During the board’s Jan. 11 meeting, trustees approved a plan that would disseminate the children currently attending Foster Elementary to four separate HISD elementary campuses in Kingwood.
The relocation effort is coming as district officials prepare for the construction of the replacement campus for Foster Elementary, which was included in a bond package approved by voters in May 2022.
Christy Erb, the district’s assistant superintendent of elementary schools, said the relocation was necessary because the new campus will be constructed in close proximity to the old campus.
A closer look
According to Erb, several options were explored for the relocation effort, including utilizing the former Lakeland Elementary School building in Humble and renting temporary space in Kingwood at local churches or vacated commercial spaces.
However, Erb said the Lakeland Elementary School option would require a minimum of $1 million in safety and technology infrastructure improvements required to meet state legal standards.
Erb noted the additional options for temporary space in Kingwood presented similar issues and were not feasible.
When presented with the option between splitting students among Kingwood elementary campuses and using the old Lakeland Elementary School campus, Erb said 66% of the 358 parents of Foster Elementary students who responded favored disseminating the students to existing elementary schools.
“The preferred option based on survey results adds no additional rental fees or costs to refurbish buildings, all safety and technology infrastructure meets student district standards, campus learning environments support all Humble ISD programs, and this option decreases the travel distance for the Foster Elementary families,” Erb said.
According to plan, the following campuses would house Foster Elementary students for 2024-25 school year:
- 76 kindergarten students would attend Willow Creek Elementary.
- 76 first grade students would attend Deerwood Elementary.
- 73 second grade students would attend Shadow Forest Elementary.
- 103 third grade students, 84 fourth grade students and 83 fifth grade students would attend Hidden Hollow Elementary.
- 76 first grade students would attend Willow Creek Elementary.
- 76 second grade students would attend Deerwood Elementary.
- 73 third grade students would attend Shadow Forest Elementary.
- 76 kindergarten students, 103 fourth grade students and 84 fifth grade students would attend Hidden Hollow Elementary.
Additionally, Erb said Foster students will continue to be taught by Foster teachers, be in homeroom classes with Foster students and receive bus transportation. She also noted the school would still receive its own accountability rating.
“Foster Elementary will continue to be its own unique campus,” Erb said.
With the draft plan’s approval, district officials will now begin to make preparations for the impending move for the 2024-25 school year. Officials noted alterations to the plan could still be negotiated before the plan is finalized.