Humble, New Caney ISDs extend school closures through May 1 following governor's recommendation

Humble ISD and New Caney ISD will remain closed until May 4, officials with the districts said. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Humble ISD and New Caney ISD will remain closed until May 4, officials with the districts said. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Humble ISD and New Caney ISD will remain closed until May 4, officials with the districts said. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Humble and New Caney ISDs have chosen to follow a statewide recommendation to keep public schools closed through May 1, according to statements from both school districts. Previously, Humble and New Caney ISDs were set to remain closed through April 10 and April 19, respectively.

At a March 31 afternoon press conference, Gov. Greg Abbott updated Texans and issued an executive order regarding the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The order will remain in place through April 30, and recommends schools remain closed until May 4.

Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said that superintendents in the Greater Houston area planned to have a phone call on the afternoon of March 31 to discuss extending the closure timeline. One hour prior, however, Abbott issued his order.

Currently, HISD students are set to return to school May 4. Fagen said HISD will determine toward the end of April whether the closure needs to extend further.

"Toward the end of April, we will reassess the community conditions alongside experts who provide us with the data regarding testing and positive cases and flattening the curve," she said. "Once we have all that information ... we'll have a better idea of whether or not coming back to school will be allowed."

State-mandated end of course tests, or EOCs, as well as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exams were waived March 16 by Abbott. HISD seniors and other high school students who originally needed to meet EOC requirements will not need to take the tests to graduate or advance to the next grade level, Fagen said.

"Our students who are seniors and who are on track for graduation will graduate this year," she said. "We have sent our fourth-quarter grading expectations for students and staff to make it really clear what students need to be able to do in order to continue down that path."

Meanwhile, New Caney ISD will also remain closed until May 4, and distance learning and meal service will continue through this time, according to an emailed statement from Scott Powers, executive director of public relations at NCISD. District officials have not said how the closures could affect the remainder of the school year.

"We will provide updates in the coming days and weeks about how this impacts the remainder of the 2019-20 school year as more information becomes available," the statement reads.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.


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