HOUSTON – Clear Creek ISD welcomed back 42,000 students for the new school year. It's one of our area's largest school districts and it continues to grow.
“The excitement in this building is just bursting," said Campbell Elementary Principal Erin Tite.
School officials expect another elementary and intermediate school to be built by next year, and with the district expected to keep adding more students in the next several years, some big changes were needed to keep up with all that growth.
NEW SCHOOLS, NEW ADDITIONS
With a new school, new classrooms and new technology, Clear Creek ISD is welcoming big changes this new school year.
There's a lot to used to, but Tite says they're ready.
“We sent out detailed maps," Tite said. "We have dismissal maps, we have morning spot maps, we have arrival maps, and the teachers have a separate set of maps for all of their procedures."
The brand-new campus at Campbell Elementary will house 700 students, and it has lots of cool new additions, including "wobbly stools" for students who don't like to sit still.
There are also two new science labs -- one with virtual reality -- a big projector for joint lessons and each classroom is equipped with 15 iPads.
“Students will be able to videotape what they are doing in class and their work stations and then upload it," Tite said. "Parents will be able to see what kids are doing in the classroom."
Communications director Elaina Polsen says League City Elementary School was completely rebuilt.
Renovations were also made at Clear Lake City Elementary and Stewart Elementary in Kemah and at Clear Lake Intermediate.
With new schools and major renovations because of the overcrowding, some boundary changes were made, too.
“With that, we have about 1,000 students who will be changing schools this year," Polsen said. "That has been fully communicated and some of our high school have had some tweaks to their zones."
Polsen said if you are in high school you will be able to stay in your high school. The boundary change is only for the younger grades.
In the past, students who lived fewer than 2 miles from school you did not get a school bus, but this year Clear Creek ISD is adding three new buses for the school year giving more students bus rides to schools.
MORE STUDENTS, SCHOOLS MEANS MORE SAFETY
The district's growth comes with the need for more safety measures.
Clear Creek ISD has some big plans when it comes to keeping your kids out of harm's way.
“At Clear Creek ISD we have 42,000 students that we’re going to welcome back to school come Monday morning and we couldn’t be more excited," says Polsen.
School officials say brand new school Campbell Elementary was designed to lessen overcrowding in the Western part of League City where it's considered the district's fastest-growing area.
Polsen says major renovations and additions at several area schools help keep kids safe by making this one change.
“One of our goals in safety was to remove portable buildings," Polsen said. "In order to do that, you need to provide additions or new schools.”
Safety is Clear Creek's No. 1 priority. Not just with new construction but with putting in place several important safety measures for students, parents and teachers.
“Certainly after the tragedies in Santa Fe and Parkland, it renewed our spirit and desire to do more for our kids," said Polsen.
A school safety committee was formed last summer with parents, students, community members and law enforcement officials.
They came up with 39 recommendations, which included new hardware for all the schools' doors, new digital surveillance cameras, fenced-in play areas and new front entrance vestibule for high schools.
“Basically we are encasing our lobby reception desk to give them extra protection from the external side of the public," said Polsen.
School officials have found community members want to know what's going on too, and are using the Emergency Mobile app to help keep people informed.
"If there’s an emergency at any of our campuses that will require a response, they will be notified of that," said Polsen.
To get the app, just type Clear Creek ISD in your app store.
The school also has 15 more police officers and all doors to the outside will be locked. There will only be one way in and out of school for students and that is the front entrance.
All students in every school in Clear Creek ISD is required to do a lockdown drill at least once per semester.
And for the next 60 days, parents will be invited to come and do that safety training at their child's school.
Contact your school for more information.