HOUSTON (FOX 26) - On Tuesday Humble Independent School District gave parents of Kingwood High School students their first update since school started on the reconstruction process following massive flooding at the school caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Kingwood students have had to share space with Summer Creek High School. Wednesday will mark one month since Kingwood students started classes at Summer Creek. The school which normally houses 2,200 students has had to make room for a combined total of 5,000 students.
In a memo sent to parents Tuesday, the school district said restoration of Kingwood High School could require the entire school year.
“Flooded buildings have to be aired out, they have to be torn out, they have to be cleaned out,” said Jamie Mount, a spokeswoman for the school district.
Flooding reached the second floor of Kingwood High School, and estimated damages amount to $30-40 million, said Mount.
“I’ve spent almost half my life in that building so it was tough,” said Rex Wolf, a Kingwood High School math teacher.
Wolf says he lives near Kingwood High School and has had to adjust to the longer commute to Summer Creek 13 miles away.
School days are now split. Summer Creek students attend classes in the morning. Kingwood students begin class in the afternoon.
“Each day we start about 12:10 p.m.,” said Ingrid Piña, a senior at Kingwood.
Piña is one of the 2,800 Kingwood students now grappling with less instructional time with teachers and more homework.
“Yeah they’re doing half days, but my kids are adapting well in the sense that they’re disciplined with their studies,” said Mike Frosinos who has a son and daughter who attend Kingwood.
Mount says students would typically get seven hours of instructional time in class per day, but due to the circumstances, students are currently getting four hours of instructional time.
"The kids--they’ve done great,” said Frosinos. “The toughness has just made them stronger. It’s good to have adversity.”
Summer Creek students are also getting less face time with teachers, leaving some parents frustrated.
“They have some classes that they only see teachers twice a week in," said a Summer Creek father who wanted to remain anonymous. "They’re holding them to the same standard as they were seeing those teachers five days a week, and I don’t think that’s quite fair.”
Mount says classes are currently in a college-style format, where some classes meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and other classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She adds, there are tutoring opportunities for students who are struggling with the lack of instructional time this school year.