HISD board members vote to keep specialized school open

The fate has been decided for an HISD school that focuses on bringing over-aged middle school students up to the same level as their peers. The board voted unanimously to keep High School Ahead Academy Middle School open at Thursday's board meeting.

There was a real fear that the school would be closing it’s doors at the end of the school year, leaving faculty and staff without a job, and the students forced to attend their home middle school.

“Clearly at some point there was a need for this school and I’m afraid that the students will not be able to progress if they are integrated back into their home schools.“ said Stacy Rayon, one of the public speakers.

“Those students have an opportunity to be individualized in classes taken because of smaller classroom sizes. The attention given also helps the student experience success and not failure," Clara Brent, a parent and retired teacher, said.

Since 2010, High School Ahead Academy Middle School has helped students who were left back by two or more years catch up with their peers, instead of having high school aged students in middle school.

Board members agreed with the speakers, feeling the closure of HSAA will do more harm than good.

“The students are at risk students, predominately black and brown students, and this school does not have a history of any dubious financial situation so I am against closing this school,” said board member Sergio Lira.

The board voted unanimously to keep the school open. Those in attendance were very happy with the result.

“It brought joy to my heart, the kids still have another opportunity to go to school that they are going to right now,” said Sam Smith

“When we are talking about students and education I think they did the right thing because the school has really been helping out a lot of kids. They are over age kids and they need a place where they feel comfortable," Darren Brown, a community member, told Fox 26.

HSAA must work on other problems such as transportation and attendance issues.