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NOW OPEN: John Paul’s Landing Park, Katy, Texas

John Paul’s Landing Park, named for Pope John Paul II, is now open in the northwest quadrant of Katy ISD on West Road between Grand Parkway and Katy Hockley Road.

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 30, 2018

by Jennifer Skelton

  (more…)

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Groundbreaking Ceremony for Katy ISD High School #9 & Junior High #16

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

April 29, 2018  

by Jennifer Skelton  

The groundbreaking ceremony for High School #9 and Junior High #16, located in Cross Creek Ranch, will take place on Monday, April 30 at 11:00 a.m.

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Cane Island to Hold Candidate Forum for City of Katy Election on 4/19

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 18, 2018 

With just weeks to go before elections for Katy City Council, the Katy master-planned community of Cane Island will host a candidate forum on Thursday, April 19 starting at 6:30 p.m.

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Stranger Danger Alert Near Taylor High School in Katy

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 18, 2018

Katrina Katsarelis

 The Katy ISD police is warning parents and students about a recent stranger danger incident.

(more…)

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Meet the Candidates: Katy ISD School Board Position 7, Dawn Champagne and Don Massey

April 19, 2018  

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

Jennifer Skelton  

 

We asked position 7 Board of Trustees candidates Dawn Champagne and Don Massey some questions to help voters learn more about these Board of Trustee candidates.

 ABOUT DAWN CHAMPAGNE

Dawn, her husband, Brett, and three children have lived in Katy for 17 years, currently residing in Kelliwood. Their three children attend and/or graduated from Taylor High School. Dawn has volunteered in Katy ISD  for over a decade at the school and district level. She also volunteers at her church, St. Peter’s UMC, and other organizations. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Houston with a Consumer Science Degree and also holds a Masters of Business Administration from University of Houston.

  (more…)

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Katy, Texas Park to be Stocked With Catfish by Texas Parks & Wildlife

Katy Magazine News  
April 15, 2018  

Ashley Lancaster  

Starting April 20, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will travel the state restocking thousands of catfish at their “Neighborhood Fishin'” destinations. Find out where you can fish in Katy!

  (more…)

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Katy ISD Summer Band Camps Announced for 2018

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 16, 2018

Katrina Katsarelis 

 Katy ISD has compiled a great list of camps for Katy ISD students entering 7th to 12th grades. We’ve divided it up by local band camps, University  band camps, and instrument specific band camps.

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Get to Know Your Katy ISD School Board Candidates (Position 6)

April 17, 2018  

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

Jennifer Skelton  

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Cane Island Hosts Community Garage Sale on 4/14

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 

 

April 10, 2018 

 

Score some great deals at Cane Island’s annual community-wide garage sale on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Cane Island will host one of the area’s biggest community-wide garage sales of the spring when driveway after driveway in the Katy master-planned community of new homes presents bargains on electronics, toys and games, sports equipment, household items and more on Saturday, April 14 from 8 a.m. – noon.

With many of the community’s residents expected to participate, Cane Island’s Community Garage Sale promises to be a great opportunity to pick up deals on unique finds and everyday items.  Shoppers can park their cars and walk from house to house or they can park conveniently in front of each driveway.

All sales are final with prices for items made at the sole discretion of each garage sale participant.  The event is rain or shine.

For a complete list of participating homes, go to www.CaneIslandLife.com.

To reach Cane Island, take the Cane Island Parkway exit off Interstate 10. Head north on Cane Island Parkway and take the roadway directly into the community of new homes.

The 2016 GHBA Community of the Year, Cane Island features traditional homes and lifestyle patio homes from the mid $200s, including those available for immediate move in, by CalAtlantic Homes, Coventry Homes, David Weekley Homes, Highland Homes, Perry Homes, Shea Homes, Taylor Morrison and Toll Brothers.

