Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series
on how six HISD students are adjusting to the shift to virtual instruction
throughout the district amid COVID-19 precautions.
Earlier this week, the district launched HISD @ H.O.M.E. (Home-based Online Mobile Education), a distance learning plan, and students at all levels of education are transitioning from physical to virtual classrooms.
We checked in
with three students to see how their first week of distance learning went, the
steps they’ve taken to succeed and the things they miss the most about school.
The Houston Independent School District is
joining the Texas Division of State Health Services and Texas Education Agency
as the agencies roll out the “Apart We Stand Together” public health campaign.
The campaign’s goal is to ensure all school districts statewide and broader communities have access to a comprehensive set of information and resources about COVID-19.
The campaign will include easy access to health resources and
information, with the goal of keeping Texas residents – from the smallest towns
to the largest cities – healthier and safer as we all battle the spread of
This public health guidance is
based on what scientists know about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Find
more information at Texas.gov/Covid19, and continue to follow updates from HISD at HoustonISD.org/HealthAlerts.
The Houston Independent School District will relaunch food distribution efforts throughout the district beginning Monday, April 6, with a streamlined process that will implement increased safety measures.
HISD Nutrition Services will continue to work with the
Houston Food Bank for the initiative and use the Hexser T. Holliday Food
Services Support Facility as the central hub for this initiative. Staff will
pack food boxes at the facility, which then will be delivered to the distribution
sites Monday through Friday. Each site will distribute 500 boxes per day.
As a safety measure, HISD will also employ the Standard Distribution Method
developed by the I Love You Guys Foundation, which will streamline efforts and
include social distancing for both staff and families.
With the federal government extending social distancing guidelines through the end of April, the Houston Independent School District will remain closed, providing online instruction until further notice.
In addition to
the federal guidelines, this decision comes in response to the new executive
order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday to close all Texas schools until May
4. During this time, we will continue remote learning.
classroom instruction resumes, the district has launched HISD
@ H.O.M.E. (Home-based
Online Mobile Education), a distance learning plan to ensure students’ academic
and non-academic needs are met as the district remains closed due to COVID-19
The 2020 Census is in full swing, and the Houston Independent
School District needs the participation of every HISD household to ensure the
district receives the federal funding it needs to serve all students.
The 2020 Census is a snapshot taken by the federal government every 10 years of all people who live in the United States and its five territories. The survey will ask how many people are living in a household, as well as their age, sex, and race. The 2020 Census does not ask about citizenship.
Everyone living in the U.S. on April 1, 2020, is counted,
including children, babies, homeless or people living in shelters. Immigrants,
regardless of their legal status in the country, are also counted.
month of April, the Houston Independent School District is celebrating National
Arab American Heritage Month to recognize the historical and cultural
contributions made by the people of Arabic descent.
The Houston Independent School District is launching HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV to provide educational programming as part of the district’s HISD @ H.O.M.E distance learning plan.
HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV will
kick off on Tuesday, March 31 with instructional videos that include lessons from
teachers and teacher development specialists in several subject areas,
including math, science, reading and writing, social studies, and fine arts.
“Our mission is
to support students in every community with the educational resources they need
to thrive, and this is an important step in that effort – especially given the
current need to deliver instruction virtually,” said Interim Superintendent
Grenita Lathan. “I want to thank our HISD Communications and Academics teams
for supporting our students during these unprecedented times.”
Houston Community College System last week announced that due to nationwide
school closures, high school students will have access to dual-credit courses
Monday, March 30, all HCC classes, including dual-credit courses, will resume
with all coursework online. All courses will be completed through the college’s
learning management system (LMS), Canvas.
In a matter of eight days, the food distribution sites
operated by the Houston Independent School District in partnership with the
Houston Food Bank assisted nearly 40,000 families.
The 61 food distributions served approximately 1 million
pounds of food to families in need before being canceled late Wednesday. Nearly
2,000 staff and volunteers assisted with the efforts and were able to serve
5,000 families per day throughout HISD.
The cancellation of the distribution sites will remain in
effect as the district re-evaluates its process for safely delivering this
service to students and families.
Rucker Elementary School Principal Eileen Puente knew that
her staff would need to rethink how they would engage with students following
Spring Break and the closure of HISD campuses due to COVID-19.
So, on Thursday, Puente and over 20 of her teachers and staff convened at Rucker with their vehicles, formed a parade, and drove through nearby streets and neighborhoods to check in with their students from a safe distance.
Like tens of thousands of other elementary school children across HISD, the 400-plus students, who call the southeast neighborhood school home, will not be returning to campus for several weeks due to intensifying precautions around the spread of COVID-19.