Bellaire - Meyerland - West University Edition | August 2022

BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION 2022 VOLUME XX, ISSUE XX  XXXXXXXXXX, 2022

ONLINE AT

EDUCATION EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 4  AUG. 431, 2022

HISD ups teacher pay, confronts budget decit

PATCHING HOLES Houston ISD provided a boost in employee pay in its scal year 2022-23 budget, but more than one-third of the funds came through one-time federal funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program.

University corridor moves forward IMPACTS

7

FY 202223 general fund budget

Employee compensation package: $132.95M in spending will provide raises of 11% on average for district teachers.

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Expenditures: $2.266B

A transformation is underway in Houston ISD at a time when the dis- trict is expecting budget decits in the coming years, including a $31 million decit projected for scal year 2022- 23, which started in July. The rst part of a strategic plan meant to transform HISD came to fruition June 9 when district trustees unanimously adopted the FY 2022- 23 budget. It included roughly a 11% bump in pay on average for all district teachers. The starting pay for a new teacher increased by more than 8%, from $56,869 to $61,500. “This will be the largest increase that HISD has gotten in [its] history,” said Jackie Anderson, president of the CONTINUED ON 14

Revenue: $2.133B

There is a budget shortfall of $133M.

$50M: indirect costs $52M: employee salaries

$102M

$102M in one-time federal coronavirus relief funds will help plug holes.

TRANSPORTATION

8

Quotes of note

Draft released of new council district maps

These [ESSER] resources have allowed us to make major investments in our students and teachers, but these funds are

This will be the largest increase [in pay] that HISD has gotten in history. JACKIE ANDERSON, PRESIDENT, HOUSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS

not permanent. MILLARD HOUSE II, HOUSTON ISD SUPERINTENDENT

CITY & COUNTY

9

EDUCATION EDITION 2022

SOURCE: HOUSTON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

West University Place lays out facility upgrades in new plan

Future project spending

West University Place’s capital improvement plan puts $37.97 million into facilities.

DISTRICT SNAPSHOT

11

CAMPUS DATA SCHOOL SAFETY

13 12

Drainage: $95.79 million Facilities/technologies: $38.76 million

BY GEORGE WIEBE

The city of West University Place is undertaking the larg- est public facilities makeover in the city’s history as spacing issues and aged infrastructure creep in. Since December, West University has held a series of pub- lic meetings to discuss its ve-year facilities master plan, which involves adding, renovating, expanding and relocat- ing key city buildings. The facilities plan is part of the city’s broader $174.26 million capital improvement plan outlining CONTINUED ON 18

Total: $174.26 million

Water: $26.28 million Streets: $6.42 million Wastewater: $6 million Parks: $1.02 million Learn more about new and upcoming facilities on Page 18.

SOURCE: WEST UNIVERSITY PLACECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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THIS ISSUE

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Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 30 hyperlocal editions across the state with a circulation to more than 2.4 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM JAY: The front-page story of our Education Edition looks at Houston ISD and the current transformation underway. A budget unanimously adopted by district trustees in June included an approximate 11% increase in teacher salaries overall and is part of a ve-year strategic plan to guide how HISD will invest in schools.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • AUGUST 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

COMPILED BY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER STAFF

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding E I M E R R D .

W. ALABAMA ST.

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RICHMOND AVE.

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BISSONNET ST.

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WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE

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HERMANN PARK DR.

GULFTON ST.

HERMANN PARK

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COMING SOON 5 Mandito’s Tex Mex is planning to open its rst Houston-area restaurant at 5101 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire. The restau- rant, coming out of Round Top, Texas, serves its own brand of Tex-Mex style cuisine, including burrito bowls, enchila- das and autas. The Bellaire site will be Mandito’s second location. www.manditos.com 6 Chicken Salad Chick will open in late August or early September at 5310 Weslayan St., Unit W01, Houston. The fast-casual concept specializes in Southern-style chicken salad dishes as well as fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts. More than 50 new Texas locations of the Alabama-based chain are expected to open over the next ve years. www.chickensaladchick.com RENOVATIONS 7 Nine Memorial Hermann urgent care facilities in the Houston area underwent renovations in late June before reopening July 1 as Memorial Hermann-GoHealth Urgent Care centers, including the West University Pediatric Urgent Care at 3501 W. Holcombe Blvd., Houston. The renovations updated design and technol- ogy to “optimize workows and improve the patient experience,” ocials said. Memorial Hermann clinicians provide both in-person and virtual care at the centers. The centers are equipped to treat non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, and complete sports physicals for children. Centers are available for walk-ins, or appointments can be made online. 281-407-9341. 288 FANNIN ST. 90 CounterCommon Beerworks & Kitchen GEORGE WIEBECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

UNIVERSITY BLVD.

