Katy ISD takes on Harvey-displaced students, superintendent says recovery to last the year

Katy ISD had a slight uptick in enrollment following Tropical Storm Harvey, with some students displaced by the devastation inside and outside district boundaries.

Total KISD enrollment increased from 77,546 students before the storm to 77,569 students afterward, according to district spokesperson Maria DiPetta. Displaced students can receive assistance through the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, including free breakfast and lunch at school.

The law also allows a displaced student to remain at their school of origin, use district transportation to that school or enroll in the local school where the student is now staying. This extends to children originally from outside KISD.

“With the recent weather event, Katy ISD is welcoming any out-of- state district transfers. Texas law allows homeless students to enroll in the district of their choice if they meet the definition of homeless or displaced, even if they do not live within the district boundaries,” DiPetta said.

The number of students relocated to KISD is in flux but as of Sept. 15, 163 students had moved to a different campus within the district’s boundaries. At that time, 221 students had transferred out of KISD and 96 students transferred in, DiPetta said.

She added that bus routes are being revised to accommodate students and avoid inaccessible neighborhoods that still may be underwater. A total of 15,007 students were directly impacted by the storm, Superintendent Lance Hindt reiterated at Monday’s board of trustees meeting.

Two schools relocated students for classes Sept. 11 because the campuses were inaccessible: Bear Creek and Creech Elementary schools. Creech took on about 2 feet of water and Hindt said that the building was likely “out of commission” for the rest of the school year.

“We’re working hard. We’ve got some remediation groups in there,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Some files were lost at Creech and in the educational support complex at 6301 South Stadium Lane, Katy, which contains KISD’s administrative offices. That building took on 18 inches of water, which wiped out data capabilitiy temporarily and forced the board of trustees to relocate their last two meetings.

“Anything below 3 feet was lost,” Hindt said.

The district posted an image of flood remediation efforts at the ESC Aug. 30.

Bear Creek lost sewer capability when the Jackrabbit Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, which serves Harris County Utility District No. 6, was inundated due to flooding. Students will return to the campus on Sept. 25.

Before Harvey, Bear Creek had 704 students and Creech had 865 students. After the storm, Bear Creek had 681 students enrolled and Creech had 729 students return to class at the University of Houston Cinco Ranch campus, DiPetta said.

“As a district and as a community, we’ve still got a lot of work, and it may be a year before we’re completely recovered from this,” Hindt said.

Displaced families are asked to complete the Student Residency Questionnaire found on www.katyisd.org and email it to [email protected]



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