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Saudi-Based Company (SABIC) Moving U.S. Headquarters to Katy, Texas

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

April 11, 2018  

Jennifer Skelton  

 

Many Katy residents noticed and were concerned about the huge police presence in the Grand Parkway/99 and Franz Rd area this past Saturday. They took to social media to attempt to find out what was going on. The answer was tied to an earlier mystery from March, that played out on social media, as well, and local news stations, when white domes were moved to an open area of land off Grand Parkway. The mystery to both questions has been solved.

Photo: HRH Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia with Secretary of Energy and former Governor Rick Perry at the SABIC event in Katy

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Middle East’s largest petrochemicals maker, said on Saturday that it plans to build a Katy headquarters for its operations in the Western Hemisphere, a project that would boost its Houston-area headcount from 400 to 1,000. The company plans to complete the expansion within two or three years.

On Saturday, Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia spent the day in Katy and Houston. First stop was meeting with former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Jim Baker.

Next up, was a visit to a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood of Harold Park, where 176 homes where destroyed by Hurricane Harvey’s flooding. Aramco, a Saudi owned gas company that is headquartered in Houston, donated $3.7 million to Habitat for Humanity for Harvey relief.

Last stop was to Katy to meet guests at the event under the big white domes that now are placed off Grand Parkway and Franz Rd.

SABIC’s future location is on the land located Franz Road and Grand Parkway.

At the beginning of March, after the mysterious domes caused many a debate on social media, the company released this statement.

“The Houston area is home to SABIC’s Americas Region Head Office as well as research and innovation centers, including land we own on Franz Road. Site preparation is underway for a SABIC business event to take place in mid- to late March on the land. In recent months, we have taken steps to clear debris from the site and increase security. We have recently erected some temporary dome-like structures to create a venue for the upcoming event, and expect to keep them up for about a month.”

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STAAR Testing Glitch Affecting Katy ISD Students

KATY MAGAZINE  

April 11, 2018  

A technical issue, shortly after the STAAR test began on Tuesday, kicked out many students across the state including Katy ISD.

The delay in service persisted for about 20 minutes, the TEA said.

“We believe no student information was lost during this time. We are still collecting data on the issue – there were about 1,000 school systems statewide that had a least one student who experienced the disruption,” said DeEtta Culbertson, with the Texas Education Agency.

More than 1,200 school systems were testing at the time, she said.

Katy ISD released the following statement Wednesday afternoon.

Dear Katy ISD Parents/Guardians,

As you may be aware, STAAR testing began yesterday across the state of Texas including at all our Katy ISD campuses.  Unfortunately, soon after the test administration began, the Educational Testing Services (ETS), which is the state’s vendor for the STAAR exams, reported that a state-wide disruption to its server had caused multiple outages to its online system.  These outages impacted students taking grades 5 and 8 reading, grades 4 and 7 writing, and English I.  As a result, many students were inadvertently kicked out of the testing session and/or were unable to log back into the ETS system.

In addition, some students experienced the assessment “freezing” and had to temporarily log off and log back into the system. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and ETS were immediately notified of these disruptions. Students impacted by the outages were allowed to have missed time added back to their time limit.

Katy ISD is not currently aware of any students losing their responses.  However, we are working with the TEA and ETS and will be reviewing any testing trends once results are released to the district.

Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to monitor this situation which has impacted districts across the state.  We will update our parents with any additional information that comes to our attention.

Katy ISD

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CrimeStoppers Houston to Host Human Trafficking Awareness Event in Katy on 4/25

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 

April 12, 2018 

Ashley Lancaster

Katy area citizens over the age of 18 are invited to join Crime Stoppers of Houston for a free presentation that will shed light on the victims of human trafficking, profile traffickers, and explain how to report and prevent abuse.

 

According to DoSomething.Org, the average age of children who enter the sex trade are between 12 and 14 years old.

“Human trafficking is a reality that many people come face to face with every day, in fact there are an estimated 313,000 human trafficking victims in Texas alone. Education and awareness are paramount to protecting yourself and your families. We hope many parents across the city will join us on April 25 as we shine a light on the second largest criminal industry that is strategically targeting young people. Exploiters can be anyone and they have various methods of recruitment and control tactics,” says Crime Stoppers of Houston Marketing Director, Tania Cruz.