A groundbreaking was held July 8 for two new soccer elds in Gulfton. FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Ocials with Harris County Precinct 4 and the Gulfton community broke ground July 8 on two new hard-surface mini soccer pitches in Houston’s Gulfton neighborhood. Located in Burnett-Bayland Park at 6000 Chimney Rock Road, Houston, the July 8 groundbreaking event took place three weeks after FIFA chose Houston as one of the 16 host cities for the 2026 World Cup. “Soccer is a tool in the building of community, of helping us come together,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle said at the groundbreaking. The Dynamo, Houston’s Major League Soccer team, partnered with Harris County to develop 15 mini-pitches across the city and county. The project includes lighting, fencing, goals, benches and lockable storage at the site. An opening timetable for the new parks had not been set as of press time Aug. 1. GEORGE WIEBECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

W. HOLCOMBE BLVD.

BELLAIRE BLVD.

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BELLAIRE

BRAYS BAYOU

PINE ST.

N. BRAESWOOD BLVD.

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BEECHNUT ST. MEYERLAND

S. BRAESWOOD BLVD.

MAP NOT TO SCALE

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NOW OPEN 1 Ocials with the Houston Community College system opened a new Security Operations Center , a simulated training lab, at the system’s West Loop campus on June 24 at 5601 West Loop 610 South, Houston. The building is designed to prepare students for high-skilled jobs in cybersecurity and was funded through a $650,000 state grant. It features a training ground where students can play out scenarios and defend against cyber- attacks in a controlled environment. Over 500 students are enrolled in cybersecuri- ty at the campus. 713-718-2000. www.hccs.edu WILLOWBEND BLVD. 2 Bellaire’s newest brewpub, Counter- Common Beerworks & Kitchen , opened July 8 at 5413 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire, near the Chimney Rock Road intersection. The venue features Asian and Latin dishes, and German beer. Co-founder Jamie Robles said he aiming to build an experience where family and friends can enjoy “excel- lent food and beer.” 713-393-7765. www.countercommon.com

3 Scenthound , a dog wellness and grooming chain, opened July 11 at 4850 Beechnut St., Houston, across from Meyerland Plaza. The groomers provide coat, ear, nail, skin and dental care to all breeds. The opening is part of a string of expansions, including another Houston location coming to the River Oaks area at 2621 S. Shepherd Drive, Houston, later this year. 281-884-9191. www.scenthound.com/houston-tx-013 4 Business partners Emily Durham and Ashley Rosenfeld—two longtime residents of the Bellaire and Meyerland areas— opened Southern Sweets Bakehouse , a comfort-style cafe and bakery, in Meyer- land June 23. Located at 4530 Beechnut St., Houston, the bake shop oers a “bake like your grandmother used to” experi- ence, Durham said. The homemade aair features a variety of coee options, ice cream and baked goods, such as cookies, muns and cakes. Flavors include Fruity Pebble & Flu Cookies and Sage, Brown Butter & Honeycomb Biscuits, among others. 713-485-0954. www.southernsweetsbakehouse.com

GULFTON ST.

N

WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL 

2280 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030 713-357-7391 www.ascentemc.com WALK IN OR REGISTER ONLINE

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • AUGUST 2022

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES METRORapid University Corridor project moves forward

COMPILED BY RENEE FARMER & GEORGE WIEBE

ONGOING PROJECTS

AMHERST ST.

