Cy-Fair Edition | September 2020

CYFAIR EDITION 2020 CONFLICT O N  C A M P U S While Cy-Fair ISD has implemented

PUBLIC EDUCATION EDITION

ONLINE AT

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 1  SEPT. 1230, 2020

“It’s unfortunate that it appears the district has dug in so deeply on [prohibiting remote work], but some of our teachers may not come out of this well.” DONNA LORD, CYFAIR TEXAS STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

“The education of our students is theNo. 1 goal we have, closely followed [by]—if not equal to—the safety of our students and ... sta.” MARK HENRY, CYFAIR ISD SUPERINTENDENT

new protocols to increase safety, many employees said they feel uncomfortable about the return to campuses.

Cy-Fair ISD teachers push for safeworking environments in 202021

BY DANICA LLOYD

concerns have implored board members and admin- istrators to allow them the option towork fromhome. Others have asked ocials to consider starting the school year with exclusively virtual instruction as neighboring districts such as Spring, Katy and Hous- ton ISDs have done. “The education of our students is the No. 1 goal we have, closely followed [by]—if not equal to—the safety

of our students and the safety of our sta,” Superin- tendent Mark Henry said at an Aug. 6 meeting. Harris County released its own school reopening plan, stating due to high levels of community spread of the coronavirus, schools should only deliver instruction virtually while the county’s COVID-19 threat level system is at “severe.” Once conditions

Protocols implemented in Cy-Fair ISD in 2020-21 to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus include daily self-screenings, one-way hallways, frequent sanitiza- tion of surfaces, face masks and desk shields. Despite these preventive measures, teachers have continued to advocate for CFISD administration to prioritize their safety. Dozens of teachers with health

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REVENUE RAISED

In Harris County, the debate is still underway, and the decision could mean the dierence in millions of dollars. Jersey Village ocials are waiting to learn how home values have changed since last year before setting a tax rate, but ocials plan to keep homestead exemptions at, citing the uncertainties of what the future may hold. Tax rate talks force toughdecisions BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Ocials with several taxing entities are poised to take a more conservative approach to budgeting this year. *BASED ON PRELIMINARY APPRAISED VALUES. **PROPOSED SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY, HARRIS COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT NO. 9, JERSEY VILLAGECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the Houston economy over the past six months, and city and county ocials responsible for setting tax rates each year are now confronting a dicult deci- sion: Do they raise tax rates to get ahead of future budget holes, or do they lower taxes to provide relief to homeowners amid the pandemic?

2020 budget $3.07B 2021 budget $3.27B Tax rate cut could prompt

2020 budget $21.01M 2021 budget** $16.92M Proposed rate could net in additional property tax revenue. $204K*

2020 budget $56.34M 2021 budget $56.89M Adopted tax rate will raise

budget shortfall. $10M*

in additional revenue. $1.5M*

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EDUCATION E D I T I O N 2020 PUBLIC SPONSOREDBY • America's ER • Lone Star College • Next Level Urgent Care

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Leading Medicine IN TOWNE LAKE

NOW OPEN

Comprehensive care — now in Cypress.

Now open, Houston Methodist in Towne Lake offers primary care and specialty care, as well as mammograms and physical therapy — all close to home. And, you can be confident that we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe during your visit.

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CY-FAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

READY TO

RESPOND

We stand ready to respond to any hazard that may threaten the Cy-Fair community.

BECOME ONE OF CY-FAIR’S BRAVEST Join our team and serve the Cy-Fair community as a volunteer or career firefighter.

Learn more at www.cyfairfd.org

@CYFAIRFD • #CYFAIRFD

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

It takes all 16,705 of us to be ranked one of the nation’s best. We’re not just the largest children’s hospital in America. For 12 straight years, we’ve also been recognized as one of the best by U.S. News & World Report. This year, we’re ranked # 4 overall and in the top five in seven specialties—including # 1 in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. It takes great technology, facilities and expertise to be recognized year after year, but the most important thing it takes is great people. People who care deeply about caring for children. And we’re honored that so many people like that choose to work here.

Learn more at TexasChildrens.org/best

5

CY-FAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

SEEING A PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR Is Still Important

For everything from annual checkups to managing chronic conditions, taking care of your health should always be a priority. Houston Methodist primary care doctors are still available to provide personalized care for you and your family — safely. We offer a variety of convenient ways to get care from us, from same-day sick visits to extended hours at select locations. And, you can be confident that we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe during your visit, including:

Screening all patients

Ensuring social distancing in waiting rooms

Wearing masks while providing care

Offering video visits with your doctor

Enhanced cleaning of equipment and surfaces

Adding evening and Saturday hours to space out appointments

houstonmethodist.org/pcg Call or text: 713.394.6724

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS IMPACTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 11 Towing program expands to Cy-Fair area ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 13 Local musicians adapt to pandemic CITY& COUNTY 15 The latest local news

