Education

HISD Reopens 16 Schools, Changes COVID-19 Closing Standards

Upon further consideration, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan signals a change in HISD's campus closure policy.
Upon further consideration, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan signals a change in HISD's campus closure policy. Screenshot
The Houston ISD has announced that the 16 schools it temporarily closed as of Tuesday after coronavirus cases were confirmed or suspected there, will all reopen today for in-person instruction and that in the future it will take more than one case to shut down a campus.

All 16 schools have been deep cleaned and disinfected. Going forward, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan's administration has decided that if there is just one confirmed or suspected case of the coronavirus:

"Any infected or exposed students or staff will be notified, isolated and, if possible sent home, and the campus will undergo deep cleaning and disinfection overnight. Learning will continue as normal with students and staff remaining in their assigned classrooms throughout the day to limit movement and contacts."
Any campus will still revert to virtual learning only if there are two or more confirmed (not just suspected) positive cases.

"If two or more confirmed positive cases are reported on a campus, the campus will close and shift to virtual learning to adequately identify contacts of positive cases. All students on the campus will shift to virtual learning until the campus is cleared to re-open. Parents will be notified by their campus of any changes to the instructional day, and when in-person instruction has been cleared to resume."
Update: 11:30 a.m. According to a tweet from the Houston Democratic Socialists of America, a number of HISD teachers called in sick Thursday to protest how the district is handling the return of in-person classes.

Those protesting say there should be an end to serving meals in a classroom, that class sizes should be capped at 15 students and there should be six feet of social distancing. 
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing