funds


Money from a 2017 bond of $487 million will fund several projects throughout 2019, including the building of a new elementary school and the rebuilding of two older schools.


Florence Campbell Elementary School is under construction at 6605 League City Parkway, League City. Crews broke ground on the $43 million project in April, and officials expect the building to open for the 2019-20 school year, said Elaina Polsen, CCISD executive director of communications.


Florence Campbell Elementary School is being built to help alleviate some of the severe overcrowding the district is seeing as enrollment increases, Polsen said.


Charter school Clear View High School will be rebuilt on a vacant lot adjacent to the existing school, which has a capacity of 350 students. The $45 million project is set to begin in February and finish in 2020.


Crews began rebuilding League City Elementary School in May. Students moved to a temporary facility in January 2018 so the original building could be demolished and rebuilt. The $46.9 million project is expected to be complete by August.



2) School boundaries to change for 2019-20 school year


CCISD has formed the School Boundary Advisory Committee of about 44 district residents who have been meeting regularly since October to come up with recommended boundary changes.


The committee will present its recommendations to the CCISD board of trustees in February, Polsen said.


The building of a new campus, Florence Campbell Elementary School, makes drawing school attendance boundaries necessary, but even without a new school in the works, overcrowding at several campuses means boundaries must be adjusted to even out enrollment levels, Polsen said.


Clear Springs and Clear Falls high schools and Hall and Weber elementary schools are all over capacity, and other campuses are underutilized, she said.


“It’s hard to make those kinds of changes, especially at the high school level, but we have to do it,” Polsen said.


CCISD has not adjusted its school boundaries in about seven years, Polsen said.



3) CCISD expanding STEM, Science Magnet programs


CCISD officials will expand the district’s science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, program, to Hall Elementary School, but first Florence Elementary must be built to alleviate overcrowding.


A STEM-focused program is offered at Ed White Elementary School.


Brookside Intermediate School recently opened a Science Magnet program due to its popularity at Seabrook Intermediate School. By August 2020, the program will be full with about 300 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.



4) The Leader in Me program spreading to other campuses


Falcon Pass Elementary School was the pilot for The Leader in Me program, which teaches soft skills, such as eye contact and confidence. When the district saw its results officials made a goal to get the program into every school.


The program has since expanded to Armand Bayou Elementary and will soon expand to Bay, McWhirter and Whitcomb elementary schools, and others over the next five years.


Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital, Space Center Rotary and others have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the program.



5) School start times could change by August


A CCISD committee is in the early stages of examining school start times to determine if they should be adjusted, Polsen said.


CCISD high schools start at 7:20 a.m. More research shows starting later in the day is beneficial to high school students’ health, she said.


Not everyone believes times should be adjusted, though. CCISD buses run three routes, and adjusting high school start times could severely affect elementary and intermediate schools, Polsen said.


The CCISD board of trustees could examine the issue as early as February.

By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

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