ROUNDUP: May news from Clear Creek ISD

Clear Creek ISD had to alter its commencement plans multiple times as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded in the Bay Area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Clear Creek ISD had to alter its commencement plans multiple times as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded in the Bay Area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Clear Creek ISD had to alter its commencement plans multiple times as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded in the Bay Area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The coronavirus pandemic has altered numerous Clear Creek ISD traditions and celebrations this spring, including commencement ceremonies. Read these stories to find out more about notable events in the CCISD community throughout May.

High school seniors will graduate outdoors this weekend

Graduation ceremonies for seniors will be held at the district’s Challenger Columbia Stadium, starting at either 8:30 a.m. or 8:30 p.m. depending on school, between May 29 and June 2.

The ceremonies were initially scheduled for the end of July at NRG Stadium, but coronavirus-related state guidelines eliminated the possibility of an indoor ceremony. Although district officials did inquire about opening the roof at NRG, they were told this would not be possible due to the Texas summer heat, Superintendent Greg Smith said May 15.

For more coverage, including a schedule of ceremonies, click here.

The district is preparing for future coronavirus-related disruptions

District administrators are preparing for the district’s eventual reopening and, at the same time, collecting feedback about how to best support families in the event of future academic disruptions. Guidelines released May 7 by the Texas Education Agency indicate that school districts across the state are likely to experience disruptions in the 2020-21 instructional year due to COVID-19.

Charges and guidelines for the Safely Reopen CCISD Committee were finalized May 11. The district is also working with a third-party national research firm to develop and analyze the community’s feelings about how the district performed this spring with distance learning. The results of the survey will be provided to the committee and the board of trustees.

For more on the committee, click here.

Work will soon begin on the 2020-25 strategic plan

The district will begin work in earnest to implement its 2020-2025 District Strategic Plan after the board of trustees approved the plan during its regular meeting May 18. The plan helps CCISD navigate safety issues, personalize education and increase student performance, Smith said.

The plan was initially brought to the board in March, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the vote. No changes have been made to the plan since then because the pandemic did not affect the district’s aspirations, said Steven Ebell, CCISD’s deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

For more on the strategic plan, click here.

Teachers of the year were still celebrated amid school closures

Administrators and community members had homemade signs, balloons and personal protective equipment in tow as they gathered to celebrate three elementary and three secondary teachers at various campuses May 12 and 13.

The district typically gathers about 300 people inside a ballroom at South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center to recognize CCISD teachers around this time each year, but the 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Community members and local first responders gathered for parades outside six different campuses, honoring the district's Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year on the morning of May 13.

Check out photos from the event here.

From CCISD: Clear Brook High School earns national designation

Clear Brook High School was named as a 2020 National School of Character by, a national advocate for character development in schools and communities, according to a May 20 district news release.

The campus, which is the only public high school in Texas to receive the award, is one of 84 recipients across the country, per the release. will honor the 2020 National Schools of Character during its next national forum.

Visit the district’s website for the full release.

From CCISD: Students create mental health art gallery, nurses ‘go above and beyond’

CCISD regularly shares updates about how its students and staff are responding to the coronavirus pandemic, including news releases about an online art gallery and nurses’ efforts to safely feed students during school closures.

Three Clear Creek High School students created an online space to bring together artists and beginners during social isolation, according to a May 7 news release. The gallery, known as The Rose Project, has received art submissions from all over the country, which they share on an Instagram page.

In another May 7 news release, the district detailed the efforts of Coordinator of Health Services Marina Keeton to develop and execute safety procedures for its meal distribution program. Keeton and her staff of more than 50 nurses monitor essential employees’ health at food distribution centers each week, and the staff has also coordinated efforts with one another to stay abreast of the latest public health information. The distribution program is expected to continue at least through the end of May, per the release.
By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.