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Bob is always looking for news about Katy Texas and the surrounding areas. Please e-mail me at bobgilbert2003@msn.com with any news you may feel needs a forum!
KATY ISD REZONING OF HIGH SCHOOLS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I have copied from the Katy ISD web site a list of questions and answers the District has provived regarding the recently announced rezoning of several neighborhoods into different Katy High Schools. I wrote a blog on February 9, 2010 that covers this issue and lists the neighborhoods that are affected. Katy ISD wants the information passed through the community.

 1. Why was Katy HS not considered as part of the attendance boundary modification plan? With the goal of minimizing multiple campus moves for students, recognizing that two new future high schools are projected in the southwest sector of the school district, modifications to the current Katy High School attendance zone is not under consideration at this time. In addition, a future projected major reconstruction project at Katy High School and associated phasing will result in a strain on existing capacity capability.

 2. What is the current enrollment and capacity at all Katy ISD High Schools? Click here for current enrollment projections and capacity numbers.

3. Will transportation be provided for grandfathered students? For the grandfathered students, transportation will be provided to all current high school students through the 2012-13 school year, after which time these students will have graduated. Any future younger sibling who attends the “original” high school with the older sibling will have transportation provided only through the 2012-13 school year, after which time transportation will cease.

4. How does Taylor High School compare academically to the other schools in this recommendation? Taylor High School is a quality high performing school which is recognized across the state for sustained excellence. For example, recent achievements include 10 National Merit Scholar Semi Finalists, Recognized by NCEA Just for the Kids Higher Performing Schools list, and qualifying for the state Academic Decathlon Competition this spring. All Katy ISD High Schools offer the same graduation plans as defined by the state of Texas. Course offerings and elective offerings are very similar. Each campus offers many Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses. State assessment tests demonstrate similar achievement levels. Of particular interest is that Taylor High School is currently rated as “Recognized” by TEA, missing “Exemplary” status by only 1% in one subject area tested. Click here to view related state achievement data. In addition, each campus has strong Fine Arts, UIL, academic and co-curricular programs often advancing to the state level of competition. The same is true in athletic competitions as each school has competed in one or more sports on the state level.

5. Will the district consider district-wide attendance boundary modifications? Not at this time. Due to ongoing projected enrollment growth, residential development (single and multi-family) and requisite new school facility construction projected over the next several years, district-wide attendance boundary modification review will not occur until residential build-out is reached within the District. Specific attendance boundary modifications will occur with both the construction of each new school facility, as well as in targeted situations to optimize enrollment capacity and balance enrollment between schools.

6. Why did Katy ISD select this public engagement process? The current process for establishing attendance boundaries was approved by the Board of Trustees in November 2008, to help remove the divisiveness that had occurred previously by using rezoning committees made up of advocates within impacted LUZs alone. Additionally, the public engagement portion of the process was selected because it allows all residents from anywhere in the district to participate within a structure that provides the district with productive and meaningful feedback. Input is open to all residents either by direct participation in a workshop or by submission of online questionnaires and surveys. The open mike-open forum format was modified to allow community members to dialogue with other members of the community and bring forth shared feedback as well as allowing individuals to provide input directly to the Administration.

7. What happens if the proposed facility referendum (bond) in November 2010 doesn’t pass? Existing campuses would have to absorb the additional students. Without a facility referendum there would be no funds available for the purchase of temporary classrooms to increase a campus’ capacity for students. It is projected that over the next several years, approximately 2,000 students per year will be added to the District. Classroom space must be found for these students. Existing support spaces (i.e. restrooms, cafeterias, etc.) may not be adequate to accommodate the increased enrollment.

8. Were all high schools considered in the attendance boundary modification to address the overcrowding at SLHS? Yes, all campuses were considered in this recommendation. However, high enrollment projections at SLHS were better addressed by moving students from CRHS to THS and SLHS to CRHS. This provided the most stability of any option and in addition improved feeder patterns. Although moving students to any other campus from SLHS might give relief, it would require areas to move several times with the opening of multiple new high school campuses projected over the next ten years resulting in an increased level of instability. Administration and community view stability as a desirable outcome.

9. Will my child be able to participate in UIL activities? Yes. Current 9-12 student-athlete’s UIL varsity eligibility is not affected because they are not changing schools. The sibling rule will allow student-athletes to go to the campus that the older sibling is attending with a Katy ISD intra-district transfer. You will not have to file a UIL residency waiver for varsity athletic eligibility. However, once you go to the campus that the older sibling is attending, you cannot transfer out without losing varsity athletic eligibility. Attendance boundary modification does not affect any sub-varsity athletic eligibility. If you have any other questions regarding UIL varsity athletic eligibility as it pertains to attendance boundary modification, please call the Katy ISD Department of Athletics at 281-396-7780, or you can contact any of the High School Campus Athletic Coordinators.

10. How will the course selection process work for students affected by the proposed ABM changes? Students will participate in the course selection process as planned at their current junior high school. Course selection information will be forwarded to the students' assigned high school later this spring. Since ninth grade course offerings are more standardized than upper class selections, moving from one high school to another as a freshman is relatively straight forward from a course selection standpoint. 11. Will current 8th grade students have equal opportunity to try out for Fine Arts, athletics, and other co-curricular programs? Yes. The proposed timeline for ABM approval provides ample time for students wishing to participate in these programs to be identified. The directors and coaches will ensure that students affected by the proposed ABM be provided equal opportunity to try out for the desired program.

The District ask us to periodically check back to see if they have provided more information regarding this topic.

Published Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:57 AM by Bob Gilbert

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