Students, parents react after Kingwood High School closure announced

By Brandon Walker - Reporter

KINGWOOD, Texas - Flood damage from Hurricane Harvey may keep Kingwood High School closed for the 2017-2018 school year, Humble ISD confirmed Saturday.

"It actually put me in tears," said Chelle Northcutt, describing her emotions after seeing pictures of damage inside the school.

READ: Kingwood High School won't reopen for school year; students to attend Summer Creek HS

Northcutt, whose daughter is a freshman at Kingwood High School, is an alumna of the high school herself.

Humble ISD released pictures and video of the damages inside Kingwood High School.

"The water penetrated all of the first floor up to the point where there was probably about two feet of water on the second floor," said Elizabeth Fagen, superintendent of Humble ISD.

Fagen told KPRC2 the school district conducted a study of what to do with Kingwood High School's nearly 2,800 students.

Administrators said the best option was to keep the students together. They hope to do so by having Kingwood High School students and faculty attend class at Summer Creek High School, which has space to accommodate both student bodies.

"The really viable option that keeps Kingwood High School students together in a format that is Kingwood High School as they know it is for them to share a campus with Summer Creek High School," Fagen said.

Still, some parents worry Kingwood High School students will not be kept together, fearing the Texas Education Agency will divvy up Kingwood High's student body and place students all over the district.

"We've had families lose homes, possessions and our kids are resilient, our Kingwood High School students are awesome, but their mental health and to keep them together I think is a very important thing for the community," said Liz Strong, whose daughter is a senior at Kingwood High School.

Fagen said she is pushing for students to stay together -- and that's the plan her office is following.

Other parents from Kingwood and Summer Creek High Schools agree keeping Kingwood High School students together is the best option.

"That's how teenagers identify. They identify as their high school and we can't take their identity away from them when they've already lost so much," Northcutt said.

"I see this as an opportunity to support these students and staff members who have already lost so much," said Julie Hill, parent of a senior at Summer Creek High School.

In order for the consolidation plan to work, Humble ISD is considering two options, allowing parents from both schools to weigh in on the matter.

The first option, according to the district, would have Summer Creek classes meet in the mornings. Kingwood High School classes would meet in the afternoons at Summer Creek, Monday through Friday.

The second option has Summer Creek classes meeting Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a full day of school. Kingwood High School would meet Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for a full day at Summer Creek.

The Texas Education Agency has to approve a final plan. The first day of classes for both student bodies is Monday, Sept. 11. 

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