The free presentation is 45-minutes long and will bring human trafficking out of the shadows, educate the public, and prevent children and families from being victimized in the future.

WHEN:

Wednesday, April 25 from 7 – 8 p.m.

WHERE:

Legacy Stadium

1830 Katyland Dr., Katy, TX 77493

To learn more, visit crime-stoppers.org.

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Katy ISD’s Teddy Cops Program Brings Happiness to Special Needs Children

Katy ISD’s Teddy Cop program needs our help to finish out the year with every special needs child having their own Teddy Cop.

 

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 6, 2018

by Jennifer Skelton

Officer Luis Santiago founded the Teddy Cop program in Katy ISD in 2016 and runs the program. The bears (buddies) are purchased from Build-a-Bear with their unique outfit matching our local Katy ISD Police’s uniform. Katy ISD has 36 elementary schools with a special needs program totaling over 1,000 students.

The Teddy Bears, along with the interaction between the officer and the child, builds a trusting relationship as well as building rapport with the parents. Officer Santiago selflessly gives of his time fundraising and interacting with the children but as you can see by the smile on his face, these children give much more to his heart than he could ever give to them. He has a love for people and the children that have helped this program grow and succeed. 

Less than 150 bears (at 4 elementary schools) are left to reach the goal of every elementary special needs child in Katy ISD having their own Teddy Cop.

Donations come from many different businesses, Katy ISD school PTA’s and individual contributors. Teddy Cops is so close to its goal this school year. Click here to make a donation for Teddy Cops to reach each special needs child this year. Donations can also be made to any Katy elementary school as well as Build A Bear at Katy Mills Mall.

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UPDATE: Action Steps Taken by USPS Pin Oak Annex After Recent Article

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 

April 6, 2018

Ashley Lancaster

 

In response to Katy Magazine’s article published on March 31, 2018 in regards to mail loss, customer complaints, and unsatisfactory service at the Katy Pin Oak Mail Annex, Postmaster Terri Taylor responded with a letter detailing their plan to improve service and efficiency at this location.

The following is the response we received from Terri Taylor, Postmaster, Katy Main Post Office:

 

April 06, 2018

Katy Magazine News Editor

605 A Park Grove Dr. Katy, TX 77450

“Dear Editor,

This letter responds to a recent article, regarding reports of unsatisfactory customer service and other issues at the Katy Annex Post Office. We value our customers and appreciate the opportunity to provide some additional information.

The Postal Service strives to provide excellent service. We are disappointed whenever we discover we’ve fallen short of that goal, and it appears that has happened in Katy, TX. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience  experienced by our customers. Whenever the Postal Service becomes aware of unsatisfactory service or issues, we take steps to resolve them as quickly as possible. (CONTINUED)

 

Local management is committed to addressing the specific issues brought to our attention in the editorial and we continue to work with our customers to resolve their concerns. Some specific actions we are taking immediately in Katy include: ensuring phone calls to the Katy Annex are answered promptly; deploying additional resources to ensure all mailbox keys needed by customers are provided as soon as possible; and working to make improvements in our national 1-800-ASK-USPS  number and handling of concerns directed by phone or online at usps.com.

In addition, proactive steps are being taken now to reinforce the importance of providing prompt, professional, and courteous interactions with all customers.  Refresher training is being given to managers, supervisors, and all employees at the Katy Annex, to ensure customers who visit this location – or with whom we communicate via phone – are served in a professional manner.  We contine to monitor the growth in the city, and in the mail volume, to ensure all deliveries are current, accurate and timely.

 

The Postal Service continually develops innovative ways to improve our service. One offering that may be of interest to your readers is Informed Delivery.  This free and optional notification service gives residential consumers the ability to digitally preview their letter-sized mailpieces and manage their packages scheduled to arrive soon. Sign-up is easy at: https://informeddelivery.usps.com.