A

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County hosted public forums in July on its plans to expand METRORapid lines along the University Corridor, impacting the Alief, Third Ward and Gulfton neighborhoods. The proposed METRORapid University Corridor project would be a new, dedicated a bus rapid transit line between the Westchase Park & Ride near the intersection of Westpark and Sam Houston tollways and the Tidwell Transit Center near the intersection of Tidwell Road and Hwy. 59. While the project itself was approved by voters in 2019, METRO was seeking input in July regarding route alignments. The project will now continue in the development phase with ongoing studies con- ducted to analyze how the project may impact the environment. The studies will allow METRO and the public to make informed deci- sions on how best to move forward

The proposed METRORapid University Corridor project is a bus rapid transit line projected to run 25.3 miles from the Westchase Park & Ride to the Tidwell Transit Center. Construction is tentatively set to begin in 2025 and finish in 2028. Corridor proposal

T

TIDWELL RD.

B

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Phase 5

HOLCOMBE BLVD.

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 18. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BMWNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Buffalo Speedway improvement The western portion of the A in- tersection of Buffalo Speedway and University Boulevard closed July 11 for up to six weeks with the intersec- tion set to reopen in late August. The closure allows crews to work on B the third phase of the Buffalo Speedway improvement project, which is expect- ed to be complete in late 2022. Phase 3 tackles road surface reconstruction and drainage improvements between Am- herst Street and Holcombe Boulevard. Timeline: March 2021-late 2022 Cost: $23 million Funding sources: city of West Univer- sity Place, federal grants

10

Westchase Park & Ride

Tidwell Transit Center

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Phase 2

Phase 4

Phase 3

Phase 1

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SOURCE: METROPOLITAN TRANSIT AUTHORITY OF HARRIS COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

with the project. Once the studies are complete, the project will move to the engineering phase in late 2023, METRO officials said. The line will operate mostly in METRO-owned right of way in Phase 1—running from the Westchase Park & Ride to the Westpark/Lower Uptown Transit Center; however, it will operate on city of Houston streets throughout Phases 2-5, which run to

the Tidwell Transit Center. Connec- tions will be available to the MET- RORail Red, Green and Purple lines; METRORapid Silver Line; five transit centers; three park and rides; and 14 high-frequency local bus routes. Construction on the line is ten- tatively scheduled to begin in 2025 with completion estimated for 2028. A cost for the project has not yet been determined, METRO officials said.

       

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & COUNTY

News from Bellaire, Houston and Harris County

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS BELLAIRE The preliminary scal year 2022-23 budget was presented to Bellaire City Council at a July 18 meeting. The proposed $28.4 million budget would maintain the city’s $0.4473 tax rate, which would increase tax revenue by 4% annually. The budget would also raise expenditures by 5%, which includes $17.58 million for regular employee salaries and benets, an 11% increase from FY 2021-22. Budget workshops and are slated to be held over Aug. 15-16. Bellaire City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire. Meetings are streamed at www.bellairetx.gov. West University Place City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at 3800 University Blvd., Houston. Meetings are available via teleconference. Find details at www.westutx.gov. Houston City Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 9 for public comment and 9 a.m. Aug. 10 for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. MEETINGS WE COVER

Bellaire hires new city manager after 2-year search

Houston continues redistricting with reveal of potential new boundaries

BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

data, District C, which includes Meyerland, is overpopulated by 15%. If the draft plan is approved, Rice University would be moved to District D, and the district’s south- west corner—where the Robindell neighborhood resides—would be moved to District J. The Robindell shift was some- thing asked of constituents during a town hall process. Other speakers from District C voiced concerns about Rice University potentially moving at a July 20 public hearing. District C resident Kathie East- erly said the university is closely tied to West University Place, Rice Village and Rice Alliance, all of which are in District C. However, Mayor Sylvester Turner said he did not think Rice University moving would be a major issue for the area. New maps could be brought back for a vote in September.

HOUSTON The city of Houston gathered public feedback through- out July on proposed maps for new Houston City Council district boundaries. Redistricting occurs every 10 years based on data from the decennial U.S. census and public input. Jerry Wood, who is consult- ing with the city as a demographer, designed the map to comply with city requirements and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 while reecting the population changes. To be in compliance with city guidelines, the population in each district must be relatively equal, not break up county voting precincts, avoid the diminishing of voting power by demographic concentration or dilution, and preserve incumbent and constitu- ent relations. According to the population

BELLAIRE After a nearly two-year search, BY GEORGE WIEBE

the Bellaire City Council unanimously approved the

Sharon Citino

appointment of Sharon Citino as the new city manager July 11.

