A long red carpet adorned with gold stars and flanked by large striped boxes overflowing with white and yellow balloons posing as popcorn helped set the stage for a celebration at Mitchell Elementary School.
Eager students grabbed bags of popcorn and gathered for classroom watch parties, loudly counting down the seconds until the premiere of the new school’s virtual grand opening.
Braeburn Elementary School students are continuing to settle into their new temporary home on the Welch Middle School campus, where they will remain until their flood-damaged school can be rebuilt.
“Students entered the campus excited and ready to start this new school year,” Braeburn Principal Amanda Rodgers said last week as students arrived for their first day of school in the temporary campus. Continue reading →
At Robinson Elementary School, there is a different kind of excitement — an almost nervous energy — in the air this fall.
Like any other August, teachers have been busy setting up their rooms and excitedly making plans for the school year. But their thoughts are easily drawn back to last August.
Where they were. What they were doing. How they had to abandon their perfectly assembled classrooms just a few days before the start of school and seek shelter from a storm that would end up devastating their classrooms, their school, and their neighboring community. Continue reading →
When school starts on Monday, five HISD school buses will look just a little a bit different on the inside, after being adapted to fit the district’s youngest students.
HISD’s Transportation Services modified the buses to make them safer to transport pre-kindergarten students to Woodson PK-5 Leadership Academy. The school’s full-day pre-kindergarten program expanded this school year, and nearly 250 pre-K students from the Sunnyside community are enrolled in the program. Continue reading →
The start of school means many things to many people. But for the faculty and staff of Hilliard Elementary School, this year is a celebration of resiliency.
The excitement is palpable in the school, as teachers move about putting final touches on their classrooms. The pristine foyer features a colorful bulletin board proclaiming the school’s theme for the year — Mission: Possible.
“It’s good to be home,” Hilliard Principal Erica Kimble said. “That’s how everyone feels.”
It was just one year ago that Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Houston area, leaving the nation’s fourth largest city under 51 inches of water. The flood waters took no mercy on Hilliard, depositing as much four feet of water in some areas of the school. Continue reading →
When Hurricane Harvey hit, Facilities Services Security Maintenance Dispatcher Kenneth Johnson left behind his home and relocated to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, where he could monitor and serve the district.
“It was kind of scary,” Johnson said, recalling images captured on security cameras when the storm hit. “Water was going up the hallways.”
As the flood waters rose, some HISD locations lost their security camera feeds, but Johnson kept calm and helped organize response logistics, which included determining where to send technicians for maintenance.
For Houston Independent School District Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, dumping an unprecedented 51 inches of water on city.
“I remember being excited about the start of school. We were ready to welcome our students and have a good year,” said Busby, who oversees HISD’s Business Operations division. “And just like that, it came to a screeching halt.”
The damage was considerable. With nearly all schools needing some repair and a few so damaged they would need to be rebuilt, the start of school was postponed by two weeks. Some schools were so damaged that they were delayed further or even relocated to temporary campuses. Continue reading →
As Hurricane Harvey brought devastating 500-year flooding to much of the city last fall, new schools built as part of HISD’s Bond Program stood strong in the face of the storm, sustaining minimal to no damage.
Assessments made at all HISD facilities in the wake of the storm determined that schools built as part of the 2007 or 2012 Bond Programs fared extremely well.
“We were very pleased with the performance of all our schools from this bond and the last one in 2007,” General Manager of Facilities Design Dan Bankhead said. “The minor issues resulting from the hurricane that we did experience were quickly resolved.” Continue reading →
When Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston last August, it left a devastating mark on nearly everything it touched — including schools.
Nearly every campus in HISD received some damage, but there were four elementary schools — Scarborough, Mitchell, Kolter, and Braeburn — that received damage so significant that they had to be rebuilt.
That process is now underway. Design plans have been approved, and construction on the new schools is soon to begin. The students and staff from each of the four schools will remain in temporary spaces until their home schools are rebuilt and opened, which is expected in January 2020.