The latest from the ISD’s in Texas on school openings
Posted by Texas Education on September 18, 2008
The following is from chron.com on the listings and explanations of the schools and when they will be opening.
The latest from Katy ISD
Katy ISD plans to re-open on Monday, but high school football returns tonight.
See a story from Chronicle high school sports reporter Sam Khan Jr.
For a complete schedule of Katy ISD football and volleyball games this weekend, see the Katy ISD Web site.
The latest from Spring ISD
Regina Curry, Spring ISD’s assistant superintendent for communication and community relations, said only seven of the district’s 32 school campuses had power on Wednesday. Also, several of the district’s support buildings were without electrical power.
The district has reported that school is closed through Friday, Feb. 19 and that employees need not report to work unless notified by a supervisor.
“It is hard for us to do a good, solid damage assessment until power is restored to a building,” Curry said. “We have water in some buildings and there is debris everywhere.”
“We are in bad shape,” she said. “We have widespread damage.”
Once power is restored to a school, Curry said, the district’s damage assessment teams get to work evaluating the damage and repairs that need to be made. District personnel will make the repairs they able to make but some will have to be contracted to outside repair companies.
“It will take a while to get our buildings clean and make sure they are safe,” she said. “Once the schools are ready, we will call our staff back first and get them ready to receive students.”
At the same time, Curry said district officials must ensure that there is clean water and food for students at those schools, and safe transportation routes.
Curry said in addition to making sure school are safe for students’ and staff members’ return, district officials are very concerned about the status of those students, their families and staff members.
“We have a lot of families who need access to community resources and we are trying to help them get that,” Curry said.
Curry said the district would continue contacting students’ families and staff members through the automated telephone messaging system, and would post updates to the web site – www.springisd.info/.
—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson
The latest from Cy-Fair ISD
Cy-Fair ISD spokesperson Kelli Durham said schools and 18 support facilities will be closed until the conditions are safe for students and staff members.
“We have to have power before we can begin making progress by leaps and bounds,” Durham said.
Durham said that district personnel immediately mobilized after Hurricane Ike passed through the area Saturday, and assessment teams started inspecting schools to determine the general condition of each property.
Some repair work started immediately – manually clearing out water that had seeped into school buildings – but it was not until electrical power was restored that that the teams were able to determine if there was damage to mechanical equipment and the building’s infrastructure.
She said at an emergency board meeting Sunday, the Cy-Fair ISD board gave district personnel the green-light to begin repair work immediately. They are able to issue purchase orders and hire contractors, when needed, to get the work done as soon as possible.
“Over 600 staff members and contractors have been working around the clock,” Durham said. “Damage is being remediated as soon as we find it.”
District officials are also communicating with local water districts to determine the status of water service and quality, and are evaluating road conditions and intersections to make sure they are safe for buses transporting students.
“We have over 719 bus routes,” Durham said. “A traffic signal that has become a 4-way stop due to a power outage is just too dangerous for our buses to maneuver.”
“One of the biggest challenges facing us is the damage to infrastructures surrounding our schools,” she said.
She said the district has been contacting parents and staff members through an automated phone message system and would continue to do so. They are also posting updates to the district’s web site – www.cfisd.net - sending out thousands of e-mail updates and working with the media get important information out to the community.
—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson
FROM A CFISD press release:
Due to lack of power at many schools and support facilities, wind and water damage and other hurricane-related issues, CFISD will remain closed for the entire week, through Friday, September 19.
When it became imminent that Houston would be hit by Hurricane Ike, the district’s emergency and restoration teams began making preparations. Hours after Ike hit, assessment teams were dispersed to make initial damage reports. Emergency, assessment and restoration teams have been working continually.
Because the impact of Hurricane Ike was so widespread, one of many challenges has been the availability of staff. For example, about 60 percent of the operations staff has been unable to report due to personal circumstances resulting from the hurricane.
Immediate challenges for the district include those similar to what parents and property owners are experiencing: lack of power and a variety of mechanical and structural issues.
The district has 78 schools and 18 support facilities to be ready for the return of more than 100,000 students and 13,000 employees.
