Huffman ISD recently earned a high score from the State of Texas. The school board heard more details Oct. 26 about the district’s rating on the State Financial Accountability System — Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). The board also got a report from Consolidated Property Advisors regarding future planning.

The board learned Huffman ISD scored 92 of the 100-point system to achieve a superior rating. Huffman ISD Superintendent Dr. Benny Soileau said, “While the district as a whole did a great job, there is always room for improvement in these numbers. I’d like to thank everyone for the hard work that went into putting all the information together.”

Fred Fargo of Consolidated Property Advisors gave a presentation regarding the need for planning and expansion due to the projected growth to result from the crossing of the Grand Parkway and Hwy. 90.

“Our company has been in business 23 years solely to serve school districts in planning for facility needs and real estate advice. Area demographic studies have shown that these highway systems being added will soon cause our district to make some tough choices, unless planning is done ahead of time to accommodate,” he said.

“Several districts, such as Katy ISD, have had to pay a hefty price tag per square foot of land when growth happens faster than the planning can occur. Keep in mind that nothing brings families to an area faster than the building of a new elementary school,” added Fargo.

There are over 2,000 residential lots that are planned for the immediate area. With substantial growth comes the need for more schools. Although the area has experienced a slow in growth and enrollment due to COVID-19, the expectations are still high that this area will see explosive growth in the coming years.

One of the initiatives the district has put in place is the addition of the TEAM TRUST Committee. This team met to discuss planning and facility needs moving forward. The committee is composed of community members, parents, teachers, board members and administrators. This planning is being done as a part of the district’s five-year plan concerning the FEMA Replacement and Renovation Program.

Dr. Joel Nolte, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, announced several activities happening around the campuses to celebrate Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is in place to create awareness of the dangers of drugs. The theme for this year was, “Be Happy, Be Brave, Be Drug Free.” Students were encouraged to dress in various styles depending on the day of the week and campus, such as wear their favorite jersey, wear camo, dress in a Halloween costume and more. Students and families were encouraged to check their school website or the district site at huffmanisd.net.

Nolte also gave several updates regarding COVID-19.

“After 23 instructional days, our 3,200-plus population continues to experience a 97% first cycle attendance, with the greatest number of remote students in the high school. Our student population did a great job of transitioning to online education through Canvas as a whole; however, several students changed their learning environment as of the new grading period that began Oct. 16,” he said.

The next regularly scheduled Huffman ISD board of trustees meeting is scheduled for Nov. 16 in the board room of the administration building.

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