You may have watched various blips on the news concerning the possible closing of Kaleidoscope Middle School, a small HISD internal charter academy in SW Houston (Fox, ABC13). HISD adminsitrators have proposed merging Kaleidoscope with the school next door, Jane Long Middle School.
A new HISD proposal would merge Kaleidoscope with Jane Long.
Both serve the same community: recent immigrants, low income, largely Spanish-speaking residents.
But Kaleidoscope has something its larger host school does not: Exemplary Status from the Texas Education Agency.
My colleague in various causes, Fidencio Leija, had this to say:
“Out of all the schools that are currently Exemplary, why would you shut one down?” asked community organizer Fidencio Leija Chavez, Jr. “Instead of embracing it — keeping it intact — they’re wanting to take it apart and dismantle it.”
HISD seems to have its own plans:
“H-I-S-D administrators have proposed merging Kaleidoscope Middle School into Long 6-12 Middle School, which is adding grades 9-12 for the new pharmaceutical technology academy, in an effort to increase academic rigor and options for students,” read the statement.
Placing students from a school with a successful track-record into something that seems very experimental may not be a good thing for the students involved. If one formula is working, why mess with it? It may be the smaller environment that Kaleidoscope offers that works for these students. Either way, it seems this particular formula works for the students. Shouldn’t they come first?
Unfortunately, according to some organizers, HISD has been less than forthcoming in this process.
On Thursday, March 29, 2012 – HISD gave Kaleidoscope and Las Americas Middle School a “ONE DAY NOTICE” for the parents to come hear an HISD Representative tell the administration, parents and students that they would be closing Kaleidoscope on Thursday.
The parents and students were alarmed because the HISD Representative “DID NOT” give them any honest reason for the closure and “DID NOT” give the community of Gulfton any options to save the school.
That doesn’t seem very democratic, much less respectful of those affected by this possible closure.
HISD Board of Trustees meets Thursday at 5:30 for a final vote on the matter. E-mail your Trustee and tell them to keep a good thing. Keep Kaleidoscope.