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Posts published in “Day: April 9, 2013

East Aldine holds a Garden Party!

A large group of wanna-bee urban gardeners showed up last Saturday morning, at Orange Grove Elementary School, to participate in the new East Aldine Community Garden. The gardens themselves are on adjacent land owned by the East Aldine District, and open to anyone that joins the gardening group and follows a few simple group rules, explained East Aldine’s Natali Lacasa.

Saturday’s work session was held with about 75 adults and youths participating. Expert guidance for planting the six beds was given by Ray Sher, a consultant from Urban Harvest in Houston.

The gardens consist of six raised beds, about three feet by 15 feet, defined by concrete block and filled with rich soil.

Groups that have indicated an interest in one of the beds include Bonding Against Adversity, Orange Grove Elementary, Girl Scout Troop #12011, National Technical Honor Society from MacArthur High, HOSA from MacArthur, Sheriff’s Explorer Post #42, and the local North Houston Heights Civic Association.

So far the garderners have planted tomatoes, radishes, summer squash, and mint, but there are no restrictions on what anyone can plant, including flowers, except size considerations.

The Gardening Consultant Ray Sher is from the Urban Harvest organization, and guided all the participants on best practices, planting techniques, watering considerations, weeding, and how often they should tend their plants. Urban Harvest is a national organization, started in Seattle, with a large presence in Houston. They have helped start over 100 community gardens in the Houston area, and conduct the Farmer’s Markets held downtown weekly.

The Community Garden associaton plans to meet monthly, and have three harvest seasons each year. There is room for more gardens to be built, according to Natali Lacasa and Richard Cantu of the East Aldine District. If you are interested in information, or to join and plant, call Natali at 713-595-1226.

TEA Commissioner affirms closing of North Forest ISD, merge with Houston ISD

AUSTIN, April 1, 2013 – Following a review requested by the North Forest Independent School District (NFISD), the district’s challenge to Commissioner Michael L. Williams’ recommendation to close the NFISD and annex it into the Houston Independent School District (HISD) has been denied.

After several attempts from NFISD to avoid closure and merge with HISD, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) ordered last April 1, 2013 the North Forest Independent School District closed effective July 1, 2013, and merged into the Houston ISD.

Statement from Superintendent Edna Forté:

“We at North Forest ISD are disappointed by the TEA’s decision to merge North Forest with HISD. Because we truly believe partnering with the charter schools that make up PHILO is the best option for the children of North Forest, we will appeal this decision to the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Regardless of the outcome, the faculty and staff will continue to move forward with the transformative work we are doing at North Forest ISD to complete a successful year.”

In May 2012, NFISD requested a review of a decision to revoke the district’s accreditation. That review was denied. However, NFISD’s closure and annexation was abated for one year to allow the district the ability to demonstrate improvement, and attempt to meet certain conditions and requirements.

On Feb. 7, Williams notified NFISD representatives of his formal recommendation for closure and annexation. Williams based his decision on the district’s continued poor academic performance over the past year as reflected in its low high school completion rate and poor performance on statewide assessments.

Representatives of North Forest ISD requested a re-opening of its record review for the limited purpose of determining the district’s compliance with the terms and conditions of last year’s order. On March 15, TEA Chief Deputy Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, who was designated by the previous commissioner in 2012 as TEA’s final decision-maker in this matter, conducted a record review.

In her decision, Reynolds affirmed the district had failed to sufficiently improve the completion rate at North Forest High School. The district also failed to improve student performance district-wide on statewide assessments. Both were established in 2012 as conditions for withdrawing the closure and annexation order.

“Throughout this process, the priority has been the students of North Forest and assuring they each receive the quality education they deserve,” said Commissioner Williams. “My hope is that today’s decision marks the next step toward making that goal a reality.”

During the record review, Reynolds also determined that NFISD annexation into the Houston ISD would not substantially impair HISD’s ability to educate its current students or to pay its pre-annexation obligations. While the NFISD did present a memorandum of understanding it recently signed with PHILO School Management, the MOU’s lack of specificity and the limited time to implement did not support withdrawal of the Commissioner’s closure order.

The Commissioner’s order to close and annex NFISD is effective July 1, 2013. The NFISD may appeal this decision to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

Cynthia Bailey, wife of Clyde, dies

Cynthia D. Bailey, 59 of New Caney, Texas passed away April 3, 2013 9:30 am.

Cynthia was born on October 14, 1953 in Houston Texas to Lady Sandra Perault and Billy Joe Peters. She graduated with honors from MacArthur High School in Aldine in 1973. She was active in her class, and she participated in student council and other class activities. She went to Sam Houston State for one year.

She and her husband Clyde Bailey were married on August 21, 1974 and they enjoyed 39 years of marriage. They lived in Aldine for 5 years, and they moved to Kingwood for the next 24 years.

In 2003, Cynthia, Clyde, and her son Adam moved to New Caney and lived happily until her death. Cynthia loved her son, nieces, nephews, friends, and loved ones with all her heart. Loving and giving in all of her communities her whole life. “Aunt Cindy” was a shining example of a loving individual.

Cindy is survived by husband, Clyde; son, Adam; brother, Mike Harris; sister-in-law, Debra Harris; brother, Kelton King; sister-in-law, Betty Brown; brother-in-law, Leon Brown; sister-in law, Diane Bailey; brother-in-law, Weldon Bailey; brother-in-law, Johnny White; sister-in law, Barbara White; numerous nieces and nephews, grand-nieces, grand- nephews, and friends.

A Memorial Service was held at 3PM on Sunday, April 7th at Brookside.

I will miss you my love, Clyde