When schools reopen, Sweeny ISD will have a plan to deal with the instructional loss the students have experienced during another unexpected break from class, Superintendent Tory Hill said.
“We are actually drafting a plan now to hopefully recover from the week of lost instruction,” Hill said Wednesday. “We are working on a plan as it relates to recovery. We have not heard back from TEA regarding a waiver for instructional days.”
The Texas Education Agency routinely waives some instructional requirements in the event of disasters, but the district will still work on an instructional recovery plan to address learning gaps form the reduced time in school.
“We do feel any days that students miss classroom time definitely impacts them, so what we’re working on is the recovery plan to ensure students have an opportunity to recover from any loss of instructional time,” Hill said. “We will be working with our staff in the coming week to compact the curriculum to hopefully recover lost time.”
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the district had 64 staff members without power and many families and students also reporting not having power, Communications Coordinator Kelly Stroud said.
“(The district) made the decision to cancel school and all extracurricular activities for the remainder of the week,” she said.
Sweeny ISD plans to reopen Monday.
Free meals will be available for children 18 and under at Sweeny Elementary School at the Texas Avenue side entrance, between 11 a.m. and noon today and Friday, Stroud said.
Two of the district’s facilities suffered minor water damage, but Hill doesn’t anticipate any barriers to schools reopening. Because many families are without power, however, he wanted to give them some time.
“We have power at our facilities and we do know for sure that it’s beneficial for students to be able to come to school to get a hot meal and cool air for families who don’t have power,” Hill said. “We want to make certain, at least, that most of our families have power. If they are still without power, they are still not experiencing normalcy, yet we know it may be a while before we have everyone back up.”
Columbia-Brazoria ISD also plans to resume operations Monday, and will remain closed for the rest of the week, Superintendent Steven Galloway said.
“The continued loss of power and utilities continues to cause a problem in our community,” Galloway said. “We don’t have enough staff available to safely have and take care of what you would consider normal operations at school. So that parents can plan ahead and cancel, we’re just going to go ahead and cancel Thursday and Friday and will resume Monday morning as normal.”
The only structural damage he has seen is to fences, he said.
“The building seems to be in good shape, trees down on campus but we’ll take care of that in time,” Galloway said. As far as power, as of this morning power has been restored to all of our buildings and campuses. We are currently checking those buildings and campuses for proper operation.”
When students return Monday, that is when the district will worry about the impact of the closure, Galloway said.
“I’m sure not having school affects families, and some families are affected more than others,” he said. “I will take it as an individual basis and when we come back Monday we’ll do the best we can.”
Following suit, Brazosport ISD made the decision to resume classes Monday.
“All of our campuses will remain closed Thursday and Friday due to most campuses and residents still without power,” Superintendent Danny Massey said. “There are still a lot of power lines down and streets closed across our community. At this time we plan on resuming school to regular operations on Monday, Sept. 20.”
Lack of power is the most significant issue for Brazosport ISD, with minimal damage to school facilities, he said.
“Obviously when our students are not in school they are missing opportunities to learn but we have an outstanding staff,” Massey said. “This is not something unusual for us over the last four years — at least, we have missed quite a bit of school. Our teachers do an outstanding job of understanding and assessing where the kids are and ensuring they have opportunities to learn and close any learning gaps.”
Angleton ISD will remain closed today, but administrators are waiting to make a decision regarding Friday.
“While we do have electricity running in most of our facilities, we are working on issues with our phone and internet services,” Public Relations Director Hanna Chalmers said. “Our goal with opening schools is to make sure our students have access to facilities that have air conditioning and access to meals.”
All events and activities along with sports practices will be suspended until the phones are operational, she said.
“There’s been limited damage,” Chalmers said. “Right now the issue is checking out the facilities, and at this point we have power down at one of the facilities. We also don’t have power to our administration building and technology building. So right now we have no phone service or internet service.”
Any time school is out for several days, teachers and staff are concerned about all of the lost academic time students have experienced, Superintendent Phil Edwards said.
“I have every confidence that our staff will work diligently to serve our students,” he said. “Our campus staff did amazing things last year and will do so again.”
Danbury ISD resumes class and after-school activities today, according to the district’s website.