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Students in the Houston area's two largest districts head back to school on Monday

Many are spending the weekend gathering backpacks and supplies while having a last bit of summer fun.

HOUSTON, Texas — Several big districts in the Houston area have already started the new school year, but the area's two biggest, Houston ISD and Cy-Fair ISD, begin this coming Monday.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my friends again," said Sharpstown High senior Andy Amaro.  "It’s been a while.”

Amaro showed up Saturday at one of three drive-thru COVID testing sites organized by HISD.

“I was sick with COVID, I feel much better now," said Amaro.  "But I’m not sure if I still have COVID."  "So I’m here trying to see if I still have COVID.”

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Other weekend events focused on the fun including a back-to-school bash and field day sponsored, in part, by immigrant rights group FIEL.

"We’re going out to the community and we’re giving out 200 free backpacks with $50 for school supplies,” said FIEL intern Melody Alaniz.

We’re told some of these families got in line as early as 2:00 a.m.

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Meanwhile, the Houston Police Department’s mid-west division handed out backpacks as well and posed for photos with children and their families.

In Sunnyside, the Bertha Edwards Foundation, which is named for a longtime educator, distributed back-to-school items until supplies ran out.

"This is our community, we grew up in this community, and we want to give back to the community,” said founder Cassandra Edwards Moss.

The districts themselves are still dealing with teacher and other vacancies heading into the new school year.

But they plan to manage as best they can once students are back.

Cy-Fair ISD’s superintendent posted a back-to-school message to the district community on Thursday while his counterpart in HISD told us central office staff will, once again, help fill in the gaps.

"We’re excited about the start and looking forward to having a wonderful 2022-23 school year,” said Superintendent Millard House II during an event on Wednesday. 

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