Ryan Middle School (Houston)

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Ryan Middle School, now the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan

Ryan Middle School was a secondary school located in Houston, Texas, United States. The Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan, a magnet middle school, now occupies the campus.

The school, which served grades 6 through 8, is a part of the Houston Independent School District. It served much Third Ward area and a very small portion of Midtown Houston. The campus is south of Downtown Houston,[1] and in proximity to the University of Houston.[2]

History[edit]

After Yates High School relocated from 2610 Elgin to 3703 Sampson in 1958,[3] Ryan Colored Junior High School opened in Yates's former location. Ryan was named after the first principal of Yates High.[4] Some older maps referred to the school as Yates Junior High School.[5]

Allan Turner of the Houston Chronicle said that the building served as an "educational anchor" for the Third Ward as many professionals in the Third Ward community such as educators, ministers, and lawyers received education in it. Since Ryan's beginning, Turner said that the school's fortunes had risen and fallen as time passed.[6]

The HISD school board forced Yates principal William S. Holland to stay at Ryan Middle School instead of moving onto the new Yates, and a petition from the community did not succeed in changing this.[7]

The school opened as a school only for African-Americans; it was desegregated by 1970.

Beginning in 1988 Chase Enterprises subsidiary Rangers Insurance Co. assigned employees to tutor Ryan students, funded school supplies and computers for Ryan, and established a scholarship/endowment fund to provide vocational training and/or university educations to Ryan alumni who abstained from recreational drugs, did not get into legal trouble, and graduated from high school; from 1992 to 1999 166 eligible Ryan alumni benefited from the scholarship. Annually the company deposited $150,000 into the scholarship/endowment fund.[8]

A 2008 Houston Chronicle article stated that Ryan was considered to be among the lowest performing campuses in Houston ISD. HISD staff stated that the district needed signing bonuses in order to convince employees to take positions at Ryan Middle School.[9] During that year, principal Cimberli Johnson was fired because she socially promoted 25 students and issued about $70,800 in paychecks not earned by employees.[10]

Michael McKenzie began his term as principal of Ryan in June 2010.[11] He was previously the principal of a charter school, WALIPP, and was a part of the Apollo 20 program, used to improve under-performing schools.[12] He stated that he was required to keep working with the same assistant principals and counselors who were there prior to the start of his term and that he was not permitted to replace them.[13]

After two employees made complaints against McKenzie,[12] an investigation, conducted by HISD's Equal Employment Opportunity office,[13] concluded that he acquired furniture from another employee's office to use in his own office and that he had used profane language during two staff meetings.[11] The investigation also concluded that he made a remark stating that he did not want a homosexual male employee around children due to his sexuality and another stating that he wanted a black male to serve as the assistant principal of the school. McKenzie, a black man, disputed the findings that he made the comments of racial and sexual natures, and he added that he returned the furniture to the employee after initially believing it was HISD property. He accused those filing complaints against him of exhibiting bias towards the principal before him. He filed a complaint against that office of HISD with the federal authorities.[12] He resigned in 2011, after one year of work.[11]

Closure[edit]

From 2002 to 2012, the student population fell 70%, from 830 students to 265 students. A proposal to close Ryan Middle School was submitted to the HISD board. If Ryan closed at that time, its students would have been divided between Attucks, Cullen, Dowling, Lanier, and Pershing middle schools.[14] Dallas Dance, the chief of middle schools of HISD, stated that Ryan had 570 middle school-aged students zoned to the campus, but fewer than half of those students chose to attend Ryan.[15] Dance said that over the previous five-year period, HISD had already invested an additional $438,000 per year into Ryan.[16]

Parents and community leaders protested the proposed closure.[17] A group of parents threatened to occupy the campus if HISD had it closed temporarily.[18] On Monday May 7, 2012 the board removed the proposed closure of Ryan from its agenda.[19]

