Katy ISD board considers boundary survey

As Katy ISD expands and new campuses are built, the board of trustees is considering modifying school boundaries to accommodate the changes. As a result, current students find themselves faced with the possibility of being moved to a different school in the shuffle. The two new Katy ISD schools, Elementary No. 43 and Jordan High School, are being built to ease the saturation of current area schools, but new schools mean new boundaries.

Elementary No. 43 will affect the Bethke Elementary boundaries; Jordan High School will impact the Tompkins High School, Katy High School and Seven Lakes High School boundaries.

At the Sept. 23 school board meeting, the trustees reviewed the preliminary results of a boundary survey and listened to the statements from frustrated students who don’t want to have to change schools in the middle of their academic progress.

Amber Hall, a student at West Memorial Junior High said, “I don’t think it would be fair to split up my whole friend group because (Katy High School) is overcrowded.” Hall requested that the entire junior high be rezoned to the same high school. “I believe that you should think about all schools that go to Katy, not just a few,” she concluded.

Heidi Rice, mother of a student at Katy High School added, “I know that y’all have heard this and are doing your best to figure this out… yes, it’s an emotional thing, but to take us and split us up is wrenching our heart out.”

After the public comments, the board of trustees heard a presentation on the preliminary boundary survey from Jennifer Coisson of K12 Insight. The survey, which opened June 18 and will close in October, is a collection of feedback on boundary modifications from parents and the Katy community.

As of Sept. 8, the survey had 256 elementary level responses and 3,460 high school responses.

According to the survey, 51 percent of parents whose children were moved in a boundary modification found the experience to be positive in hindsight.

Forty percent of the elementary responses fully support the rezoning, while 19 percent do not. The remaining percentages fell in the middle or were “not sure”.

Statistics were similar at the high school level with 41 percent supporting the boundary modification and 24 percent opposing it.

The survey ends in October. Anyone in the community is welcome to take the survey at the Katy ISD website, www.katyisd.org.