KISD continues growth trend, seeks feedback on ESSER funds

By R. Hans Miller, News Editor
Posted 11/16/21

During its regular meeting, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees discussed obtaining community feedback regarding the use of federal money from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and …

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KISD continues growth trend, seeks feedback on ESSER funds

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During its regular meeting, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees discussed obtaining community feedback regarding the use of federal money from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and heard an update on the district's rapidly increasing population.

“The 2021 data continues to show that Katy ISD is the fastest-growing school district in the Greater Houston area, having grown by over 11,000 students in the past five years alone,” said KISD Chief Operations Officer Ted Vierling. “As the district continues to build out, we must plan accordingly so that we are always positioned to continue providing unparalleled educational experiences to the over 88,000 students that we serve.”

Pat Guseman, a demographer with Population and Survey Analysts – also known as PASA – said the district continues to see rapid growth, especially in the northwestern portion of KISD’s geographic bounds. That growth is projected to take the district’s current enrollment of about 88.000 to nearly 97,000 by 2026 and more than 104,000 by 2031. To address that growth, Guseman said the district would need to add another high school, increase student capacity at Schmalls Elementary, adjust zoning for Golbow Elementary and add another elementary in the northwestern portion of the district to prevent or relieve overcrowding at Bethke and Leonard elementaries. The new high school campus would relieve pressure at Paetow and Katy high schools, she said.

Funding for the additional campuses and renovations was approved earlier this year when KISD voters approved a $676.2 million bond package, Guseman said.

Estimates in population increases reflect additional subdivisions and apartment complexes coming to the Katy area, she added.

Trustees also heard from staff regarding plans to use ESSER funds. The federal money is restricted in how it may be used, staff said. The federal money is generally intended to help schools address learning losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and assist with returning students to campuses safely.

Staff explained that the district is focusing on mental health, counseling, nursing staff, college and career advising and programs to otherwise help students catch up to their grade levels after setbacks associated with virtual education.

To review the district’s ESSER plans, district residents may visit https://bit.ly/KISDESSER. Anyone wishing to provide feedback to the district regarding the use of ESSER funds may email the district at ESSER@katyisd.org. Feedback must be received no later than Nov. 30.

Trustees also:

  • Recognized Morton Ranch High School alumnus and 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist Tamyra Mensah Stock for her achievements as an athlete.
  • Recognized Taylor High School’s Future Farmers of America chapter for its national championship earned in October.
  • Approved remodeling plans for Katy Elementary School (more information will be provided on this topic in our next edition).
  • Approved remodeling plans for the Miller Career and Technology Center.
  • Approved the financial reports for September 2021 and budget amendments for November 2021.
  • Observed four new KISD Police Department officers get sworn in.
  • Approved curriculum changes for the district’s standard and honors courses.
  • Heard from parents regarding their objection to books they deemed “pornographic” in content being included in KISD libraries.
  • Approved the formation of a committee to name KISD Elementary No. 44. Those wishing to submit a naming recommendation should send their suggestion to schoolnaming@katyisd.org.

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