Two schools, one building: A helping hand after Harvey destroys school

Two Humble ISD schools will share a campus after Kingwood High School was damaged by flooding from Harvey.

5,000 high schoolers will share a building this school year - not to mention all the teachers and staff.

Humble ISD administrators say it's the only solution after Kingwood High School was destroyed by flooding.

Despite the massive loss, students say they're staying positive.

Ingrid Pina, a rising Kingwood senior, said seeing her school destroyed was heartbreaking.

"Honestly, sometimes in your most stressful moments as a highschooler, you want school to be canceled for a week," she said. "But when you see it happen, it's just so devastating."

Pina won't be graduating high school in the same building she started, but she's focusing on the positives - like meeting new friend Sydney Caston.

The two are student body presidents at Summer Creek and Kingwood high schools.

They'll be spending a lot more time together this year when all 5,000 students go to school on the Summer Creek campus.

"I think everyone is just doing the best they can to make sure this year is going to be a good year," said Caston.

LIST: When Houston-area school districts resume classes

Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said this is the only option after Kingwood was destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

"[Summer Creek] had roughly 25 classrooms that could be devoted completely to Kingwood High School, and so as we went through the process and talked about everything, it became really obvious that the only viable solution was to those Kingwood High School to Summer Creek High School," she said.

This is only Fagen's first year as Humble ISD's superintendent.

"First year or fifth year, I think this is a unique event for sure," she said. "Catastrophic. Beyond everybody's predictions to some extent ... You just have to take your leadership skills, the team you have around you, the needs of your community, and you have to put it all together and move forward."

 

 

Here's how it will work: Summer Creek students will take classes from 7 a.m. until lunch time, then Kingwood students will use the building from lunch until 4:30 p.m.

There will be four 61-minute classes for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and three 83-minute classes on Tuesday, Thursday. Fagen said it is similar to a college schedule.

Fagen said these short, four-and-a-half hour school days are compliant with TEA rules. But it's natural for parents to fear their kids won't learn enough during the short days.

"We've taken some other things out to really focus on instruction in the limited time we have," said Fagen.

The decision on this temporary solution came after very rushed planning and debate between administrators. At one point, Saturday classes were even considered. Fagen said the board surveyed over 4,900 parents for feedback.

For Ingrid Pina and other Kingwood students, Harvey's effects will come home with them after the short school day.

She's taking in a fellow student and her family after their home was destroyed.

"It's not just me," she said. "It's other families that are helping other families. We will get to school and be okay."

 

 

It's not the senior year she imagined, but one she's grateful for.

"At a time when it's hard, when our lives have been shaken so much, I'm really thankful for Summer Creek for letting us into your family, and your school," Pina said. "And for keeping us all together."

To give everyone a chance to prepare for the cramped school year, the start of school has been delayed for the high schools until Monday, Sept. 11.

Kingwood families will get the chance to see their new building in an open house on Saturday.

As for the future? Administration is hopeful this temporary placement won't last longer than one school year.

They are already working to repair the Kingwood High School campus.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment