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Northgate Forest Wants To Secede From Spring ISD?


pineda

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One would think that if Northgate goes, Olde Oaks goes too. I'd love to see Ponderosa get on board - in fact, I'd like to see all the neighborhoods on the West side of FM 1960 secede. They've nothing in common with the Spring ISD of today.

As a Spring ISD alum (Westfield) I wholeheartedly support this. This District has gone to ____ over the past decade, and homeowners have a right to be angry and have every right to pursue any legal means necessary to protect their neighborhoods and property values. Spring ISD was once one of the best School Districts in the state. They stupidly did nothing to protect their core taxpayers (on the west side of FM 1960) which made up the bulk of the attendance up until the mid 1990's, I recall out of greed (to get more I-45 frontage for taxation) SISD annexed part of Aldine ISD (near the Greenspoint area) back around 1989-ish...signalling the demographic change in the District, and a flood of cheap housing and apartments were built up in the area East of FM 1960, changing the face of the district, introducing gang culture, and declining scores and standards.

Its funny reading the names of the key Spring ISD players in the article, back in 1991 they were all teachers, coaches, and counselors.

Edited by mrfootball
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This has been an ongoing issue for about a year I think. Northgate is sick of the SPring ISD leadership and thei inability to control the issue at Westfield. If they were annexed into Klein they would be inteh Klein Collins attendance zone. However, Klein gains next to nothing as far as a tax base, but takes on additional cost as afar as additional students, and possibly facilities for the annexation off this area and it would be a longshot if it happened.

Look at the bright side they get to root for one Hell of a football team.

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One would think that if Northgate goes, Olde Oaks goes too. I'd love to see Ponderosa get on board - in fact, I'd like to see all the neighborhoods on the West side of FM 1960 secede. They've nothing in common with the Spring ISD of today.

As a Spring ISD alum (Westfield) I wholeheartedly support this. This District has gone to ____ over the past decade, and homeowners have a right to be angry and have every right to pursue any legal means necessary to protect their neighborhoods and property values. Spring ISD was once one of the best School Districts in the state. They stupidly did nothing to protect their core taxpayers (on the west side of FM 1960) which made up the bulk of the attendance up until the mid 1990's, I recall out of greed (to get more I-45 frontage for taxation) SISD annexed part of Aldine ISD (near the Greenspoint area) back around 1989-ish...signalling the demographic change in the District, and a flood of cheap housing and apartments were built up in the area East of FM 1960, changing the face of the district, introducing gang culture, and declining scores and standards.

Its funny reading the names of the key Spring ISD players in the article, back in 1991 they were all teachers, coaches, and counselors.

FM 1960 runs east and west between 249 and I-45, so what you mean to say is neighborhoods north of 1960, which are the middle class neighborhoods. The neighborhoods south of 1960, with the exception of Greenwood Forest, are working class (lower middle class) or lower income. The homeowners of Northgate shouldn't be concerned. They all have enough money to send their kids to private schools, or they can have their kids transferred to Klein Collins if they are worried about gang culture, picking up ebonics speech, seeing lewd acts in public, weapons, drugs, and other things uncharacteristic of their highly moral and innocent upper middle class upbringing.

How will switching school districts protect their property values? It may help a bit, but since most of the residents of Northgate send their children to private schools, it won't affect property values nearly as much as natural economic conditions will. The fact is that the ghetto of Houston is bursting through the seams. It is pushing all the way up to 1960 now and would probably keep moving further north if there was no middle class barrier of neighborhoods in the way. Northgate will have to accept the fact that there is a huge economic gap split by 1960, which has nothing to do with moves made by Spring ISD and everything to do with the current U.S. economy. They can either accept it and stay part of Spring ISD or turn their heads north.

When you say "protect their neighborhoods", how? and from what?

Btw, isn't Spring High School still a good school? Last time I checked online, Spring, Tx is like 80% white. Oh, and the area east of I-45 around Hardy Toll Rd is the nicest part of Spring, in my opinion. There is a nice hilly terrain, beautiful trees that haven't been clear cut. I'm thinking of moving out there at the beginning of the year.

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Auteur - That' is a nice big undeveloped part of Houston that hasn't been developed b/w Spring & Kingwood. If I'm not mistaken that area lies within a 100-yr floodplain and any new developments have to be 'improved' dramatically to ensure they won't flood. If that leads to more Bender's Landing-type developments then its going to be a very nice area someday.

I think Spring High is still a pretty good school, and should get more relief once DeKaney opens.

By protecting their neighborhood, they're mainly talking about property values and improving resale values (and Northgate Country Club membership roles) - all of which have remained pretty stagnant since the schools went south - the neighborhoods themselves still look great.

Partially true is the fact that Spring ISD couldn't really do much to slow the massive migration of lower income people into its boundaries from Aldine and other parts of the city. They were attracted to the 'good' schools as well - can't blame them. It simply became overbuilt with high-density developments, losing its balance to the detriment of the homeowners as upstart families began bypassing this area in favor of The Woodland, Klein & Cypress. The main beef they have is that Spring ISD was slow to build schools to accomodate this massive growth and it led to overcrowded schools, distraction, and falling scores. Had they built Dekaney 5-10 years ago (rather than making WHS a Mega 5A HS), this all could've been avoided.

Edited by mrfootball
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If I'm a homeowner in Northgate, I wouldn't worry so much about my property value in the long run. With all the clear cutting of trees, the few neighborhoods that have dense preservation of trees will be extremely valuable someday. I definitely understand the concern. You don't want your value to drop because of changing demographics, especially if that's your reward of years of hard work and saving money, or if that's your only real estate asset you own, and you want to make some money off it someday before retiring.

Edited by PureAuteur
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The homeowners of Northgate shouldn't be concerned. They all have enough money to send their kids to private schools,

Exactly right!!!

When you say "protect their neighborhoods", how? and from what?

I think the answer is "minorities" but im sure it wont get said.

Edited by Houston1stWordOnTheMoon
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Wow, that's a lot of hurdles right there that these Spring ISD residents would have to overcome. Not the least of which would be, what happens if they got their wish to be re-zoned into Klein ISD, only to find out that their children might be put on a waiting list to get into Klein or Klein Collins because of overcrowding that already exists at these schools? Would these residents be willing to drive to Klein Forest or Klein Oak as a back-up option? Would Klein ISD or Spring ISD pay for the additional busses needed to accomodate these students? Interesting proposition, lots of variables to consider, for sure.

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It was a smart strategy to create a group that threatened to veto any future bond issues (and has been successful) thereby creating a sufficient thorn in the side of Spring ISD officials, one that might be enough of a problem for them that they just assume let them go.

Klein ISD, benefits from having Northgate, because those are some very expensive homes, with high tax value - along with a nice Country Club and golf club that has a nice taxable value while adding a minimal number of students (no more than 100-200, I assume).

If I'm not mistaken, the proposal has them added to Collins, though Klein would seem closer.

As for how they would get to school...These kids don't need buses, they've got limos.

I fully expect Olde Oaks and Ponderosa to follow suit if this is successful, though there are a lot more kids in those neighborhoods that might prove to be a logistical nightmare...though...if they did choose to go, they take their schools with them too (ie. Oak Creek Elementary, Wells Middle, and Ponderosa Elementary). Northgate is a simpler deal.

Edited by mrfootball
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I think you'd be surprised how many busses are run daily throughout these "well-off" neighborhoods. Northgate, Ponderosa, Westador, Olde Oaks and similar neighborhoods in Spring ISD are quite nice, but they are also getting older and are by no means Carlton Woods types neighborhoods that you'll see in The Woodlands. So, bussing costs do remain part of the overall equation here. And, still, what will happen if Northgate students are put on a waiting list to get into Klein schools that are already overcrowded? Will they seek instead to remain at their nearby neighborhood schools and hope to get into a Klein school down the road? Will they put one by one into area Klein schools in far-flung parts of the district that may not be experiencing overcrowding at this time, only to be moved next year as that school becomes overcrowded? Why not just move into a neighborhood already zoned into Klein and be done with it? Sounds like a nightmare for the kids to have to endure all this.

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There aren't really that many kids in Northgate. I may have been grossly overestimating when I said 150-200. It may be more like 80-100 (if even). Of course some will be in Elementary School, some in Middle School and Some in High School, so it's not like its going to be a huge enrollment crisis for KISD.

Edited by mrfootball
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I share mrfootball's lament over the decline of Spring ISD and those middle-class neighborhoods north of 1960, including my old neighborhood of Ponderosa Forest. But I agree with PureAuteur that it was just bad economics/demographics/geography. And while I agree with mrfootball that SISD could have been much more intelligent in protecting their investment, it would have only slowed the inevitable. As for the fate of Spring High School - it's been on a steady decline. It's not 80% white any more - it's closer to 55% white, and still falling. There are all kinds of problems with gang violence in Spring High School now. And this is all just the result of demographics.

As for Northgate Forest, the article says they have "about 150 homes". According to HAR, I count 118. I'm estimating we're talking about less than 75 kids. On the block we moved out of Ponderosa Forest last year, which had 30 homes or so, there was 1 other house with kids on it.

So of those 75 kids in Northgate Forest:

* Some go to Spring ISD schools and are happy there. They're members of the Northgate country club and the Oak Creek Village swim team. In the schools, they're on their tennis team, golf team, swimming, or band only. Don't even think about anything else. They're in the Tier 4 classes and attend the new Wunsche magnet high school, which is a lot better than Westfield. And the big payoff is graduating in the top 10% of their class so they can clinch that automatic enrollment at UT (don't even think about A&M). These folks don't care about Klein ISD.

* Some go to private schools as PureAuteur said. The average home value in that subdivision is over $500,000. That's a $4,000/month or $5,000/month mortgage payment. If they can't afford $1,000/month for private school tuition, something is seriously wrong with their finances. Northland Christian and Sweetwater are popular ones nearby. And you'll see yard signs for Concordia Lutheran (in Tomball), St. Pius, etc. The stay-at-home mom drives the kids to and from school every day. These folks don't care about Klein ISD.

* Some homeschool. The stay-at-home moms are most often very well educated in these families. And they have boatloads of time and restless energy now that their white-collar careers have been interrupted for motherhood. There's lots of support systems for homeschooling parents now. These folks don't care about Klein ISD.

So who's left? All 15 families in the subdivision who really want Klein ISD badly? And they're living in $500,000 homes? C'mon, folks.

By the way, I got news for these folks. Klein ISD isn't what it used to be. Every single high school in that district is now rated "Academically Acceptable". Just a handful of years ago, every high school was rated "Exemplary". Yes, Klein Collins and Klein are way better than Westfield, but they need to look at private schools if they can't live with the options available to them now.

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By the way, I got news for these folks. Klein ISD isn't what it used to be. Every single high school in that district is now rated "Academically Acceptable". Just a handful of years ago, every high school was rated "Exemplary". Yes, Klein Collins and Klein are way better than Westfield, but they need to look at private schools if they can't live with the options available to them now.

Klein ISD has Vistas... http://kleincollins.kleinisd.net/docs/Vistas.htm

By the way, I think suburban areas should have schools of choice. In particular, I think annexed parts of Houston not in Houston ISD should be merged into Houston ISD to allow for school choice in both directions.

On another note, here's a thread at Kingwood Underground: I proposed putting Kingwood and all other parts of Houston in one district. Nobody on the forum was enthusiastic about the idea, but, oh well :) - http://www.kingwoodunderground.com/topic.jsp?topicId=4056079

I have what I need - the concepts that Kingwood residents like in their schools - so that I can create my own version of THE Houston school district. I understand why the Kingwood posters may be less than enthusiastic... but I still believe that "I am right."

NOTE: The only reason I'm singling out Kingwood is because it has been in the Houston city limits since 1996

Edited by VicMan
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Kingwood's got solid schools. I guess all of the Kingwood people post on the Underground site, which is why we have so few here.

And the big payoff is graduating in the top 10% of their class so they can clinch that automatic enrollment at UT (don't even think about A&M).

pullleeeeze. :rolleyes:

Back to the main topic...

Again, this all goes back to property value.

I wonder if Northgate is successful, will we see the residents of Brandonwood, Woods of Wimbledon, and Huntwick Sec. 5 & 6 try and jump from Klein ISD over to Cypress Creek? Of course, their problem could get fixed by a rational rezoning, since they're over on the KHS side of FM 1960 anyhow and KF is more overcrowded than any of the other schools.

Edited by mrfootball
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Kingwood's got solid schools. I guess all of the Kingwood people post on the Underground site, which is why we have so few here.

pullleeeeze. :rolleyes:

1. We should invite more Kingwood people here

2. How true about top ten percent at small schools - My school is a magnet - I have a 3.84 GPA and I'm in the bottom half

3. Even though I understand Kingwood has good schools, I don't see the harm in having school choice - Some people may prefer small schools or non-traditional schools. Of course, I would emulate Humble ISD's own "Quest" program in a new location in my version of Houston ISD to cater to Kingwood and Aldine residents

BTW, most transfers to Kingwood schools in my idea of HISD would most likely come from other parts of Kingwood/Lake Houston/Summerwood, Aldine/Greenspoint, Northline Mall area, North Forest, and the Inwood Forest areas. Of course, the Kingwood schools would determine who is admitted (out of the non-zoned people)

By the way - I created some maps showing my ideas. I will get a photobucket account and upload them :)

Edited by VicMan
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This Top 10% rule has really changed things hasn't it?

