By Charlotte Aguilar
After being given the boot from its 47-year location by Houston ISD, Beehive Coop Preschool has found a new home with the West University Church of Christ starting this fall.
The school will occupy a full wing of the property at 3407 Bissonnet St. and is conducting a fundraiser — Beehive 2.0 — through its website to make necessary modifications and renovations.
Fall enrollment for current families has launched, and community enrollment will begin next week through the “admissions” section of the website.
After decades providing a unique early childhood education experience on the campus of West University Elementary School, HISD gave notice to the coop — and four other programs operating on its campuses, including one at nearby Poe Elementary — that the district would be expanding its own pre-K programs into those sites starting in fall 2021 to serve more students, particularly disadvantaged youngsters.
The school was founded in 1973 by Ann Wallin, then a young West U mother with four children, three of them preschool-age, and was supported both by HISD and the city of West University. Tuition has always been far less than a comparable quality preschool, with parents then and now committing to work once or twice each month at the school.
There are 33 youngsters, ages 3-5, in two classrooms on the southeast corner of the WUES campus, surrounded by engaging green space, play equipment, and an outdoor eating area. The coop has long been seen as a win-win — connecting families in the community and to the elementary school, and offering parent education.
In 2019, Texas legislators passed landmark funding for early childhood education in public schools throughout the state, which is leading to HISD’s expansion onto existing facilities on its campuses, such as Beehive.