In response to a $54 million Tomball ISD intermediate school being planned to serve families in the Creekside area, parents from that community are planning protests for Nov. 13 and 14.

The gist

Intermediate School No. 5 was originally proposed as an elementary school under the district’s 2021 bond, but the project was changed into an intermediate school in April to accommodate growth in the Creekside area, as previously reported by Community Impact.
  • The recommended location for the school is at the Tomball Innovation Center, which is located at FM 2920 and Hufsmith-Kohrville Road.
Due to concerns about the proposed intermediate school, Creekside-area parents said they plan to keep their kids home from school on Nov. 13 and 14 as an attendance strike. Protests will also be held on those days outside of TISD’s administration building, according to the Stand 4 Creekside website devoted to the issue.
  • More than 400 parents have signed a petition in support of the attendance strike, as of 10 a.m. Nov. 10, according to the website.
“This is an attempt to be very loud, very vocal, and hopefully make [the district] realize that we actually are very passionate about this and make them listen,” said David Swiderski, a Creekside-area resident and TISD parent who plans to participate in the protest.

Classes will be held as normal on Nov. 13 and 14, as employees focus on providing “high-quality teaching and learning experiences for all students,” TISD administrators said in a Nov. 9 email.

“We are disappointed that families would keep their students out of school for two days in an effort to communicate their disagreement with the location of the new intermediate campus,” TISD officials said in an emailed statement.

Dig deeper

Swiderski and Julie Peschang—a Creekside-area resident and TISD parent who plans to participate in the protest—said Creekside-area parents remain critical of the intermediate school, with chief issues including:
  • Increased commute times for students
  • The proposed project changing from an elementary school outlined in the 2021 bond package
  • Parents claiming TISD leaders have not held sufficient meetings with The Woodlands Township board to find a solution
Although bus routes have yet to be created for the proposed intermediate school, TISD administrators also said in an email the one-way estimated bus ride commute estimated to range from 17 minutes to 40 minutes is standard for the district.

“Depending on your location within the northeast portion of TISD, the distance to the Tomball Innovation Center is between 3-8 miles, which is consistent with the distances other students and families travel to their intermediate school. ... While we wish every student could walk or bike to school, it simply isn’t possible for many of our students,” TISD officials said in the emailed statement.

In addition, TISD officials previously said the 2021 bond language does not prevent TISD from changing the project from an elementary school to an intermediate school, as previously reported by Community Impact.

TISD administrators and trustees have met formally and informally with The Woodlands Township board on the Creekside issue, TISD officials said.

Zooming in

In response to Creekside-area parents’ criticism of the location of the proposed intermediate school, TISD administrators explored other locations to move the school, according to previous reporting.

“The district did renew an attempt to find viable land in Creekside, including conducting a feasibility study relating to expanding on the property of Creekside Park Junior High School,” TISD officials said in an email. “Unfortunately, no other viable options were found.”

Peschang said she disagrees with the district’s conclusion.

“There's a feasibility study that you can see on TISD’s website about building at the junior high, and they come to the conclusion that it's not feasible, but everything in there, when I read it, looks like it very much is feasible,” Peschang said.

Jessica Shorten and Lizzy Spangler contributed to this report.