After a contentious and long public comment, Conroe ISD heard reports and presentations on its plans for full-day pre-K and modifying attendance zones in The Woodlands and College Park high school feeder zones.
At its Nov. 19 meeting, Deputy Superintendent Chris Hines asked the CISD board of trustees for approval to seek partnerships with public and private pre-K locations. There are currently two pilot programs for full-day pre-K at Sam Houston and Houser elementary schools.
Full-day pre-K is a requirement that came with House Bill 3, which was signed into law June 11. However, in order to apply for one of the two three-year vouchers available to the district, Hines said the district has to “demonstrate the need to construct classroom facilities” and solicit these partnerships for eligible preschoolers.
“The law did not change the requirements for eligibility for pre-K, so students still need to qualify,” Hines said.
The entities the district eventually partner with must meet several standards including implementing CISD curriculum, having teachers meet official qualifications, and having classrooms and play areas must meet CISD standards, according to Hines.
Trustee Ray Sanders asked if students attending pre-K through these public and private partnerships would be CISD students or would be considered enrolled through these other entities. Hines said there is still some confusion about that.
“We’re still trying to figure it out, so I don’t have all the answers,” Hines said.
The district is currently crafting new attendance boundaries ahead of the opening of Stockton Junior High School in August 2020, but Hines said he will now have the CISD Attendance Boundary Committee look at elementary schools in The Woodlands and College Park feeder zones.
“We know we have some schools with a little bit of room, and we know we have schools we need to find solutions for,” Hines said.
Ride Elementary School is currently at 131% capacity with 751 students and 12 portable classrooms. Lamar and Glen Loch elementary schools are both also overcapacity at 111% and 104%, respectively, according to Hines.
Hines said the committee, made up of educators, administrators and parents, will create a draft boundary proposal and present it to the community in December to gather feedback. In January, the committee will then present an updated draft to the community before presenting a final proposal to the community and trustees in February.
Architects, calendars and Houston
- The district will start negotiating design and preconstruction contracts with architects for 15 projects under the recently passed bond.
- Hines presented results from a survey about the 2020-21 school calendar. He said 90% of participants wanted the school semester to end prior to winter break. He will make a final recommendation in January.
- The board heard the improvement plan for Sam Houston Elementary School, which received a C rating from the Texas Education Agency this year. Although the presentation broke down areas of improvement, the board applauded the school’s principal, Viviana Harris, for improving the score from an F in 2018.