Fort Bend ISD parents furious over plans to move kids to other schools

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019
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Fort Bend ISD parents furious over plans to move kids to other schools

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Fort Bend ISD parents are fighting back against a proposal that would force their kids to move to another school.

The district is considering four plans to ease overcrowding at certain schools in the southeast portion of the district.

The first would move Quail Valley to Marshall High School, and northern Sienna Plantation to Elkins High School. The second would move northern Sienna Plantation to Hightower High School.

The third splits northern Sienna Plantation to Hightower High School and Elkins High School, and Quail Valley to Marshall High School. Finally, northern Sienna Plantation is split even more with some going to Elkins High School, and the other half to Hightower High School, and Quail Valley would move to Marshall High School.

In March, the district released proposals. Quail Valley parents didn't see their region included. That changed with the recent proposals.

"Their solution of sending kids to underperforming schools is going to literally bury the kids at the bottom," parent Dan Porter said. "And the last thing Fort Bend ISD wants on their hands is another burial ground."

Moving from Elkins to Marshall isn't just a geographical change. The schools have a performance gap. Recent state performance scores gave Elkins High School an 86, whereas Marshall High School received a 68.

"Nobody wants their child flipped flopped around from one school to the next, and having to leave their friends, or splitting community," parent Kym Mcmorries said. "Who wants that for their kid?"

In November, voters approved a billion dollar bond, money the district said on Monday isn't enough to address the issue.

"As a growing school district, FBISD has worked with our community throughout the last year as we've continued to plan for the future. The boundary planning effort underway is aligned with the Facilities Master Planning process, as well as the 2018 Bond program. We are planning to open a new elementary school during the 2019-20 school year, Elementary 51 (Malala Yousafzai Elementary), and we are establishing attendance boundaries for the new school.

Additionally, we are studying attendance boundaries to balance enrollment in our high schools in the southeast area of the District, so that we can better utilize the available space in our high schools. The southeast portion of our district is one that continues to see growth. While the 2018 bond program includes funding for a new high school in the future, to be prudent, we must also address the current over-utilization of Ridge Point high school by balancing enrollment and utilizing available capacity in other schools, which was also recommended during the Facilities Master Planning process.

Boundary planning is a complex and challenging process, and we are dedicated to working with our community when we consider changes to attendance boundaries. This process can only be successful with the community's help.

The scenarios that were presented to the community last week were developed with the input and feedback of focus groups, which included representation from the respective school communities. We are now asking for the community's feedback, via an online survey that will remain open through January 2."

On Dec. 21, the district announced it is extending the survey deadline from Jan. 2 to Jan. 5, so that the community has more time to give its feedback.

To learn more about the proposals, and to give feedback, click here.