Robert E. Lee High School is one of the schools at which the district will be looking. Right now, the school has the room to hold more than 1,200 additional students. It's a problem for the district and the students who go there because they're the ones losing out on money and resources.
There are nearly 1,700 students enrolled at Lee High, but the school is zoned to hold almost 3,000 students. The district is now keeping a close eye on Lee and 65 other HISD schools. They want to implement something called "rightsizing."
In this process they're going to look at why some of the schools' enrollment numbers are so low. For instance, if a school is zoned for about 900 students and enrollment is only at 450, it's considered a problem.
"Rightsizing is determining that right size for that particular school," said HISD School Board President Greg Myers.
Myers says schools facing severe under-enrollment, and those with massive overcrowding, aren't the best learning environments for children. So the district is launching this study to determine how to fix those problems. Long term, it could mean changes to where your kids go to school.
"It's way early in the process to even begin being concerned about any possible consolidations or closures," said Myers.
But it may happen. For example, at Bellaire High School where they're over capacity, some students may eventually have to go elsewhere. It's an idea that didn't sit well with all parents.
"I just think the school district needs to accommodate to the growth of the school," said parent Antoinette McClain.
Bellaire has already made adjustments; teachers hold classes in the library and some students even have the option of taking online courses.
"There are too many people in the school, like some classes are like 30, 24 people. Too big. One teacher can't handle all that sometimes," said student Yousif Mohmmad.
"What you have to do is look at the school that's not attracting them, try and figure out what you have to do to make it a more attractive choice," said Gayle Fallon of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
The district says this is a long process that could take several months or even a year.
"As we start breaking it down, we're going to be very transparent, ensuring that the community, that our public, knows exactly where we're headed on this topic," Myers said.
HISD is expecting a report on its magnet schools in January. That will be telling because that will determine how those magnets are affecting enrollment numbers throughout the district.
Here is a look at the HISD schools on the list:
Elementary schools below enrollment of 500 students
Middle schools below 750
High schools below 1250
PK-8 schools below 750
Elementary schools over capacity:
Middle schools over capacity:
High schools over capacity: