HOUSTON – Houston Intercontinental Chamber of Commerce (HICC) held its annual State of the School District where 3 school districts reported to the community last Thursday at Lone Star College (LSC)-North Harris.
Superintendents from Aldine ISD, Klein ISD and Spring ISD exposed current and future plans for each school district as well as statistics.
Aldine School District has over 70,000 students, said Dr. Wanda Bamberg, Aldine ISD Superintendent. With the $798 million bond approved in last’s November 3 elections, Aldine ISD has plans to built additional 10 new campuses, including 1 high school, an additional early college and elementary schools. Johnson and Francis Elementary schools will be torn down and new ones will be built. Also, Aldine and MacArthur High Schools will get a new wing and Carver High School will have major renovations, Dr. Bamberg said. Aldine Education Center was opened last year across from MO Campbell Center on Aldine Bender as well as a Child Nutrition Center, she continued.
The School District also upgraded all GPS on buses and plans to open a transportation center in the northside, this last one will save some money on gas and time since it will be closer to its service area.
Aldine ISD is constantly working to find ways to get additional revenue to provide needed services to students. With local money (and not from the bond), the school district’s office moved to a new building on WW Thorne and also purchased a new building where the central operations, staff development center and the police will be; the buildings of these will become new schools.
Aldine ISD also has plans to create an Heritage Center and Museum to conserve the district’s history.
Moving to the next school district, Klein, Dr. Bret Champion is the new superintendent, he has been with the district for a month and one week. Klein has 51,000 students in which Hispanic students occupy the highest percentage in the district, Dr. Champion mentioned, and 8% are Asian. Klein district is also opening its newest elementary on FM 2920 and its 5th. high school is opening in 2017 which will hold from 3,500 to 4,000 students, he continued.
In technology, Klein has a one-on-one initiative where students get a laptop to take home, this helps them learn digital literacy and explore their natural curiosity. The district plans to increase it, Dr. Champion concluded.
Lastly, Dr. Rodney Watson, Spring ISD Superintendent, said on August 22 of this year, the district will have its own Early College; they also are working in partnership with LSC for an Early College program. The district is also getting a new building for additional space for administration, he said. Wunsche Sr. High School has received the highest rank, here the students focus on career pathways and it is now open to 9th graders.
The district has a “You Start Program” which focuses on academics and understanding changes in the community, Dr. Watson said, a committee has been working for 2 years to get to know the needs of the community. Dr. Watson also plans to integrate more technology into the curriculum and the district is now offering full day for Pre-K. “We’re also proposing a bond to fill gaps,” he said.
One thing all 3 superintendents agreed was to continually ask Legislation for more funding. In fact, transportation has not been updated since 1985, they said (superintendents). Aldine ISD also will work on college opportunities and dual credit this Legislative year.