Members of the West University Elementary School PTO will want to be on hand Tuesday, March 10, at 8 a.m. for a meeting with Principal John Threet.
Threet will provide an update on HISD’s proposal to address overcrowding in several area elementary schools.
Threet recently alerted parents of WUES students that their children need to be present, and on time, for the first day of the 2015-16 academic year, which starts August 24.
Since that letter, “I’ve had parents threatening to camp out” the night before school starts.,” Threet said recently.
The Houston Independent School District is trying to alleviate overcrowding at several are elementary schools, including Mark Twain, T.H. Rogers and West U Elementary. The state of Texas recently told the district that it needs to cut back on the number of “waivers” for a state-mandated student-to-teacher class size ratio of 22 to 1.
No final decisions have been made. Nothing is final, until the HISD Board of Trustees votes to approve a plan, nothing is final.
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.
This school year, HISD had to submit nearly 1,500 class-size waiver requests to the Texas Education Agency. District officials aim to cut that number in half by the 2015-2016 school year, with plans to continue the decrease, incrementally through 2019.
In a recent letter published in the WUES newsletter, Threet explained: “No final decisions have been made. Nothing is final, until the HISD Board of Trustees votes to approve a plan, nothing is final.
Threet said that HISD’s current proposal will allow all students currently enrolled and who continue to live within WUES’ school attendance zone to return to West U next year.
“ 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.
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.”
WUES requires proof-of-residency from students, and verifies “questionable” residency documentation with a home visit.
The PTO meeting will include pastries and coffee donated by corporate sponsor, Frost Bank.