HOUSTON — The HISD superintendent was not about to miss the first day of school, even if it was slightly delayed. He hopped on the school bus first thing Monday morning to visit several campuses.
Richard Carranza, HISD Superintendent said, "September 11, two weeks later than when our school year was supposed to start, I'm very happy to say we have 268 of our schools that are up and running today!"
In many ways, Monday's perfect attendance of district officials along with city and state leaders was just like a pep rally. There were lots of gold stars all around for how quickly the state`s largest school district got back on its feet, despite the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey.
"We have let the nation and the world know that the city is back in business," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "And one way of demonstrating that is for the schools to be open, for the kids to be learning, for the bands to be playing, for our athletes to be performing. Nothing better than Texas football."
There are still thousands of students displaced, but HISD has a plan. Those kids may register at the school they are closest to now, even if it isn't the school where they were zoned or enrolled before the storm.
Carranza says, "Like the old song, love the one you`re with. Go with the school you're near."
HISD will be providing three meals a day on every campus. Superintendent Carranza got in on that action, too, by handing out breakfast Monday morning.
Teachers and principals know they've got some catching up to do. But the district-wide word for the year is "flexibility." Nine schools are too badly damaged and will definitely remain closed until further notice. Their student bodies will either double up with other schools or inhabit vacant buildings.
"We're using every mechanism possible to get the word out to students," Carranza said.
For HISD families who are not back in class yet, check the website frequently for start dates and re-openings at www.HoustonISD.org.
After all, school is no longer supposed to be out for summer!