Category Archives: Business Operations

HISD school buses to deliver fresh fruits and veggies directly to students each week

Next week school buses will roll once again, but for a special reason — they will be delivering fresh produce to students at 68 select elementary campuses as a part of a new produce delivery program.

Fresh Bus school buses will provide weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables to several locations in each school community, making fresh produce directly available to more than 36,000 students.

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HISD transitioning to student summer meals program on June 1

As the school year comes to a close, the Houston Independent School District is transitioning from its community food distribution efforts to a curbside summer meals program for students.

Beginning June 1, families will be able to pick up boxed student meals twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays at one of 68 designated schools across the district. Boxes may be picked up by students, parents, or other adult family members.

Each box will contain a day’s worth of meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. Families will receive several days’ worth of food — three boxes on Mondays and four on Thursdays — per child at each pickup.

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New food distribution sites identified for Saturday and week of May 11

Food distribution efforts led by the Houston Independent School District in partnership with the Houston Food Bank will continue Saturday at NRG Stadium and throughout next week at 25 campuses around the district.

Saturday’s event at NRG is the fourth mass community food distribution. The site is expected to distribute 8,500 food packages.  The site will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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New food distribution sites identified for Saturday and week of May 4

Food distribution efforts led by the Houston Independent School District in partnership with the Houston Food Bank will continue this Saturday at NRG Stadium and throughout next week at 25 campus sites throughout the district.

The Saturday event at NRG is the third mass community food distribution.  The site is expected to distribute 10,000 food packages — each weighing 80 to 100 pounds — in about five hours. To accommodate the increase, the site will open from 2 to 7 p.m.

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Customer Care continues to take calls during district closure

Business Operations Customer Care Team Leader Johnetta Branch has a new three-step routine when she arrives at her office — put on her face mask, sanitize her hands, and have her temperature checked.

The district may be closed, she said, but there are still employee and parent questions to be answered, payrolls to be processed, maintenance requests to be filed, purchases to track, and fire and burglar alarms to monitor.

“Fifty-six of us used to come in every day, but many are parents and with schools and daycares closed, they aren’t able to come in,” Branch said. “So now it’s five people working at one time to accomplish the same tasks. I’m here to do whatever needs to be done.”

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Lamar HS construction nears completion

Construction at Lamar High School is continuing, as allowable under the public health guidelines, with renovations to the original building now 80 percent complete.

The renovation work, designed to preserve the building’s historically significant architecture, included the construction of a new child care wing, welcome center, and updated ROTC and Career and Technical Education classrooms.

The athletic fields — including football, baseball, softball, soccer practice fields — and tennis courts also are underway.

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Scarborough ES construction 94 percent complete

Construction at the new Scarborough Elementary School is steadily progressing, despite the district being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work on the campus has continued, as allowable under the public health guidelines, with a reduction of the workforce to adhere to social distancing requirements.

The $23 million project is tracking at 94 percent completion, with site work, paving, underground utilities, structural steel, roofing, interior wall systems, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation complete. Exterior wall systems and interior finishes are ongoing.

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Facility tour showcases how Nutrition Services is mobilizing to safely feed families

When Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan arrived at the HISD Hexser T. Holliday Food Service Center, she was eager to tour facility operations, but precautions had to be taken first.

Upon entering the facility, her temperature was taken just footsteps inside the door — a safety precaution and clear sign of the times as the world endures the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the weeks since our district closed, we’ve worked hard to meet the needs of our community,” Lathan said. “This visit is a great opportunity to get an up-close look at how the entire food distribution process begins.”

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HISD Community Partnerships, HISD Police Department play key roles in food distribution

Feeding more than 10,000 families five days a week during a pandemic is no easy task. It’s an effort that requires the collaboration of multiple departments across the district to bring it all together.

In just over a month, HISD — working together with the Houston Food Bank — has distributed 2 million pounds of food to more than 60,000 families. That range spans from March 14 through April 18.

“I appreciate the spotlight we’ve received, but it’s not just us,” HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said, referencing the child nutrition department she leads. “We couldn’t have accomplished this without the help of Community Partnerships and HISD Police.”

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Construction on 2012 Bond schools continues despite districtwide closure

With most of the country shut down in an attempt to flatten the COVID-19 curve, HISD’s Construction Services — designated an essential service — is continuing to work on school construction across the district.

HISD Construction General Manager Andreas Peeples said construction is expected to continue as allowable under public health guidelines but noted that required public health measures are affecting normal operations.

“We must comply with requirements that individuals must remain at least six feet from any other person,” Peeples said. “This is important, but it does result in inefficiencies in mobilizing labor and materials and a general reduction in labor forces.”

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