When the clock struck midnight on July 1, seven schools in the North Forest community formally became members of the HISD family.
Once the keys were turned over to HISD officials, district representatives from a host of departments sprang into action, working feverishly to coordinate repairs, assess students’ records, and complete maintenance projects just one week before the start of summer school.
Preparations ranged from the coordination of bus schedules to the restocking of school pantries, and a number of crews have been working round the clock to ensure that schools would be ready to receive students when the doors reopened on July 8.
“This has been a case of ‘whatever it takes to make this transition as smooth as possible for the students,’” said School Services Officer Lupita Hinojosa, who noted that 20 employees volunteered their time to act as test monitors for retakes of required end-of-course exams.
“We anticipate being able to absorb most of the students into our existing bus routes,” added General Manager of Transportation Nathan Graf. “Once we have those finalized, we will be sending out postcards to parents and making automated calls using School Messenger.”
All school cafeterias are being brought up to standard to meet students’ needs, said Senior Food Services Administrator Brian Giles.
“We’ve been testing fire suppression systems, cleaning and sanitizing equipment, repairing electrical outlets, and conducting health inspections at every campus,” Giles said. “In some cases, we have added to the list of changes asked for by the City of Houston’s Health Department.”
Many North Forest projects are still ongoing, but summer school classes for area students started on time, as scheduled, at four campuses in the community.
“These students deserve the very best learning environment we can give them,” said Senior Manager of Strategic Planning Ronnie Veselka. “So we are pulling out all the stops to make sure they have it.”
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