In its final year of operation, there were 182 students in the 6th and 7th grades at Ryan Middle School.[20] In March 2013 the district board voted 5-3 to close Ryan. At the time it had 263 students and was the smallest middle school in HISD. Plans were to rezone the students to Cullen Middle School, 4 miles (6.4 km) from Ryan.[21] The closure occurred even though the NAACP and members of the Third Ward community opposed the closure.[22]

In 2013, Ryan Middle School's campus reopened as the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan, a magnet middle school for medical studies. The school is intended to feed into the Michael E. DeBakey High School for the Health Professions.[23]

For the 2013-2014 school year, 119 of the students who attended Ryan during the 6th or 7th grades during the 2012-2013 school year, or 65% of the total of the 2012-2013 6th and 7th grade students, started attending Cullen Middle School. The remaining students began attending other schools.[20]

Neighborhoods served by the former Ryan Middle School[edit]

Several Third Ward area subdivisions, including University Oaks,[24] Oak Manor, University Woods, Washington Terrace,[25] and Riverside Terrace were previously zoned to Ryan Middle School.[26][27] In addition, the old Ryan Middle School served a small portion of Midtown Houston (the portion south of U.S. Route 59) and a small portion of Neartown.[28]

Cuney Homes and Ewing Apartments, units of public housing, were zoned to Ryan Middle School.[29][30]

Project Row Houses were zoned to Ryan.

Residents of the Texas Medical Center's Laurence H. Favrot Tower Apartments were zoned to Ryan.

School uniforms[edit]

For portions of its history, the school required its students to wear uniforms.[31]

Beginning in 2010 the former Ryan Middle School required male students to wear ties. Richard Connelly of the Houston Press stated that ties could be used as weapons in fights, since an assailant could grab his victim using his tie.[32] As of 2012 the school still required male students to wear ties.[33]

Student body[edit]

During its final school year, Ryan Middle had 272 students. 84% were black, 15% were Hispanic, and the remainder were of other races.[23]

During the 2006-2007 school year, the school had 633 pupils[34]

About 80% of the students qualified for free or reduced lunch.

Feeder patterns[edit]

The following elementary schools fed into the former Ryan Middle School:[27]

(partial)

