HISD turns 2nd grader away from her zoned school

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BELLAIRE, TX - Monday should have been seven-year-old Nalisa Corona's first day in second grade at Horn Elementary. Living in Bellaire, she is zoned there.

"When I registered her, they told me that she was on a waiting list, that she was fifth in line," says her mom Nina Osollo.

But when Nalisa and Nina arrived at school, they were told there was no space for her. The second grade was too full, and Nalisa would have to go elsewhere.

"I just felt like crying," says her mom. "And I did cry a lot, and then other times, I was just angry. And I didn't know what to do."

Little Nalisa was upset, too, "It kinda made me feel like... just go silent and cry a little bit."

HISD wouldn't speak to NewsFix on camera, but they issued a statement saying:

"It is standard practice to cap enrollment when schools and/or grade levels reach capacity. This allows the district to comply with state law, which limits kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms to 22 students."

So what is little Nalisa supposed to do for school this year? The folks at Horn called around and found a space for her at nearby West University Elementary. That's a lucky break since West U was recently ranked the second best elementary school in the Houston area. Horn was sixth on the list.

"I think it looks very cool," said of her new school after getting registered, "and I think it's gonna be fun to meet my new teacher and meet new kids."

Her mother is happy, too, but concerned, "It seems like I'm gonna run into the issue again next year if they don't allow her to stay at West U and there's no room at Horn again." West U officials said the only way Nalisa could be guaranteed a spot for third grade was for the family to move into the district.

"I don't know if I wanna stay in HISD," says Osollo. "There are good schools, but as a school district, I can't guarantee that they're gonna put the children first."