FROMEMILY: I am excited to introduce myself as the general manager of our Cy-Fair edition. While I am new to the role here in Cy-Fair, I have been with Community Impact Newspaper for four years, most recently serving as general manager of our Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition. I have lived in Cy-Fair for 24 years, both of my kids graduated from Cy-Fair High School, and I am thrilled with the opportunity to be back “home” with Community Impact Newspaper , Cy-Fair! We hope you and your families continue to stay safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. Our local businesses have pivoted the ways they serve their customers, and whether you chose to shop socially distanced or enjoy curbside pickups, we encourage you to support our advertisers and help our local businesses thrive. We welcome your story ideas and feedback, and we’d love to hear from you. Emily Heineman, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Emily Heineman, eheineman@communityimpact.com SENIOR EDITOR Shawn Arrajj SENIOR REPORTER Danica Lloyd SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kaitlin Schmidt ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Karen Nickerson METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoee CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, TX. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMPATRON CONTACT US 8400 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Ste. 200 Houston, TX 77064 • 2814696181 PRESS RELEASES cyfnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

PUBLIC EDUCATION

DISTRICT DATA

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Cy-Fair ISD by the numbers EQUITY Cy-Fair ISD focuses on diversity GUIDE Tutoring centers in Cy-Fair

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FROMSHAWN: As the new school year starts, our September edition focuses on Cy-Fair ISD’s plan to return to school in a year that has been unlike any other. The district’s plan has generated some pushback, including a lawsuit from the local teacher’s union. Read more about that in our front- page story, and be sure to check out the rest of our Public Education Edition, including a guide to local tutoring centers. Shawn Arrajj, SENIOR EDITOR

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CYFAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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NOLA Z. VALENTE/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HOUSE & HAHL RD.

9915 Barker Cypress Road, Ste. 160, Cypress. The new location offers com- prehensive financial services including personal checking and savings accounts, business accounts, loans, online banking, credit cards and more. The Boardwalk location features drive-thru lanes and a walk-up ATM. 281-571-5000. www.cyfairfcu.org 5 Classes are now underway at the Cypress location of Aristoi Classical Academy. The first day of school at the new location kicked off Aug. 17 at Cross- over Bible Fellowship, 12332 Perry Road, Houston. The tuition-free public charter school offers both virtual and in-person classes for grades K-4 and has plans to ultimately grow to be a comprehensive K-12 school. Officials said class sizes will be limited to 22 students, and students from Cy-Fair, Klein, Tomball and Houston ISDs will be eligible to attend. Enrollment is still open as of press time. 281-391-5003. www.aristoiclassical.org 6 A new location of Pearle Vision opened Aug. 19 in the Cypress Springs Plaza at 7710 Fry Road, Cypress, near the Longenbaugh Road intersection. The 2,800-square-foot store offers eye exams, eye care tips, contact lenses and a variety of frames and lenses for eyeglasses and sunglasses. The new location also stocks designer brands such as designer brands such as Ray-Ban, Vogue, and Coach. 832-974-2021. www.pearlevision.com 7 The first location of Mint Express Car Wash opened in early September at 8640 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress, across from the Berry Center. In addition to offering unlimited monthly car wash plans, the business also features a self-serve pet wash. www.mintexpresscarwash.com

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TM; © 2020 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 A new location of the Katy-based Indian restaurant Kurry Walah open in early September at 12714 Grant Road, Cypress. Owner Deepak Nagpal, who has been running the Katy location since June 2018, said he has been wanting to open a restaurant in Cypress for over a year and had been looking for the right location. The restaurant specializes in authentic, northern Indian-style food and offers dine-in, takeout and delivery through most major services. 832-698-4966. www.kurrywalah.com

3 A new location of Shipley Do-Nuts opened Aug. 14 at 12827 Telge Road, Cypress, in the Telge Crossing develop- ment at Jarvis Road. Originally founded in Houston, the chain offers more than 60 doughnut varieties as well as kolaches, freshly brewed coffee and other breakfast items such as cinnamon rolls and apple fritters. The new shop is open daily from 5 a.m.-8 p.m. and also features a drive-thru. www.shipleydonuts.com 4 Officials with Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union confirmed its newest branch opened for appointments beginning Aug. 10 at the Boardwalk at Towne Lake,