 

The core mission of the Postal Service is to provide prompt, reliable, and efficient service to all communities we serve.  We appreciate being made aware of issues and will work as hard as we can to make improvements.  Thank you again for the opportunity to share this information with your readers.

Sincerely,

Terri Taylor

Postmaster, Katy Main Post Office

Email:  Terri.T.Taylor@usps.gov”

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE 

SUBSCRIBE FREE TO KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 

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Katy ISD to Hold Teacher Job Fair on April 21

Preparations for the Katy ISD 2018 Teacher Fair are underway. Administrators from all Katy ISD campuses will be available to talk to educators who aspire to become part of this growing school district.

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 8, 2018

“Some of the best teachers from across the country can be found at Katy ISD,” says Human Resources Coordinator Katye Shields.  “Providing quality education to students begins with valuing the role of an educator.  Our district is looking for teachers who not only inspire students in a classroom, they mold them into future legacies.”

Each year, Katy ISD enrolls close to 2,000 additional students and it’s expected to open up several schools in the coming years.  No pre-registration or fee is required.  Participants must show proof of certification and it is recommended that participants complete an application on the Katy ISD website in advance. Click here.

What:           Katy ISD invites new interested individuals as well as current district employees                       to attend the 2018 Teacher Fair.

Where:        Leonard E. Merrell Center

                    6301 South Stadium Lane

                    Katy, TX  77494

When:         Saturday, April 21, 2018

                    Elementary Campuses:  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

                    Junior High & High School Campuses:  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Job Fair is only open to teachers. If you would like to apply for current openings at Katy ISD, visit their website to apply now. Current openings include bus driver, food service, maintenance, Asst. Principal, Aides, and Clerical. For current openings, click here.

SUBSCRIBE FREE TO KATY MAGAZINE

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Katy’s Jamie Wolman Wins Leadership Award from Keep Texas Beautiful

Wolman Elementary namesake, retired Katy ISD educator, and dedicated member of Keep Katy Beautiful (KKB), was given the Keep Texas Beautiful 2018 Leadership Award.
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Opening photo by Katy Magazine
Inset photo courtesy of City of Katy
Wolman is the worthy recipient of the 2018 Keep Texas Beautiful Leadership Award. She serves as secretary on the board of directors for KKB, which partners with other groups in Katy to promote a clean, litter free community, educate citizens about recycling, landscaping, tree planting and maintenance, as well as waste reduction.
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This is, “A once-in-a-lifetime distinction award for a person who provides leadership in the areas of improving and enhancing the Texas environment,” according to the Keep Texas Beautiful website.
“Jamie has been instrumental in countless projects for KKB, where she has served for 23 years, she has also served on the board of directors for Keep Texas Beautiful for over 20 years. She is proactive in enhancing the quality of life for all members of the Katy community, and her heart for volunteerism goes above and beyond. Jamie embodies all that KKB and KTB stand for, ” says Jess Marshburn, tourism and marketing assistant for the City of Katy.
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Along with the rest of the volunteers and staff at KKB, she attended a special presentation to the City Council last week, which celebrated KKB’s Governor’s Community Achievement Award for Keep Texas Beautiful.
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The group took home first place in their category for communities with a population between 15,001 and 25,000 residents, and was awarded 180,000.

 

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Mail Loss, Delays, and Customer Service Complaints at Katy Texas Pin Oak Mail Annex

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 
 

March 31, 2018  
 

Katy Magazine Editors
 

After multiple reports of unsatisfactory service and mail delivery at the Katy Pin Oak Mail Annex for USPS, Katy Magazine reached out for answers and basically got nowhere. What can Katy postal customers do?

 

The Katy Pin Oak Annex, located at 1331 Pin Oak Road, has received numerous community complaints from residents in reviews and all over social media. The majority of complaints are lost, undelivered, incorrectly delivered, difficulty of getting mailbox keys, extremely delayed mail, hang ups or no answers at the facility, and a lack of customer service primarily at the Katy Annex location.

