The following letter from Superintendent House was distributed on the night of August 5 to HISD parents, staff, and community members:
Dear HISD Community,
The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our guiding compass in all of our decisions. As a result, during tonight’s agenda review meeting, I announced that I will propose a mask mandate for students, staff, and visitors at all schools, buses, and facilities to be voted on next week by the Board of Education. The mask mandate will become effective upon Board approval during next Thursday’s board meeting, August 12. In light of the announcement by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to raise the COVID-19 threat level to “red,” additional safety measures are needed to protect our students, staff, and families.
The mask mandate applies to everyone regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. In partnership with health officials, three HISD schools are offering vaccinations this Saturday. If your child is 12 or older, I encourage parents to stop by and get a shot. No appointments are necessary.
Dogan Elementary School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Deady Middle School, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Kashmere High School, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The 2021-2022 school year begins on August 23, and we will continue to monitor the situation and work with health officials for frequent updates, which we will share with you. The safety of all HISD staff and students continues to be our top priority.
HISD families now have until July 31 to complete the application necessary to receive the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), a one-time benefit for families who lost access to free or reduced-price meals due to school closures.
The $1 billion
benefit program was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to
help eligible families buy food during the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-time
benefit of up to $285 will be issued on an EBT card, which can be used as a
debit card to assist families in buying food from any retailer that accepts the
Texas Lone Star Card.
Following a statewide call on Tuesday between school district superintendents and Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, I wanted to provide an update on plans for the 2020-2021 school year – which remain to be finalized.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise,
the situation remains fluid as we try to determine next steps on what the
school year will look like. During his presentation, the commissioner
emphasized that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is working with Gov. Greg
Abbott’s medical advisors to establish public health guidance for school
districts. While preliminary information has been provided by TEA, final
guidance will not be available until mid-July.