Tomball ISD to consider boundary changes within The Woodlands area for elementary schools

TOMBALL, Texas -- Tomball ISD is considering boundary changes affecting Creekview, Creekside Forest and Timber Creek elementary schools. TISD will not make a decision until the district can form a committee to review growth and school capacity, according to an April 8 message sent to the families in the three affected elementary schools.

The committee will be comprised of stakeholders and formed during the end of April, the beginning of May so the committee can present a final recommendation to the TISD board of trustees in May.

TISD presented a boundary drawing, Plan A, at the March 7 meeting that would add 100 students each to Creekside Forest and Timber Creek, reducing Creekview by 200 students. After pushback from parents in Tomball and The Woodlands as well as The Woodlands Township board of directors concerning the safety of children, TISD officials drew up a second plan to consider.

Plan A would send some students in Creekside Park Elementary to Timber Creek Elementary on the opposite side of Kuykendahl Road from their homes, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Plan B would not send students from those sections of Creekside Park.

The Woodlands Township board voted unanimously March 30 to approve a draft resolution supporting Plan B. TISD has maps of both plans on its website.

However, TISD Chief Operating Officer Steven Gutierrez said at a March 24 Woodlands Township board meeting that even if Plan B is adopted, some students will eventually need to be zoned to Timber Creek because of increasing growth in the district, which is projected to enroll 24,000 students in 2026-27 and 26,000 by 2031-32. Timber Creek is at 82% capacity, according to TISD.

Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said at the March 7 meeting the district is out of room at Creekview Elementary, which is at 115% capacity. Overall, the school district had 1,585 new students for the 2021-22 school year and is predicting 865 new students for 2022-23, said Rocky Gardiner, Zonda director and school district consultant, at the March 7 meeting.

"With the growth in the district and within the Creekside area, a neighborhood will inevitably have to cross Kuykendahl," Gutierrez said.

Parents and The Woodlands officials have suggested alternatives, such as building a pedestrian bridge across Kuykendahl Road or hiring crossing guards. Gutierrez said TISD does not employ crossing guards, but the district is willing to bus students.

TISD parent Angela Clegg, who lives in the Timarron community, said in an interview the area is walkable, and the school district has continuously encouraged the parents not to use the buses, especially with the bus driver shortage. She said parents received an email about the proposed boundary changes in early March from TISD, and it caught many parents off guard.

"This is my first time being frustrated with the district; I've been very happy," Clegg said.

The boundary changes will not be discussed at the TISD board workshop April 11 or regular meeting April 12, the district confirmed.

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