2 Cy-Fair High School alum Shivam Bhakta opened a new location of IDEA Lab Kids in early July at 11808 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress. The facility offers after-school programs, summer camps and birthday parties. This fall, the business is launching Idea Lab Plus, a learning pod program designed to help families with remote learning support and enrichment classes in science, technology, engineer- ing, art and math. Through this program, working parents can drop off their children to learn in groups of six to eight students. Programming is geared toward students ages 5-13. 281-746-2008. www.cypress.idealabkids.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & DANICA LLOYD

feature preventive and women’s health care services. Preleasing is now underway. 832-637-3773. www.nexcoregroup.com 12 Officials announced via Facebook on Aug. 12 that a new location of First Watch would open in late November at the new building which also houses Houston Meth- odist offices, at 9915 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress. The cafe offers classic breakfast items, such as omelets and pancakes, in addition to avocado toast, wraps, break- fast tacos, salads, sandwiches and fresh juices. www.firstwatch.com 13 Ground will break in September on Bishop Square Business Park , a 4-acre park which will feature 48,600-square feet of space across 10 condominium- style buildings at 14914 Mueschke Road, Cypress. The development will offer offices of varying sizes, which buyers will be able to customize. Each condo unit will include a designated reception area, a kitchen, a restroom and private offices. The project is slated to be completed sometime in 2021. www.gambitconstruction.com ANNIVERSARIES 14 Owners of Seasons Harvest Cafe will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the restaurant Sept. 19 at 17303 Shaw Road, Cypress, with a community celebration. The farm-fresh cafe offers a menu that changes monthly with dishes made entirely with locally sourced organic ingre- dients. Officials opened a general store at the site of the restaurant in March that offers organic meats, homemade breads, fresh juices, eggs, bone broth and salsa, among other items. 832-534-8686. www.seasonsharvest.farm IN THE NEWS 15 Officials with Apex Oaks Assisted Living andMemory Care said a previously identified COVID-19 case in their facility was determined to be a false positive. The case, which was recorded in July, was followed by five consecutive negative results, including on the day after the pos- itive result came in, Apex Oaks Adminis- trator Kristin Kim said. Apex Oaks, located at 13702 Wimbeldon Oaks Drive, Houston, has no cases of COVID-19, Kim said. 281-469-8800. www.apexoaks.com

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Shipleys Do-Nuts

COURTESY SHIPLEYS DO-NUTS

8 Supreme Detail and Coating opened Aug. 1 at 17107 South Drive, Unit 3, Cypress. The business offers interior and exterior detailing as well as window tinting, ceramic coating, vinyl wraps and other cleaning and maintenance services. Owner David Galicia said his business ser- vices a variety of vehicles, including boats and recreational vehicles. 346-412-5156. www.supremedetailandcoatings.com 9 A new location of Hippo Burgers opened this summer at 8110 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Houston, near the Gessner Road intersection. The restaurant offers a variety of burger and chicken sandwich options, as well as chili cheese dogs, nachos, Mexican hot dogs, chicken wings and shakes. 832-478-5176. www.hippoburgers.com 10 1101 Southern Kitchen hosted a soft opening Sept. 7 at 12020 FM 1960, Ste. 100, Houston. Fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, chicken and dumpling pot pie, gumbo, stewed oxtails, fried chicken and meatloaf cupcakes are a few items planned for the menu. Weekend brunch will feature Cajun eggs Benedict, chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and cinna- mon rolls. Online ordering and catering services are also available. 832-604-7238. www.1101southernkitchen.com COMING SOON 11 Cypress Health &Wellness Campus is planned on a 30-acre property in the Fairfield area off Hwy. 290 near the Grand Parkway. Officials with NexCore Group said the campus is expected to open by June 2022. Backed by physician investors from the North Cypress Medical Center, the 60,000-square-foot office building will

Patrons of The Garden Hen can buy custom-built chicken coops.

PHOTOS COURTESY THE GARDEN HEN

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN After building chicken coops in their backyard and bagging chicken feed in their garage since 2012, owners of The Garden Hen opened their rst storefront Aug. 1 at 10142 Jones Road, Unit 5B, Houston. Customers at The Garden Hen can purchase chicken coops, chicken swings, strollers and a variety of water and food items. Run by the husband-and-wife duo of Nicole and Michael “Chicken Mike” Graham, the business also oers educational classes on how to raise chickens at www.faceschool.org. The business also chicken feed, and Mike said he plans to introduce a new line of feed called Sweet Lucy in the coming weeks. The 2,000-square-foot warehouse space also serves as a chicken-themed art exhibit called The Nest Gallery, which can be followed on Twitter @thenestgalleryhtx. The gallery features the artwork on local artists and students, and pieces are also for sale. On top of that, the owners of the shop also working on their own TV show, City Chickens, which can be viewed online at www.citychickenstv.com 832-683-5135. www.the-garden-hen.com

Nicole Graham opened the first storefront of The Garden Hen with her husband Mike in August.

