HISD Superintendent Millard House, along with district officials, got to see the “Ready, Set, Go” safety initiative in action Monday at Memorial Elementary School.
The “Ready, Set, Go” plan provides students, families, staff, and the community a safe environment for in-person learning with protocols that include required masks in all HISD buildings, constant sanitization of surfaces, COVID-19 vaccination sites, testing, and physical distancing.
Earlier in the day at a news conference at Parker Elementary, House stressed “If we can save just one life, it’s worth it.”
The tour at Memorial Elementary began with House meeting Principal Jose Cordova and his administrative team, visiting classes, and seeing masks on students and sanitization stations in the classrooms.
“We are able to execute the plan as a team and keep schools safe and open for all students,” House said in the “Ready, Set, Go” plan.
One of the highlights of the tour was visiting the Student Health Isolation Pod (SHIP). The SHIP room serves as a triage and isolation room for suspected COVID cases. SHIP makes it possible to isolate students who are presenting COVID symptoms, and place them in an area where they can be assessed. If it is determined that a student needs further evaluation, the nurse or the school will call a guardian to pick them up. Once students are sent home, they need a negative COVID test and a doctor’s note to clear them to return. The SHIP is part of CDC guidance that began last school year, and has been very effective, according to Health and Medical Services Manager Myrna Garcia.
“Although the past 18 months have been a roller coaster ride for us all, we must continue to push forward together in order to overcome these challenges,” said Nurse Elva Acosta. “We must implement safety guidelines from the beginning to set the trend for the rest of the year. That means mask-wearing and diligent hand sanitizing every day.”
The enthusiastic Cordova has big plans for his first year at the helm of Memorial Elementary with safety being first.
“Safety is the No.1 priority for me as a campus principal just like all HISD principals,” Cordova said. “We know students cannot learn unless they are physically, socially, and emotionally well, so here at Memorial and all HISD campuses, we ensure that safety is at the forefront of every decision we make.”