The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday night to rezone a portion of the Riverstone community from the Fort Settlement Middle School zone to First Colony Middle School next year.
The rezoning upset many Riverstone residents who have been very vocal about the proposal to balance enrollment between the two schools. The debate became so intense last month that Trustee Kristin Tassin wrote a letter to the editor accusing community members of bullying the board.
At Monday’s meeting, people spoke out on both sides of the issue, but ultimately the board moved forward with the rezoning. The action follows an annual enrollment review that was conducted in February.
In a letter to parents in February, Superintendent Charles Dupre explained the need to rezone the schools.
“We would implement these new boundaries in August 2019. To provide parents and students with as much time to plan as possible, we will expedite the attendance boundary planning process,” he wrote.
“Since we will be operating on a tight timeframe, the scope of this process will be narrow, and we will have limited community engagement. We expect the boundaries approved this spring to be a short-term solution to relieve FSMS. We plan to revisit the middle school boundaries when we conduct the boundary process for Elementary School 53, most likely in the fall of the 2020-21 school year. The school communities that could be impacted can expect to hear more information in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I want our students and parents to know that we are committed to supporting all students at all campuses,” Dupre wrote.
In a rebuttal to Tassin’s letter, Dr. Uma Ramamurthy, a Riverstone resident, said the community wants data, not perceptions, to drive rezoning decisions.
“Riverstone residents are fully aware that we live in a high-growth community. We are also aware that we are not the only growing community in FBISD. Many communities have been impacted by rezoning. However, nearly every year since the early 2010s, the Riverstone community has been threatened by the board of trustees with rezoning at the middle school level, and in many ways that is worse than rezoning because of how unsettling it actually is. No family can ever rest. No family ever knows what the next school year will bring. No family ever knows when the fight will ever be over. If the data supported the rezoning, families would support it. But when rezoning is based on perceptions and not on hard data, the fight will have to continue,” Ramamurthy wrote.