HISD Board of Education to again consider plan to reduce classroom overcrowding

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education next week will consider adjusting neighborhood attendance boundaries at certain elementary schools in an effort to reduce classroom overcrowding.

The plan calls for boundary adjustments at 26 elementary schools, as well as grade reconfigurations at two elementary campuses: Ashford and Shadowbriar, both of which would become comprehensive elementary schools offering pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

Currently, the two schools share an attendance zone — Ashford offers pre-kindergarten through second grade, and Shadowbriar offers third through fifth grades. Under the proposal, Ashford would retain an attendance zone, but Shadowbriar would not. Instead, it would offer special programming designed to draw students.

The HISD Board of Education is expected to consider the proposals during their regular monthly meeting on May 14. If approved, the changes would go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year and would apply to new, incoming students. Students who are already enrolled — as well as incoming kindergartners — still would be allowed to attend the school to which they are currently zoned.

The attendance boundary proposals were created in response to state law, 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.

The proposed attendance boundary maps were originally submitted to the school board in March. All remain the same with the exception of the northline area, where the boundary between Lyons and Burbank elementary schools has shifted northward.

Parents whose children attend Lyons, Burbank or Northline elementary schools had an opportunity to discuss this change during a community meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7 at Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center, 9400 Irvington.

For a full list of schools impacted by the proposals, go online: http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/126823.

Read the notes from that meeting here (.pdf).