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CY-FAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TowandGo programexpands to unincorporatedHarris County TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

A program providing free towing services on camera-operated freeways expanded in early August to cover freeways in unincorporated Harris County. The Tow and Go program, which was launched in 2018 by the Hous- ton-Galveston Area Council, previously only covered freeways inside the city of Houston. Drivers stranded because of a mechanical fail- ure can call 713-881-3333 to request the service or use a phone app. The freeways covered by Tow and Go include portions of I-45, Hwy. 59, Hwy. 290, I-10, Hwy. 288, Loop 610 and pieces of Hwy. 249 in Northwest Harris County, Hwy. 246 in La Porte and Beltway 8 in the Spring area. The service is limited to parts of the freeway that can be monitored by cameras. A tow truck tows each vehicle to a safe location within 1 mile of the nearest exit.

ROADS COVERED BY FREE TOWING SERVICE

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Vehicles involved in an accident or other law enforcement incident, vehicles that ooded and vehicles that were abandoned are not eligible for the service. Motorcycles are eligible, and trailers can be towed when possible. HGAC ocials said the programwill eventually be expanded to freeways in neighboring counties.

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ONGOING PROJECTS

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Louetta Road extension and bridge Harris County Precinct 4 is looking to connect Louetta Road from Telge Road to Stablewood Farms Drive as a four-lane concrete pavement section, a project which also includes twin bridges over Little Cypress Creek. A construction bid of $8.8 million was awarded to Angel Brothers Enterprises on July 14, and construction start- ed Sept. 14. The project, which is a joint eort between Harris County precincts 3 and 4, is set to run through March 2022. Timeline: Sept. 14-March 2022 Cost: $8.8 million Funding sources: Harris County precincts 3 and 4

Hwy. 6 bridge construction The Texas Department of Transportation is building a four-lane yover bridge that will connect Hwy. 6 and FM 1960 over Hwy. 290 from North Eldridge Parkway to Copper Grove Boulevard. The project is on track to be done by late 2020 with most related lane closures running through November, according to TxDOT. As of August, crews were raising steel beams along FM 1960 to support the bridge, an eort which features closures of Wortham Boulevard at the FM 1960 interchange. Timeline: September 2019-late 2020 Cost: $41.4 million Funding source: TxDOT

Schiel Road widening Two projects are in the design phase to widen Schiel Road from two to four lanes with raised medians in Cypress. The rst project runs from the Grand Parkway to Faireld Place Drive, and the second project will con- tinue from Faireld Place to Mason Road. Ocials are working with the Texas Department of Transportation to create an interchange that allows Schiel to connect to Grand Parkway frontage roads. Timeline: TBD Cost: $8 million (both projects) Funding source: Harris County Precinct 3

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF AUG. 28. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CYFNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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CYFAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

ENVIRONMENT Flood control officials roll out new project strategy for Cypress Creek

DELIVERING DETENTION

After several years of acquiring land along Cypress Creek, officials with the Harris County Flood Control said they are now looking into where detention basins could be built to provide additional flood-control benefits.

Planned detention basin Proposed detention basin

1 Mound Creek 2 Dry Creek 3 Faulkey Gully

4 Pillot Gully 5 Dry Gully 6 Spring Gully

7 Seals Gully 8 Lemm Gully

KEY

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

could provide regional benefits on a shorter timeline. A watershed study updated in Feb- ruary found flooding along Cypress Creek tributaries was predominately caused by stormwater backing up from the creek. This, St. Romain said, indicates stormwater detention basins on the creek could be a viable way to reduce that flooding. “The watershed master plan update is sort of the starting point for this implementation plan,” he said. “The implementation plan transitions us from this more passive approach of flood plain preservation to a more aggressive approach to actually try to reduce the severity of flooding.” A 171.5-acre basin is planned for T.C. Jester Boulevard and Cypress Creek, and another potential basin is being investigated east of the Hardy Toll Road. The watershed study also

A historically passive approach to flood mitigation along Cypress Creek could be changing as officials with the Harris County Flood Control District look to adopt a new way of planning and executing projects. In the past, efforts in Cypress Creek were mostly focused on acquiring land to prevent development, said Jonathan St. Romain, a project man- ager with the district. In a flood con- trol bond referendum passed in 2018 in response to Hurricane Harvey, a little under $300 million in local money was dedicated to projects in the Cypress Creek watershed. The biggest portion—$100 million—was dedicated to land acquisition. St. Romain said the new approach involves using that land for additional flood control mea- sures—including detention basins and channel improvements—that

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SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

recommended expanding an existing basin near North Eldridge Parkway. “We look at all of the potential properties up along Cypress Creek and essentially develop or build this road map for what we can do in the

watershed over the next five, 10, 15 years,” St. Romain said. The T.C. Jester basin and future basins will be funded through a mix of flood control district dollars and federal grants, St. Romain said.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT

