In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent devastating floodwaters, two local high schools have merged to form two schools sharing a single physical campus. That is, the students of Kingwood High School (KHS) entered the 2017-2018 school year at Summer Creek High School (SCHS) in Atascocita.
The halls of KHS, flooded to destruction, are already under construction and the doors are set to reopen in the fall of 2018. It was decided two weeks ago to put KHS on the campus of SCHS with modified class times.
To help with this transition, an Open House event was held Saturday, Sept. 9 at SCHS. The purpose was to unite two former rival schools and be an example and ambassador to both towns.
“I’m excited for the chance to show everyone that this transition didn’t break us, but moved us to be our very best. We may be blue at a maroon school, but we are proud of our accomplishments,” said Annie Ortiz, Kingwood High student body president.
For many of the staff, administration and custodial team members of KHS, this is an emotional journey of cleaning the classrooms and starting anew at a new campus with new books, supplies, instruments and uniforms. As many have noted, it is heartbreaking to think about the devastation that ravaged the school, as well as the families that have been negatively impacted as the waters rose in the final days of August.
Despite these adversities, SCHS opened its doors to all students and staff to ensure as little disruption as possible. The parents and staff of Summer Creek worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure their home is ready to take on new schedules and new faces.
Upon attending the Open House, all students were welcomed with smiles by local individuals; some of the volunteers were local faces that do not have students at either school but felt compelled to serve. Student council representatives helped by handing out classroom schedules and walked new students around with map in-hand. Ortiz said, “It is an honor to be looked at as a resource for advice by fellow students, regardless of the school name.”
The Bulldogs of SCHS welcomed their new campus mates with warm, wrapped hot dogs. Some of these treats were even walked around the crowds to create personal interactions. There were handmade, glittery signs lining the halls and floors of the school created by students and parents.
The Mustangs of KHS showed gratitude by collecting gift cards for the Bulldog staff, providing a place for parents and students to write thank-you notes, and finally, Post-It notes were made available and hung on lockers with encouraging notes to ease any anxieties the students may have had as they began their new chapter Monday, Sept. 11.
Local businesses, schools such as Kingwood Park High School, and the Humble ISD Education Foundation donated school supplies, backpacks and even shoes to students who experienced loss.
“We want all around us to know that through it all, our spirits are not broken and we are stronger together,” Ortiz said.
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