Category Archives: Facilities Services

Principals of schools damaged by Hurricane Harvey excited to return ‘home’

A new school year typically brings a mix of emotions for Kolter Elementary School Principal Julie Dickinson. Feelings of excitement mingled with the hope that everything will run smoothly.

As Dickinson readies for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, she is once again experiencing those same feelings, but this time they’re tinged with the promise of new beginnings.

“There was a huge loss to get where we are today,” Dickinson said. “But I can’t think of a more deserving community.”

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For Mitchell ES family, new school signals renewed hope

For the past three years, Carla Garcia and her 9-year-old daughter Kaitlyn commuted about 25 minutes every morning to get to Mitchell Elementary School, despite living just across the street from the school.

The original Mitchell was damaged beyond repair when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, forcing students and staff to move about nine miles away to the former Caldwell Elementary School — their temporary home for the past three years.

With the new and improved Mitchell nearly complete, Garcia and Kaitlyn will once again be able to walk to school in the mornings.

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HISD to open 12 Curbside Summer Meals distribution sites on Monday

Seven sites to provide food for students and families in partnership with Houston Food Bank

When the Houston Independent School District reopens its curbside summer meals program on Monday, July 20, it will do so with 12 sites strategically located throughout the city.

Seven of those locations will be operated in partnership with the Houston Food Bank, allowing families to pick up several days’ worth of student meals as well as packages of produce — and other food items when available — for families.

HISD Nutrition Services previously operated several dozen smaller sites but streamlined operations to maximize resources in areas with the most need and reduce staff needed on site as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the city.

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Most Curbside Summer Meals sites temporarily close for two weeks beginning Friday, July 3

The Houston Independent School District is temporarily closing most Curbside Summer Meals sites beginning Friday, July 3, due to guidance from public health officials and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases throughout the city.

Five strategically located sites offering both Curbside Summer Meals and the Houston Food Bank’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program — which provides families with 30-pound boxes of produce — will remain open.

Those sites are Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center, Revere Middle School, and Kashmere, Chavez, and Milby high schools.

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Summer meals close at Paige and Port Houston, re-open at Oates

Two curbside summer meals sites will be closed from June 15 to June 29, following a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus.

Paige and Port Houston elementary schools will be deep-cleaned and sanitized during the temporary closure.

Impacted employees have been notified and are now in self-quarantine in accordance with public health guidelines. Health authorities do not believe families participating in the curbside summer meals program were exposed.

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National Wildlife Federation grant deadlines approaching

The National Wildlife Federation is offering two grant opportunities for HISD schools. Applications are due Monday, June 15.

One grant focuses on secondary schools interested in developing nature-based solutions to community stormwater runoff or flooding. The second is open to all grade levels and emphases energy literacy.

Energy and Sustainability Quality Assurance Analyst Stephanie Walker said schools should apply despite the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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HISD district headquarters closing Monday for sanitizing following confirmed COVID-19 case

The Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center located at 4400 W. 18th St. will close Monday, June 8 at 1 p.m. due to a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus.

The closure will allow time for the support facility to undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization before re-opening for regular business hours on Tuesday, June 9.

Though few employees have been in the office, those who were impacted are being notified and instructed to self-quarantine in accordance with public health guidelines.

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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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Trustees approve comprehensive facilities assessment to address aging infrastructure across the district 

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a comprehensive, districtwide facilities assessment designed to aid administrators as they prepare to address aging infrastructure across the district.

Facing more than $4.7 billion in deferred maintenance needs, the assessment data will be used to drive the district’s response to maintenance issues, safety concerns, student population growth, and building capacity needs, as well vertical curriculum alignment and educational equity.

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FMO Code Compliance team focuses on keeping students, staff safe

In the course of just one day, Code Compliance team members receive a variety of calls — reports of broken elevators, overflowing trash receptacles, and even fire code violations.  

But for the eight-member team, it’s all in a day’s work. 

“It’s about life safety,” said Code Compliance Area Manager Anne Washington, who leads the team. “We’re behind the scenes, but our job is to make sure that we are in compliance with fire codes so that in an emergency, the staff and students can get out of the building safely.” 

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