UPDATED: Five HISD Schools on the Chopping Block (Unless a Successful Argument Is Made Why This Shouldn't Happen)

Categories: Education

Based upon data from a "snapshot" taken of HISD student demographics at the end of October 2013, HISD demographer Justin Silhavy said statistics show declining newborn population in the east, northeast and north parts of the district while there are increasing birth rates in neighborhoods such as The Heights, Montrose and the West End.

In the south part of the district, most of the growth has been along Beltway 8 and 288 south of Worthing and Sterling high schools. In uptown and the West part of the district, there has been "construction of multi-family projects with high student yields compared to inner loop development" according to Silhavy's power point.

The northeast and Ship Channel areas are seeing lower student enrollments, which Silhavy attributed to "an aging population and declining number of births." Although he did note that "Habitat for Humanity will construct a 500-home for community in 2015 within the Elmore ES zone."

Within the Inner Loop, Silhavy noted low student to housing unit ratios and that a lot of early 20th century housing in "The Heights, old Third Ward, Montrose, Medical Center/Museum District, Washington Corridor, East End" was being demolished.

During the press conference, a hefty report was passed out to the media entitled "Houston ISD: Campus Demographic and Enrollment Report 2013-2014," with detailed information on every school in the district. In response to a question about if this was online (it isn't wasn't ) and why not, HISD Chief Communications Officer Tiffany Davila-Dunne said that she'd see to it that a link was placed on the HISD website. And we were notified by the HISD press office Friday that the report is now online.

Alejandro Morua, with Family and Community Engagement for the district, outlined how HISD is keeping parents and other concerned parties in the loop about the proposed changes. Parents were informed last night. There are six community meeting scheduled and there will be a presentation at the next HISD school board workshop.

Community meetings are Tuesday, February 11 for Dodson, Henderson, and Jones; Monday, February 17 for Port Houston and Fleming; and Tuesday, February 18 at Reagan K-8.

Smith said final recommendations to the board will be made on February 20.

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I have no problem with closing under-enrolled campuses, but isn't the possible closure of Jones HS yet another indictment of Dr. Grier's Apollo Program? Last year, they closed Ryan MS, another Apollo school. What's going on?

When this program was unveiled four years ago, Dr. Grier promised parents he would save their schools, not close them. He promised parents he would place a high-performing teacher in every classroom, not get rid of high-performing teachers who were already there.

I'm afraid my old school, Attucks MS, will be on next year's list. Oh, what the heck, just give Grier another $125K bonus and be done with it.

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