North Forest parents blame HISD for first week confusion

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 2 at 7:49 PM

HOUSTON – As the school year starts, parents in the former North Forest Independent School District say they are not happy about the way things are going now that they are part of Houston ISD.

Ashyrus Cockrell missed the first two days of school.

“I feel like I’m a little baby just not in school,” she said.

The third grader’s mother tried to enroll her at McGowen Elementary, which used to be Houston Gardens. The child’s mother said school officials told her they were not zoned to McGowen and sent them to Cook Elementary. She said at Cook they were turned away also.

“Because they say it’s full to the capacity now,” said Ashyrus’ mother, Ashley Shepard.  “It’s exhausting and it’s (frustrating) because, not only was they turned down from this school, they were turned down from the school that’s just right across the street from us.”

One parent said he took his son to McGowan Elementary too, but once he returned home he got a disturbing call.

“We thought everything was legit,” Princeton Walker said. “He was OK. Thirty minutes later we get a call from another school saying that they transferred him over there without our permission.”

Walker said administrators put his son on a school bus and had him driven to a different school, but no one notified him until after the fact.

An HISD spokesman said the district has gone out of its way to communicate with former North Forest parents. He said litigation that dragged on gave HISD staff only two months to talk with everyone.

“We’ve called every household we have a number for. If there is confusion we want to clear it up,” HISD spokesman Jason Spencer said.

As for Ashyrus, her mother finally got her enrolled in school on day three. She is glad about it because she worries about her grades.

“You have to try very hard to make As and Bs,” she said.

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