The aftermath of Hurricane Ike brings the onset of concerns about water quality. Several Municipal Utility Districts have contacted CFISD to announce the need to boil water. More than 40 MUDs are represented within the 186-mile radius of the district. The emergency team is initiating contact with each of the MUDs that have not shared the status of water quality within their jurisdiction.
Other obstacles include the delivery of supplies and food products to the district, as well as nonfunctional traffic lights that would interfere with the safe and timely delivery of students traveling to and from school.
The district will remain closed until schools and facilities are safe for students and staff members.
Parents and key communicators have received regular updates regarding school closings through an automated calling system as well as updates that are posted on the district website. If parents emergency phone numbers change throughout the year, it is their responsibility to contact the schools with this information.
The latest from Tomball ISD
As of Thursday morning, Tomball students and staff members are being asked to report to school on Monday, Sept. 22, but district officials are keeping a close eye on the status of school repairs and power outages and could reevaluate that decision at the end of the week, said Staci Stanfield Tomball ISD’s director of communications.
“It is going to depend on electricity,” Stanfield said. “We anticipate we will have power restored to all of our buildings by Monday.”
As of Tuesday, all but five schools had electricity, she said.
Based on damage assessments there were minor leaks in some buildings, and all roofs were intact, she said.
“We have been very lucky – all of our buildings are intact,” Stanfield said.
The district would continue to utilize the telephone messaging system to deliver information to students and staff members.
A core group of personnel would continue to meet each day to discuss the status of building repairs, power outages and any other matters related to what to do in the wake of Hurricane Ike.
Stanfield said Tomball ISD Superintendent John Neubauer would make the final decision about the re-opening of the district’s schools and facilities.
The districts web address is www.tomballisd.net
—Reported by correspondent Kim Jackson
The latest from Pearland ISD
Chronicle reporter Robert Stanton talked with Pearland ISD Superintendent Bonnie Cain:
Here’s what she told Robert on Wednesday:
We didn’t have any loss of life. Our information shows that all of our students are safe and all of our staff is safe. While our facilities did sustain damage, it was not the staggering damage that other school districts have received. So, we hope to be able to return to school sometime next week.
For a list of school damage and more Pearland ISD, click here.
September 17, 2008
The latest from Conroe ISD
Conroe Independent School District will evaluate their campuses Friday before issuing a list of schools expected to hold classes Monday, Sept. 22.
The district will post the school openings after 5 p.m. Friday, as well as distribute them to local radio stations, television and print media, said Kathy Clark, director of communications for Conroe ISD.
Each campus marquee will also announce whether students should report to school Monday. Clark said the district’s buildings suffered minimal damage beyond some fallen trees and roofing problems, but electricity is still the major issue. All schools with power as of 2 p.m. Friday will open Monday.
“No power, no school,” Clark said. “The whole issue is created in large part because we’re such a big school district geographically. That’s the reason behind the staggered openings.”
Conroe ISD covers 348 square miles in Montgomery County with schools in Conroe and The Woodlands.
Clark said all district employees are directed to call their supervisors for an update on whether or not school will be held at their campus next week.
“We want the community to get back to normalcy as soon as possible,” she said.
For more information, residents can call the district’s main number at 936-709-7752 or visit their Web site at www.conroeisd.net.
The latest from Humble ISD
Humble Independent School District Executive Director of Public Relations Karen Collier said that the tentative plan for the school district is to have employees report for work on Monday, Sept. 22 and for students to report back to school Tuesday, Sept. 23.
“But let me stress, those plans are subject to change,” said Collier. “Right now we have three schools (out of 36 campuses) that have power. Once we establish power, we then need to replenish our food supply and then we need to get the computer systems working. Once all that is done, we should be ready for the kids.”
Light damage to school campuses
Humble Independent School District leaders say overall damage to school campuses has been light, though several areas have been hit hard by Hurricane Ike.
Superintendent Guy Sconzo said in an e-mail that many buildings were spared from more than superficial damages, while others sustained heavier losses.
“There is no major damage, but we have serious damage to over a dozen portable classrooms,” he said.
Like many other school districts, Humble ISD has called off classes through Friday and set for students to return to campuses on Monday.
Sconzo said the district is working hard at making that timeline, though no concrete estimates can be made until later this week.
“So long as power returns, we could be ready for Monday, but we don’t know for sure” he said. “Only four campuses have power at this time.”
He said the district is also working on rescheduling many of the events that had been cancelled after the storm hit, including an open house at Humble High School. The annual Humble ISD Education Foundation golf tournament has also been cancelled.
“We will try to reschedule as many activities and events that have been cancelled as possible,” he said.
Updates are being posted to the district’s Web site at www.humble.k12.tx.us.
The latest from Spring Branch ISD
Spring Branch ISD schools will remain closed this week, due mainly to lack of electricity, district spokesman Steve Brunsman said Wednesday. Also of concern is the condition of bus routes in the district, he added.
None of the district’s facilities received catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ike, and 22 of 54 buildings had power as of today, Brunsman said.
“Friday is going to be our key decision day looking ahead to the new week,” Brunsman said. “We’re hoping to reopen Monday, but Friday will be a big decision day.”
District residents are urged to check the school’s emergency Web site at http://www.altspringbranchisd.org or its regular site at http://www.springbranchisd.com for updated information on Friday. The district also is using e-mail alerts for those who have subscribed and the ConnectEd phone system to get information out to parents and students, he said.
All district activities, including athletic events, are cancelled until further notice.
The district’s Parent U, set for Sept. 27, also has been postponed.
Building principals who are able will meet Thursday and Friday for staff development related to re-opening schools and helping students deal with issues related to Ike, Brunsman said.
For additional information, visit www.altspringbranchisd.org.
The latest from Houston ISD
Houston ISD power update
Power is slowly returning to the Houston ISD’s 290 or so schools. Seventy-nine campuses – or 27 percent – have electricity Wednesday afternoon, said HISD spokesman Norm Uhl. The district plans to announce Friday whether school will reopen Monday. The big question mark is power.
The latest from Columbia-Brazoria ISD
A letter from the Columbia Brazoria ISD superintendent to parents and staff:
Parents, community and staff:
Ike has passed and our communities are working to provide necessities to citizens in need. Thankfully, damage is not as extensive as in some areas of Texas. Our schools sustained very little damage to the buildings. Texas New Mexico is working to restore power, however, power has not yet been restored for West Brazos Junior High and Wild Peach Elementary nor has power been restored to a large number of residences. The City of West Columbia is working to repair a lift station necessary for sewer operation which also affects school operation.
Therefore, we are cancelling school through Thursday, September 18th
as citizens return and/or power is restored.
I am asking staff members to report for a workday on Thursday, in order to determine status and availability of staff, assess needs and determine when we can open school for students. Please check this website for updates in the event school will continue to be postponed, or for when a date is set for students to return.
The latest from Texas City ISD
Texas City schools are tentatively scheduled to open Monday.
Spokeswoman Melissa Tortorici said some schools have roof damage, but that construction crews were already working on repairs.
“We still don’t have power in parts of the city,” Tortorici said.
A hole in the cafeteria at Kohfeldt Elementary, 701 14th St. N., has been patched, she said.
Roof damage also was reported, but Tortorici said she didn’t know which buildings were affected. According to the district’s Web site, www.texascity.isd.tenet.edu, there will be no disruption to employees’ pay or benefits because of the storm. Employees are asked to contact their supervisors for more information about returning to work.
Parents should check the school district’s Web site at www.tcisd.org for updates.
The latest from Santa Fe ISD
Classes will resume Sept. 22, according to an announcement on the district Web site, www.sfisd.org.
District employee Kim Patterson said administrators are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss plans. Patterson said she didn’t know details about building damage.
The latest from Hitchcock ISD
Hitchcock school district campuses are closed until further notice, according to an announcement on the district Web site, which is to be updated daily at 5 p.m.
The school board meeting scheduled for today has been postponed to Sept. 23.
The latest from High Island ISD
An automated phone messages says the schools will be closed until further notice. The district’s Web page is unavailable.
