Category Archives: Facilities Services

Nutrition Services launches Neighborhood Supersites to feed community

Facing hundreds of cars in a line that stretched down the street and around the block, it would have been easy for Nutrition Services staff to feel overwhelmed at their first neighborhood supersite in southeast Houston.

But for a department known for its dedication to keeping families fed and well-nourished, it was all in a day’s work on Wednesday — the launch of weekly community food distributions.

Hosted through a partnership with the Houston Food Bank, the supersites provide a place where Houstonians can go each week to pick up 32-pound family food packages and a week’s worth of student meals.

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With 6 weeks left in hurricane season, facilities crews stand ready

From the moment a severe storm is predicted to make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast, Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations staff are among the first to spring into action.

Crews place sandbags around flood-prone campuses. Generators are checked and filled with fuel. Pump systems are inspected to make sure they are operational.

“As long as we don’t have a power outage in the area, the pumps should carry all the water that could cause more damage down the road,” said North Maintenance Plumbing Team Lead Kenneth Wesley, who oversees the dispatch of plumbers to campuses when faced with a severe weather threat.

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Custodial services emphasize sanitization as students return

As an HISD plant operator at Field Elementary, Maria Santana has always worked hard to keep her school clean and safe. When students return to campus on Oct. 19, she’ll work even harder to do so.

As part of enhanced cleaning procedures, HISD custodians are required to target high touch surfaces every hour. This includes continuous sanitization of sink faucets, handrails, and desks using a host of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting methods on an hourly, daily, weekly, and even emergency basis.

“We know how to clean,” Santana said. “But now it’s going to be about the details. Hitting those high touch areas like doorknobs.”

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HISD crossing guards help students maintain physical distancing at Digital Learning Centers

As an HISD crossing guard, Mary Campbell has always placed a strong focus on student safety as she carefully ushered students across busy streets. This fall, her mission is no different – but her job is.

Campbell is one of 72 school crossing guards tasked with helping students maintain physical distancing at HISD’s 36 Digital Learning Centers, which provide students without technology a place to complete virtual lessons during HISD’s online-only first six weeks of school.

With the help of physical distancing floor markers, Campbell keeps each student six feet apart and leads them down the hall to breakfast.

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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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