In a special meeting of the HISD Board of Education on Thursday morning, trustees heard additional options and considerations regarding the five campuses identified in the district’s proposed closure, consolidation, and reorganization plan. Trustees were also provided feedback from community meetings held at the schools. Among the new options to be considered by the board: move the Montessori program at Dodson to Blackshear; create a day care/ early childhood center at Nat Q Henderson; establish a career training high school at Jones to serve the southern part of the city (after Jones is used as swing space for the next 2-3 years), among other options. For a complete review of the options and considerations presented, please find the full presentation here (.pdf).
Additionally, in response to feedback received at community meetings, HISD administration committed to provide transportation to all affected students at campuses closed next year – even those living within a 2-mile radius of the campus. This service would be provided for one year to allow the city of Houston time to improve walking paths.
In the meeting, HISD administration also detailed its annual process of reviewing enrollment levels and outlined in detail how each of the five schools proposed for closure was identified, noting that all schools that did not meet the district’s recommended minimum enrollment levels (i.e. 500 for elementary schools, 750 for middle schools, and 1,000 for high schools) were evaluated for closure and consolidation. Certain low-enrollment campuses were removed from consideration in the annual review, including start-up schools still in the process of developing their programs, schools that are small by design, and schools showing enrollment gains. Schools in areas of town forecasted to see near-term student population growth were also removed from consideration.
Final recommendations for school closures and consolidations will be presented to the board before its regular March 13 meeting.