Houston ISD enrollment down 16% as it marks end of first week of school

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan reported that 167,163 students had officially enrolled as of Sept. 10, compared to 199,312 on the third day of class in fall 2019. (Community Impact staff)
Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan reported that 167,163 students had officially enrolled as of Sept. 10, compared to 199,312 on the third day of class in fall 2019. (Community Impact staff)

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan reported that 167,163 students had officially enrolled as of Sept. 10, compared to 199,312 on the third day of class in fall 2019. (Community Impact staff)

Houston ISD is seeing enrollment numbers lagging behind this point in the last school year by as much as 16%, according to a report to the board of trustees Sept. 10.

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said 167,163 students had officially enrolled as of Sept. 10, compared to 199,312 on the third day of class in fall 2019.

Officials expect that number to tick upward in coming days as more students re-enroll.

"We're going to do everything we can to locate our students," Lathan said. "We will see those numbers pick up. We will."

That enrollment includes a total of 681 students who attended one of the district's digital learning centers out of potentially 18,000 students who are eligible to attend because they lack access to technology.


Many parents in that group contacted by the district said they did not want to send their children to the in-person centers, which are required to be offered by the Texas Education Agency, Lathan said.

"40% requested a paper packet, but that's not an option from TEA," she said.

The district continues to work to reduce the number of "hard to reach" students—those it has not heard from since the outbreak began. It has contacted 6,272 out of those estimated 8,400 students, according to information shared with trustees.

The trustees approved two measures Sept. 10 to give the district more flexibility in coming weeks, including offering virtual learning on Election Day and allowing an extension of virtual learning through Oct. 30, if needed based on health guidelines.

The district still fully intends to reopen for in-person learning on Oct. 19, if conditions allow.

Chief Technology Information Officer Scott Gilhousen also continues to lead a massive effort to equip every student with technology to enable digital learning, Lathan said.

Some 70,000 devices have been ordered; 10,000 have been received and another 60,000 is being delivered in batches, Gilhousen said. This is in addition to 25,000 devices deployed in August.

"As Mr. Gilhousen reminds me every day—10 times a day, when I ask him 10 times a day, 'Where are we on devices?'— the numbers will continue to change," Lathan said. "We're getting there. ... We're going to keep trying until we get a device in the hands of every child that needs them."


MOST RECENT

Two restaurants will be coming to Blossom Hotel Houston in early 2022. (Courtesy Blossom Hotel)
Blossom Hotel Houston announces 2 new restaurant concepts

Check out which restaurants will soon come to Blossom Hotel Houston.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Julia De Leon, a Harris County Precinct 3 resident and essential worker, spoke Nov. 30 at commissioners court in favor of establishing the Harris County Essential Workers Board. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County creates board for essential workers during ongoing pandemic

Local essential workers will now be given a voice to improve working conditions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic after the Harris County Essential Workers Board was established during the Harris County Commissioners Court session Nov. 30.

Although it is still to be determined how much funding trickles down to Houston from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden Nov. 15, city officials are looking to be prepared for when new competitive grant programs open up and start taking applications. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Here is what the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could mean for Houston

Although it is still to be determined how much funding trickles down to Houston from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden Nov. 15, city officials are looking to be prepared for when new competitive grant programs open up and start taking applications.

With pandemic rebound underway, HISD looks to future

With a lot on the line this school year, Houston ISD has worked to reconnect with students and fill teacher vacancies.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Hays CISD to hold special meeting on resignation of board member; Montgomery approves plan for downtown and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 2.

Zoo Lights is a light show within the Houston Zoo that happens every year. (Courtesy Houston Zoo Lights)
10 holiday light displays to see in the Greater Houston area

Check out these nine free and ticketed displays to see through December and January in the Houston area.

Mendocino Farms, a fast casual restaurant known for its wide-ranging and seasonally inspired menu options is slated to open in the M-K-T Heights development Dec. 14. (Courtesy Mendocino Farms)
Mendocino Farms set for Dec. 14 opening in the Heights

A fast-casual restaurant known for its wide-ranging and seasonally inspired menu options is slated to open in the M-K-T Heights development Dec. 14.

Tomball City Council approved a development agreement with Lovett Industrial for 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road Nov. 29. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tomball City Council approves development of 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road; JLB Eatery coming soon to Katy and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 1.

HCSO Assistant Chief Mike Lee presents information on the county's new safety policing initiative Nov. 30. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County approves $2.6M program to fight violent crime in unincorporated areas

“We are strategically pinpointing and then attacking crime, and the best part of it is we are doing it hand in hand with the community,” Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

A proposed entertainment zone in Midtown could allow a handful of establishments to sell alcohol that previously could not due to their proximity to a church in the area. (Courtesy city of Houston)
Proposed Midtown entertainment zone could come before Houston City Council in next few weeks

A proposed entertainment zone in Midtown could allow a handful of establishments to sell alcohol that previously could not due to their proximity to a church in the area.