Superintendent Terry Grier stand behinds his staff’s proposal to close five schools here in Houston.
Those schools face low enrollment and also changes in the housing market.
“There’s a lot of issues that we’ve had to think through and wade through as a staff. None of these issues are pleasant. But it’s something that we feel like we need to discuss and talk about.”
The latest discussion is about what happens if those schools do close? What would happen, say, to Jones High School if its students went to other nearby campuses?
Mark Smith with HISD says at first it could serve as temporary classrooms for schools under construction. Then later Jones could reopen as a totally different school.
“We could take the money that was set aside for the bond and renovate Jones and turn it into a careers high school very similar to Barbara Jordan that could serve the southern part of the district.”
Trustee Wanda Adams says she and the superintendent talked on the phone about that very idea.
“After all the meetings and hearing all the concerns that you did call me and ask what other options can we provide. ‘Can we provide a similar Barbara Jordan? Would that work? Will vocational work?’”
There were other ideas for other schools. Maybe put a maritime academy at Port Houston Elementary if that’s closed.
Or create a new magnet for energy or law enforcement at Dodson Elementary if those students move.
The board will discuss the closings again at a meeting next week. Then they’ll take a final vote on March 13th.