Null began his Sunday update with a reference to the difficulties experienced by residents throughout the area over the past week, including the death of a district student, as well as providing several mental health tips and community resources available in the wake of last week's storms.
“I believe I can speak for all of us when I say we are tired of having a once in a lifetime event happen to us every four to six months. It just seems like it’s more than we should have to bear," Null said. "I know for many in our community, this past week has been very difficult ... People that have been displaced and their homes have been destroyed, and unfortunately heartbreak and tragedy has come to our community during this past week as well."
Null also said that CISD plans to be open for in-person and remote learners Feb. 22—although staff and student absences due to ongoing recovery from the storms will be excused—as the district returns to its normal academic and student support operations.
“Our schools are safe, they all have power, they all have water, they all have food. And I know there are many people in our community that don’t have those things at home, and so you are counting on us to be there for us. You need us today, and we want to be there for you," he said. "While we know everyone will not be able to make it—we understand that some of you are not in a position to be able to come to school tomorrow, and we respect that completely ... We can’t deny the opportunity for those students that are sitting right now in a home that doesn't have water, that doesn't have food."
Only one CISD campus—Snyder Elementary in Spring—was under a boil-water notice as of Feb. 21, and Null said clean drinking and cooking water has been provided there ahead of Monday. Campus cleaning, nutrition services, technology and transportation operations are also on track districtwide ahead of Monday's return to class.
"There was a lot of proactive work that went in from our maintenance and custodial team to put us in a good position before this storm ever happened," Null said. "These folks have been working, including all day yesterday and all day today, to make sure that our buildings were up and running. So we’re thankful to them.”
One change parents and community members can expect this week is a reroute of traffic around Conroe High School on Hwy. 105 in Conroe. Null said information on that planned change, which was expected to have been implemented last week, has been shared with families online.
While the district is working to ensure a relatively normal return to class Feb. 22, Null also said families can feel free to contact their students' principals with any questions or concerns this week. Counselors are also available to connect families with resources and mental health assistance as needed, he said.
"We’re ready to be there, we’re ready to help you, we’re ready to have school tomorrow," Null said. "If you aren’t able to make it, once again, we understand that completely. It’s a choice that you ultimately make in this situation, but we want to be there for those that need us."