Friendswood ISD updates: Board approves security vestibule construction, additional special education staff

The new security vestibule at the junior high campus will cost approximately $142,000. (Courtesy PBK Architects and Friendswood ISD)
The new security vestibule at the junior high campus will cost approximately $142,000. (Courtesy PBK Architects and Friendswood ISD)

The new security vestibule at the junior high campus will cost approximately $142,000. (Courtesy PBK Architects and Friendswood ISD)

Friendswood ISD is planning to hire two additional special education teachers for the 2021-22 school year after the district’s board of trustees approved the staffing request at a May 24 workshop.

A second Quest special education teacher will be hired for Westwood Elementary School based on the number of qualifying students at that campus, district leaders said at the workshop. Typically, each school has one Quest teacher.

The increasing interest in FISD’s special education programming is a positive reflection on the district’s special education teacher community, trustee Rebecca Hillenberg said May 24. The district is becoming known for its excellence in this area, and enrollment in special education is trending upward, trustees and Superintendent Thad Roher said.

“That number continues to grow,” Roher said of special education enrollment and keeping up with community needs. “I don’t want to get too far behind the hiring curve.”

The hiring of a secondary behavioral support teacher was also approved at the May 24 workshop. The addition of this position and the Quest teacher position will have a financial impact of about $63,000 each, according to staff request documents presented at the meeting.



The board has approved approximately $1 million in teaching positions over the last three years for special education students, Roher said. This includes teachers, paraprofessionals, assessment staff, behavioral specialists, speech pathologists and professionals in all areas serving special education and dyslexic students.

Other business: Bales computers, bond funds

The board also approved a contract worth approximately $270,000 to replace 650 Chromebooks at Bales Intermediate School, per board meeting documents. FISD replaces student devices through a multiphase plan, replacing about a quarter of district core classroom devices each year, and the rotation of devices is on a five-year schedule, per the documents.

Since voters approved a $128 million bond package in November, district leaders have begun the process of executing renovations across several campuses. The latest step in that process was approved May 24, when trustees signed off on the use of about $142,000 from the $1 million in bond funds allocated to safety and security measures.

The funds will be used to construct a security vestibule for Friendswood Junior High School, which is the only of the six campuses without such a structure. The project is small in scope but large in impact, Executive Director of Safety and Operations Erich Kreiter said May 24, as it will create a safer environment for students and staff at that campus.

In addition to the redesign of the front entry to create a secure vestibule, both lower-level hallway openings leading into the cafeteria from the instructional area will be updated, per board meeting documents. The door openings will be widened by removing the doors and adding an operable gate that will be keyed from both sides for access. The gates will be tied into the fire panel to default to the open position in the event of a fire alarm.

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.


MOST RECENT

Burger Nation opened its Pearland location in mid-June. (Courtesy Burger Nation)
Burger Nation opens Pearland location

The Pearland restaurant is the third location for the business.

Clear Lake High School basketball players and Clear Lake City Elementary students during a Character Court session. (Courtesy of Clear Creek ISD)
Two Clear Creek ISD high schools receive national recognition for character development programs

Cleat Lake and Clear Brook high schools received 2021 Promising Practice designations from www.character.com for their character development programs.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special legislative session will begin July 8. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces special legislative session to start July 8

Agenda items will be announced before the session begins, according to a release from the governor's office.

Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Hospital system reports 2.2% positivity rate, down 13% year to date

COVID-19 patient numbers at medical center hospitals are down to 309 from the over 2,000 patients those same hospitals were housing in January.

Pet Supplies Plus opened in Friendswood in June.
Pet Supplies Plus opens in Friendswood

The business opened June 4 and will celebrate its grand opening July 10-11.

The text of General Order No. 3, which Gordon Granger issued from Galveston in June 1865 to explicitly liberate enslaved Black Texans, runs across the bottom of the mural. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘I am filled’: Houston-Galveston area celebrates first Juneteenth as federal holiday

See how local policymakers, historians, artists and philanthropists honored the Juneteenth holiday at its birthplace with the dedication of a 5,000-square-foot mural.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

There will be various events across the Houston area celebrating the Fourth of July, including League City's Fireworks Extravaganza. (Courtesy of League City)
12 Fourth of July weekend events, celebrations to attend in the Greater Houston area

Here are 12 Fourth of July weekend events throughout the Houston region.

When he is not on the UHCL campus, Delgado is employed part-time as a legal assistant at Travis Bryan Law Group and is also a firefighter with the Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department. (Courtesy University of Houston-Clear Lake)
University of Houston system appoints first-ever University of Houston-Clear Lake Hawk as student regent

Derek Delgado, who is pursuing an undergraduate degree in legal studies at UHCL, will work directly with other student governments throughout the university system and help advocate for student needs.

A new Jersey Mike's Subs location opened April 28 in the Richardson Square development. (Courtesy Jersey Mike's Subs)
Jersey Mike's opens new Pearland location

Jersey Mike’s opened its location at 9811 W. Broadway St., Ste. 121, Pearland.

Paris Coffee Co. serves coffees, espresso drinks and Italian sodas. (courtesy Pexels)
Paris Coffee Co. opens permanent coffee kiosk in Pearland

The business serves coffees, espresso drinks and Italian sodas.