Realignment Primer: Hightower moving up could create all-Fort Bend ISD district

Realignment Primer: Hightower moving up could create all-Fort Bend ISD district (Copyright (c) 2022 VYPE - All rights reserved)

There is a solid chance Fort Bend ISD will have a district all to itself when the UIL releases its biannual realignment Thursday morning.

With Hightower moving up to Class 6A from 5A, that evens out FBISD’s number of 6A schools to eight, making it likely that one district will consist of all eight FBISD schools.

Currently, FBISD has seven 6A schools partnered with Lamar Consolidated ISD’s George Ranch in 20-6A. With Hightower going up, it is probable George Ranch will be aligned elsewhere to avoid a nine-team district.

“It’s always fun to have your own district,” FBISD athletic director Dena Scott said. “That’s always something that’s pretty special for us. That would not be a bad thing. They could put somebody else in there with us, but you never know.”

Realignment is predicated upon enrollment numbers submitted last fall.

In all sports except for football, the Class 6A enrollment number cutoff is 2,225 and up. That puts FBISD’s Travis (3,110), Ridge Point (3,061), Elkins (2,587.5), Bush (2,537.5), Clements (2,491), Dulles (2.409), Hightower (2,365), and Austin (2,261) in that classification.

Kempner (1,981.5), Marshall (1,552.5), and Willowridge (1,309.5) remain 5A.

In football, Kempner would be classified as 5A-Division I, which consists of an enrollment from 1,925-2,224. Marshall and Willowridge will be 5A-Division II (1,300-1,924). There is no change in that regard; however, Marshall and Willowridge will likely be placed in a new district.

With Houston ISD opting to move its 5A schools to 6A to have everyone in the same classification, Marshall and Willowridge will be realigned in a district with a different look for 2022-2024.

Currently, they are aligned with Houston ISD’s Sterling, Madison, Sharpstown, Waltrip, and Northside, along with Galena Park ISD’s Galena Park.

“I try not to think about it too much beforehand and let the cards fall where they may,” Scott said. “I can only go on what’s happened in the past, and when I was here before, as an assistant at the beginning of my tenure, I remember Marshall and Willowridge with Texas City, Santa Fe, Galveston Ball. Going by the history, that may be where they end up again.”

It’s the nature of the beast that is UIL realignment. Fort Bend ISD will likely have its own 6A district but have more travel and logistical demands this realignment with its two smaller 5A schools.

“It’s exciting. I wouldn’t say I’m anxious,” Scott said of realignment. “The enrollment numbers have put them where they fall, and we anticipate the UIL putting us with schools of similar enrollment. Then we go from there, roll the dice, pull numbers and start doing schedules.”

In other district news, Scott said the FBISD board recently approved renovations for new field turf and complete track resurfacing at Hall Stadium.

“We’re excited to announce that and move forward with that,” Scott said. “We’re currently trying to work out a schedule of when best to start that project, but our intent is to have all of that done prior to the football season starting in July and August.”

Scott and her staff are in the process of determining logistics for the scheduling of track and field events this spring.