Citino previously worked for the city of Houston, operating as the water planning director in the public

works department in 2018. Former City Manager Paul

Hofmann stepped down from the role in August 2020 and, since then, the city has had two interim city man- agers, including most recently Fire Chief Deacon Tittel. Citino’s start date is set for Aug. 15.

Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • AUGUST 2022

Reaching out to our neighbors in need

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2022 EDUCATION EDITION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER IS PROUD TO SAY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSOR.

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DISTRICT DATA

Data and information from local school districts

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

202122 STUDENT STATISTICS

SOURCES: HOUSTON ISD, TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HOUSTON ISD Enrollment at Houston ISD during the 2022-23 school year is projected to be slightly lower than it was last year. Drops in enrollment were similar in proportion to declines in total teachers staed by the district through the 2021-22 school year.

Economically disadvantaged students 79.2%

English learners

Special education students

35%

8.5%

Statewide

60.61% 21.66%

11.7%

STUDENT ENROLLMENT

Percentage change from 2019-20: 7.6%

STAFFING, SALARIES AND SUBSTITUTES

Total number of teachers*

Average salary by position, 2021-22

12,000

Statewide

9,000

-7.4%

$350,000 Superintendent

6,000

$59,161 Teaching sta

3,000

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23*

0

*PROJECTED

$58,887

2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22

$68,227 Support sta

Starting teacher salary

REVENUE SOURCES

*PROJECTED

$80,000

+13.1%

$69,330

2019 20

2020 21

2021 22

2022 23*

$60,000

$93,003 Administrative sta

$40,000

$2.7B TOTAL REVENUE:

$2.39B TOTAL REVENUE:

$2.07B TOTAL REVENUE:

$2.16B TOTAL REVENUE:

$20,000

$92,806

$2.1B LOCAL

$1.9B LOCAL

$1.9B LOCAL

$2.1B LOCAL

0

$22,366 Paraprofessional sta

2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23

$248.3M STATE $352.6M FEDERAL

$169.7M STATE $124.6M FEDERAL

$157.2M STATE $17.2M FEDERAL

$190.7M STATE $71.9M FEDERAL

$15-$18

Associate teacher hourly pay**

$23,015

*TOTAL IS THE FULLTIME EQUIVALENT AND MAY INCLUDE PARTTIME POSITIONS. **RANGES VARY BASED ON EXPERIENCE AND OTHER FACTORS.

11

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • AUGUST 2022

SAFETY

Education Agency announced in June they would examine safety plans and locks on external doors at school districts across the state prior to the start of the school year. SOURCE: HOUSTON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • Install 140-180 closed-circuit security cameras on campuses School safety Houston ISD ocials are exploring safety enhancements, including to doors and locks. Entryways • Option A: visitors go through two rooms to get into school • Option B: visitors check in at window, reinforced by hardened glazing Doors • All walls and doors have hardened glazing • Remove doorknobs from all doors • Only administrators able to open electronically controlled doors Other • Build 8-foot-tall fences around campuses • Install access-control systems in parking garages

Houston ISD looks into new school safety enhancements

Bankhead said he also wants to ren- ovate the exterior doors so they do not have a doorknob on the outside and can only be opened with an access key. This way, intruders will not have anything to pull on if they try to break in, Bankhead said. “A lot of times in my business, we spend hundreds, millions of dollars on special security systems, and they’re defeated by a $2 wedge of wood in the door,” Bankhead said. All doors will be lockable from the inside. Many district schools, includ- ing those constructed after a 2007 bond election, already have doors like this, Bankhead said, but some older schools do not. Bankhead said he also looks to install 140-180 new closed-circuit security cameras on HISD campuses. Finally, Bankhead said he wants to compartmentalize the campuses. It will be easier for administrators to control dierent parts of the building if it is separated into sections, he said. “In the case of emergencies, we can even shut o dierent parts of the building,” Bankhead said. Meanwhile, ocials with the Texas

BY OLIVER CAPITO

to open the electronically controlled doors. However, not all schools will be able to renovate their entrances using this plan because it is not cost-eective, Bankhead said. In those cases, schools can use a second option described as a “teller window,” Bankhead said. Visitors would check in at the window, which is reinforced by hardened glazing, and be able to go into the school without using a second room. In order to discourage unwanted visitors from even getting into the school, Bankhead proposed building 8-foot-tall fences around campuses, using vegetation, signs and other measures to ensure clear boundary lines. Parking garages and lots will have access-control systems so only students and sta will be allowed to enter them.