Pandemic takes toll on Cy-Fair’s music scene

Venues face challenges Murdoch’s Backyard Pub, located on Mueschke Road in Cypress, used to host live music three times every week. Tonya Frye, who coordinates marketing and events, said these events, among others, are on hold for now. “There was no one to play to at rst, and now business is low,” she said in a phone interview Aug. 19. “If we don’t have many people there, then we can’t have music. And we still have the social distancing—music and social distancing usually don’t go hand in hand, unfortunately.” Frye said she is used to overseeing a range of events in the property’s 3-acre backyard, but even a gradua- tion party of 40 people this summer took over the entire space, so host- ing events of any kind has become a challenge due to social distancing policies. Murdoch’s continues to be open for outdoor dining and takeout, but Frye said she is hopeful about bringing some events back this fall. The pandemic has resulted in added expenses, including personal protective equipment and the hiring of additional workers to sanitize surfaces, Frye said. Locally owned businesses such as Murdoch’s are struggling to stay aoat just like musicians are, she said. Childres said he is grateful he still has the ability and opportunity to perform during the pandemic. He recalled a friend who had to cancel a show after a band member was exposed to COVID-19. “Since I’m a little bit older, we’re trying to play it safe because you never know,” Childres said. “You try to do the best you can do, but it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t

I’MCONCERNED ABOUT IT BUT BEINGOPTIMISTIC THAT THE VIRUS WILL GET UNDER CONTROL TOWHERE MOREMUSICIANS CANGOOUT AND PERFORMAND SHOW THEIR TALENTS. MARK CHILDRES, CYFAIR MUSICIAN

BY DANICA LLOYD

Weekend gigs have been hard to come by for musicians based in the Cy-Fair area since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Mark Childres regularly played at local businesses, including Creekwood Grill, Murdoch’s Backyard Pub, Brew:30 Taphouse and Twisted Acre Brewery, before state and local ocials began placing restrictions on businesses due to the spread of the coronavirus in March. Only one of these four businesses continued to consistently host live musicians on the weekends this summer, so Childres said the number of events he has been able to book is down about 75% compared to prepandemic conditions. “It’s down considerably,” he said. “Some musicians are scaling back due to their own safety, and some are just playing outside now instead of inside.” Cy-Fair-area music venues are pri- marily at local breweries and restau- rants with bars, including Mo’s Irish Pub, Hidden Cellar Wine Bar, Rosehill Beer Garden and Texas Tavern. As of press time, the Texas Depart- ment of State Health Services has mandated restaurants cannot exceed 50% capacity. Additionally, bars and establishments that receive more than 51% of revenue from alcoholic beverage sales are only authorized to oer delivery and takeout services.

COURTESY MARK CHILDRES

LOCAL LIVE MUSIC

While several Cy-Fair music venues have put events on hold, the following businesses continue to host live music events on the weekends:

1. THE BARN AT FRIO GRILL 16416 Mueschke Road, Cypress www.barntx.com 2. CYPRESS TRAIL HIDEOUT 25610 Hempstead Road, Cypress www.cypresstrailhideout.com

3. CREEKWOOD GRILL 12710 Telge Road, Cypress www.creekwoodgrill.com 4. VINTAGE PARK 110 Vintage Park Blvd., Houston www.vintageparkhouston.com

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U E T T A R D .

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249

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end up getting sick.” The sta at Creekwood Grill, where Childres continues to perform, has implemented safety measures, and musicians are not in close contact with others during performances because the stage is elevated. Although he cannot predict how

long the pandemic will last, Childres said he is hopeful about the future of Cy-Fair’s music industry. “I’m concerned about it but being optimistic that the virus will get under control to where more musicians can go out and perform and show their talents,” he said.

13

CYFAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Jersey Village & Harris County

Livestreams can be accessed via websites. Jersey Village City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21. 713-466-2100 www.jerseyvillagetx.com Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15. 713-698-1102 www.harriscountytx.gov MEETINGSWE COVER HARRIS COUNTY Officials with the Harris County Clerk’s Office reopened 11 county annex buildings Aug. 10, and services such as marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, and Doing Business As filings are now offered by appointment at those locations. The buildings were shut down in March following the issuance of a “Stay Home-Work Safe” order in the county. The reopening allows the county to increase the appointments per day from 14 to 30 at the downtown office while also allowing 14 appointments per day at each of the 10 other annex buildings. NUMBER TOKNOW The projected voter turnout in Harris County for the November presidential election. 1.7M CITY HIGHLIGHTS JERSEYVILLAGE In an effort to raise awareness about city code, the Jersey Village Police Department embarked on an initiative in August involving placing courtesy reminders on vehicles parked across sidewalks, reminding owners not to park vehicles on the sidewalk. The initiative was spurred by multiple complaints about blocked sidewalks sent to city staff from residents, which led to discussion at a July 20 Jersey Village City Council meeting. The initiative will run through Nov. 1.