The district’s one school building at 2113 Sixth St. had “no damage to speak of,” said school board member Gary Kent. The roof blew off the bus barn, but buses were not damaged, he said.
The status of the district’s approximately 200 students, however, is much less certain, he said. Many live in Bolivar Peninsula’s beach communities, where many homes were demolished.
“We don’t know where they went or if they’re coming back,” said Kent, reached on his cell phone in Austin. “The whole peninsula evacuated.”
Kent said he had talked Monday morning with Superintendent Paula Quick, who only began working in the district about three weeks ago.
“We’re kind of in a quandary as to what avenue we will take,” he said. “We’re waiting for the infrastructure to come back up and see where we are in the next week or so.”
The latest from Galveston ISD
An announcement on the Galveston school district’s Web site, www.gisd.org, stated that schools will be closed at least through Friday.
The Weis, Oppe and Rosenberg campuses “had a good amount of water,” while the administration building suffered little damage, the announcement stated
Other district updates can be found at twitter.com/galvestonisd
The latest from Friendswood ISD
In the Friendswood school district, campuses will reopen Monday if utilities are restored, according to a message from a school-alert service.
District officials could not be reached because of power outages and sporadic telephone service. The district’s Web site, http://www.fisdk12.net, was not consistently available.
Nick Haby, assistant to the Friendswood city manager, said he did not know of any substantial damage to any school facility. He said he thought the school closure was because of lack of electrical power, but said he could not speak for the school district.
The latest from Dickinson ISD
The 10 schools in the Dickinson school district are closed until further notice.
Administrators met Monday and reported that no campus had sustained major damage, district spokeswoman Tammy Dowdy said.
A portable building at Silbernagel Elementary School, 4201 25th St., had roof damage.
The reopening date for the schools will depend on when the district receives electrical power and full water service, she said.
“We’re very, very lucky,” Dowdy said. “So far, it appears there’s nothing too extreme, mostly missing awnings and some roof leaks. We have no flooded schools or roofs blown off.”
Additional information is available at the district’s Web site, www.dickinsonisd.org.
The latest from Clear Creek ISD
The district will remain closed all week, spokeswoman Elaina Polsen said.
At least five campuses in the district have roof damage: Brookside and Space Center intermediate schools, Clear Path Alternative School, Falcon Pass Elementary School and the Clear Creek Ninth Grade Center, Polsen said.
Clear Lake High School, 2929 Bay Area Blvd., and Clear Springs High School in League City appear to be fine, she said.
An automated phone message at CCISD states that district officials have completed their initial assessment of all 38 schools.
The timeline for employees to return is as follows:
Operation and maintenance–Sept.17
Campus principals–Sept. 18
Education and Tech support center staff–Sept. 19
Teachers and campus support staff–Sept. 22
All schools are tentatively scheduled to open on Sept. 23.
For more information, call the district hot line at 281-284-0027.
The latest from Stafford MSD
The chief of Stafford Municipal School District said Wednesday afternoon that he is not ready to reopen schools any time soon although some other area school districts are planning to resume classes tomorrow or next Monday.
Superintendent H.D. Chambers, who had just returned from Bridge City, said the school district remained in the dark as of Wednesday afternoon although the telephone lines came back on.
While the district’s in-house Internet was up and running, the public Web site hadn’t been as of Wednesday afternoon.
The district has set up a hotline – 281-261-9200 – for employees and the community to check on school reopening and other district condition. Information is updated daily, Chambers said.
Chambers said he had been in Bridge City to take care of his parents’ house, which had been flooded by eight-foot deep water. His own New Territory home near Sugar Land was still out of power Wednesday afternoon.
“The damages to the district are pretty bad,” he said. “I’d be guessing if I tell you how much the loss in dollar amount is as it will take a while to do a complete assessment. Nor can I tell you when we can reopen schools.”
He said all of the schools had roof damages including blown-off skylights and water leaks. The district’s gymnasium and other athletic facilities also have problems such as roof leaks and downed light poles.
“Our restoration team has already started cleanup,” Chambers said.
The district has a comfortable stockpile of fuel for its fleet and food for school kitchens when schools reopen, Chambers said.
However, he is concerned about if district employees would be able to focus on campuses free from distraction of their family life in the hurricane’s aftermath if schools reopen.
Also, he is worried about if employees would have ample gasoline to come back to work daily.
Meanwhile, he said the district needs to make sure that campus buildings are safe to be reoccupied.
—Zen T. C. Zheng
Click here for the latest on Houston-area school closings.
The latest from Fort Bend ISD
In the Fort Bend ISD, all staff members have been advised to report to work Sept. 19 in preparation for anticipated reopening Monday.
Spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson said that half the district’s campuses had power as of Sept. 16.
All district administrative offices and schools remained closed through today. However, employees were allowed into the administration building in Sugar Land Sept. 16-17 to pick up their paychecks.
District officials have been relying on media and the district’s Web site to keep employees posted on when to report to work, she said.
She said damages to district facilities are similar to those sustained by homes in the area — to roofs, windows, trees and canopies.
The latest from Needville ISD
In the Needville Independent School District, Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said a well water pump that serves three of the district’s four campuses has been repaired after being damaged by the storm.
He expected the state to complete testing the well water by Sept. 17 to give the green light for use so schools can reopen today. Needville Elementary uses city water, which didn’t experience interruption, he said.
Employees were advised to report to work Sept. 17, he said.
“A lot of them were back to the district and working in their classrooms as early as Monday on their own time,” Rhodes said. “We have some very dedicated employees.”
The district has no issue with food supply for its kitchens when schools reopen, Rhodes said.
The latest from Galena Park ISD
Schools closed until further notice in Galena Park ISD.
Maintenance, custodial and grounds employees should report if possible. All extracurricular activities are canceled until further notice.
The latest from Goose Creek CISD
Schools in Goose Creek CISD are closed until further notice.
Until electrical, water, and sewer service is restored across the district, Goose Creek officials cannot estimate when schools will reopen. As of Sept. 16, all Goose Creek schools and offices remain closed indefinitely. However, maintenance, operations, and grounds employees are asked to return to work as soon as they are able to do so.
The regularly scheduled Goose Creek school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, at EPCO Independence Building, 6730 Independence Boulevard in Baytown. At that meeting, Goose Creek administrators will update board members on the Hurricane Ike recovery efforts for the district.
The latest from La Porte ISD
All schools are closed the week of Sept. 15-19.
After that, classes will resume when power has been restored to all of the schools for at least 24 hours.
The school board plans to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at Heritage Elementary School.
A Sept. 13 assessment of all school facilities indicates that damage was much less than originally expected.
The assessment showed that Bayshore Elementary School had 6-16 inches of water in various parts of the building, and there was substantial but manageable damage to the maintenance and transportation facilities.
Lomax Junior High School experienced a leak in the atrium of the school, and water entered the La Porte High School student center when a portion of the roof came off during the storm. Power has already been restored at Heritage Elementary School and Lomax Elementary School.
The latest from Crosby ISD
The Crosby ISD is closed thrrough Friday, Sept. 19.
It will determine Friday or Saturday if school will re-open Monday Sept. 22.
The latest from Deer Park ISD
All schools are closed through Sept. 19.
Four of the district’s 15 campuses have power. ISD officials hope to resume school sometime during the week of Sept. 22-26. The ISD will release more information on Sept. 20.
The school board meeting originally scheduled for Monday, Sept. 15 had been rescheduled to Monday, Sept. 21 at 6:30.
The latest from Lamar Consolidated ISD
Lamar CISD offices and campuses will remain closed for the remainder of this week. All facilities will reopen Monday, Sept. 22. Staff that can travel safely may enter their place of work for evaluation.
All athletic events are also canceled for the week.
The Lamar CISD Board of Trustees will hold their regular meeting Thursday night.
“The power situation is changing hourly as utility crews make repairs in the area,” said Kevin McKeever, administrator for operations of Lamar Consolidated Independent School District.
Five campuses were without power as of Sept. 16, including the Alternative Learning Center, Navarro Middle School and Dickinson, Ray and Travis elementary schools.
The majority of the district’s food supply was saved, but the district needs to replenish many of the schools from the central distribution point, said Phil Sulak, a district spokesman Sept. 16.
