Conroe ISD's 2 new campuses to be named after longtime educators, former superintendent: 4 takeaways from the Tuesday, Sept. 18 meeting

Conroe ISD's former Superintendent Don Stockton worked at the district for 32 years before retiring in June.

Conroe ISD's former Superintendent Don Stockton worked at the district for 32 years before retiring in June.

The Conroe ISD board of trustees met Tuesday evening and discussed naming two upcoming campuses, received an update on Houston Elementary School's turnaround plan and discuss the process for attendance boundaries for a new campus.

Click here to view the entire agenda. Here are four takeaways from the board of trustee meeting Sept. 18:

1. Trustees name Flex 19, new junior high campus
Trustees debated names for two new campuses, Flex 19 and a new junior high school.

Beginning July 17, trustees began seeking public input on the naming of Flex 19—which will open in the Oak Ridge High School feeder zone in August 2019—and the new junior high slated to open in the Conroe High School feeder zone in August 2020. Public suggestions were submitted between July 18 and Aug. 13, garnering 302 submissions for Flex No. 19 and 501 submissions for the new junior high school.

After much debate, trustees nominated several names for Flex 19 and the new junior high school. During the meeting, board President Melanie Bush said it was difficult to choose a single namesake, as all the people nominated were exceptional options.

In a 5-2 vote, trustees approved that Flex 19 be named after longtime educators David and Sheree Suchma. Meanwhile, trustees approved in a 6-1 vote that the new junior high school be named after former Superintendent Don Stockton, who retired in June.

2. District moving forward on improvement plan for Houston Elementary School
CISD created the targeted improvement plan to improve Houston Elementary School’s scores on the Texas Education Agency’s annual accountability ratings.

The plan was announced in September 2017 after the school was the only CISD campus to receive an Improvement Required rating from the TEA’s accountability scores in the 2016-17 year. The 2017-18 TEA accountability ratings revealed a similar story, with Houston Elementary once again being the only school that did not meet standards.

Although Houston Elementary received an Improved Required rating again this year, Debbie Phillips, CISD assistant superintendent of elementary education, said at the board meeting that the school’s culture and scores are improving.

“For the last two years, Sam Houston has focused on the structure [of the turnaround plan, and] … this year they’re ready to take on more,” Phillips said. “So this year we’re going to add another layer to that. They’re going to take on more data disaggregation, as well as more of the reteaching and more of the interventions and enrichments.”

Goals include increasing the overall 2019 STAAR writing assessment from 43 percent to 60 percent of students meeting standards, increasing the percentage of students making or exceeding progress on the 2019 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness reading assessment from 55 percent to 64 percent of students.

3. Trustees call for the district to form a committee to evaluate a 2019 bond election
Trustees unanimously approved the formation ofFacilities Planning Committee to evaluate and form recommendations for potential future bond projects in the district.

The last time the district formed a committee was prior to the May 2015 bond election.

The final major projects involved in the $487 million bond are the two new campuses.

The committee will make a recommendation to trustees in late 2018 on whether the district should call a May 2019 or November 2019 bond election.

4. District discusses process to decide Suchma Elementary School attendance zones
Deputy superintendent Chris Hines said the district will soon begin the process of setting attendance boundaries for the David and Sheree Suchma Elementary School, a K-6 campus located at 10261 Harpers School Road.

The 1,000-capacity school is being built to relieve crowding at Houser, Oak Ridge and Vogel elementary schools, Hines said. Additionally, the district hopes that the attendance boundaries will also address the capacity at Ride and Hailey elementary schools.

Hines said CISD will host several public forums to display drafts of the attendance boundary to the public and receive feedback. The district hopes to bring an official boundary recommendation to the board in January, he said.

“I know sometimes we get the question of why is this process challenging? And from experience, I can tell you that the schools are communities," Hines said. "Change is sometimes difficult. Families often choose where they live to attend a particular school, so when we come in and say we’re changing that, it’s emotional and it’s difficult."

By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.