Houston ISD removes 3 schools from list of proposed closures

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Parents are celebrating after Houston ISD removed three schools slated for possible closure off the chopping block; however, two schools remain in the danger zone.

Parents and guardians at Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary, Port Houston Elementary, and Fleming Middle School got the news late Wednesday afternoon.

"Just blessed," said parent Rachel Henderson who has a son at Henderson Elementary. "Just thankful that they changed their minds. Just thankful."

"I'm very happy," said father Terry Hill. "We stay right across the street and it's really convenient for us to get back and forth to drop the kids off."

The decision comes just weeks after a series of community meetings in which families and neighbors voiced their opposition to the potential closures of five campuses. It appears that input played a role.

In a statement, HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said, "The school closure proposal process has been about dialogue, feedback, and working together as a community to evaluate the potential impact of these changes and to find additional options and ways to make HISD schools stronger and better."

The announcement brings joy for three schools, but for two others it's a different story.

Parents and guardians at Jones High and Dodson Elementary are upset because their schools are still on the list for possible closure. Their fate will be announced after the school board meets next Thursday. Adults want the schools to remain open for the sake of tradition and convenience.

"It's going to be hard on a lot of parents in the area and the community," said Theresa Wilson whose grandson attends Jones High. "Some people don't have transportation and for the other kids to get back and forth to school."

The board will vote on the fate of Jones High and Dodson Elementary on March 13. They will announce their decision to parents the following day. The board will also vote on a proposal to redraw the boundaries for the Billy Reagan K-8 Educational Center.

District officials say that school has surpassed its slated capacity for students.

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