November election plan takes form inHarris County

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Commissioners Court meeting. The clerk’s office is also dramati- cally expanding the number of early voting polling locations, Hollins said. The county staffed 46 early voting locations in November 2016, and Hollins said he plans to increase that number to 120, which he said will help deal with the expected large turnout while still allowing in-person voters to space out. The county also plans to operate a record 808 voting locations on Election Day in Novem- ber, Hollins said. Hollins said he is expecting as many as 1.7 million voters to participate in the November election, as many as 1.5 million of whom could vote in person. Such a turnout would surpass turnout in the November 2016 election by more than 350,000 votes, according election archives.

HARRIS COUNTY Commissioners in Harris County committed $17 million Aug. 25 to a broader effort to prepare for the November presidential election, which officials said could feature record-breaking turnout in the middle of a pandemic. The $27 million plan includes hiring 12,000 election workers, establishing drive-thru voting opportunities at 10 polling places and expanding the ability to process mail ballots. “We started from what we expect turnout to be, and we operated from there to understand what we need to do to accommodate those voters in a way that would ... allow voters to cast ballots in timely fashion and in a safe fashion,” interim County Clerk Christopher Hollins said at an Aug. 25

PREPARING FORNOVEMBER Harris County estimates the cost of preparing for and running the November election to be in excess of $27 MILLION .

$704,664: CURBSIDE AND DRIVE-THRU VOTING

$2.07M: VOTE-BY-MAIL PROMOTIONS $789,044: OUTREACH

$3.84M: GENERAL FUND NEEDS

$9.7M RECRUITING WORKERS

$4.97M: MAIL BALLOT INFRASTRUCTURE

$2.53M: PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT $1.8M: OTHER $728,200: TRAINING $602,400: OPTIMIZING LOCATIONS

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Harris County joins census count legal battles

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

to extend the deadline for the census count. The deadline was cut short by one month in early August, a move critics said could lead to undercounts that would be especially harmful to vulnerable communities. The lawsuit, which was filed in August in California, seeks to set the census deadline back to the end of October instead of the end of September.

In an Aug. 18 press release, County Attorney Vince Ryan said not count- ing these immigrants would violate the U.S. Constitu- tion, including Article 1, the due process clause in the Fifth Amendment, and the 10th and 14th amendments. Taken every 10 years, the census count serves a vari- ety of purposes, including determining the amount of funding an area gets from

various programs and how congressional district lines are drawn. Harris County is projected to gain three seats in Congress when lines are drawn due to population growth, Ryan said. If these immigrants are not counted, the county could end up losing one seat instead, he said. Ryan’s office joined several cities and activist groups in a separate lawsuit

HARRIS COUNTY Officials with the Harris County Attorney’s Office announced Aug. 18 the county joined a legal battle challenging the adminis- tration of President Don- ald Trump in its efforts to prevent immigrants living in the country illegally from counting toward how congressional districts are drawn.

15

CY-FAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

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2020 PUBLIC EDUCATION EDITION

C Y  FA I R I S D S N A P S H O T DISTRICT DATA

201920 ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS 54.18%

COMPILED BY DANICA LLOYD

With 87 elementary, middle and high school campuses, Cy-Fair ISD’s enrollment has steadily grown over the last several years. More than 15,000 individuals are employed by the district, including nearly 7,400 classroom teachers. SOURCES: CYFAIR ISD, TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

60.24%

STATE AVERAGE

201920 TEACHER STATS

*Estimated STUDENT ENROLLMENT

201920 ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS 13.88%

TOTAL NUMBER OF TEACHERS 7,375

STARTING TEACHER SALARY $55,500

AVERAGE TEACHER SALARY $61,723

20.26%

201920SUPERINTENDENT ANNUAL SALARY NEIGHBORING DISTRICT COMPARISON $431,524

STATE AVERAGE

SCHOOL DISTRICT STATS TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 15,088 FUNDING PER STUDENT $8,240

2018-19

2016-17

2017-18

2019-20

2020-21*

KATY ISD $299,999

KLEIN ISD $330,000

TOMBALL ISD $253,575

FROM 201617 +3.16%

17

CYFAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

18

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EQUITY Trustees plan to address student race disparities in Cy-Fair ISD

DISTRICT Based on data from 2018-19, Cy-Fair ISD’s student population is primarily composed of students of color, and these students

DATA 1

are disproportionately assigned to in- school and out-of-school suspension. The majority of teachers are white.

BY DANICA LLOYD

overrepresentation of students of color in school disciplinary systems. Marcus Ceniceros, one of the lead- ers of the project, said this is an issue in most Texas school districts due to individual biases and certain public policies in place that might dispro- portionately aect students from a particular location, racial identity or income level. “Black students are dispropor- tionately aected by all school discipline—that includes in-school suspensions, out-of-school sus- pensions, referrals to alternative education programs and then also to the criminal justice system,” he said. “What we wanted to be able to do is start asking why that’s happening in a local context. The reason that it might be happening in Cy-Fair ISD might actually be dierent than why it’s happening in [Houston] ISD or in Klein or in Spring Branch.” According to state data, students of color in CFISD are disproportionately disciplined. African American stu- dents made up 18.5% of enrollment in 2018-19 but accounted for 38.7% of suspensions that year. The Citywide Implicit Bias Project also recommends mandatory implicit bias training for educators. In CFISD, 66.4% of teachers were white in 2018-19, while the student population was 24.2% white. When it comes to academics, nearly 96% of white students gradu- ated from CFISD in 2018, while less than 90% of Black students gradu- ated, according to district data.

