Groups plead their cases in KISD rezoning effort
Several neighborhood groups braved the cold Thursday to plead their respective cases in Klein Independent School District's intermediate attendance rezoning effort, which will be concluded in February.
Some groups were pleased with the latest draft of the district's preferred attendance zone option, which focuses on drawing lines for the new Ulrich Intermediate School zone and providing relief for the district's overcrowded and under-populated intermediate schools.
On the other hand, a large group of residents who live in residential communities in a slice of Klein ISD north of FM 1960 and south of Cypress Creek first lobbied, and then voiced frustration at what they saw as Klein ISD officials refusal to rezone their neighborhoods so that students in their community would feed into the same intermediate school as other neighborhoods that start out at Mittelstadt Elementary School.
Klein ISD officials said they would take all suggestions and comments into consideration before bringing a final proposal to the board at a Feb. 9 meeting.
We and the board of trustees have to look at the entire district," said Judy Rimato, Klein ISD's executive director of facilities. We live in a high-growth school district and we have to make tough choices sometimes because we are opening schools and have to move students into them. We try to keep emotions out of it, but that is hard to do because we care about our students."
Klein ISD Superintendent Jim Cain said the district's goal was to eventually have stable feeder patterns in which all elementary schools fed into designated intermediate schools, which then fed into specific high schools. That would be difficult to achieve though, until the available land in the district's boundaries was fully developed.
Residents in the Inverness and Waldenwood subdivisions off of FM 2920 said they were pleased with the district's Option 2" proposal, which showed their neighborhoods remaining at Krimmel Intermediate School instead of moving to the new Ulrich campus on Spring-Cypress Road. District officials said the move made sense because both subdivisions only had entrances on to FM 2920 the road on which Krimmel is located.
We would like to express our appreciation to the board," said Lisa Foster, an Inverness resident. Thank you for listening to us we feel like our voices have been heard."
Stan Burton, an Enchanted Oaks resident, said he and neighbors in several surrounding communities - Cypress Forest, Cypress Forest Estates, Cypress Forest Lakes and The Lakes of Cypress Forest - also preferred Option 2" because their neighborhoods would not be rezoned to Strack Intermediate School as proposed in Option 1."
It allows our children to remain with the rest of their friends going to Schindewolf and on to Klein Collins," Burton said. We don't see a reason to punish those kids when [we] have a workable plan."
Several Cypresswood Glen residents said they preferred Option 1" because it kept their neighborhood zoned to Schindewolf Intermediate. Option 2" moved their community into the Strack Intermediate School zone.
We are for proposition one we want to stay at Schindewolf," said Guadalupe Martinez, a Cypresswood Glen resident.
The group of residents who live in between FM 1960 and Cypress Creek said they believed they should have the same consideration as other groups of residents who had made rezoning requests that had been granted.
We ask you to look at us having more continuity in our zone," said Tonya Post, a Huntwick resident. Our neighborhood (Huntwick) is already divided into two school districts. Please look at making a change that would be very favorable for our neighborhoods."
Currently those neighborhoods - Brandonwood, Bridgewater Landing Condominiums, Brookfield Apartments, Cashel Forest Townhomes, Champion Oaks Apartments, Copper Creek Apartments, Cypress Creek Manor, Edinburgh Estates, Huntwick Apartments, Huntwick Sections V & VI, Old Bridge Lake Condominiums, Trophy Club Condominiums, Waterman's Crossing Condominiums, and Woods of Wimbledon are zoned to Mittelstadt Elementary, Wunderlich Intermediate, and Klein Forest High School.
The large group of residents at the forum said it made sense to rezone their communities to Kleb Intermediate during this intermediate zoning process, and then possibly Klein High School during the future high school rezoning process, so that their children could remain with fellow students who they befriended in elementary school.
Our children spend half of their school careers at Mittelstadt and then go as a small group to a school where they know very few children," said Nancy Westfall, a Cypress Creek Manor resident. Please look at our community this is affecting our children. It will be hard for them to maintain the relationships they have formed and that could be detrimental to their emotional and academic health."
They asked why the district has not considered their request, which has been made repeatedly over the years dating back about 20 years when the area was rezoned to the current feeder pattern.
Future is pure feeders
Robert Robertson, Klein ISD's assistant superintendent of facility and school services, said the district is moving in the direction of having pure feeder patterns and those subdivisions are in the Klein Forest feeder zone. Moving toward that goal, he said, there are plans to eventually rezone those neighborhoods to Greenwood Forest Elementary so that there is a pure feeder pattern.
However, at this time Greenwood Forest Elementary is over capacity, Robertson said. There are plans to conduct an elementary school rezoning effort later this year because the district plans to open two new elementary schools in 2011. That effort would also take a look at the entire district, as the intermediate rezoning effort did.
Cain said there were no plans at this time to alter the Klein Forest feeder patterns because that high school is not over capacity. However, he said, they would take residents' comments and suggestions into consideration.
Rimato said there are additional changes under study, including the rezoning of the Spring Creek Oaks and Spring Creek Forest subdivisions from Stack to Kleb because those neighborhoods are in the Klein High School feeder zone.
Rimato said Klein ISD would allow seventh grade students to stay at the campuses they currently attend if parents could provide transportation.
For information about the proposed zoning plan and options and a link for public comments go to http://www.kleinisd.net/default.aspx?name=Zoning.
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