 We noticed an extensive amount of posts and complaints on social media describing numerous unpleasant encounters, bad customer service, and lost/delayed mail reports from Katy residents and decided to make some calls, and the results were…frustrating.

REVIEWS AND COMPLAINTS

On Google Reviews, the Katy Annex has a rating of 1.3 with approximately 130 one-star reviews out of 142 total reviews.  Katy Magazine also received all negative complaints when we posed the question on social media.

Just tried to pick up a mailbox key for a new house. First time I was there, they said the key is not ready and ask me to come back again in 2-3 weeks. I called a week later to check on the status, the staff answered the phone not even familiar to the name community. After I clarified the name of the community, she told me the key is not available without even ask my address!…” R. C.

Keep losing our packages, or they are delivered to the wrong mailbox in our subdivision. My mailman only delivers every few days at this point. S. V.

Worst customer service I have ever experienced in my life. I called this post office today to get a few details to resolve a situation with my mail. The “supervisor” I was dealing with on the phone said his name was “Paul”, although I highly doubt that is his real name. When the conversation turned south between “Paul” and I, I asked him to speak to his boss. He told me it was not necessary and refused to give me any phone number or email address to anyone that is his superior. He then proceeded to hang up in my face, and then ignore the next two calls I tried to make! . J. J.

Worst Customer service i have ever received, While waiting, i witnessed a lady ask to speak to the supervisor, Mrs. Twitty, Not sure of spelling because she had previously ignored her calls and hung up on her. The supervisor decided it was a good idea to IGNORE the lady who requested to speak with her and she didnt not even leave her office to come address the situation. Extremely terrible way to handle a customer service issue. If this was a Private owned business she would be fired immediately. R. F.

KATY MAGAZINE ATTEMPTS TO REACH A REPRESENTATIVE FOR COMMENT

On Monday, Katy Magazine editors took some time exploring options on the best way to contact the Postmaster General to file a complaint or ask for assistance.

By Location Phone

When we called the number provided on their site, the phone rang 20+ and was disconnected with no option to leave a voicemail. Couldn’t even get them to pick up the phone.

By Hotline/Customer Service Line

We called 1-800-ASK-USPS, and there is no option available to file a complaint or speak to customer service. When we looked online, complaints on mail delivery are routed back to the customer service page (below).

Via Email

Next, we sent a message  through the USPS “Email Us” option – requesting a call back from the postmaster/manager to offer feedback on possible causes and creative solutions to the problem.

UNPROFESSIONAL RESPONSE RECEIVED ON TUESDAY
On Tuesday, we finally received a call from a representative claiming to be from the Katy Annex. The caller ID said USPS.  When questioned about the various complaints and difficulty reaching anyone, the representative declined to comment further and refused to give her name. The representative also refused to give us another name or contact info for the Postmaster or any other supervisor.

REACHED OUT TO HOUSTON CONSUMER AFFAIRS

After more research, we dug up the name of a Houston Consumer Affairs representative and left  a message on Thursday, March 29.

PHONE CALL WITH USPS MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST, NIKKI JOHNSON

On Friday, March 30, 2018, an editor poke to the Strategic Communications Specialist Gulf Atlantic/Houston Districts, Nikki Johnson.

Ms. Johnson informed Katy Magazine on March 30 at 12:30 p.m. that a response would be issued as soon as possible addressing the concerns of residents who use the Katy Pin Oak Annex as their primary postal location. In the phone interview, we were also told that the District Manager for Houston would be notified.