0.3% 0.8% 0.9%

National protests called for the examination of practices within police departments to identify signs of racial inequality across the United States following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. This movement had local ocials, including the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees, asking similar questions. In June, trustees John Ogletree, Julie Hinaman and Gilbert Sarabia were tasked with writing a resolution con- demning racism, which is expected to be signed when all trustees recon- vene at the Sept. 14 meeting. “Recent events in our country have brought to the forefront the disturbing issues of racism, systemic racism, discrimination, injustice and inequality,” Ogletree read from the resolution Aug. 10. “These issues go against the motto of our district: opportunity for all.” Chief of Employee and Student Services Deborah Stewart oversees a committee launched over the summer designed to evaluate the equity of academic opportunity, representation in hiring and student discipline measures in CFISD. Per this resolution, the board plans to consult with an outside group to conduct an equity audit and ultimately help develop a plan to address issues of equity in these areas districtwide. The establishment of a districtwide equity policy is one of the recommen- dations from the Citywide Implicit Bias Project—a Houston-based initiative designed to address the

1

KEY:

H

N

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISPANIC WHITE AMERICAN INDIAN ASIANPACIFIC ISLANDER TWO OR MORE RACES

AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS made up 18.6% of student enrollment in 2018-19 but accounted for 38.7% of suspensions.

SOURCES: CYFAIR ISD, TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

“It is really important that a popu- lation of any identity isn’t being left behind in particular in academics,” Ceniceros said. Other action steps laid out in the board’s resolution include requiring the study and celebration of the history of dierent races, genders and other groups as well as having all schools in the district deemed “No Place for Hate” schools. No Place for Hate is a program from the Anti-Defamation League designed to create and maintain

school environments where all students can thrive through anti-bias and bullying-prevention activities. Trustee Tom Jackson brought forth a unanimously supported amend- ment Aug. 10 to mandate board members participate in continuing education on the topics of racism, discrimination and injustice. “We have an obligation to help shape the lives of our students toward a better America, free of racism and systemic oppression,” the resolution reads.

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CYFAIR EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2020

A N I N S I D E LO O K AT C Y  FA I R I S D D ATA A N D D E MO G R A P H I C S B Y C A M P U S CAMPUS DEEP DIVE COMPILED BY DANICA LLOYD Cy-Fair ISD is an increasingly diverse school district with more than 100 languages and dialects spoken by students. The district has 56 elementary schools, 19 middle schools and 12 high schools. Special program facilities are not included in these charts.

DEMOGRAPHICS

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 201920 DATA

Feeder schools

1 Adam 2 Andr é 3 Ault 4 Bane 5 Bang 6 Birkes 7 Black

878 62% <10 104 102 380 0 <30 258 927 54% <10 90 253 410 0 <30 143 1,024 35% <10 81 148 273 <10 35 496 865 94% 23 <10 109 690 0 <20 <30 952 69% 11 60 243 454 0 23 161

59, 77

57, 66, 84

70, 76 63, 83

61, 62, 83, 86

1,122 37% <10 155 192 374 <10 53 338 58, 68, 72, 79, 82, 87

1,142 37% 18 51 111 398 0 39 525

64, 65, 77, 85

SOURCES: CYFAIR ISD, TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

8 Copeland 9 Danish 10 Duryea 11 Emery 12 Emmott

989 42% <10 103 201 353 <10 30 298 58, 67, 84, 87 950 75% <20 61 312 393 <10 27 140 59, 60, 77, 78

ACCOUNTABILITYRATINGS All Texas school districts and campuses will receive a Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster label for their 2020 accountability ratings, according to the Texas Education Agency. Texas students take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness each year to measure standards in reading, writing, math, science and social studies and are traditionally given letter grades ranging from A-F based on performance. Although the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing, the state has said all students will be required to take the STAAR exam in 2021, as of press time. The ratings are based on several categories, including Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gaps, all of which compare student performance. FOR 2020 AND BEYOND

857 82% <10 23 207 530 0 <30 68 1,096 76% <10 57 370 545 0 <30 94 809 81% 28 64 242 296 <10 <30 150 1,000 37% <10 109 122 334 <10 37 395 1,004 63% <10 118 258 339 0 <40 241

