By Betsy Dolan
Tears and frustration from parents were common at a community forum April 2, to discuss the Lamar CISD Attendance Boundary Committee recommendations in regard to the opening of Adolphus Elementary in August.
The committee’s proposal will move some students who are currently attending McNeill, Frost and Hubenak elementaries to Adolphus. All of the elementaries, including Adolphus, feed into Briscoe Junior High and Foster High School.
Some parents who are not currently zoned to attend the new elementary school want their children to attend Adolphus. Other parents who are zoned to attend the new elementary school want their children to stay where they are.
“You just can’t continue to move my children,” said Melinda Litchfield, from the Parkway Lakes neighborhood. Her two children currently attend Hubenak after her neighborhood was re-zoned from McNeill two years ago. “(Adolphus) will be my fourth grader’s third elementary school. Our children need consistency. They have made friends and it isn’t fair.”
Residents in Long Meadow Farms, where Adolphus is being built, expressed frustration that a small section of their subdivision will not be attending the new school. Those kids are currently slated to stay at Frost Elementary.
“It isn’t right that we moved into a planned community but we’re not allowed to attend the school that is part of that community,” said Jennifer Taylor to the committee members in attendance at the forum. “Put the numbers away, listen to the parents, think about our kids and keep our neighborhood together.”
Re-zoning, always a touchy issue for both school districts and parents, is especially challenging for Lamar Consolidated ISD, one of the fastest growing school districts in the Houston area. Estimates indicate that over 29,500 new homes will be built in the district in the next 10 years. LCISD is already projecting the addition of seven new elementary schools in order to accommodate the growth. The district added 856 students last year alone.
The addition of Adolphus Elementary will ease over crowding issues along the Grand Parkway corridor and, according to the district, should minimize the need to re-zone those areas when new elementary schools are built.
Parents acknowledged the realities of a growing district and concerns about overcrowded schools but worry more about the impact re-zoning has on neighborhoods.
“I saw the impact of what the high school re-zoning did in Pecan Grove,” said LouAnn Grey who lives in Long Meadow Farms. “School growth is dividing communities and I’m worried that eventually Long Meadow Farms will be divided between three high schools.”
All of the information the committee used in its decision-making process is on the LCISD website.
If changes are made, an additional public input meeting will be held at Briscoe Junior High April 16 with the final recommendations made to the LCISD board on April 25.