Lunchtime for Tracey Crawley’s first-grade class looks a bit different these days.
Instead of eating in a bustling cafeteria, the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center students now have lunch delivered directly to their classroom. Though different, it’s something the students still look forward to — especially on chicken nuggets day.
“It’s like second nature now,” Crawley said about her students’ new lunch model and safety protocols. “The atmosphere is set for them. The food is always on time. Our team has done a great job in making it an easy process.”
The Houston Independent School District has been disinfecting schools daily in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, and a $200,000 donation from locally based international energy company Phillips 66 is now supporting those efforts to protect students and staff.
HISD has utilized the donation to outfit schools with state-of-the-art electrostatic cleaning supplies and equipment. The Phillips 66 donation is designed to assist with safe continuation of in-person instruction on district campuses.
“There is no doubt that this generous gift is making our campuses safer,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We deeply appreciate Phillips 66’s desire to help HISD keep our campuses clean and safe.”
For a lot of families, the holiday table doesn’t feel complete without a turkey as its centerpiece.
Nutrition Services will be able to provide that holiday hallmark — and a little extra holiday cheer — for up to 5,000 HISD families thanks to a partnership with and generous donation from No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit organization that aims to end child hunger.
Up to 5,000 turkeys will be distributed to Houston families just ahead of HISD’s winter break during Neighborhood Supersites scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 16. The turkeys are funded by an $80,000 donation from No Kid Hungry.
As the district prepares to close its doors for Thanksgiving, Nutrition Services is ramping up efforts to ensure all students have access to healthy food during the week-long break, which kicks off Monday, Nov. 23.
All campus curbside pickup locations will offer seven
days’ worth of student meals on Thursday, Nov. 19 — the final campus curbside
pickup date prior to Thanksgiving break. Typically, campus curbside pickups
offer three to four days’ worth, but not a week’s worth.
Additionally, a third Neighborhood Supersites will be held
at Sugar Grove Academy on Saturday, Nov. 21 — the final community distribution
before Thanksgiving. The new location is in addition to two existing
distribution sites on Saturdays and one on Wednesdays.
As in-person instruction continues across HISD, Nutrition
Services has partnered with teachers and other campus workers to create a safe
and healthy environment for students to be well-fed and ready to learn.
The department has created health and safety protocols to
ensure safety and curb the spread of COVID-19. District students are served
breakfast and lunch. Individual campuses can choose either the classroom or
cafeterias for lunchtime, depending on the needs of each school.
Steps include washing or sanitizing hands and sanitizing
tables before meals, as well as requiring masks and physical distancing for all
students and staff. Meals are individually wrapped, and students are seated in
designated areas to allow for distancing and staggered arrangements.
As the holiday season approaches, Nutrition Services is opening
a third location for its weekly community distributions of food and other
Starting Wednesday, Nov. 11, Barnett Stadium will host a
weekly Neighborhood Supersite from 2 to 6 p.m. The district had planned to
re-launch the Wednesday site this week but there was a delay in the delivery of
The distribution at the stadium, located at 6800 Fairway
Drive, will be in addition to the Saturday sites at Hattie Mae White
Educational Support Center and Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Center.
When HISD closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
bus driver Althea McWhorter never got the chance to say goodbye to the seniors
who rode her bus every day for four years.
For someone who thoroughly enjoys getting to know her passengers as she drives them to and from school each day, losing the chance to say goodbye was not easy. But she’s hoping this year will be different.
Armed with new bus safety measures and a duffel bag of
disinfecting supplies, McWhorter was ready to welcome a new group of students
returning this month for in-person instruction.