A large concern for parents of students at Fort Bend Independent School District high schools was the potential of more rezoning and plans that could affect students in the southeast region of the district. The district announced on Friday that it will withdraw its recommendation to make any changes to high school rezoning boundaries. On Tuesday, the district’s board of trustees will be presented with a plan to keep the current attendance boundaries for those school in place for at least the next two years.
The rezoning became an issue as FBISD wanted to prioritize a new high school that was approved in the 2018 bond. To build the new high school and adjoining elementary school, voters approved the $1 billion project in November.
FBISD superintendent sent the following message to parents:
“Our decision to withdraw our recommendation for high school attendance boundary changes at this time is based on several factors, including the identification of a site for building High School 12 and the Board’s desire to take immediate action to secure the site. This provides a more clear path forward and will enable the drawing of boundaries for the new high school and minimize the disruption to students of rezoning to balance enrollment and rezoning again to open High School 12. Our decision was also informed by the Board’s discussion at Monday’s Board Workshop, where they expressed concerns about how frequent rezoning affects our students and communities and the need to provide more long-term solutions for high school programming and building utilization.
“During Tuesday’s Board meeting, we will ask the Board for authorization to negotiate the purchase of an 80 acre-tract of land, and will share more about how we are aggressively pursuing options that could lead to an earlier opening of HS 12, in the 2022-23 school year, instead of the 2024-25 school year.
“While we will not recommend any action to change high school attendance boundaries at this time, the board will have the authority to discuss and possibly take action on changes, should they see fit.
“More information about these plans will be shared with the Board on Tuesday night, and, at the same time, we will also share a thorough overview of our plans to expand programming at Marshall High School and Willowridge High School, as set forth in the 2018 Facilities Master Plan. We have heard concerns regarding the long-term investments in these schools to assure improved student achievement and increased building utilization, and I can see where we have fallen short in effectively engaging these communities in the planning efforts thus far. While we are asking for the approval of Early College and P-TECH programs at WHS, MHS and HHS, we will continue to work with our school communities to determine what other programming options could benefit our students.
“In closing, I want to acknowledge how appreciative I am that the community has joined with us in this journey. I am very aware that considering boundary changes is not easy, but we have committed to doing so with our community in a way that honors the engagement process and is responsive to the expectations set forth by our community and the leadership of our Board of Trustees I wish you a safe and relaxing weekend.”