Starting July 3, Houston ISD is restricting access to all of its buildings through Sunday July 19 and cancelling all athletic practices. Students who had been expected to turn in their lap tops can keep them until the fall. No one will be there to accept them.
The district decided to take this step because of the number of COVID-19 cases that are on a continued rise in the area underlined by the red alert Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced last week and Gov. Abbott's decision to re-close the bars he'd opened.
According to a press release, HISD will still operate virtually and there will still be employees working at different locations — still wearing masks and practicing social distancing. The Hattie Mae White administration building will be open on a limited basis but now is not the time to drop in for an unannounced visit.
Despite these precautions, the press release said:
The Curbside Summer Meals program will continue to operate at designated sites under its current schedule. Additionally, custodians will continue to monitor buildings for emergencies, and grounds crews will continue basic groundskeeping. Bond school construction also will continue.
“These new measures are imperative for the health and safety of our students and staff. Every decision we make has them in mind,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “I urge you all to please be safe in the coming weeks — stay home when you can, wash your hands, and wear a mask if you must go out.”
Most staff have been working from home in recent months but some employees have come in to handle tasks such as "registration, technology distribution, equipment inventory, and classroom space assessments," the press release said.
Employees will have through Thursday, July 2, to finish up whatever needs doing and take home whatever they need to work remotely.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.