Ahead of the start of the 2022-23 school year, ocials with Houston ISD received an update on plans to renovate district schools to make them safer against potential intruders. Renovations include two options for campus entrances as well as exterior and interior security measures. Dan Bankhead, general manager of HISD’s Construction Services Depart- ment, rst unveiled plans at a May 25 meeting of the district’s School Safety and Security committee, which took place one day after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The rst entrance prototype has visitors going through two rooms to get into the school, which Bankhead said will be easier to channel people through an entrance where adminis- trators will be present. All walls and doors would have hardened glazing, and only administrators would be able

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12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CAMPUS DATA

2022 EDUCATION EDITION

A closer look at campus-level standardized test scores and other data COMPARING CAMPUS SCORES COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ More than half of the schools in the Bellaire, Meyerland and West University areas saw drops in enrollment between the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, with the biggest decreases seen at the middle school level. The percentage of students who are approaching grade level on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness was generally higher in the local area compared to the district overall. HOUSTON ISD

Understanding the table

The following tables reveal test results from the 2021-22 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam. Tables also include enrollment data, feeder school campuses and the percentage of students considered economically disadvantaged.

STAAR RESULTS Results show the percentage of students within the district and each campus who are approaching the grade level, which is considered passing.

ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED These students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, come from a family with an income below the poverty line, or are eligible for other specic benets.

SOURCES: HOUSTON ISD, TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY, TEXAS LEGISLATURECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FAQ ON MAGNET SCHOOLS

202122 STAAR PASSING RESULTS BY GRADE

ENROLLMENT

WHAT ARE MAGNET SCHOOLS? Magnet schools are part of Houston ISD’s school choice system that oer specialized education programs related to a given theme. Themes in HISD include dual language, ne arts and college preparatory schools, among others. HOW DO HOUSTON ISD STUDENTS ENROLL IN MAGNET SCHOOLS? Students looking to enroll in one of HISD’s magnet schools must submit an application, the process for which varies from school to school. Students can submit applications to any magnet school in the district, regardless of where they live. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAGNET SCHOOL AND A VANGUARD SCHOOL? Vanguard schools are designed for students in HISD’s Gifted & Talented program and feature accelerated curricula. Vanguard schools fall within the broader magnet program alongside other programs, such as ne arts.

3RD

4TH

5TH

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

State average District average

N/A N/A 77% 70% 77% 69% 80% 75% 66% N/A N/A N/A N/A 73% 66% 72% 65% 76% 72% 59% N/A N/A 630 -7.5% 76% 64% 65% 66% 62% 64% 29% 93% 18, 20 734 1% 94% 88% 92% 83% 88% 84% 79% 36.6% 21 697 -2.7% 63% 48% 80% 76% 85% 72% 61% 98.1% 18 770 -5.3% 83% 72% 72% 59% 81% 75% 59% 54.7% 18 755 0.1% 95% 91% 90% 92% 96% 95% 94% 17.7% 21 744 2.5% 96% 93% 85% 82% 96% 92% 91% 28.2% 20 677 1% 75% 43% 73% 58% 79% 59% 44% 76.2% 21 635 0.2% 86% 83% 95% 90% 89% 90% 76% 36.2% 20 863 -0.8% 95% 88% 85% 85% 88% 82% 73% 44.7% 20

1 Anderson

2 Condit 3 Elrod 4 Herod 5 Horn 6 Kolter

7 Longfellow

8 Lovett 9 Parker

10 Poe 11 Red

791

1.9% 91% 86% 83% 79% 88% 82% 76% 30.3% 19

Houston ISD saw improvements in the percentage of STAAR passing scores in reading and math between the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years. STAAR SCORE CHANGES