When I was at UT (1991-1995) it seemed like the most kids (from Houston) came from these high schools: Kingwood, Klein, Westfield, Cy-Creek, Stratford, Memorial, Katy Taylor, Dulles, Lamar, Bellaire, Lee, Kincaid and St. John's.

The Dallas kids came from the (then) big feeders like: Plano, Plano East, JJ Pearce, Richardson, Arlington Lamar, Lake Highlands, Highland Park, St. Mark's, Ursaline, and Hockaday.

Nowadays, I guess they don't have as big of a representation from the feeder schools is that true...or do kids now just transfer in just to get their degrees (as opposed to the true 4-year experience)?

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http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive....id=2006_4235590 states...

"This fall, there was considerable overlap in the lists of the 20 high schools sending the most freshmen to each university. Eleven schools, including the Houston area's Cinco Ranch, Kingwood, The Woodlands and Stephen F. Austin in Sugar Land, appeared on both lists.

The top 20 feeder schools accounted for 16 percent of the freshmen at both A&M and UT.

What's more, graduates from about 5 percent of the state's 1,698 high schools filled nearly half the spots in the entering freshman class at both universities this fall. "

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I'll go ahead and say that the folks in Northgate have zero chance of this happening. Call it a hunch, but no Klein School Board member would touch this mess ever. This won't be said out loud by the folks over there in Northgate but it is about not wanting their kids going to school with the minority crowd at Westfield. Klein is not going to get in the middle of their mess so it ain't gonna happen. You don't like the school district you live in, move.

I said it before KF is not nearly as bad as Westfield is, but I would laugh if Klein said ok come on in, and zoned Northgate to KF, and crushed their Klein Collins dreams.

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I share mrfootball's lament over the decline of Spring ISD and those middle-class neighborhoods north of 1960, including my old neighborhood of Ponderosa Forest. But I agree with PureAuteur that it was just bad economics/demographics/geography. And while I agree with mrfootball that SISD could have been much more intelligent in protecting their investment, it would have only slowed the inevitable. As for the fate of Spring High School - it's been on a steady decline. It's not 80% white any more - it's closer to 55% white, and still falling. There are all kinds of problems with gang violence in Spring High School now. And this is all just the result of demographics.

I understand how geography and demographic shifts changed Westfield, but the change of Spring H.S. baffles me. I thought Spring was solidifying itself even more as a white community with lots of families from Houston moving there over the last 10 years. If it's a nice suburb with top rated schools, what caused it to go downhill? How can there be gang violence if only Spring residents are zoned to Spring H.S.? This is of concern to me, since I'm considering moving to that part of Spring (Aldine Westfield Rd/ Hardy Toll Rd). The last time I drove around to check the area out, I was impressed with the beauty and serenity of the area, but while driving through the neighborhoods, I noticed lots of minorities walking around, and not of the middle class sort. How is it that these kids of "gang culture" can afford to live in Spring neighborhoods?

Edited by PureAuteur
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I understand how geography and demographic shifts changed Westfield, but the change of Spring H.S. baffles me. I thought Spring was solidifying itself even more as a white community with lots of families from Houston moving there over the last 10 years. If it's a nice suburb with top rated schools, what caused it to go downhill? How can there be gang violence if only Spring residents are zoned to Spring H.S.? This is of concern to me, since I'm considering moving to that part of Spring (Aldine Westfield Rd/ Hardy Toll Rd). The last time I drove around to check the area out, I was impressed with the beauty and serenity of the area, but while driving through the neighborhoods, I noticed lots of minorities walking around, and not of the middle class sort. How is it that these kids of "gang culture" can afford to live in Spring neighborhoods?

Historically, the Spring HS zone has always been middle-class, drifting more toward working-class. And while it has traditionally been white, that has changed recently. Take a look at the Greengate subdivision - that's regarded as pure ghetto now. Remember that Spring borders Aldine. And remember that Aldine and Greenspoint have been expanding, and they're expanding north, because prices in the inner loop are going nuts.

If demographic patterns continue, it's projected that Spring HS will look a lot like Westfield and Klein Forest in about a decade.

The area you're looking to buy in is in the far northern tip of the Spring HS zone. It has the nicest new developments going up in the entire district. They're farther from the encroaching ghetto than the rest of Spring, but they're all still zoned to Spring HS.

Edited by SpringTX
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This may explain why you see 'ghetto' people in seemingly nice neighborhoods in/around Spring

In other news

The board approved the enrollment projections for the 2007-08 school year.

