Tomball ISD attendance boundary changes to go before board in December

A group of Tomball ISD parents and staff members gathered Oct. 3 to begin proposing options for attendance boundary changes to populate new schools in southern TISD.

A group of Tomball ISD parents and staff members gathered Oct. 3 to begin proposing options for attendance boundary changes to populate new schools in southern TISD.

Tomball ISD families could see attendance boundary changes finalized in December or January for the district's two new campuses in the works, Chief Operating Officer Steven Gutierrez said during a TISD District Zone Committee meeting Oct. 3.

The new schools—an elementary campus and a junior high campus—will be part of a TISD complex at Cypress Rosehill Road and Hwy. 99 that will also include a district football stadium and water and wastewater treatment plants. Land clearing is underway at the complex, as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Construction of the district complex is funded by the $275 million bond referendum voters approved in November 2017.

The committee—made up of about 20 parents representing all TISD campuses, a few staff members and Rocky Gardiner, the director of school district consulting for Templeton Demographics—met for the first time Oct. 3 to discuss options for realigning attendance boundaries for the elementary school, opening in August 2020, and the junior high school, opening in August 2021. The Oct. 3 discussion focused on redrawing boundary lines for the new elementary school.

"We have the entire district represented at the table, and I think that's important because we're not just making a decision that's going to impact one part of the district. We are here charged with making a decision that [is in the best interest of] the district and all of the students in the district, not just right now but for the next five [or] 10 years," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said targeted opening enrollment for the new elementary school is 552-644 students, which would be about 70% of the building's capacity of about 920 students. The new school would largely be populated by reducing enrollments at Wildwood Elementary by 363-409 students and at Lakewood Elementary by 150-195 students, as these two elementary campuses are near or above building capacity, Gutierrez said.

He said the committee's role is to agree on attendance boundary changes that would reduce Wildwood and Lakewood enrollments to 80%-85% of building capacities, leaving room for projected enrollment growth.

"If we do this [realignment] work correctly, there really is capacity [in elementary schools] with what we have and the one coming on next year for the next 10 years," Gutierrez said, referring to enrollment projections from Templeton Demographics. "We are going to gradually fill that [new] school."

The targeted enrollment for the new junior high school is between 486-613 students, Gutierrez said. This new junior high school—with a proposed building capacity of 1,500 students—would relieve overcapacity at Willow Wood Junior High School, he said. The committee's goal is to reduce Willow Wood's enrollment by 486-613 students, Gutierrez said, returning the campus to 70%-80% of its building capacity.

The rezoning process


Gutierrez said the committee is tasked with realigning attendance boundaries for the elementary and junior high schools. High school and intermediate boundaries will not be altered at this time, he said.

However, this could mean students at the new junior high campus could be split between Tomball and Tomball Memorial high schools.

"If you are currently zoned to Tomball High School, your high school is still going to be Tomball High School. If your neighborhood is zoned to Tomball Memorial High School, that's where you're going," Gutierrez said. "This will really be one of the first times where we have a campus where we have students that are Cougars and Wildcats. I think that's also a unique opportunity for that kind of culture building and understanding, 'Hey, we still are one Tomball.'"

Gutierrez said redrawing boundary lines can be an emotional decision for all parties involved. As such, Gutierrez outlined several guiding principles for the District Zone Committee to follow during the realignment process. Principles guiding the committee's decision include optimizing space so campuses are neither overcrowded nor underutilized, making an effort to keep subdivisions together, using natural boundary lines to determine attendance zones, considering the effect changing attendance zones will have on families, planning for future growth, and striving for efficient bus transportation.

"We're going to try the best we can to keep neighborhoods and communities together," he said. "We want to honor that, respect that and try to do our best to keep that together."

The committee meets again Oct. 10 at the Staff Development Center, located at 1302 Keefer Road, Tomball, during which time the committee will examine realigning junior high boundaries, Gutierrez said. A third meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17 to finalize the committee's recommendations.