UPDATED 3/31 at 8:56 AM:

STATEMENT FROM USPS REPRESENTATIVE NIKKI JOHNSON RECEIVED

“The Postal Service strives to always provide the best possible service to our valued customers. We apologize for any unsatisfactory service that may have been experienced by customers served by the Katy Annex PO. In this specific case, local management is committed to making improvements in service, including improving communications, and ensuring that all customer interactions are positive and professional. We will continue to work with customers to ensure every effort is being made to meet or exceed their expectations. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we continue to successfully resolve their concerns. Customers are reminded that, if they need assistance, they can also contact our national Customer Care Center by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or they can visit our website at www.usps.com/help”  Nikki Johnson, Strategic Communications Specialist Gulf Atlantic/Houston Districts

Katy residents can also contact the Postmaster General by mail. Here are a few tips on how to effectively send a letter to the Postmaster General at the U.S. Postal Service Consumer Advocate Office, Megan J. Brennan:

CONTACTING THE POSTMASTER GENERAL

Address:

United States Postal Service

Office of the Consumer Advocate

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20260-2200

Salutation/Correspondence:

The proper way to begin the letter is:

“To The Honorable Megan J. Brennan,

Dear Madam Postmaster General,”

Body Text:

The more detailed the description of the problem, the better. Mailing/delivery complaints are less likely to reach the office of the Postmaster General themselves.

MORE IDEAS FOR SPEEDING UP MAIL DELIVERY

 Informed Delivery:

“I discovered Informed Delivery by USPS from other Army families….I get an email every morning with scanned pictures of what mail is expected to be delivered that day. It might help with at least figuring out where the hold-ups are in the process,” Katy resident, N. H.

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Katy ISD Communications Department Takes Home 14 Honors at State Awards

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

 

April 2, 2018 

 

The Katy Independent School District was well represented during the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) 56th Annual Conference. The Communications Department took home 14 star awards for their outstanding work in communication, branding and school public relations.  Katy ISD competed against 1,331 other entries from several school districts in the region and won five gold, five silver and four bronze recognitions.

 

“Our Communications Department does an outstanding job keeping our parents and community informed and up to date on District initiatives, activities and programs,” said Dr. Lance Hindt, superintendent of schools.  “They represent the needs and voice of our school community in this day of instant communication.  Their collaborative efforts with campuses, departments and administration ensures that the information most important to our community is being shared and discussed across multiple platforms,” added Hindt.

 

“Every day, the experience, passion and enormous creativity of our team ensures there are opportunities for our community to learn about student and staff accomplishments, as well as engage in decision-making processes impacting our students,” said Dr. Andrea Grooms, Chief Communications Officer.  “These recognitions affirm our commitment to ongoing and transparent communication with Katy ISD stakeholders,” added Grooms.

The recognitions include:

Gold Star:

  1. 2017 Student Excellence Event Program

  2. Stockdick Junior High Branding

  3. Bryant Elementary Logo

  4. Welcome Home Dr. Hindt Convocation Video

  5. Katy ISD Update – January 2017

Silver Star:

  1. 2017 of the Year Program

  2. Bethke Elementary Dedication Program

  3. Cast Away Video Script

  4. Heigh Ho Video Script

  5. State of the District Prezi

 

Bronze Star:

  1. Superintendent Keynote Speech at Katy Chamber of Commerce, Teacher of the Year Celebration

  2. Jenks Dedication Program

  3. K9 Officers Marcel and Juno Video

  4. Superintendent’s Message – April 2017

Every day the Katy ISD Communications Department works to disseminate information to over 77,000+ students, their parents, community members and other stakeholders across the Katy community.

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Katy ISD Investigates After Junior High Student is Approached at a Bus Stop

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

 

April 2, 2018

According to one Katy-area teen, a man approached her at a bus stop near Memorial Parkway Elementary on Thursday at around 6:40 in the morning.

 

The Memorial Parkway Junior High student was standing at the 21300 block of Park Brook when she said that a man in a dark-colored pick up truck rolled down his window and said, “Hey, it’s chilly outside. I have a jacket inside the truck if you want to get in.” At that point, she ran away.

No other details were provided about the man or the truck.

Katy Magazine reached out to the district communications department as well as the Katy ISD Police department for an update on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

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