South Belt students return to school
From pink and purple hair bows to polo shirts and pastel-colored sneakers, more than 56,000 Pasadena Independent School District students donned their best back-to-school ensembles Tuesday, Aug. 25, as they returned to class.
This school year, PISD is celebrating many firsts: more than 600 new students, the addition of 700 new district teachers and the opening of two new schools – Marshall Kendrick and Fred Roberts middle schools. A third new school, named for PISD board member Nelda Sullivan is scheduled to open in January.
PISD Superintendent of Schools Kirk Lewis said traffic around these new campuses posed the biggest problem for school officials on opening day this year.
“The first few days at any school are going to be a little worse than usual until you get into a routine,” Lewis said. “But when there’s something new or there’s some construction, it’s always going to be worse.”
Some of that said construction involves the ongoing project to replace pavement on Hughes Road in front of Frazier Elementary. Since construction on the westbound lanes in front of Frazier wasn’t completed before school started, the campus was forced to utilize its side entrance on Sagemeadow. Confounding matters is that the intersection of Hughes and Sagemeadow is closed, causing extensive traffic in the area.
Also of concern to South Belters is overcrowding at Dobie, as enrollment at the campus is expected to top 4,000. An exact figure was not available at press time.
Reflecting on rising enrollment, the district adopted a new vision for the school year as a way to recognize major accomplishments, boost student achievement, set districtwide goals and create a positive environment for students and staff. The theme for this year is Keep on Climbing.
Lewis charged district administration to “keep on climbing, offer daily encouragement, maintain high expectations, inspire students’ best work and keep moving upward, forever upward as you prepare students for success in whatever life has in store.”
Following the Leader’s investigative report into the United States Postal Service detailing many of the issues experienced by local South Belt residents and business owners, the Leader has been contacted by a plethora of individuals throughout the community who also voiced their concerns regarding the Postal Service’s substandard service of late.
Through the joint efforts of the Leader and active community members, officials of the United States Postal Service have been made fully aware of the issues that have plagued the Houston area.
Promptly following the publication of the report, the Leader was contacted by numerous representatives of the Postal Service.
While multiple anonnymous sources who currently serve in varying positions in different United States Postal Service stations have stated that the trucks are to arrive at local stations by 6:30 a.m. at the latest, Kelvin Dansby, marketing manager for the United States Postal Service, firmly disagrees.
“The trucks leave from the main processing center to go to the post offices around 8:30 in the morning,” said Dansby. “It takes about half an hour to get the mail from our processing center to the local post offices. From there, the mail is sorted and our couriers start delivering them on their routes.”
Dansby has taken it upon himself to investigate the Postal Service’s subpar service by inspecting the operations of the Windmill Lakessubstation.
It should be noted that the Postal Service’s service at the Leader’s office building improved marginally since the publication of the initial report. The Leader went from having almost no mail service at all to having mail service most of the time.
Corporate Communications Specialist Mc-Kinney Boyd recently confirmed the Leader’s conclusion of the Postal Service’s second-rate service being a direct consequence of the United States Postal Service’s shutdown of the Barbara Jordan Post Office last May.
“The United States Postal Service is just like any other industry,” said Boyd. “Anytime you have two large businesses merging into one, there are going to be some hiccups along the way. The situation right now is no different. In our case, we’re merging from two mail processing facilities into one larger facility, and we’re experiencing some hiccups as we’re transitioning.”
Boyd is convinced that the slight issues during the transitioning process as the Postal Service relocates a large part of its Houston workforce to the North Houston Center will result in better service from the Postal Service in the long run.
“The beauty of it is that we are working to improve and get better every single day,” said Boyd. “Once we get situatated and get everything worked out, we can expect to start providing the same level and quality of service as before, if not better. We ask that our patrons, customers and residents be patient with us and give us a little more time as we iron out the little bumps in the road.”
Residents and business owners feeling the effects of the United States Postal Service’s inadequate service are asked to bear with the Postal Service as it finishes its transitioning process for upward of one to two more months.
“I can almost guarantee you that all the issues that you’re experiencing right now will be resolved within the next 30 to 60 days,” said Boyd. “I look forward to having this conversation in about two months’ time, because everything will have been taken care of at that point and it’s going to be a beautiful conversation.”
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