A public forum is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Staff Development Center for district residents to ask questions about boundary changes, Gutierrez said. The committee will recommend boundary changes to the board of trustees for approval Dec. 9-10, and information will be distributed to affected TISD families in December or January, Gutierrez said. Board members are also expected to consider naming the two new schools at a November meeting, he said.

"As our district grows, there are at times changes that we need to adjust to and adapt [to] and some complexities, and of course, a new school—or new schools—means we have to build the schools up," Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said during the meeting. "There is a lot of work to be done. ... This happens every so many years, and it is just a sign of progress and growth."
SHARE THIS STORY
By Anna Lotz

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.


MOST RECENT

The storefront will open Feb. 24. (Courtesy Natural Ways CBD and More)
Natural Ways CBD and More to open Pinehurst storefront

Natural Ways CBD and More also has a location in Tomball.

Jordan Brooks, market specialist at ALN Apartment Data, speaks at the Houston Apartment Association’s Montgomery County State of the Submarket Breakfast on Feb. 18. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Moderate growth in apartment rent, occupancy on Montgomery County's horizon

Experts: County well-positioned for moderate rent growth, average to above-average apartment occupancy for 2020 and 2021

Cheetos Cheese Pickles from Biggy's (Courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)
Cheetos cheese pickles, mac and cheese eggrolls, deep-fried cheesecake: 93 food spots to try during the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

From tried and true to something new, the food options at this year's Rodeo include classic staples and crazy concoctions.

Lone Star College System has $185 million remaining from its 2014 bond referendum. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College System updates 2014 bond project progress

Lone Star College System continues to make improvements to campuses through an $485 million bond that passed in 2014.

Matthew Fank, who spoke during the public comment period Feb. 17 opposing adoption of the city's dangerous animals ordinance, said he owns property on South Cherry Street in Tomball and plans to open an exotic pet shop in the city. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas residents speak out against dangerous animals ordinance at Tomball City Council meeting

Tomball City Council approved an ordinance Feb. 17 prohibiting the possession of dangerous animals within city limits.

TX Arsenal will host a soft opening Feb. 20. (Courtesy TX Arsenal)
TX Arsenal plans Feb. 20 soft opening in Pinehurst

The business is a one-stop source for customers' shooting needs, according to its website.

Texas Central officials announced interior plans Feb. 17 for the company's proposed high-speed train connecting Houston and Dallas. The Shinkansen trains in Japan will be customized for Texas with no middle seats and additional legroom, company officials announced. (Courtesy Texas Central)
JUST IN: Texas Central gives first glimpse of high-speed train car interior

Texas Central officials announced interior plans Feb. 17 for the company's proposed high-speed train connecting Houston and Dallas.

The McTeggart Irish Dance School relocated from Magnolia to Tomball in January. (Courtesy The McTeggart Irish Dance School)
Irish dance school relocates to Tomball

The McTeggart Irish Dance School relocated from along FM 1488 in Magnolia to 701 E. Main St., Tomball, in January.

Brian Clack (left) is running against incumbent Chris Jones for Precinct 5 constable in the March 3 Republican primary.
Q&A: Meet the Republican candidates running for Montgomery County Precinct 5 constable

Two candidates are running for Montgomery County Precinct 5 constable in the March 3 Republican primary.

The Tex-Mex restaurant will be the first dining option at Creekside Park West in The Woodlands when it opens its doors this summer. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Baja Sur Fresh-Mex and Tequila Bar to launch in early summer at Creekside Park West

The new concept is the first Tex-Mex offering from local restaurateurs John Amato and Jason Daly.

Three candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Texas' 10th congressional district. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Democratic candidates for U.S. representative for District 10 discuss area concerns, immigration policy

Three candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Texas' 10th congressional district.

Undrai Fizer and Natali Hurtado are running in the Democratic primary March 3 for state representative District 126.
Q&A: Democratic candidates for state District 126 representative discuss flooding, public education

Two candidates are running in the District 126 Democratic primary March 3.

Back to top