Allison Matney, director of planning and system accountability, said the district expects an increase of 1,839 students

Edited by mrfootball
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I lived in a community that is attached to Northgate (Waterford Park). There are no kids in Northgate. At least I couldn't find them. It's all about property values. Once we found out the mess we were in and that our kids could not attend Spring ISD schools (one did for Kindergarten and ironically, we LOVED it) for any length of time, we left. It's not as easy as you think to just 'move' from that area. I lost a fortune on that house and it took me three years to sell it. That's what happens when you buy a house in a weekend with a bad realtor. Funny thing is, my child repeated everything he learned in Kindergarten at Oak Creek (Spring ISD) in Klein's first grade. Educationally, Spring ISD was far superior.

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I lived in a community that is attached to Northgate (Waterford Park). There are no kids in Northgate. At least I couldn't find them. It's all about property values. Once we found out the mess we were in and that our kids could not attend Spring ISD schools (one did for Kindergarten and ironically, we LOVED it) for any length of time, we left. It's not as easy as you think to just 'move' from that area. I lost a fortune on that house and it took me three years to sell it. That's what happens when you buy a house in a weekend with a bad realtor. Funny thing is, my child repeated everything he learned in Kindergarten at Oak Creek (Spring ISD) in Klein's first grade. Educationally, Spring ISD was far superior.

I'm sorry to hear you had such an awful experience, but I don't quite understand your post.

Why could your kids not attend Spring ISD schools?

Isn't Waterford Park zoned to Oak Creeks Elementary, Wells Middle School and Westfield High School?

What schools do they attend now that you consider to be inferior?

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There was no way I could let them move on to Wells. The gangs, the drugs, the safety issues. My neighbor tried it out for a year and her son was terrorized.

Spring ISD levels/groups their kids by ability and subject matter. I LOVED that. It works well for both my kids. One is a fast learner and the other is quite slower. It keeps them interested and focused and less intimidated. I wouldn't say Klein is 'inferior'...maybe 'superior' was too strong a word.

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Sorry to hear that about Wells. We attended choir functions there and at Twin Creeks and liked both schools. I did not realize that Wells had those kinds of issues. So, from your "name", should I infer that you are now a "Cy-Fair" or "Champions Forest" resident, or does that stand for something else? Are you happier there?

Edited by pineda
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I've heard the same things about Spring ISD vs. Klein, and this is one of the things that I lament most about what has happened to Spring ISD. Functionally, it was a great district, with great curriculum, and terrific teachers.

I think CF pretty much summed it up. When you don't have upstart young families clamoring to move into a district (as you have in Klein, Cy-Fair, and The Woodlands) then you don't have much demand for the high-end housing that you find in places like Northgate, etc. With a smaller pool of people willing to move in to these areas, prices tend to fall. Property values decline...etc, etc.

If this neighborhood were re-zoned to a more desireable district, then they could reverse this.

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("It's not as easy as you think to just 'move' from that area. I lost a fortune on that house and it took me three years to sell it. That's what happens when you buy a house in a weekend with a bad realtor.")

That's pretty much what happened to us. I'll never buy a home again without spending months researching the area. And I'll never trust any realtor ever again. :)

As for Klein ISD versus Spring ISD, I'll can say are these 2 things:

1. Northland Christian school considers honors in Spring ISD equivalent to regular (on-grade) classes in Klein ISD.

2. We know folks who had kids in honors classes in Spring ISD, and moved to Klein. And they got hammered in honors classes there, and had to downgrade to regular classes just to survive.

3. Our kids transferred from honors classes in Spring ISD to The Woodlands, and they got hammered. No comparison. Much, much more accelerated/demanding/competitive. All our kids took a major hit. One had to downgrade to regular classes just to survive. Another slowly had to work her way back up over the course of a year.

It may be different at the kindergarten level, but in the higher levels, I don't see any comparison with Spring ISD schools. I think they're way behind the other districts. Not because of poor teaching. But because the quality of the students is so much lower. In Ponderosa and Bammel, while we were there, there was often talk about discontinuing some or all of the honors classes ("Tier 4") because of lack of interest/candidates.

Mrfootball is correct that, even if Northgate doesn't have any kids, being zoned to a more favorable school district would help real estate sales there. Basically it would allow the old farts in Northgate who are bickering to sell their houses without incurring huge losses. I say that if have a $500,000 home, and if they can only sell it for $400,000 right now, I don't think they're going to starve to death. Maybe they can sell their beach house, sailboat, or antique car to cover the difference.

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