590 -3.3% 89% 76% 90% 77% 94% 84% 66% 70.8% 20 1,076 -5.2% 84% 81% 82% 70% 87% 79% 69% 69.5% 23 687 -0.3% 95% 90% 95% 94% 93% 97% 93% 16.9% 21 466 -3.1% 44% 23% 65% 32% 65% 53% 50% 97.9% 21 615 6% 65% 60% 55% 66% 50% 68% 41% 99% 18 862 0.3% 90% 87% 92% 86% 97% 95% 90% 16.6% 21 1,131 -0.9% 93% 91% 94% 93% 97% 97% 95% 6.6% 21

12 Rice School

13 Roberts 14 Shearn 15 Tinsley 16 Twain

Houston ISD Statewide

PERCENTAGEPOINT CHANGE, SPRING 2021 VS. SPRING 2022

17 West University

0% +5% +10% +15% +20% +25% +30%

202122 STAAR PASSING RESULTS BY GRADE

SUBJECT: READING (3RD) READING (4TH) READING (5TH) READING (6TH) READING (7TH) READING

ENROLLMENT

6TH 7TH

8TH

+14%

+9%

+16%

MIDDLE SCHOOLS State average District average

+14%

+11%

+8%

N/A N/A 69% 72% 78% 59% 82% 69% 73% 59% N/A N/A N/A N/A 62% 63% 75% 54% 77% 61% 64% 48% N/A N/A 967 -10.6% 42% 44% 63% 36% 59% 41% 43% 16% 92.9% 27 1,415 0.3% 87% 89% 94% 83% 94% 88% 92% 82% 25.6% 26 1,141 -14.9% 77% 74% 79% 58% 86% 71% 63% 41% 69.5% 24, 27 1,485 -13.4% 73% 70% 82% 64% 89% 75% 78% 65% 56.4% 24, 26 1,224 -3.8% 89% 92% 97% 85% 98% 89% 94% 88% 34.6% N/A 1,076 -5.2% 80% 71% 90% 68% 92% 77% 92% 76% 69.5% N/A

+10%

18 Fondren

+8%

19 Lanier

+15%

20 Meyerland 21 Pershing

+10%

+15%

22 Pin Oak

(8TH) MATH (3RD) MATH (4TH) MATH (5TH) MATH (6TH) MATH (7TH) MATH (8TH)

+10%

23 Rice School

+15%

202122 STAAR PASSING RESULTS BY GRADE

+9%

ENROLLMENT

+16%

+11%

HIGH SCHOOLS State average District average

+13%

+6%

+11%

N/A N/A 74% 82% 63% 71% 89% N/A N/A N/A N/A 61% 70% 53% 64% 85% N/A N/A 3,118 -3.1% 56% 84% 72% 78% 94% 48.5% 91.6%

+6%

24 Bellaire 25 DeBakey

+13%

+5%

891

-5.1% 94% 100% 100% 100% 100% 45.8% 96.4%

26 Lamar

2,943 3.3% 59% 86% 76% 78% 91% 47.4% 95.9% 2,345 -2% 56% 62% 40% 54% 79% 92.2% 87.6%

+27%

27 Westbury

+9%

*2020 GRADUATION RATE

13

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • AUGUST 2022

CONTINUED FROM 1

Investing in teachers The scal year 2022-23 budget involves making key investments in teachers and support sta.

HOUSTON ISD FINANCIAL REPORT CARD *AS OF JUNE 16 Allocated*: $614.57M

TEACHERS

SUPPORT STAFF

sign-on bonus for certain roles $1,000-$3,000

Starting salary to increase from $56,869 to

$61,500

raise depending on pay grade 6%-16%

raises on average across the board 11%

Houston ISD has until the September 2024 to spend all of its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief dollars. As of mid- June, HISD allocated about half and spent about one-quarter. SOURCE: HOUSTON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Examining ESSER

Total funding: $1.16B

OTHER INVESTMENTS

minimum wage for most employees $15 per hour

Funding for all schools to employ a:

Librarian or media specialist

Nurse or nurse assistant

Counselor

Remaining: $545.43M

February, and future increases are anticipated to keep the dis- trict competitive, which will necessitate a new approach to budgeting, House said. District 5 trustee Sue Deigaard—who represents the Bellaire, Meyerland and West University area—said the budget represented a step in the right direction for the district in terms of being more competitive with pay. However, she said she had concerns about the budget’s sustainability. “My biggest worry about this budget is what happens in two years when the ESSER dollars run out,” she said. Although Deigaard voted to approve the budget in June, she described her vote at the time as a reluctant one. She said the budget did not pro- vide enough specics on how ocials would ensure money was being targeted at the dis- trict’s biggest needs in terms of actually helping students learn, calling that the “north star.” “Just having a balanced budget is not the measure of a successful school district,” she said. “These are all means to an end. The ultimate end is, ‘how are the children?’” Moving forward, HISD will work with the consulting rm Alvarez and Marsal to take a deep dive into nances, which will include identifying ways to improve eciencies

district’s highest-need cam- puses, House said. “This budget makes a com- mitment to putting more funds directly in the hands of our campus leaders, espe- cially as they navigate lead- ing, teaching and learning … in the shadow of a global pan- demic,” House said. In comments to Community Impact Newspaper , Ander- son said teachers not feeling supported is a key factor in a teacher shortage being seen nationwide. Moving forward, teachers will need to continue to be at the table where edu- cational decisions are being made, she said. As of June 16, the most recent data available, HISD had allocated roughly $614.57 million of its $1.16 billion in ESSER funds, which includes two separate packages called ESSER II and ESSER III. About $363 million of the funding has been spent so far. The remaining ESSER II funds must be allocated by Sept. 30, 2023, while the ESSER III funds must be allocated by Sept. 30, 2024, according to ESSER guide- lines. After that point, HISD will be on the hook to fund its compensation plan out of its own budget. The bigger picture The teacher salary increases were part of a ve-year stra- tegic plan House released in

Centrally funded

Campus-based

Tutoring

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

$36M allocated

$83M allocated

$28.3M spent

$0 spent

Employee and teacher stipends

Wraparound services

$50M allocated

$11.4M allocated

$29.6M spent

$9M spent

Middle school student laptops

COVID-19/safe reopening

$34.3M allocated

$6.2M allocated

$11.6M spent

$2.6M spent

Houston ISD must allocate all ESSER II funds by Sept. 30, 2023, and all ESSER III funds by Sept. 30, 2024.

Learning loss ex spending

Air ltration systems

$4M allocated

$34.1M allocated

$3.3M spent

$27.2M spent

Fine arts and supplies

Postsecondary exam prep

$22.2M allocated

$2.6M allocated

$15.7M spent

$586K spent

HISD chapter of the Federa- tion of Teachers. “If you want students to learn and you want students to feel safe and appreciated, you have to do the same thing for sta.” However, several trustees, along with Superintendent Millard House II, were quick to point out that the raises were made possible in part thanks to one-time federal coronavirus relief dollars through the federal Elemen- tary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program. If signicant changes are not

potentially the consolida- tion of schools. Budget overview The adopted $2.26 billion budget is expected to result in a $31 million decit in FY 2022-23, according to dis- trict information. About $102 million in one-time ESSER funds are being used to plug holes, including $52 million to pay salaries. Another $50 million will be allocated to indirect costs, including as discretionary money at the

made in the near future, the district faces a potential “s- cal cli” in the 2024-25 school year, House said. “These resources have allowed us to make major investments in our students and teachers, but we know that these funds are not perma- nent,” House said at the June 9 meeting. As they work through fed- eral relief dollars, district lead- ers are looking into ways they can save money down the line, a process that will include cuts to central oce funding and

14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2022 EDUCATION EDITION

Leading up to the start of the 2022-23 school year, Houston ISD ocials are developing a new plan for how the district will invest in schools. Planning the next steps SOURCE: HOUSTON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER and accountability, which Deigaard said gave her some comfort in approving the budget. Many questions remain to be answered in terms of what the district’s restructuring ultimately looks like. What- ever shape it takes, it will be crucial to take community feedback into account, said Trista Bishop-Watt, interim executive director with Hous- tonians for Greater Public Schools, a group that works to increase public understand- ing of how public schools and school boards function. “Nobody wants to see

SUMMER 2022

FALL 2022

SPRING 2023

SPRING 2022

• Analyze nancial investments and connection to academic outcomes • Study ways to deliver more accurate budgets Development of reconguration plan administrative departments, House said. He emphasized that no cuts were made to the HISD police department, the nancial team or legal services. House gave a general out- line of how he saw the dis- trict’s “scal transformation” playing out over the next few years. Over the course of the 2022-23 school year, House said the district will conduct a cost-benet analysis to better inform how it should be spending its money and determine ways to make its budgets more accurate. In

