HISD claims closures won't happen, until next year, as protestors worry for schools' fate

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, September 28, 2023
HISD reassures protestors school closures won't happen - until 2024
HISD says closures won't be initiated until the 2024 school year as protestors worry Cage Elementary and Project Chrysalis Middle will be shut down.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dozens of Houstonians protested on Wednesday outside top-ranked HISD schools in the city's east end.

Parents are angry about the district's new, state-appointed superintendent, and they're worried Cage Elementary and Project Chrysalis Middle could close.

Cage Elementary and Project Chrysalis Middle share a campus.

"We're close parents. We care about our school. These are kids that have been here since they were in kindergarten," Mayra Lemus, a parent, said. "Our teachers came to this school. This is a family school, and it's been torn up."

The campuses are now aligned with what Mike Miles, the new Houston ISD superintendent, calls the New Education System (NES), meaning students this year have strict curriculum and classroom requirements.

The previous principal here asked for that designation, and the campuses are two of 57 schools to align with the 28 schools that Miles has targeted for transformation.

Parents said since the change, multiple teachers have left, and they worry the schools could now be shut down.

RELATED: HISD superintendent announces teacher audits have begun amid push for 'high-performance culture'

"If we were given the option to become a volunteer school," Alma Vazquez, a parent, asked. "Why can't we just opt out of it?"

HISD sent Eyewitness News the following statement:

"There is no truth to any of the rumors about changes at Cage Elementary or Project Chrysalis Middle School. Certain individuals are intentionally spreading lies on social media to scare families and divide the HISD community. This shameful behavior needs to stop. It is only hurting students and families."

Last week, Miles spoke about the status of the campus.

"However process you came by it, the principal made the decision at the end of the day, which was their right to do, they got input, and you guys know, we took two weeks to do this, to get it right," he said. "So, they're an NES-A school. They're going to remain an NES-A school."

Miles has said there will be no HISD school closures this year.

However, he said there likely will be closures next year and hasn't indicated which campuses are being considered.

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