The school year starts Monday for HISD, a week later than normal. As always, there are a lot of changes in policy and educational minutiae for students and parents to get used to. Among some of them to look out for, according to fresh info from the district:
You'll be able to manage your kid's lunch menu online. "Parents can view what they children are eating and also restrict the sale of items they do not want their children to purchase," the district says. One catch: As near as we can figure from trying to go through the registration process, you can only "manage the menu" if you agree to give your credit-card number and pre-pay for meals.
Also on the "changes" list:
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No more gifts for teachers. "Out of luck are those 'enterprising' students who think about offering a gift in exchange for better grades. The new conduct code prohibits the attempted bribery of any school employee," the district says. So if your pudgy-cheeked widdle kindergartener wants to give his teacher a drawing, he's shit out of luck. Or maybe you can hire a lawyer to argue that bribery was not the kid's intention.
Biodegradable lunch trays. "After working with students on ways to help protect the environment, HISD is switching this year to biodegradable lunch trays. The new trays will first appear in elementary schools and will be phased in at other schools in years to come." Come on, take the next step, HISD -- make the trays edible.
HISD's lowest-paid workers, those making less than $30,000 a year, will get a $250 check in September "to help them pay the high cost of gasoline." Which should last through the end of September, maybe. (Actually, it is a nice gesture.)
-- Richard Connelly