• New central oce budgeting process Release of initial concepts • New approach for campus budgeting, including ways to improve eciency and close the structural decit the near term, he said the district is developing budget- ing guidance to better help school leaders when it comes to nancial management. Details on what the restruc- turing could look like are expected to come out this fall, and the spring semester will feature community engage- ment sessions to gather input from stakeholders. House said the goal is for the district to have a new budgeting pro- cess in place around the start of the 2023-24 school year. When it comes to improv- ing academic outcomes, House said the move to pay

Community engagement

Groundwork

• Sta assigned to oversee development of plan • National search begins for new chief nancial ocer

• Meeting with community stakeholders and members to continue through 2025-26 school year

Implementation SUMMER 2023

school closures happen, but we do have an enrollment problem in the district,” she said. “If communities are going to be impacted, then this needs to be a public, transparent process that fac- tors in, not just the nancial aspects, but the impacts to The start of the restruc- turing eorts could be seen in the $60 million cut from HISD central oce spend- ing in the FY 2022-23 budget, which includes a decrease in sta and downsizing of communities.” The next steps

• Launch

rened school reconguration plan

teachers more is an important rst step. “For HISD to attract and retain sta at a time of national labor education shortages, we know that it is imperative that we make this investment,” House said.

For more information, visit communityimpact.com.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • AUGUST 2022

8th Annual Cactus Jack’s Campfire m

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$5 bbq Dinner Tickets Available Online Or At The Door

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16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NONPROFIT

BY GEORGE WIEBE

The slough amberwing, a dragony rare to the Houston area, perches itself above the Cypress Pond at the Bellaire center.

The native red-eared slider (left) and the nonnative Florida yellowbelly slider (right) are two of the center’s reptilian additions.

Blossom the Opossum, the only marsupial found in North America, is one of the center’s newest members.

Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center 7112 Newcastle Drive, Bellaire 713-667-6550 www.naturediscoverycenter.org Hours: Tue.-Fri. noon-5:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., closed Mon. NATURE CAMPAIGN The nature center launched a fundraising goal this year to raise $1 million to add an Enchanted Wood play area for children. Patrons can donate via the center's website. Features of the new area will include: • Rolling Hills Run: land creating a natural slide to play • Lily Pad Pond: shallow pool of water to play in • Garden Stroll Backyard Encounters: path lled with plants to discover • “The Old Hollow Stump” Stepper Yard: a hollowed tree stump little kids can climb through • The Open Lawn: open space to host small events or parties • Nature Workshop: an area to pile twigs, mud or sand to build with natural materials

DeAndra Ramsey, executive director of the Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center, said the center aims to preserve local ora and wildlife.

PHOTOS BY GEORGE WIEBECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center Bellaire nonprot seeks to preserve wildlife within urban jungle W ork began in 1986 on converting an old and dilapidated house along Newcastle Drive into what is now the Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center. Director DeAndra Ramsey said. The center holds more than 15 animal species that can be found naturally in East Texas, and the park

get more individualized with our programs. ... It’s more focused on the audience and the participants,” said Elizabeth Fries, an education specialist at the center. This year, the center launched a $1 million fundraising campaign for a new addition: the Enchanted Woods, a children’s play area where “kids can make their own fun.” “You work in this eld because you care about nature and conser- vation and the environment, … so it’s very nice to come to work every day and have your co-workers share your same interests and passions,” Ramsey said.

has four miniature habitat zones displaying what the region looked like presettlement. “We think that a connection to nature is vital for all ages, whether you are a 2-year-old or 102-year- old,’’ Ramsey said. The center hosts parties, eld trips and a summer science camp, and it partners with local schools to present students with specialized content from the park. “We have a better opportunity to

The center, completed in 1989, serves multiple functions: pre- serving local ora and wildlife; educating the public on Bellaire’s natural environment; and hosting programs, camps and events. “We maintain our grounds with Texas native ora and fauna. What that means is we want our little 4 acres to be a haven for Texas native plants and animals,” Executive

BELLAIRE BLVD.

610

EVERGREEN ST.

N

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