The Houston Independent School District is implementing rolling start dates for the first day of school based on the level of flooding damage at campuses, and students from the schools most devastated by Hurricane Harvey will be relocated to temporary campuses.
“During Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the surrounding school districts took six months to open their schools,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “Hurricane Harvey was just as destructive, and we’re attempting to open a much larger school district in two weeks. Because of that, not everyone is going to start on September 11.”
Click here for an up-to-date database of school start dates. Please note that school start dates may change, so continue to monitor the list in the coming days and weeks.
After completing an assessment of 306 school and office buildings in an area spanning 312 square miles, HISD has found that some schools have substantial damages and will require students to attend classes at nearby vacant school buildings or underutilized campuses. Below is a list of affected campuses. Students will have their first day of classes at new locations to be determined:
- Braeburn Elementary
- Hilliard Elementary
- Kolter Elementary
- Liberty High
- Mitchell Elementary
- Robinson Elementary
- Scarborough Elementary
“We are working hard to ensure that all of our students’ needs are met and that teaching and learning gets underway as quickly as possible at all campuses,” said Carranza. “Our priority has been and will continue to be the safety of our children and staff. I want to thank the community for their patience and cooperation during this difficult time. Rest assured, HISD is strong, and we will get through this together.”
Community meetings will be held for parents to ask questions about the temporary locations, and dates, times and locations of those meetings will be shared with school communities as soon as possible. In addition, HISD Transportation will be working with campuses on establishing new bus routes for relocated students.
Carranza said the district looked at three factors to address the safety of students and staff: that the facilities safe, clean, and secured.
“Some campuses were fortunate to have limited damage, while others need so much work, they will not reopen this year,” said Carranza.
He said the district prioritized schools from least severe to most severe. The process included conducting a random sample test of air quality in schools where flooding occurred, a practice that will continue for the next year in order to detect any residual effects that could surface later.
Assistance for HISD families
Hurricane Harvey was an unprecedented disaster, and in its aftermath, HISD will make available at schools services to support the emotional needs of both students and staff when they return. The district is coordinating with other school districts across the region and country to provide assistance in this effort, as we know many of our own staff have been personally impacted by the storm.
HISD also knows that many families are dealing with financial hardships related to the storm, and we are providing additional assistance in the following ways:
- Free school meals: HISD has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture to serve breakfast and lunch meals for free to all students until Sept. 30, 2017 under the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program. The district will work with both entities to gain additional guidance related to covering the need for the remainder of the school year. The district also recently got approval to serve free dinner to all students. HISD is still asking parents and guardians to complete and return the application. The National School Lunch/School Breakfast Program applications and surveys are available at https://mealapps.houstonisd.org. The information received in the forms helps the district to secure funding and track student data.
- Parent Summit: HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams and the Special Education Board Ad Hoc Committee are inviting parents to a Parent Summit at Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, where experts from HISD and across the nation will be on hand for informational sessions to help parents support their child’s learning and provide resources for recovering from Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, including access to meals and transportation, as well as donations of clothing and school supplies.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center
4400 West 18th St. Houston, TX 77092
Click here to register for the summit.
- Donation distribution: Donations made to HISD for students and families will be distributed at various locations and times in the city through community groups and schools in the coming weeks. The first of these events is the distribution of thousands of free school uniforms to students at seven locations across the city from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9. Students must be present to be fitted in order to receive clothing. (HISD has relaxed its school uniform policy until January 2018, but students may wear uniform clothing to school if they have purchased or received those items.) Click here for locations.
HISD will continue to provide updates in the aftermath of the storm. We encourage parents to visit HoustonISD.org/Harvey for an updated list of resources and news. Follow us at HoustonISD.org, Facebook.com/HoustonISD, and Twitter.com/HoustonISD for updates, and opt in for text message update by texting “YES” to 68453. Additionally, parents can call our information line at 713-556-6005 with any questions.