Humble ISD revises schedule with earlier in-person learning date for secondary students

At the Sept. 8 board meeting, HISD trustees approved an expedited back-to-school plan for middle and high school students. (Courtesy Zoom)
At the Sept. 8 board meeting, HISD trustees approved an expedited back-to-school plan for middle and high school students. (Courtesy Zoom)

At the Sept. 8 board meeting, HISD trustees approved an expedited back-to-school plan for middle and high school students. (Courtesy Zoom)

In-person instruction will take place sooner for some Humble ISD students than originally planned.

At the Sept. 8 board meeting, HISD trustees approved an expedited back-to-school plan for middle and high school students with a 6-1 vote, with trustee Martina Lemond Dixon voting against. Middle and high school students who opt for in-person learning will be able to return full time on Sept. 21 rather than Oct. 12.

Trustees first approved its schedule on Aug. 3 in a 6-1 vote. The plan had most students returning full time by Oct. 12, with the exception of high school students who would be required to stay on a staggered A/B schedule until a vaccine is found.

Per the original plan, sixth- through 12th-graders who chose in-person instruction have been on the A/B schedule since Aug. 24; sixth- through eighth-graders would be allowed return full time Oct. 12 under the original plan.

With the modified schedule, all students who choose in-person learning may return to school full time on Sept. 21, according to the district. All middle and high school students and staff will be required to wear masks to reduce the spread of the virus.


HISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said part of the reason the district is pushing for more students to return to school earlier without the A/B schedule is because some students are suffering academically with online asynchronous learning. The district's three-week progress report—which Fagen said typically shows a slight academic decline as students return from summer—showed slightly more secondary students who are not performing well.

"There is no question that for some students, the A/B schedule is a challenge," she said. "There are many students who are struggling more than usual—I'll say that—particularly at the secondary [level]. That's one of the reasons we would like to see A/B students have the opportunity to come back when it's appropriate."

Additionally, Fagen presented the district's metrics for tracking COVID-19 cases across the district. The district is measuring Texas Medical Center hospitalizations, seven-day averages for positive COVID-19 cases, beds at local hospitals being used by COVID-19 patients and active cases in Humble ISD's ZIP codes, among others.

If the area sees another spike in cases, Fagen said students will return to a staggered A/B schedule to reduce the number of students on campus.

"If we learn something, we update [the metrics]," she said. "This has been a constant work in progress. ... If we find something better, we're open to making it better."

Other agenda items:

  • Humble ISD trustees also unanimously approved a fiscal year 2020-21 property tax rate of $1.38405 per $100 valuation—a decrease from the FY 2019-20 tax rate of $1.41835. HISD Chief Financial Officer Mike Seale said homeowners will be paying 3.4 cents less per $100 valuation, because the district's maintenance and operations rate, which funds the district’s day-to-day operations, was lowered from $1.06835 to $1.03405. The interest and sinking or debt service rate remained unchanged at $0.35.

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.



MOST RECENT

Montgomery County's COVID-19 recoveries sit at 8,403, according to the county health department. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
See Montgomery County's weekly COVID-19 case count for Oct. 13-19

The county has made progress on its backlog of cases initially reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services by health care providers.

Whitewater Express Car Wash will open its 18th location in late October in Porter. (Courtesy Whitewater Express Car Wash)
Whitewater Express Car Wash to open in Porter

The Porter location will be the franchise's 18th.

Houston police
Houston will spend $4.1 million from CARES Act to rein in rising crime rate

Violent crime is up 11% in the city of Houston and there are six hot spots throughout the city that are seeing the most violent crime numbers.

Voters wait in line at a Cy-Fair polling location Oct. 16. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County ballot totals approach 630,000 in first six days of early voting

Ballot counts have averaged about 100,000 daily. Twelve days of early voting remain before the Nov. 3 general election.

A total of 10 polling places are now open throughout the county for early voting. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 76,000 ballots cast in Montgomery County through first 5 days of early voting

While the total outpaces the count through the fifth day of early voting from previous general elections, the county's voter turnout percentage so far is lower than in 2012 and 2016.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and faith leaders
Houston coronavirus updates: Positivity rate hits 5%, places of worship get guidance for reopening

Churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship are recommend to limit gatherings to 25%.

Amazon's new sorting center is now open at 22525 Clay Road, Katy. The 800,000-square-foot building opened Oct. 9. (Courtesy Amazon.com Inc.)
Amazon center in Katy to bring 3K jobs and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Drive-thru voting locations in Harris County see greater numbers than in-person, despite challenges

More than 42,000 residents in Harris County have used the drive-thru centers so far in early voting.

The outlet mall is located in Cypress. (Courtesy Houston Premium Outlets)
Outlet mall in Cy-Fair opens 3 new stores and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news form the past week from our Houston coverage area.