Conroe ISD approves new drone program and announces updates from ongoing projects

ByKylee Haueter Community Impact Newspaper logo
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
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CONROE, Texas -- The Conroe ISD board of trustees approved a new career and technical education drone program and named four district facilities in its June 21 meeting, in addition to receiving updates on construction projects at different district schools.

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Drone program will begin next school year

The new drone program, created in partnership with Lone Star College-Conroe Center, will teach students how to operate and assemble drones, which have been gaining ground in different commercial industries, according to the district.

Hedith Sauceda-Upshaw, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said the program already has 18 students from Conroe, College Park, The Woodlands, Oak Ridge and Grand Oaks high schools awaiting approval to enroll. The program is approved by the Texas Education Agency, according to CISD officials.

Upshaw said the course is an industry-based need. Students who complete the course will receive certification that can in turn create a career pathway and eventual job opportunities, she said.

Now that the course has been approved, Upshaw said the next step will be to determine what costs the students and district will be responsible for. Superintendent Curtis Null said costs will likely end up being determined by what materials students are using only for the duration of the course.

Naming facilities

During their meeting, the board voted on naming four facilities: two new elementary schools, the police command center, and the natatorium.

The Grand Oaks feeder elementary school, set to open in August 2023, will be named after Deputy Superintendent Christopher J. Hines.

"Dr. Hines has announced his retirement, and he has been a great man of this district for many years and worked at many of these schools, and I think that would be an awesome thing to remember Dr. Hines for," Trustee Ray Sanders said.

Flex 23, the new elementary school being built in the Caney Creek/Conroe feeder zone and opening in August 2024, was named Janet K. Bartlett Elementary School. Bartlett's son, Cody Bartlett, said his mother was a teacher in Conroe ISD for 30 years.

The board voted to name the police command center after outgoing Chief of Police William Harness and the natatorium after Laura Wilkinson, an Olympic gold medalist diver who trained in The Woodlands.

SEE RELATED: Conroe ISD plans for salary increases to stay competitive among area districts

Capital improvement update

Easy Foster, director of construction and planning, updated the board on construction projects around the district. Most projects are on schedule, with the major exception of Conroe High School, which has encountered a problem due to a cement shortage, Foster said.

"We have a contractor diligently working, trying to find innovative ways to make sure we return the former Wilson Road location and the homeside parking lot-which is where our faculty and staff, and drop-off loop are for next year-back to a drivable condition," Foster said.

One of the district's concrete suppliers was not able to provide the concrete on time, but Foster said they are working with two other suppliers to get concrete.

"This is one we are concerned about and watching over, but our contractor is committed to making sure we have school in this location next year," Foster said.

Foster also noted that while the Caney Creek High School renovation is overall on schedule, the front entryway will not be ready for school in August, and they are working to create an alternate secure entry/exit for students and staff.

This article comes from our ABC13 partners at Community Impact Newspapers.

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