66, 84

B CYFAIR ISD OVERALL RATING Exemplary performance Recognized performance Acceptable performance In need of 2019 RATING

69, 73, 80, 81

61, 83 64, 85 68, 79

13 Farney

14 Fiest

15 Francone 16 Frazier 17 Gleason 18 Hairgrove 19 Hamilton 20 Hancock

916 84% <10 <30 333 467 0 31

51

61, 78, 83

640 83% <20 57 56 454 0 <10 48 972 58% <20 169 91 483 <10 28 180

62, 86 62, 86

740 83% <10 <20 69 580 0 16 58 68, 74, 79, 83

1,005 16% <10 139 60 172 0 <40 593 912 73% 19 64 350 310 0 30 139 1,093 78% <10 43 305 636 <10 23 77 977 89% <20 14 279 600 <10 12 61 843 71% <10 50 98 662 0 <30 101

65, 77, 78

60, 78 69, 81

improvement Unacceptable performance

21 Hemmenway

22 Holbrook 23 Holmsley 24 Hoover 25 Horne

63, 83, 86 58, 67, 87

842 80% 11

31 197 527 0 22 54 66, 67, 69, 81, 84, 87

965 80% <30 70 161 582 <10 22 109

74, 79

COMPARING ISD SCORES

NEIGHBORING SCHOOL DISTRICT 2019 OVERALL RATINGS KATY ISD A KLEIN ISD B TOMBALL ISD A

26 Jowell 27 Keith

674 81% <10 24 140 430 <10 17 54 66, 67, 69, 81, 84, 87

1,030 23% <10 113 119 252 <10 50 492 899 75% 27 80 110 559 <10 <10 116 853 58% 13 81 171 318 0 33 237 914 74% <20 123 136 532 <10 22 88 866 84% 17 54 54 667 <10 <20 57 903 48% <10 45 142 362 0 <40 316

64, 70, 76, 85

28 Kirk

74, 83

29 Lamkin

59, 72, 77, 82

2 0 1 8  1 9 S T U D E N T  T E A C H E R DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN

30 Lee

74, 79, 83

31 Lieder 32 Lowery 33 Matzke 34 McFee 35 Metcalf 36 Millsap 37 Moore 38 Owens

75, 80

58, 67, 87

1,057 70% <10 79 230 511

0 <60 176

60, 78

DISTRICTWIDE STATE AVERAGE

1,097 85% <10 55 337 595 <10 27 72 756 83% <20 52 154 472 0 <10 57

67, 73, 80, 84

67, 87

STUDENTS

TEACHERS

872 58% <20 32 104 379 0 <10 339 59, 65, 77, 78

909 42% <10 137 188 219 0 <50 323 880 72% 14 61 199 466 0 20 120 1,026 7% <10 153 72 196 0 <40 562

65, 78 68, 79

18.6%

12.6%

13.8%

10.6%

AFRICAN AMERICAN

39 Pope 40 Post

71, 76, 82

909 65% 11 54 211 444 0 29 160 61, 62, 63, 83, 86 1,042 38% <10 189 270 336 0 <50 203 57, 58, 82, 84, 87

41 Postma

0.9%

0.36%

0.3%

0.3%

AMERICAN INDIAN

42 Reed

936 76% <10 121 64 679 0 <10 59 1,118 18% <10 276 143 278 0 <40 379 1,209 79% <30 71 268 736 <10 25 86 1,008 35% <10 75 135 288 <10 34 468 978 8% <10 147 <40 <160 <10 42 591 1,204 75% <20 64 373 617 <10 23 110 1,118 9% <10 95 78 24 <0 <20 644

63, 86 57, 82 73, 81

43 Rennell

44 M. Robinson 45 A. Robison

ASIANPACIFIC ISLANDER

9.4%

4.2%

2.5%

1.9%

64, 72, 85

46 Sampson 47 Sheridan 48 Swenke 49 Tipps 50 Walker 51 Warner

72, 85

73, 75, 80

70, 76

44.4%

52%

15.5%

27.7%

HISPANIC

984 85% 45 58 204 596 <10 <20 70 67, 74, 75, 79, 80, 87

919 81% <10 36 226 535 0 <30 93 1,103 14% <10 345 134 189 <10 39 390 1,005 8% <10 201 93 204 <10 57 447

66, 69, 81, 84

71, 82 71, 76

2.6%

2.52%

1.5%

1.1%

MULTIPLE RACES

52 Wells

53 Willbern 54 Wilson 55 Woodard

897 70% <10 162 143 477 0 <30 85 61, 62, 78, 83, 86

911 60% <20 120 149 412 <10 20 195 1,104 45% <10 165 209 372 0 <50 311 910 70% <10 40 200 480 <10 27 158

75, 80

24.1%

27%

66.4%

58.4%

WHITE

58, 72, 82

56 Yeager

60, 78

SOURCE: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

20

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