North Shore Rotary was informed of the State of the School Districts in the area, by the three superintendents of Galena Park, Channelview, and Sheldon. The talks took place at the regular weekly luncheon of the club, at the Holiday Inn in Channelview last Thursday, Sept. 1.
Channelview superintendent Greg Ollis said there was a new motto at CISD, “One Passion One Dream One Heartbeat.” Ollis stated that the district had grown, to 9500 students, 1292 employees on 13 campuses.
For purposes of state funding, the district is classified as not affluent. 80% of the students are enrolled in free or reduced rate lunches, and 40% for free breakfast. The district budget for this year will be $78 million, and the tax rate has decreased in 2 of the last 3 years.
Referring to a favorable graduation rate of 89.6%, Ollis said that “we changed the culture of what went on in our schools.”
Advanced programs include Modified Early College, Dual credit, college forward, AP exams, and OnRamps with UT Austin. All elementary schools teach dual languages.
Channelview is proud that they have a Gates Scholar, Christian Meza, who is in the 1% of 53,000 students that applied for this program. Channelview also has 700 students enrolled in athletics, and 600 in fine arts.
Sheldon Superintendent King Davis acknowledged that this was his first year, starting in January.
The motto for Sheldon is “Every Child, Every Day.” He is administering a $285 million bond issue, indicating how fast the district is growing. The bond will be used for a new replacement high school for C. E. King, and a new elementary #6. With a growth rate of 7% overall, and 12% at the high school level, the new schools are needed. The money will also be used for new buses and security upgrades, he said.
The district now have 8500 students, and this is expected to grow to 11,000 by 2023.
He has been able to balance the budget for the first time in three years. For state funding, Sheldon is classified as a wealthy district.
Galena Park superintendent Angi Williams spoke about the size of her district. It has 22,00 students, 3000 employees, and a budget of $204 million.
She noted that their starting salaries are competitive with large districts around the city.
Advanced programs include Early college with San Jacinto College with 200 students enrolled, and dual credit with San Jacinto College. Students can get up to 24 hours of college credit in this program, saving them a great deal of money. Last year Galena Park ISD graduated 1500 seniors.
Galena Park ISD held a bond issue that passed, and the $200 million is being used to rebuild and upgrade all 6 elementary schools.
Galena Park’s two high school graduated 1068 from North Shore HS, and 446 from Galena Park HS.