HISD gets bigger with thousands of new North Forest ISD students


Thurgood Marshall Elementary opened its doors for the first time as an HISD campus for kindergarten through fifth graders.

Ariana Iracheta formerly attended North Forest schools. But already, she says she likes Marshall better.

"You can learn more and you can achieve more thoughts and they take care of you," she said. "They don't have dirty restrooms like the old school."

Last month, North Forest ISD officially closed. HISD absorbed its schools and more than 5,000 students. The Texas Education Agency determined North Forest was mismanaged and didn't meet educational standards.

"I'm happy that it's HISD. I feel that they're gonna learn more and have a productive year," said parent Kimberly Hall.

Administrators, including HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier, welcomed 800 students to Thurgood Marshall's new campus.

"We've spent about $17 million in these schools in this area since July 1," said HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier. "There are a lot of problems and a lot of safety issues. One of the schools here, we had to discard all of the books and the media center because of mold and mildew."

The principal, who transferred from an HISD school, is implementing longer school days and a year-round kindergarten program to help catch up kids who are academically struggling.

"We're gonna be giving all of our students a diagnostics test for reading, math, science and that is going to be our starting point, and we are going to start working from where they're at," said Principal Hilarion Martinez.

With everything from new computers to a new library and of course new friends and teachers, HISD expects a seamless transition and so do those at the head of the classrooms.

"It's been a long time coming and I hope that with that normalcy comes this excitement that continues for years to come," said third grade teacher Leticia Alilionwu.

Students at Thurgood Marshall were among 4,000 students to receive free backpacks and school supplies.

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