HISD Board of Education approves two proposals designed to reduce classroom overcrowding

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted Thursday to approve two of six proposals designed to adjust neighborhood attendance boundaries at certain elementary schools in an effort to reduce classroom overcrowding.

The two approved proposals include attendance boundary adjustments at 10 elementary schools: Anderson, Ashford, Askew, Bush, Daily, Emerson, Shadowbriar, Tinsley and Walnut Bend elementary schools, as well as Halpin Early Childhood Center.

Additionally, Ashford and Shadowbriar will both 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. With the approved changes, Ashford will retain an attendance zone, but Shadowbriar will not. Instead, it will offer special programming designed to draw students.

The changes will go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year and will apply to new, incoming students. Students who are already enrolled — as well as incoming kindergartners — still will be allowed to attend the school to which they are currently zoned.

The attendance boundary adjustments were proposed 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 school board voted against the four remaining proposals, which means schools included in those plans will not see attendance boundary adjustments. Those schools include Bastian, Burbank, Crockett, Harvard, Hartsfield, Highland Heights, Kennedy, Kelso, Love, Lyons, Memorial, Northline, Sinclair, Smith, Stevens, Travis, and Young elementary schools.

The  board also voted against developing an optional, secondary attendance boundary for Roberts, Twain and West University elementary schools. The optional zone would have sent overflow students from these three schools to neighboring The Rice School.

For a full list of schools impacted by the proposals and to see new boundary maps, go online: http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/126823.