CORRECTED: U of H site purchase announced, 4 other highlights from this week’s Katy ISD board meeting, Dec. 4

1

This week’s Katy ISD board of trustees meeting covered topics ranging from land purchases to demographics and overcrowding. See some of the agenda highlights:

*Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly stated the timeframe when Creech students would return to their home campus. A clarification was also made to the issue of the two-way immersion program.

1.

KISD moves to buy Cinco Ranch campus from U of H

KISD announced its intention to buy the University of Houston’s  10-acre campus in Cinco Ranch at 4242 S. Mason Road, Katy, for no more than $7.236 million.

Superintendent Lance Hindt has yet to negotiate a final price for the site, which has been housing Betty Sue Creech Elementary School since Sept. 11.

Creech Elementary flooded during Tropical Storm Harvey and is undergoing renovations. Students and staff are expected to move back into their home campus for the 2018-19 school year.

Hindt and board President Ashley Vann said they did not know how the UH site would be used, but the purchase would be made using general operating funds.

2.

Vote expected Dec. 11 for new elementary school’s attendance boundaries

Trustees heard results of a resident survey regarding proposed boundary changes to James E. Randolph and MayDell Jenks elementary schools as a result of the construction of Elementary School No. 41.

The new school is under construction in Cross Creek Ranch and is expected to come online next year.

Trustees will vote on the boundary changes Dec. 11.

3.

KISD gets an updated demographics snapshot

Members of Population and Survey Analysts presented trustees with updated student demographic statistics and projections for the next decade. They also addressed how Harvey affected student numbers and how new housing is expected to affect the district moving forward.

Some highlights of the presentation included:

  • KISD had the highest student growth of Houston-area districts from the 2011-12 to 2016-17 school years despite not having the highest number of new homes.
  • Annual enrollment growth is expected to stay between 2-4 percent for the next five years.
  • This school year about 94.2 percent of children that live within KISD’s boundaries attend district schools.
  • Housing development is booming in the district’s northwest quadrant and the proposed new reservoir on Cypress Creek is not expected to change that.
  • KISD’s housing starts increased 6 percent in the third quarter of 2017, including Harvey’s effects.

4.

Several construction contracts up for approval

In anticipation of a final vote at the Dec. 11 meeting, trustees were presented with several campus construction contracts, including:

  • a fire sprinkler system installation at the UH Cinco Ranch site;
  • design and construction of the future Elementary School No. 42;
  • reconstruction of Creech Elementary School;
  • preliminary  work at the future campus complex of High School  No. 9 and Junior High School No. 16; and
  • construction of the Agricultural Sciences Center expansion.

5.

Two-way immersion program may be moving

Two parents spoke about KISD’s two-way immersion and other bilingual programs during the public comment portion of the meeting Monday. Both parents have children in the programs and one lamented the possibility that the two-way immersion program could be moved from Fielder Elementary School.

Hindt said the district is considering moving two-way immersion from Fielder because the school is at about 115-120 percent capacity. The school has 1,132 students but has a design capacity of 907 students.

“I promised that community that we would bring that campus back to its design, preferably to a functional capacity,” he said. “Naturally, if I have to try and find a way to get Fielder Elementary to design capacity, then we have to move a program.”

1 comments
COMMENT
  1. Karen Linares

    Mrs. Brust. I believe there is an imprecission about your comment on Two Way Immersion program (TWI) in this article.
    First, it is important that you make a distinction between One way Immersion – also known as Bilingual program- and Two Way immersion program. These are two different programs with different approaches to Second Language learning.
    Second, your number #5 heading is incorrect as the district is considering moving EITHER program – bilingual or TWI, from Fielder. Therefore, the statement: “considering moving two way immersion program” ONLY is incorrect. Decisions about which program is to be moved or how, are not being made yet.
    Lastly, you mentioned Memorial Parkway Elementary, and there have not been any discussion about moving Two Way immersion from that school.
    To understand the nature of the programs is very important to present the information in an accurate manner to the community impacted by these decisions. Thank you.

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Amelia Brust

Amelia joined Community Impact Newspaper in November 2015 after working for the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She previously wrote for CI's Sugar Land/Missouri City paper and now leads the Katy edition. A graduate of Temple University, Amelia is also a proud Marylander with very specific opinions about eating crabs.

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