Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Future for Houston Elementary School

District 2 Representative, Susie Byrd, and EPISD Trustee, Carlos Flores met this past Saturday to discuss the future of Houston Elementary. Representative Byrd sent the follow-up message below regarding that meeting.

Note that there is an important Board meeting this evening beginning at 5 p.m. If you wish to speak, you must be there before 5 p.m. to sign-up. Public Forum is item #8 on the agenda. Board meetings are held at 6531 Boeing Drive.

Carlos Flores and I met on Saturday with some parents, residents and teachers interested in coming up with an action plan to improve enrollment at Houston Elementary so that we are not faced with the same question of closing Houston Elementary in two years.

There are two meetings coming up that we would like everyone to be involved in. Please forward this note to your respective lists so we can get the word out.

This Tuesday, May 26th is the meeting of the Board of Trustees. Carlos asked that as many people as possible come to convey two messages: 1) keeping the school open was the right thing to do for the school and for the neighborhood and 2) we will work with the district to improve enrollment at Houston but we need their assistance in designating Houston as a dual language/fine arts magnet. The meeting starts at 5 P.M. but you need to be there before 5 to sign up for the call to the public. The meeting is at the administration building on Boeing. I will be there and I hope others can make it as well. It is important that we convey this message to the board.

We will also try to schedule another community/parent meeting on June 3 at Houston. I'll send more details as we get them but we want to get volunteers in our effort.

Our ultimate goal of keeping the school opened focused on the following:

Investment in the school

1. new and better programming
2. investment in the building
3. investment in campus (landscaping, playground equipment, multipurpose center)
4. new leadership

Investment in the neighborhood

1. Infill development
2. Investment in homes in the area (doing a better job of getting the word out about incentives and the neighborhood

Marketing of the school and the neighborhood

1. Talked about word of mouth about the school not being good, needing to turn this around (great teachers, great campus, etc.)
2. Recruitment campaign
3. Media campaign

So I think we got a good start and there seems to be a lot of interest. Elizabeth O'Hare and one of the teachers agreed to work on a volunteer effort to landscape the school.

Also, can folks email me if they would interested in sending their kids to Houston if it was designated as a dual language magnet program? I think we should get a petition of some sort going.


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