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Email Message from Dr. Lathan - 10/21

Dear HISD Parent:

All Houston Independent School District schools will reopen and resume face-to-face instruction on Thursday, Oct. 22. Campuses that were temporarily closed on Tuesday, Oct. 20 due to confirmed positive or presumed positive COVID-19 cases have been deep cleaned and disinfected.

Now that we have returned to face-to-face instruction, I wanted to provide you with an update about closure and cleaning procedures that are being implemented when we receive a report of a positive or presumptive positive case of COVID-19 on one of our campuses.

As we reviewed our processes in real time on Monday and Tuesday, we have made some necessary adjustments that are in alignment with our latest guidance from the Houston Health Department. Please read the information below carefully, as it outlines the processes that campuses will follow.

One Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Case

  • The campus will remain open and undergo cleaning and disinfection overnight.
  • If notice of the confirmed positive case is received after 5 a.m. when adequate advanced notice cannot be provided to parents, a campus will shelter in place for the day.
  • Learning will continue as normal, with school dismissing and buses running as scheduled. However, students and staff will be required to remain in their assigned classrooms throughout the day and for lunch to limit movement and minimize contacts.
  • Any infected or exposed students or staff must be notified, isolated and, if possible, sent home.
  • At the end of the day, the shelter in place will be lifted and cleaning and disinfection will occur overnight.

Two or More Confirmed 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.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of the campus will occur within 24-48 hours.
  • All students on the campus will shift to virtual learning until the campus is cleared to reopen.
  • Once the campus is cleared to reopen, principals will notify parents when in-person instruction will resume.

Presumed Positive COVID-19 Cases

  • The campus will remain open but undergo deep cleaning and disinfection overnight as a precautionary measure.

In all three scenarios, you will be notified by your school principal.

Additionally, HISD’s Health and Medical Services will continue to notify any student or staff member who is believed to have been exposed to COVID-19. All disinfection procedures and safety measures are aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and outlined in HISD’s Communicable Disease Plan.

Please know that safety is at the forefront of everything we do and every decision we make. As we continue to navigate this pandemic together, we remain focused on two key priorities — providing our students with a high-quality education and ensuring the safety of both our students and staff.

We appreciate your continued patience, support, and flexibility. Should you have any questions, please call your school office.

Sincerely,

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