September 18, 2018
At Monday night's School Board meeting, supporters spoke positively about Katy ISD while others expressed concerns over the attendance boundary modifications.
(Katy ISD parent Eric San Miguel)
The Katy ISD Work Study meeting takes place once a month a week before the board meeting. This is the only time when members from the community can address the board with praise, concern or questions. In sharp contrast to past board meetings, there was no arguing between speakers and Katy ISD staff (generally due to speakers not following rules, being combative or going over their allotted time).
Attendance Boundary Modification Concerns
Survey results were presented to the board for the elementary and junior high Attendance Boundary Modification (ABM) set to go into place during the 2019/20 school year. The elementary modification that was voted on by parents aligns with the district's recommendation therefore, Ashley Vann suggested they move forward with a vote in November.
In contrast, the junior high ABM was not as clear cut. The district's recommendation was Option 1 but parents voted Option 3 overwhelmingly. Option 3 would mean more future modifications therefore more disruption to students. One of the several parents that spoke last night has three children in the district and respectfully asked that the modification be reassessed. He lives in the Highland Park neighborhood and his junior high will change from Tays to Cinco Ranch. Cinco Ranch would add bus service where it doesn't exist currently at Tays.
Board member Rebecca Fox informed the room that the parents can always send the board emails addressing concerns such as this. She said they do read the emails. Fox's concern was that one minute and thirty seconds was not enough time to appropriately address the concern. The junior high ABM vote was pushed back to December to allow more parental input. Several board members mentioned that their own children had been rezoned many times as well throughout their Katy ISD educations so they understand and sympathize with the parent's concerns as well as their tough decision.Parents Speak Up For KATY ISD
One of the speakers at Monday's meeting was Eric San Miguel, parent of two boys. He began by telling the board that his intention was to "praise" the staff of Hutsell Elementary who have done an amazing job with his son and him as a parent. One of San Miguel's sons was enrolled in PPCD as the district worked with him and explored the possibility of his son having Autism. San Miguel's son ended up not having Autism and is now in a regular classroom. Katy ISD has the highest percentage of "special needs students" among Houston-area schools due to their positive reputation in working with special needs children.
Mr. Colburn McClelland, Katy ISD parent, also spoke praises of Katy ISD. McClelland stated that before moving to Katy ISD, his family searched out the best school district to move to in Texas. They chose Katy. He stated "he is honored and glad to be here". McClelland also stated that he is "proud that he (Dr. Hindt) is our superintendant. I wish that Dr. Hindt would reconsider his position and take his position back as superintendant."
All of the positive speakers received a room full of claps. Even the speakers that would like Katy ISD to reconsider a position or suggested a change, received applause because they addressed the board even-toned and with respect.
Positive Use of Social Media
The Katy community has seen many times over the past few years the power of Facebook and the effects it can have...good and bad. During Harvey, Facebook was used to rescue trapped citizens and bring the community together. Since the beginning of 2018, citizens have seen Facebook be used negatively to tear down Katy ISD to the world bringing with it lots of outside, negative media. Last night, the Katy ISD community saw Facebook be used for good.
THE REAL KATY I.S.D. COMMUNITY FORUM was formed by a group of concerned Katy ISD parents that wanted to have open and honest discussions on all things Katy ISD. Community member and Katy ISD supporter, Robert Willeby, posted the following statement on the Facebook group page after the meeting.
"The REAL Katy ISD Community group played an important role in last nights attendance. I just wanted to mention this to the members and thank them for showing up. You have no idea the impact positive people can make until you see the destruction by the negative voices.
When I spoke about "being the light" last night, this is the type of light I was referring to. The light of truth."