Flood damage from Hurricane Harvey will keep Kingwood High School closed for the 2017-2018 school year, but after a lot of thought and community input, the district released a plan for KHS to share Summer Creek High School’s facility.
The district offered two scenarios to the faculty, families and staff of both schools over Labor Day weekend.
The first option, according to the district, had Summer Creek classes meeting in the mornings. Kingwood High School classes would meet in the afternoons at Summer Creek, Monday through Friday.
The second option had Summer Creek classes meeting Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a full day of school. Kingwood High School would meet Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for a full day at Summer Creek.
But after reading the survey replies, the transition team did something most unusual – they listened. The team took parts of each option and came up with a third and final plan.
“The team worked so hard,” said Dr. Elizabeth Fagen, superintendent of Humble ISD. “They really took the surveys to heart and came up with something even better.”
Kingwood to move to Summer Creek
All the students will go each day, in a block schedule, allowing for longer class time on each subject.
One criticism of the early plans was one had classes meeting for 34 minutes, a time many felt inadequate. The second objection was holding classes on Saturdays, this seen as disruptive to family time and other activities.
“We had a strong response to the survey,” said Fagen. “The team definitely understood the two big concerns – the length of the classes and holding school on Saturdays. So they created a hybrid of the two.
“The plan is the students will go every day, Monday through Friday, but will have longer class periods. We won’t be going to school on Saturdays. We now have a good schedule and there are 40 minutes for the kids to make the transition between schools,” she said.
The schedule posted on the district website lists the pattern of the classes. The plan offers a bell schedule of four class periods on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and three class periods on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is similar to many higher education schedules with shorter Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes and longer Tuesday/Thursday classes.
“This will allow us to maintain all the extracurricular activities and share the gym, the fields and the space,” she said.
Transportation will be provided to all KHS students traveling to Summer Creek. Parents were asked on the survey if they were interested in bus service, and based on that feedback, has begun working on a schedule. Fagen also said the district wants to provide activity buses for athletes who practice before and after school.
“Our priorities are to provide the transportation needed across the district, then the additional needs to bus students to SCHS and then to accommodate the students with activity buses.
“This is our goal,” she said, and added the district may look into contracting with a bus service if needed,” she said.
Fagen also said the Texas Education Agency has indicated they will not oppose the plan.
“I don’t have an official letter in my hand, but I understand they are supportive of the local decision on this situation as long as we meet the minutes,” she said, referring to the TEA minimum number of minutes they require to be spent annually in class.
Fagen observed that the district’s parents and employees were overwhelmingly supportive of the plan.
“We never said we have every single thing figured out. But we are giving it our all. We are here to help every single family. If they have a problem, we will figure it out together,” she said.
“We have learned so much. There has just been an outpouring of support. I am moved and thrilled with what so many have offered.
“That’s what makes this such a great place to live and have kids,” Fagen said.
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