Highland Park ISD board meeting discussed and voted on program changes

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:00 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:13 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Highland Park ISD’s School board discussed and voted on program changes at a board meeting.

The HPISD boards voted unanimously to keep programs as is throughout the remainder of the school year.

At the end of the year, they will come together again to re-evaluate and discuss plans moving forward.

Last week student and parents stated some UIL elective classes were removed from class schedule plans, teachers also stated they were told their programs were ending after the 2022-2023 school year.

An estimated 80 individuals, from Hornet alum, current students, parents, and teachers attended the meeting, with many speaking in hopes of keeping programs like robotics, speech and debate, and theater at Highland Park.

“Her fund she never goes over budget, you’re the over spender right now. You’re getting a raise man? You’re the one over budget,” said one Highland Park student.

Many showed support to keep programs from being eliminated in the highland park school system, which were announced last week to be cut for next school year.

“Ms. Cowden’s class truly was a fundamental part of my high school career and I hope and pray that the students at Highland Park will continue to have that,” said a Highland Park alum.

One teacher who may lose her job after 17 years in HPISD, shared her success rate.

“The reasons I have be given for cancelling this program is that the numbers are low. In fact, my numbers are not low nor are they lowest numbers in the scheme of campus programs,” said Jennifer Cowden, Theatre director at Highland Park.

The board voted unanimously to “consolidate the elementary school administration duties into the elementary school principal and eliminate the middle school and high school theatre arts program, implementing a reduction in force due to the program change, identifying the effecting employment areas for reduction and force, authorizing the superintendent to apply the criteria in district policy DFFB local.”

Hannon clarified stating quote “No one has been non renewed. No one has been terminated at this point anything like that would require further action.”

Highland Parks Superintendent stated the districts overall enrollment is up 13 students, having 782 currently. Hannon said there has been a significant decline since 2022 in students.

HPISD has not posted any meeting times for April or May yet.