Thousands turn out across the district to learn more about rightsizing classrooms

Parents get answers to questions about proposed changes to attendance boundaries

Thousands of parents and community members turned out at a series of community meetings this week to provide parents with an overview of proposals designed to reduce classroom overcrowding at certain elementary schools.

The proposal for each school was discussed during regional meetings that took place on Tuesday, Feb. 17, and Thursday, Feb. 19. District officials will use the feedback to finalize the proposals and present them to the HISD Board of Education in March. If approved, the changes would be implemented for fall 2015.

Options under consideration include attendance boundary adjustments, program enhancements, and limiting the number of students each school may accept from outside its own neighborhood. District officials are also considering ways to improve internal practices such as adding a layer of additional scrutiny to the waiver request process and eliminating waivers for district charter schools.

The proposals would primarily affect new, incoming students. Current students would be grandfathered and allowed to stay at their current schools when possible.

The move is a result of a directive from the Texas Education Agency, which requires kindergarten through fourth-grade classes to have no more than 22 students per classroom. Classes that exceed that number must request a state waiver.

This school year, HISD had to submit nearly 1,500 class-size waiver requests to the TEA. District officials aim to cut that number in half by the 2015-2016 school year, with plans to continue the decrease incrementally through 2019.

Here is a list of the meetings that took place and the schools that may be affected by proposed boundary changes:

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 6 to 8 p.m.
Briar Forest Area Community Meeting
Location: Revere MS, 10502 Briar Forest
Affected Schools: Ashford, Askew, Bush, Daily, Emerson, Shadowbriar, Walnut Bend

Northwest Area Community Meeting
Location: Waltrip HS, 1900 West 34th St.
Affected Schools: Crockett, Highland Heights, Love, Memorial, Sinclair, Smith, Stevens

288 Corridor Community Meeting
Location: Attucks MS, 4330 Bellfort
Affected Schools: Bastian, Kelso, Young

Thursday, Feb. 19, 6 to 8 p.m.
Northline Area Community Meeting
Location: Sam Houston MSTC, 9400 Irvington Blvd.
Affected Schools: Burbank, Lyons, Northline

Tinsley and Halpin Area Community Meeting
Location: Tinsley ES, 11035 Bob White Dr.
Affected Schools: Anderson, Tinsley, Halpin ECC

Medical Center Area Community Meeting*
Location: Pershing MS, 3838 Blue Bonnet Blvd.
Affected Schools: The Rice School, Roberts, Twain, West University
*Only programmatic changes  under consideration.

The proposals for each school are available online: http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/125328

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