Three different high schools had zoning boundaries that partially coincide with the former Ryan Middle School boundary:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "HISD proposes closing historic Ryan school." Houston Chronicle. Thursday May 3, 2012. Retrieved on May 4, 2012.
  2. ^ Stamps, Bill. "HISD Considers Closing Historic School." KUHF. May 7, 2012. Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  3. ^ "About." Jack Yates High School. Accessed October 12, 2008.
  4. ^ Kellar, William Henry. Make Haste Slowly: Moderates, Conservatives, and School Desegregation in Houston. Texas A&M University Press, 1999. ISBN 1603447180, 9781603447188. p. 31 (Google Books PT12).
  5. ^ "James S. Holman Index Map" (PDF, JPG). Harris County Block Book Maps. Volume 19, Page 1. Retrieved on July 27, 2017. The name is visible in the tract marked 33 which shows the name "Yates Junior High Sch." ("Yates Senior High School", outside of the tract, is visible in the same map)
  6. ^ Turner, Allan. "UH exhibit focuses on Third Ward history, people." Houston Chronicle. March 23, 2011. Retrieved on March 24, 2011.
  7. ^ Harwell, Debbie Z. "William S. Holland: A Mighty Lion at Yates High School" (Archive). Houston History. Volume 8, No. 1. p. 9-13. CITED: p. 12-13.
  8. ^ Kellar, William Henry. Make Haste Slowly: Moderates, Conservatives, and School Desegregation in Houston. Texas A&M University Press, 1999. ISBN 1603447180, 9781603447188. p. 203 (Google Books PT184).
  9. ^ "A plan to fix Ryan Middle School." Houston Chronicle. May 6, 2008.
  10. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer; Ericka Mellon (2008-01-18). "Ryan Middle School principal fired over promotions, checks". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  11. ^ a b c "Controversial Ryan Middle School principal resigns (Updated)". Houston Chronicle. 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2017-01-01. 
  12. ^ a b c Mellon, Ericka (2011-02-03). "Principal reprimanded after he's accused of bigotry". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-01-01. 
  13. ^ a b Downing, Margaret (2011-02-04). "Ryan MS Principal Says He Is Not Racist or Sexist or Anti-Gay No Matter What HISD Says". Houston Press. Retrieved 2017-01-01. 
  14. ^ "HISD’s Ryan Middle School slated for closure." Houston Chronicle. May 3, 2012. Retrieved on May 4, 2012.
  15. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "HISD proposes closing historic Ryan school." Houston Chronicle. Thursday May 3, 2012. Retrieved on May 8, 2012.
  16. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "HISD withdraws plan to close Ryan." Houston Chronicle. Monday May 7, 2012. Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  17. ^ KHOU.com staff. "Southeast Houston: Parents fight potential closure of Ryan Middle School." KHOU. May 3, 2012. Retrieved on May 5, 2012.
  18. ^ Cerota, Andy. "Third Ward residents outraged over possible closure of Ryan Middle School." KTRK-TV. May 7, 2012. Retrieved on May 7, 2012.
  19. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "Ryan Middle School off closure list after board intervention." Houston Chronicle. May 8, 2012. Retrieved on May 8, 2012.
  20. ^ a b Boney, Jeffrey L. "What’s Going On With HISD? African Americans NOT Getting the Attention They Deserve" (Archive). Houston Forward Times. September 17, 2013. Retrieved on March 16, 2014.
  21. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "HISD will close Ryan, tables plan to merge two high schools." Houston Independent School District. March 7, 2013. Retrieved on March 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "HISD OKs plan to rezone Ryan MS students despite NAACP, community opposition." ABC13. Thursday March 7, 2013. Retrieved on March 15, 2013.
  23. ^ a b Radcliffe, Jennifer (2015-04-25). "Reinvented Third Ward school thrives". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-01-01. 
  24. ^ "University Oaks." Harris County. Retrieved on April 5, 2009.
  25. ^ Map. Washington Terrace Civic Association. Retrieved on November 23, 2008.
  26. ^ Wollam, Allison. "Riverside Terrace bucks housing slowdown." Houston Business Journal. August 15, 2008. Retrieved on April 18, 2009.
  27. ^ a b "Ryan Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District
  28. ^ Map of Neartown. Neartown Association. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  29. ^ "Cuney Homes." Houston Housing Authority. Retrieved on January 1, 2016. "3260 Truxillo Houston, Texas 77004"
  30. ^ Home page. Ewing Apartments. Retrieved on December 19, 2016. "1815 Ewing St, #9B Houston, TX 77004"
  31. ^ "Ryan Middle School Dress Code." Ryan Middle School. Retrieved on February 17, 2009.
  32. ^ Connelly, Richard. "HISD's Ryan Middle School: Boys Will Be Wearing Ties. Possibly Deadly, Silly Ties." Houston Press. Thursday August 12, 2010. Retrieved on May 8, 2012.
  33. ^ "Dress Code." (Archive) Ryan Middle School. Retrieved on May 7, 2012.
  34. ^ "Ryan Middle School" Profile. Houston Independent School District. Accessed October 20, 2008.
  35. ^ "Lockhart Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  36. ^ "Turner Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  37. ^ "HISD PROPOSED ATTENDANCE BOUNDARIES FOR BLACKSHEAR, JW JONES, & GREGORY LINCOLN ES." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  38. ^ "Dodson Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  39. ^ "MacGregor Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  40. ^ "Peck Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  41. ^ "Poe Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  42. ^ "Roberts Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  43. ^ "Yates High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  44. ^ "Lamar High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  45. ^ "Bellaire High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Blackshear, Lockhart, Turner, Dodson, J. P. Henderson, J. Will Jones, MacGregor, Peck, Poe, Roberts
Houston Independent School District
Grades 6-8
Succeeded by
Yates, Bellaire, Lamar