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.
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
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.
service will still be available and social distancing required at all locations
Due to the threat
of inclement weather, the Houston Independent School District and the Houston
Food Bank are rescheduling Friday’s food distribution sites for Monday to
ensure the safety of families and volunteers.
food distribution sites will extend operations throughout the week of Monday,
pickup service will continue to be available at all 39 food distribution sites
districtwide next week to help promote personal health and social distancing. Families
who do not have transportation and must walk to the site can continue to stand
in line but will be required to stand six feet apart from each other. HISD
Police and staff volunteers will be on site to enforce these measures and help
with crowd control.
As districts around the state and across the country continue to grapple with how to proceed in this unprecedented challenge to public health and education, the Houston Independent School District supports the nation’s need to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, HISD will extend its districtwide closurethroughFriday, April 10. All schools and offices are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 13.
District administration will re-evaluate on Monday, April 6, to
determine whether a longer closure beyond April 10 will be necessary. Texas
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that the state will waive STAAR testing
requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. STAAR testing was scheduled to
begin in April. The district also will provide more information about online learning and
alternative education later this week.
The Houston Independent
School District and the Houston Food Bank will offer curbside pickup service at
all 36 food distribution sites districtwide beginning March 16 to help promote personal health
and social distancing.
Families who do not have transportation and must walk
to the site can continue to stand in line but will be required to stand six
feet apart from each other. HISD Police and staff volunteers will be on site to
enforce these measures and help with crowd control.
“Social distancing is a key measure we must implement
to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so adding curbside pickup and keeping lines
spaced out are important steps,” said HISD Interim Superintendent
Grenita Lathan. “Thanks to our partners at the Houston Food Bank and our police
and staff volunteers, we are able to safely distribute meals to our families in need
during this time.”
The Houston Independent School District is providing one location online where updates and information regarding Coronavirus will be posted. The website (HoustonISD.org/HealthAlerts) will be updated as needed to provide the most current resources, including a parent fact sheet, FAQs, and links from supporting health agencies.
HISD is in contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Texas Department of Health and Human Services and Houston Health Department and continues to monitor information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure all students and staff members are safe and updated with the latest information.
The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning to expect a wider spread of the coronavirus in the U.S., saying it remains unclear how severe the health threat could be – but that a sustained transmission of the virus is possible and has advised schools, businesses, and communities to plan for potential outbreaks.
The Houston Independent School
District is in contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Texas
Department of Health and Human Services and Houston Health Department, and will
continue to monitor the situation to ensure plans are in place and protocols
are followed to keep all students and staff members safe and updated with the latest information.
As part of HISD’s effort to ensure campuses and facilities
are safe and healthy, the district has trained staff who routinely
monitor individuals who exhibit fever, cough, and shortness
of breath will follow appropriate assessment and monitoring protocols for
students and staff who report feeling ill. Staff are also inquiring
about recent personal travel, and new students wishing to enroll
at any HISD school are being asked to complete a routine travel history
questionnaire as a precaution.
Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan engaged in a school safety discussion on Friday with key community leaders to discuss strategies to ensure student safety and security.
The meeting was an additional measure to engage with HISD stakeholders in the wake of the tragic shooting at Bellaire High School last month, which resulted in the death of a student.