Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen gives an update following a Harris Country order demanding school closures until Tuesday, September 8.

Humble ISD is committed to serving students in the setting (in person, online, or online + UIL) that each parent believes is in the best interest of their children. We believe preserving choices to personalize and meet needs is important. Each family’s circumstances, feelings and needs are unique and we are here to meet the needs of each one. We heard from many parents imploring us to stand firm on keeping in-person classes as an option and not delaying school. They shared that their children need to be in school, on campus, to thrive. Other families felt it was best for their children to learn online. We support all. 

In addition, just as we personalize for students, we are committed to meet the needs of our staff also. Our hope was that we would collect student choices, match them to staff needs, make health and safety adjustments to our operations, and be allowed to monitor conditions throughout July to make decisions that meet the most needs using the most current COVID-19 hospitalizations and testing data no later than August 1. 

However, that plan has been changed, as Harris County issued an order today that eliminates on-campus learning as a choice for all students until Tuesday, September 8.

  • School Systems must not re-open schools for the 2020-2021 school year to students for on-campus, face-to-face instruction until after September 7, 2020.

  • Virtual instruction is allowed consistent with individual district or school academic plans.  Instructors may use classrooms for video streaming if they are alone in the classroom and building occupancy does not exceed 10 percent.  

  • All school-sponsored events and activities, including but not limited to clubs, sports, extracurricular activities, fairs, exhibitions, academic and/or athletic competitions, must not take place in-person, on or off campus, until school systems resume on-campus instruction.  

Humble ISD will, of course, follow all orders. The district is considering several options and is seeking the input of parents and staff through this survey. This survey is open through Friday, July 31. 

Sincerely,

Liz Fagen

Here the options:

a.) Classes begin online for all on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and hopefully online and on campus on Sept. 8. (Teachers report Aug. 3)  No on campus extracurriculars until at least Sept. 8 under the current order.

b.) Classes begin online for all on Tuesday, Aug. 18 and hopefully online and on campus Sept. 8. (Teachers report Aug. 10) No on campus extracurriculars until at least Sept. 8 under the current order. (This change requires no October break because of state requirements for operational minutes and teacher contractual days)

 c.) Classes begin online for all on Tuesday, Aug. 25 and hopefully online and on campus on Sept. 8. (Teachers report Aug. 13) (This change requires no October and February breaks because of state requirements for operational minutes and teacher contractual days.)

d.) Classes begin on campus and online on Tuesday, Sept.  8. (Teachers report Aug. 18) (This change requires no October and February breaks, classes until Tuesday, June 4, and no late arrival/early release at middle and high schools, because of state requirements for operational minutes and teacher contractual days.)

 

The following is a message from State Representative Dan Huberty regarding the new Harris County Order:

 

It is with great sadness that I write to you today, as the local health authorities in both Harris County and the City of Houston have chosen to completely disregard the reopening guidance the state provided to districts just last week. This morning, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo  and City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a Joint Control Order preventing students from returning to school. This will cause even more irreparable harm to our most vulnerable students, further disenfranchise our lowest socio-economic students and hinder any personal progress for student athletes and organizations. This order only shows how completely out-of-touch the County and City leaders are with the many other duly elected officials who reside in their jurisdictions.
 
The guidance provided by the Texas Education Agency and supported by Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Senate Education Chairman Larry Taylor and myself, was very clear in giving discretion to local school districts. By issuing this order, the County and City are essentially tying the hands of every Independent School District in the region. Local officials cannot cry foul on State officials for mandates that fly in the face of local control and then turnaround and do exactly the same thing to their locally-elected school board members.
 
Please know that I am working closely with the state, our local districts and several local leaders who recognize the hypocrisy in this situation and we will fight this ridiculous order.
 
Should you have any questions about the information below, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please utilize email communication with our office during this time, via the email contact information at the bottom of this newsletter.
 
Sincerely,
Dan Huberty 
Author: David TatchinEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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