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.



University of Houston—Clear Lake will resume offering its $18-per-class continuing education courses Oct. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
University of Houston-Clear Lake's weekly continuing education program shifts to Zoom for fall semester

The program is open to all, regardless of student status, age or educational background.

Fewer than 500 COVID-19 patients—478—are currently checked in at Texas Medical Center hospitals. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center COVID-19 hospitalizations drop 30% in three weeks

Fewer than 500 COVID-19 patients—478—are currently checked in at Texas Medical Center hospitals.

The board of directors for METRO has approved the $1.15 billion FY 2020-21 budget. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
METRO board approves $1.15 billion budget for FY 2020-21 with 23% revenue loss

The approved budget is down nearly 14% overall from last year.

About 5,600 Clear Creek ISD students receive special education services. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Clear Creek ISD special education administrators, parents discuss challenges of 2020-21 school year

Clear Creek ISD, home to more than 42,000 students, is grappling with new hurdles brought about by remote learning and the coronavirus pandemic, including how to provide for special education students and families who need additional support.

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 27 issued an executive order extending the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Lawsuit takes aim at start date for early voting as some Texas Republicans challenge Gov. Greg Abbott's order

A group of prominent Texas Republicans has embarked on a legal effort to undo the governor's executive order that extended the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election.

(Courtesy The Republic Grille/Liz Grimm Public Relations)
Republic Grille opens in Spring and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news here.

Meeting new needs: Clear Creek ISD adjusts to challenges for low-income, special education students amid COVID-19 pandemic

As CCISD began the 2020-21 year, parents of special education students said they felt a disconnect in information being shared between parents and the district.

Federal loans help Bay Area businesses during pandemic

Several businesses in Pearland, League City, Friendswood and Clear Lake depended on the Paycheck Protection Program to survive COVID-19.

Clear Creek ISD will hire a new superintendent at the end of 2020. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD board of trustees, search firm create superintendent candidate profile

The profile consists of a statement of desired characteristics, which will be used to help select Greg Smith's successor.