In accordance with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement
today for all Texas schools, the Houston Independent School District will stay
closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
This decision comes in response to a new executive order by
Gov. Abbott to continue safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and
that all public and private schools should not reopen for the current school
year. Through the end of the
school year on June 1, the district will continue online learning and
virtual operations at the district level.
The Houston Independent School District is extending its food distribution program through the week of April 20 and announcing 25 new food distribution sites throughout the district.
Nutrition Services staff will continue to pack food bags at the Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Facility and deliver them to the distribution sites. Each site can distribute up to 500 bags — or 15,000 pounds of food — per day.
As families arrive at sites, nutrition staff minimize
contact by filling out the required Emergency Food Assistance Program forms for
families and placing food in the trunks of their vehicles. Participants who
walk to the sites also must adhere to social distancing requirements.
The Houston Independent School District is partnering with the Houston Food Bank to organize a mass food distribution site from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday in the parking lot of NRG Stadium.
The goal is to accommodate working families who are unable to visit HISD-sponsored distribution sites during the weekday. The site is expected to distribute 3,000 food bags — or 90,000 pounds of food — in three hours.
“Every week at our other food distribution
sites we have been able to serve hundreds of families in need,” Interim
Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “Our mission is to continue to help as we
partner with the Houston Food Bank and other entities to ensure our students
and their loved ones do not go hungry.”
The Houston Independent School District will be launching
the HISD @ H.O.M.E. Hotline starting
Monday, April 13, to provide timely answers to questions from students and
parents about distance learning.
Starting on April 13, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.
to 2 p.m., students and parents can call the HISD @ H.O.M.E. Hotline at 713-556-INFO
(4636). Operators will be on hand to answer questions in English, Spanish,
Vietnamese, and Arabic. The hotline will remain in place for as long as it is
needed to support the transition to at-home learning.
“We are working diligently to offer equitable at-home
learning support during this unprecedented crisis,” Interim Superintendent
Grenita Lathan said. “We hope this hotline will be a key resource for students
and parents who might have questions about our district’s distance learning,
HISD @ H.O.M.E.”
the districtwide closure and current restrictions involving social distancing
to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the application process for pre-K is now online
currently accepting applications for its full-day pre-K program at schools
across the district, offering more 3- and 4-year-old students in our community
with the opportunity to attend a high-quality program that will build a strong
foundation of learning.
Due to precautions surrounding the coronavirus, pre-K application
and enrollment timelines have been adjusted:
The HISD Social and Emotional Learning Department will host a
webinar for parents next week to guide them as they adjust to distance learning.
“Incorporating Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) At Home” will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. Parents and students will learn ways to incorporate SEL practices into their daily routines, understand the importance of mindfulness, and learn exercises and techniques that can be done by adults and students of all ages.
HISD Social and Emotional Learning Department will host a webinar for parents
this week to guide them as they adjust to distance learning.
webinar, titled “Coping Strategies for Parents” will be held on Wednesday,
April 8 at 2 p.m. This is part of a weekly webinar series that provides
social-emotional learning tools to HISD parents and students.
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.