Forest Brook Middle School before-and-after Harvey

HOUSTON – Before Hurricane Harvey hit, KPRC 2 learned for the first time since HISD took over Forest Brook Middle School it had been removed from the state’s Improvement Required list. However the storm changed the story.

“Ladies get to your right.” shouted Forest Brook Middle School principal Tannisha Gentry.

The first day of school can be a bit hectic for students but after waiting an extra month it can also be pretty exciting.

“You could actually see the excitement of them being here,” Gentry said.

It’s not just students. Teachers are excited to get back to work and to celebrate their school’s academic success.

“Our goal was to just meet standard and we did with three distinctions so that was awesome. We had a lot to celebrate for the beginning of the school year with the teachers,” Gentry said.

But before we could tell that story, “Harvey happened,” Gentry said. “I got a phone call that said that, you know, the first floor of Forest Brook was completely flooded … when I saw it my heart just kind of like, 'oh my gosh what are we going to do? what’s going to happen?'”

At first they hoped to reopen on the Sept. 18, Then the district said they may need to relocate. 

Miraculously the work got done before the deadline to start on Sept. 25. Now the staff is simultaneously in recovery and school mode, but will they lose their academic progress?

“I truly believe that you know what, this is a stepping stone. It happened so we’re going to overcome it and we’re going to move to the next level,” Gentry said.

There is still work to be done at Forest Brook. Most of the doors need to be replaced, the band hall needs some finishing touches, the athletic center needs an entirely new gym floor and many of the students need to be found. 

By that we mean the school is supposed to have about 915 students and only around 700 came to the first day of class.

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