The district has an ample supply of fuel for its fleet, which was bought before the hurricane. However, there is an issue of employees lacking gas to report to work, he said.
District workers have been repairing structural damages, including the collapsed wall on the baseball field at Foster High School and several blown-out windows, broken roofs and downed fences.
The latest from Aldine ISD
Mike Keeney, information officer for the Aldine ISD, said the district is closed through Sept. 19. Employees are to report to work on Sept. 22..
As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the district is not sure when students are to return. Ten schools have power, out of 70 schools in the district.
Keeney said the whole district will open when ready, and that they are not going to “piecemeal schools.” All students will return at the same time.
The district had no major structural damage. Part of the Nimitz High School roof was damaged, but it has been repaired.
Some awnings and canopies were damaged and crews are working on them.
21 schools had water damage, but none were flooded, Water resulted from broken windows, etc.
The district had to discard a lot of food, but Keeney said food suppliers will make deliveries this Saturday to schools that have power.
“It’s going to be a long drawn-out process,” said Keeney.
The latest from Pasadena ISD
The majority of the 50 Pasadena ISD campuses have wind and water damage, said Candice Ahlfinger, associate superintendent of communication with the Pasadena school district.
The worst damaged school is Dobie High School which has broken window and roofs that are peeled back.
Still, about 30 of the schools have power, yet she said there is no idea about the status of usable water. Ahlfinger says that the number of campuses with power continues to fluctuate.
“Some are up and then they are back down,” Ahlfinger said. “It’s constantly changing.”
Most of the school’s gymnasiums have floor damage and there is minimal water damage at the administrative buildings.
Ahlfinger said parents can call their children’s respective campuses or stay tuned to media reports for updates.
“Our hope is to resume schools sometime next week,” she said. “But we don’t know exactly when.”
The latest from Alief ISD
Alief Independent School District is closed through at least Friday. As of Thursday morning, power had not yet been restored to all of the campuses. The board of trustees is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. today for a monthly board meeting postponed from Monday at the administration building. District officials will be discussing power outages on a daily basis and possible date for the district’s reopening, including through the weekend. District officials are also assessing minor damages stemming from Hurricane Ike on Saturday morning to the administration building’s conference center in the new wing, Leroy Crump Stadium’s roof and from rain leaks at Hastings Ninth Grade Center and possibly other campuses.
–Chronicle reporter Betty Martin
The school board decided in an emergency conference Wednesday to continue the district’s closed status due to the aftermath of Hurricane Ike that hit the Gulf Coast Saturday, leaving the district with some damaged facilities and schools without power.
Spokeswoman Sarah Winkler said power has since returned to some campuses but not all. Whether schools have electricity will be a factor in any decisions about reopening campuses next week, she said.
“(We will be) assessing the power situation, since we have several schools that do not have electricity,” Winkler said in an e-mail at noon Wednesday after the school board’s emergency conference.
The Alief residential and business areas have been without power, and in some cases, water, since Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Gulf Coast early Saturday morning.
On Tuesday, Winkler announced the district had sustained damages from Hurricane Ike’s winds early Saturday to its administration building’s new wing and roof damages at Hastings Ninth Grade Center and Leroy Crump Stadium.
September 16, 2008
Gulf Coast schools face obstacles in reopening
Some schools across the Gulf Coast plan to reopen Wednesday, while others are still listed as closed indefintely. HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said Monday that he expects the state’s largest school district to be out-of-service for a week to 10 days.
It’s not just a matter of damage at specific campus, but concerns that students still be evacuated or may be at homes without electrocoty. In other cases, schools are serving as shelters or supply-distribution points.
“The electricity will be the major problem,” HISD Abelardo Saavedra said during a tour Monday of the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. “Without the electricity, we can’t check the mechanical
HISD’s 290 schools mostly sustained only minor damage, such as leaks, roof damage and downed trees, Saavedra said.
Very little specific information on damages to campuses has been reported so far. We know that Morton Ranch High School in Katy ISD has only minor damage. Lamar Consolidated reported power outages, blown out windows, minor roof damage and downed fences.