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HISD Could Limit WUES Enrollment

February 23, 2015 By:Anne Marie Kilday

Local News, School News

A state mandate to limit class size “waivers” could impact future enrollment at West U Elementary School, Principal John Threet told parents in a letter published in the school’s newspaper.

Threet’s letter is the result of an HISD proposal, announced at a meeting last Thursday, in which the district sought public comment regarding plans to ease overcrowding at Roberts, Twain and West University Elementary Schools.  The meeting was designed to present a draft plan to reduce overcrowding in these schools and solicit input from parents, teachers, and community members.

No final decisions have been made. Nothing is final, until the HISD Board of Trustees votes to approve a plan.

“ Under the proposal, we will track the date and time of completed registrations for new students enrolling for 2015-2016.  When we reach the maximum number at any grade level, students will be placed on a waiting list,” Threet said in his letter.

Under state law, the student-to-teacher ratio is required to be 22 students per teacher in grades K through 4th. School districts have routinely sought waivers from the state of Texas from that requirement. However, the state of Texas has notified HISD that the district “must act now” to reduce the number of classrooms that require such a waiver, Threet explained in his letter.

Threet said that HISD’s current proposal will allow all students currently enrolled and who continue to live within our school attendance zone to return to West U next year.

Threet’s letter explained that students who are not enrolled at WUES in the next school year will receive a “capped school transfer to The Rice School”

HISD’s plan is to reserve slots at Rice to accommodate the overflow from Roberts, Twain, and West U.

Threet said in his letter than there are no plans to give preference to the younger siblings of current students of children who will enter Kindergarten next year.

“ Student selection will be on a first come, first served basis,” Threet wrote.

School officials are taking several steps to ensure that WUES will be able to accommodate as many zoned students as possible, Threet continued.

“As we have done for many years, we will require proof of residency from all current students who plan to return. We will verify questionable residency documentation with a home visit.  Students who are found to not reside where the family claims they live will be withdrawn from our school.  Additionally, we are not accepting any new out-or-zone transfers to West U,” Threet said.

The families likely to be impacted by the new enrollment plan are those “who wait until the summer or when school starts in August to register,” Threet said.

“This may impact those families who travel out of the country for the summer or families who plan late summer vacations, and wish to return after the first day of school.  We cannot guarantee a space for your child if your child is not present on the first day of school,” Threet said in his letter.

The principal stressed that no final decisions have been made about the plan.

“As soon  as I hear of any other proposed changes to the plan, or hear of any additional meetings for our parents, I will notify you,” Threet wrote.

He encouraged parents of WUES students to contact HISD trustee Michael Lunceford with their concerns about the district’s new enrollment plans.

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7 Responses to “HISD Could Limit WUES Enrollment”

  1. Ted Ferguson Says:

    With all of the new construction in the area – both townhomes and planned luxury apartments, I have been wondering how the increased density would impact the local schools.

  2. Bob Carnale Says:

    This is typical of Grier. Wait until there is a crises, declare and emergency then pass and approve whatever he wanted in the first place. The Board colludes with him and rubber stamps his plans, no matter how ridiculous they seem to the rest of us.
    HISD is exploding with legal, illegal and out of district children whose parents lie about thier address.
    Grier got his bond money based on lies, telling us he would expand and or renew older schools yet he hasn’t lifted a finger.
    This man is a dolt and should be fired.

  3. Andy Says:

    I feel we should get HISD attention and start an online petition on change.org or such. We had whole community rallying against the superblock and the metro bus route. We should certainly get more resident involvement on this important issue. This is something that will affect everyone’s property values. Can the west PTA get involved???

  4. Andy Says:

    This hisd proposal has many problems.
    1. This is being rushed. The first we heard on the proposal is last week and HISD is voting next month ! Such a major decision should have much or time devoted.
    2. It is not fair to implement this policy for the 2015-16 school year with such short notice. At this point, upset parents have no options at alternative schools. Any change should be implemented in the 2016-17 school year.
    3. For siblings not to have priority makes it very challenging for parents. To expect parents to pull out their older kids and put them at rice school is not practical.
    4. Ultimately, many people buy in west u so their kids can go to their neighborhood school. The reason why the school is crowded is all the new apartments being built outside west u. This is going to become an even bigger problem. Instead of zoning out folks who live in the sane neighborhood as the school by a cap on enrollments, I feel hisd should seriously consider redrawing the zoning maps.

    • Sonny B Says:

      Andy, I totally agee with you. We need to stand up to HISD and make West U children the piority. Our homeowners pay more than their share in taxes and should not have to worry about a place in the class room for their children.
      I am also upset that we have to use temporary classrooms instead of building a first class addition for our students. Ten schools could be built with all the taxes they take from the homeowners.
      We need to expand and rezone!

  5. Lucille Gallman Says:

    This must be very upsetting to the parents and kids who attend or plan on attending West University Elementary School. I have seen houses for sale in other areas that list schools zoned to the property and then say that the potential buyer needs to check on availability. It sounds like HISD needs to build more schools.

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