At its first regular Board meeting since Hurricane Harvey forced a delayed start to the school year, the Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved extended school days for 12 campuses to make up instructional time.
The Board also eliminated five early dismissal days scheduled throughout the school year for all campuses.
The Texas Education Agency approved waivers that exempt students from making up the first nine days of missed classes. However, students at 12 schools starting after Sept. 11 will have to make up lost time beyond those days.
“There is no perfect solution,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said. “And as we talked about over the course of this weather event, flexibility will be key. But we are also making sure the extra time is not just seat time.”
The board approved an additional 25 minutes of instructional time at five schools: Bellaire High, Northside High, Key Middle, Mitchell Elementary and Robinson Elementary. Seven schools will have an additional 55 minutes of instructional time: Liberty High, Forest Brook Middle, Braeburn Elementary, R.P. Harris Elementary, Hilliard Elementary, Kolter Elementary, and Scarborough Elementary. The extended day will begin on each school’s first day, and go through the first semester. They will return to their regular schedules for the spring semester.
Because Bellaire High School already has additional time built into its day, it opted out of the board-approved additional 25 minutes.
During the meeting, the Superintendent also announced that the HISD Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund has raised more than $1.3 million. That money will be used to help with the recovery efforts of the district as it attempts to help families become whole following the storm. HISD has already started using some of those funds to feed families, purchase items that students need, and distribute donations from drop-off sites to the families that need them most.
Also on Thursday, trustees approved the renaming of the HISD Food Services Support Facility the Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Center. Holliday was the Assistant Superintendent of Food Services, the first black Food Services Director in HISD, and one of the first to hold that position in the country.