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A special message from Interim Superintendent of Schools Grenita Lathan


HISD Parents:

Implementing strong safety protocols for students and staff during face-to-face instruction remains the top priority in the Houston Independent School District.

As we continue to monitor local public health conditions and review guidance from health and education officials, HISD is updating the COVID Gauge and the process we use to transition between levels.

To ensure a holistic and data-driven approach, movement between all colors will be based on a careful review of multiple metrics from both Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department, as well as an ongoing assessment of reported cases and data trends in our district.

This data will be reviewed in conjunction with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HISD Communicable Disease Plan, Houston Health Department, Harris County Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, as well as input from the Greater Houston Partnership, Texas Department of State Health Services, and the requirements of Texas Education Agency.

We also review guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency regarding building safety protocols.

Based on this process, we will continue to remain at COVID Gauge Level 2: Orange, indicating a significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in the community as determined by local health officials.

As a precautionary measure, we have asked the Houston Health Department to conduct site safety assessments of select HISD campuses. These assessments are underway, and any identified issues will be immediately addressed. Recommendations will be implemented on a campus-by-campus basis.

We also will continue to operate under our enhanced health and safety protocols, as outlined in the HISD Communicable Disease Plan. I encourage you to review the Communicable Disease Plan, as well as our updated COVID Gauge, and COVID-19 Dashboard, where you can monitor both active and cumulative cases across the district.

Please know we are continuing to work closely with local public health officials and monitor local public health conditions. All decisions are being made with an enhanced focus on two things — providing a high-quality education for all students and improving the safety of both our students and staff.

I am confident that if we work together to adhere to all safety measures, our schools can be productive academic environments. We are regularly re-evaluating and updating our practices and protocols to improve the safety of our schools.

As we navigate this pandemic together, the health, safety and well-being of students and staff will always remain at the forefront of all decision-making.

Should you have any questions, please contact your school office.


Grenita Lathan's signature
Grenita F. Lathan, Ph.D.
HISD Interim Superintendent