Community forum panelists Harris County Precinct 1 Community Engagement Coordinator Dru Gutierrez, from left, Claughton PTO Treasurer Marcella Johnson, MUD 150 representative Adrian Brown, and MUD 350 representatives Elvis Anderson and Leonard Cummings answer questions from the audience.
HOUSTON – April 4, 2018 – With student safety a top priority, Spring ISD and Claughton Middle School are partnering with parents, community members and local government agencies to improve safety in the neighborhood surrounding the school.
“We must do everything possible to provide safe passage for our students when they are walking or biking to and from school,” said Claughton Principal De’Monica Amerson at a safety forum held at the school on Tuesday. “We are working collaboratively because nothing is more important to me as principal than the safety of our students.”
Collaboration between MUD 150 and Harris County Precinct 4 is already showing results. Work is slated to begin next week on the installation of a traffic light with a crosswalk with pedestrian push-button access at the entrance to Camden Park subdivision at the intersection of Spears and Monument Valley roads, within a mile of the campus. Lindsey Trahan, who attended the forum on behalf of Harris County Precinct 4, said the goal is to have the traffic light completed by mid-May.
That announcement drew applause from parents who brought questions and concerns to the forum, which included a panel of community and government leaders from Spring ISD Police, Precinct 1, Precinct 4, Claughton Middle School PTO, MUD 150 and MUD 304. Also in attendance were Spring ISD Trustees Rhonda Newhouse, Justine Durant and Deborah Jensen, as well as Captain Jonathan Zitzmann from the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, and Donald Nance Jr. from Fallbrook Church.
Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson thanked those in attendance for their support and reiterated safety and security as the district’s top priority. As the new light is installed, the district is taking other steps to enhance safety, including using a speed zone radar trailer to monitor traffic and collect data, such as average speed of motorists and the number of vehicles. The results will help determine whether the current school zone should be expanded.
The district also has a Spring ISD police officer assigned to the campus to assist in the morning and afternoon with traffic and with encouraging students to use the crosswalk already in place at Walters and Spears roads.
Spring ISD Police Chief Victor Mitchell also reminded parents about the school’s traffic plan, which calls for all students to use that crosswalk and specifies where parents should drop off and pick up their students. Currently too many parents are parking at a nearby CVS or stopping along Walters or Spears roads to get their students, he said.
The district is also coordinating with community and government leaders to look at the possibility of installing sidewalks on Walters Road near Beneke Elementary School. He said the goal is to give students an alternative to walking in the middle of the road, as many currently do.
Camille Carey, the parent of a seventh-grade student, said she appreciated all the community and government leaders who came out to talk about safety at the forum. She said she was especially glad to hear that the new traffic light will soon be installed. “We’ve been fighting for this,” she said. “If everybody worked together, it would be an easier process.”