HISD to change historic middle school into magnet school

March 8, 2013 12:43:52 PM PST
Students who currently go to a historic middle school will begin the next school year at a new school.

The Houston ISD board approved a plan that changes Ryan Middle School into a magnet school. That means the 263 students currently attending Ryan will be moved to nearby Cullen Middle School.

Upset community leaders met Friday to talk about Thursday night's vote, calling it both illegal and an attack on the Third Ward community.

"There has been a lack of support to Ryan Middle School," asserted Rev. Robert McKinley Gilmore, the Senior President of Real Urban Ministry. "We really believe that if it had the same type of support that Pershing gets, Lanier gets and other areas, we feel like that parents would have the students, the children at the school."

Ryan students will begin going to Cullen this summer. Those at the meeting say they plan to fight the decision, even if they have to go to court.

Last month, the HISD board voted to seek federal grant dollars to help start a new magnet school on the Ryan campus. Ryan would be repurposed as the Medical and Health Professions Academy at Ryan Middle School. This district-wide magnet middle school would seek to prepare more students to compete for admission into the highly selective DeBakey High School for the Health Professions.