Editor's note: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated Clear Creek ISD has 42 campuses. The district has 45 campuses, meaning 82% of them were damaged in the storm. The story and headline were edited at 3:45 p.m. March 1 to reflect the correct number of campuses and damaged campuses.
All but eight of Clear Creek ISD’s campuses sustained damages requiring immediate action as a result of the historic winter storm that swept through Texas the week of Feb. 15.
District safety officials briefed trustees at a board meeting Feb. 22 about the extent of damages and gave other details related to CCISD’s storm responses. Of the 45 campuses, 37—or 82% of all campuses—sustained damages requiring immediate action, officials said.
Three of the eight high school campuses suffered damages, including damage to multiple outside air handling units at Clear Springs High School, damage to boiler housing at Clear Brook High School and a domestic water line break at Clear View High School.
More extensive damages including water damage to the gymnasium floor occurred at League City Intermediate School, and both Hyde Elementary and Northpoint Elementary schools sustained damage to multiple rooms and had to have walls replaced. Backflow preventer damage occurred at Clear Creek Intermediate School, the Eastside Agricultural Facility in Kemah, Robinson Elementary School, Weber Elementary School and the Challenger Columbia Stadium in Webster.
All existing generators ran or were fixed immediately if they went into alarm, school safety officials said. These generators, which were approved by voters in 2017, helped to minimize food losses during the disaster, said Paul McLarty deputy superintendent of business and support services.
“[With] all our hurricanes, we tend to lose thousands and thousands of dollars worth of food,” he added. “That saved us a lot of money as far as our food replacement goes."
Eight CCISD campuses do not have generators, and seven of those will be getting generators through funds passed as part of the 2017 bond. One campus, Victory Lakes Intermediate School, will receive a generator through tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ, funds.
The district made efforts above and beyond keeping facilities in working order, officials said. CCISD provided the city of League City with almost 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel when the city was critically low and on the verge of shutting down its generators. Additionally, two intermediate campuses were open one day during the storm to provide first responders, district staff and city staff with a hot meal; about 200 were served.
“Ingenuity is part of the job; commitment is part of the job; and these folks and my custodians and technicians ... really have a servant’s heart,” Director of Maintenance and Operations Ed Hall said about those involved with CCISD’s response to the disaster.
In the storm’s aftermath, the district set up drive-thru meal stations at eight total campuses Feb. 20 and 22. More than 1,100 meals were served over the weekend, and nearly 600 were served at the start of the new week.
The district will be applying for waivers from the Texas Education Agency for its six total days of missed instruction. TEA extended the allowances for waivers due to the storm, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Steven Ebell said.
Curriculum coordinators are reviewing classroom materials in an effort to focus more deeply on high-priority learning standards, which is the same approach taken in the past with closures, he added. Coordinators will make modifications to relevant curriculum documents and share updates to those documents with those who have a direct hand in instructional activities. Officials will not be recommending an extension to the school day or school year as a response to the time lost for the storm.
“Our plan moving forward is ... [to] look at those high-priority learning standards and emphasize those within the content of what teachers need to be covering,” Ebell said, adding the district does not wish to put more pressure on those teaching and learning. “There is a limit of what we can ask of our teachers and what we can ask of our students.”
Other business: Relaxing quarantines
Based on the district’s number of active COVID-19 cases continually declining, Superintendent Eric Williams said at the meeting the district has revised some of its quarantine practices in order to allow students to remain on campus as much as possible.
Some of the changes Williams mentioned include how close contact is defined and when students can rejoin extracurricular activities after a positive test or an exposure. Close contact is now defined as when someone was within 3 feet of a COVID-19-positive person, versus the previous 6 feet. Students can now rejoin an extracurricular after eight to 10 days depending on testing versus the former 14.